A Lesson Hard Learned: Savings Accounts

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We’re pretty good at saving money for the things we need or want to do.  When we have a tangible goal we can do it.  But…and this may be one of the biggest confessions ever by a so-called PF blogger…when it comes to the rainy day/f-you/emergency/good old savings account, we’re pretty horrible.

You may remember a few days ago when I posted about what we did with our tax money…pay off a huge chunk of debt.  Later that day one of our cars decided to give up.  Uncontrollable shakes and scary dashboard lights flashing.  Driving it became reminiscent to piloting a plane that was going down.  So we had to take it in.  The worst part?  We knew this was coming.  The warning signs had all been there.  We chose to ignore them.

Stupid cars. I wish I could
just teleport everywhere I
needed to go.

A combination of ignoring financial words-of-wisdom and ignoring the sheer terror that was about to fling itself onto our auto cost us upwards of $800.  Honestly, it was less than I thought it would be.  But that extra money had to come from somewhere.  It came from our travel fund.  THAT IS MY LEAST FAVORITE PLACE TO REALLOCATE MONEY FROM!  But it was the only solution.  So we won’t be taking a trip in the spring.  We’re lucky, really.  If we hadn’t had that money, we would have had to put it on the card, which would have totally defeated the purpose of paying it off.

Lessons Learned:

  • Don’t use all your money to pay off your debt.  Save and pay off simultaneously.  It make take longer to get that balance down to $0, but it changes bad habits and prevents you from having to put more on the card long-term.
  • When your car gets sick, prepare yourself.  It’s only a matter of time before it gives up completely.
  • There are consequences to my actions.  Bad financial practices=no traveling for me.  Bad doesn’t even begin to describe it.  My behavior reminds me of an 8-year-old brat who didn’t study because “I don’t waaannnt toooooooo….” and then bawled my eyes out when I got an F and therefore didn’t get to go to Pizza Hut.  (Did anyone else’s parents have pizza night when you got good grades?)
  • I need to beef up my savings account.  Plain and simple.  If I can’t afford to do that, I shouldn’t be traveling anyways.

10 thoughts on “A Lesson Hard Learned: Savings Accounts

  1. jlcollinsnh

    Hi FF…

    don’t beat yourself up, I’d have done exactly what you did. That is, I’d throw ever spare dime at that debt till it was dead. If that meant that once in a while the car died and I had to revert to plan ‘b’ so be it.

    temporary set back and then back to relentlessly grinding down that debt.

    when the debt’s gone that money would go into relentlessly building my wealth pot. same deal. If some had to come out for emergencies, so be it and then back to it.

    before you know it you’ll be rereading about setting up your charitable foundation to give it all away. 😉

  2. lifeoverwork

    I take more of a purist philosophy on where money should go. What’s the maximum interest rate I can earn with this dollar? If I have an account that will pay me 4% interest but I’m being charged 10% on a credit card, it should go to the card. If the card is giving me 0% for one year, no point in paying that down right now.

    I do understand the philosophy of paying down debt first, but I don’t see why I would give up earnings from saving that can more than cover interest I’m being charged.

    1. jlcollinsnh

      hard to argue with that, LOW. Financially, you are spot on and would be money ahead.

      In some cases though, perhaps the psychic benefit to grinding the debt to dust would be worth the lost spread. Would be for me if only because debt so makes my skin crawl.

  3. Ella

    Oh bad luck! 🙁 Still it didn’t turn that bad because you did have some savings you could use so you managed to avoid the worse option. I understand that not traveling when you actually planned and saved for it is really not fun though…

  4. Miss Caitlin S.

    great tip- i adore ANY tip about saving money like this because we all have a different way of doing it. It is a good idea to get on a solid payment plan, rather than hope for the best to be out of debt. Great point.

  5. nicoleandmaggie

    “I need to beef up my savings account. Plain and simple. If I can’t afford to do that, I shouldn’t be traveling anyways.”

    I think this really says it all. Travel is a want, paying down high interest unsecured debt is a need. Safe transportation to work: also a need. In not too long you’ll be able to take saved-for trips with no credit card debt and a healthy emergency fund under your belt. And you’ll get there faster without debt pulling you down.

  6. femmefrugality

    Totally agreed, guys. The sad thing is I knew what I should be doing and just…didn’t do it. I guess that’s we all do that at some point or another. It’s hard because the trip was to see family. And, Ella, I’m so glad I had that money saved!

  7. Jennifer

    Well, I think we have all done this at some point. When we started to get our act together we finally saved $1000 to start. Then we upped it to $2000 while we paid off debt. Now we have upped it even more and it has really saved us from time to time. Glad it wasn’t a more expensive fix.

  8. Savings

    Indeed, saving for the rainy days is a must. Thanks for sharing your “lessons learned”. They will surely resonate with a lot of individuals out there!

  9. Savings Accounts

    Great insights. With this kind of savings account, the holder can have access to his money as many time as he or she wants. Though with this type of account one gets little amount of interest but it is a good start for those who are searching for the right means to being savings.


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