Life in Transition

Navigating Personal Finances During Life Transitions

Current State of Finances Part 2: Targeted Savings

From part 1, you may have noticed that I have a lot more money in my checking account than my two saving accounts combined, which is unusual.   Let me explain.   I have a rewards checking account with my credit  union, which as an  interest rate of 3% on a $20,000 average monthly balance if you meet certain requirements: have a direct deposit and use the debit card on ten purchases totalling at least $200 every month.  I easily meet those requirements, so  put as much of my cash into my checking account as possible.  Since the interest rate on the total balance drops to 0.25% on balances over $20,000, I park the rest of my cash with an online banking account.  I keep a little bit of money in my credit union savings account just to meet the minimum requirements of keeping it open.  With that said, the majority of the money currently in my checking account isn’t for day-to-day spending.    I keep track of the “hands off” money in an excel spreadsheet.  Here is what I have:

  • Dental School Tuition: $16,797.67  My fiance saved up a ton of money during undergrad and was able to pay his first year of dental school without borrowing a penny.  This is how much he has left, which will hopefully cover one more semester (I’m hoping and praying that tuition won’t increase too much).  He put the money in my account since 1)  He doesn’t meet the requirements to get the 3% interest rate on his checking account and 2) I use my rewards credit card to pay his tuition so get points.
  • Wedding Fund: $2383.44  I already saved $7500, and this is how much I have left  to  spend
  • Honeymoon Fund: $869.63 We’re taking a delayed honeymoon, so we still have more time to save
  • Vacation Fund: $400.00  This is for a weekend trip to St. Louis in June.  I am a huge gymnastics fan and the National Championships this year is located within a reasonable driving distance from home. Whatever is left over from the trip will be stashed  in the honeymoon fund
  • Christmas Fund: $50.00
  • Emergency Fund: $5321.04 The goal is to save $6000 by the end of the year, should be very do-able

Total Targeted Savings: $24,952.15
Total Day-to-Day Cash: $1940.28

Right now my finances look pretty good because I am sitting on a ton of cash, but as soon as my fiance’s tuition bill comes, a large chunk will be wiped out, and we will have to start taking out loans.


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