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Viewing the 'Sinking Funds' Category: Reaching For Financial Security
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Sinking Funds Adjustments

January 1st, 2020 at 04:45 pm

Twice over the last few months I have had a vet bill to pay for Bella. I budget $0 for Bella's expenses. Obviously, she costs more than $0, so this has to change. However, I am loathe to increase my total sinking fund transfer.

Looking over my sinking funds and account balances, I decided to trim bi-weekly transfers as follows:

clothing - from $23.07 to $20.00
eGadgets - from $11.55 to $10.00
gifts/Xmas - from $38.46 to $28.46
hobbies - from $3.85 to $3.00

thereby freeing up $15.47 bi-weekly to set aside for Bella's expenses (excluding her food), while leaving my total bi-weekly transfer amount unchanged at $230. So we will see how this works out.

Additionally, I have decided to use the money in car replacement towards debt. Between us, we do have 4 vehicles, 1.5 of which are mine. While my daily driver is now 12 (!) years old, it has 140k ~ish on the odometer, is a Honda, and receives regular maintenance. I expect to be driving it for a good long while yet. However, I do want to beef up my car r&m fund to handle any large repairs, just in case. After the 5th wheel loan is paid in full, I can focus on saving up for my next car.

So, my plan is to transfer $1500 from car replacement into car r&m, leave $1 in car replacement, and apply the balance of $6,342.42 towards the 5th wheel loan.

My goal with the 5th wheel loan is to have the balance down to 23k by the end of 2020; paid in full by the end of 2021. I expect this last will require dipping into my emergency fund, possibly even wiping it out. I am willing to do so only if it pays the loan in full.

Car Insurance & Reg Sinking Fund

December 18th, 2019 at 08:52 pm

I have just paid my car & 5th wheel insurance 6 month premium, so I thought this would be a good time to take a close look at my insurance and registration sinking fund.

Projecting the balance through all of next year, ignoring interest earned, it looks like I will have enough to cover both insurance premiums and both registrations next year, with the lowest balance at any point being $288.64. This is more than is needed. I intend to transfer $188.64 to checking and use it towards my next extra principal payment. That still leaves a cushion of $100 plus interest earned, which in my view is plenty.

Made Decision Re: Loan Payoff Time Frame

November 14th, 2019 at 05:28 pm

I have been mulling over how I want to prioritize paying down my 5th wheel loan. Do I not fund my Roth? Do I cut my sinking funds? Do I cut my 457 plan contribution?

I have decided the answers are yes, yes, and no.

I calculate that in 24 months or sooner, I can get the balance down to where I can pay in full from savings. This is what I am going to do.

I have cut both my travel sinking fund and car replacement sinking fund contributions to $0. I have trimmed both my car r&m and car ins/reg sinking fund contributions slightly, but they should still be adequate. This brings my bi-weekly transfer to sinking funds from $380 to $230.

I will not fund my Roth IRA for now. I will leave my 457 plan contribution where it is, 10% of gross.

(I will still take the Panama Canal cruise with my mother. She is looking forward to it and I am not going to take that away from her. She is turning 87 next month, so who knows how much longer she will be able to travel. Currently, there is almost 4k in my travel sinking fund which will more than cover it.)

24 months from now, the 5th wheel loan balance should be under $16,962.08, the current balance in emergency fund + car replacement fund. At that point, I will use as much of them as needed to pay the loan in full. (But not sooner, as I don't want to be without them PLUS still have a loan payment to make). At that point, I will turn my focus to re-building savings.

My Sinking Funds

October 4th, 2019 at 03:16 am

Originally Published 05/21/19

I try to prepare for future expenses by saving a bit each payday in various sinking funds. With the recent purchase of a new 5th wheel, they needed some tweaking. I update the balances regularly, which you can view any time you please by clicking on the "Sinking Funds" page link in my sidebar. This is what I am currently doing:

Car Ins & Reg - This is now for both my CR-V and 5th wheel. I am budgeting $2,700 per year for insurance and registration for both. This breaks down to $103.84 per pay period.

Car R & M - This is now for both the CR-V and 5th wheel too. I am budgeting $1,500 per year, which breaks down to $57.69 per paycheck.

Car Replacement - To replace my CR-V when the time comes. I am budgeting $1,500 per year plus my "round out", which breaks down to $64.24 per paycheck. ("Round out") is the amount needed to give my sinking funds transfer a nice rounded number).

Clothing - Current budget is $600 per year. This will change once I am no longer dressing for work. This breaks down to $23.07 per paycheck.

Electronic Gadgets - To replace my phone, laptop, what have you. The budget is $300 per year which breaks down to $11.55 per paycheck.

Emergency Fund - Not a true sinking fund, but here it is. Currently no money is being regularly added.

Gifts/Xmas - The budget here is $1,000 per year, which breaks down to $38.46 per paycheck.

Planners & Goodies - For my fancypants planners and supplies. The budget is $100 per year, which breaks down to $3.85 per paycheck.

Roth - Saving up for next year's contribution as I've already contributed 7k for 2019. The amount is 5% of my gross pay, which works out to $103.15 per paycheck.

Travel/Vacation - I am budgeting $2,500 per year, which breaks down to $96.15 per paycheck.

All together, $500 per paycheck is automatically transferred into these funds a few days after each payday. This method works very well for me. Once set up, it is so very simple and requires no effort on my part.

Sinking Funds Transfer

February 26th, 2019 at 08:07 pm

Today my first (post-house sale) automatic sinking funds transfer happened. I am doing $500 every other Tuesday, broken down as follows:

Car Ins & Reg - $51.92
Car R & M - $38.46
Car Replacement - $54.56
Clothing - $23.07
EGadgets - $13.46
Gifts/Xmas - $38.46
Planners & Goodies - $3.85
Roth - $180.07