Tricks with money

I play tricks with my money sometimes.

I have a separate account that I deposit my “fun money” into.  I still track the amounts I spend, but there is an extra cell in my budget where I subtract that amount from the equation, i.e.

Starting Balance $1,069.40
Paycheck #1 $1,500.00
Paycheck #2 $1,500.00
Other Income $1,500.00
Joint $1,050.00
Car Payment $0.00
Insurance/Fees $0.00
Gasoline $0.00
Cell Phone $41.30
Student Loans $0.00
Miscellaneous $3,400.00
Clothing
Food/Entertainment
Books/Music
Gifts $100.00
Travel $500.00
Charitable Donations
School
Other
ING $2,500.00
Roth
$300.00
Ending Balance $1,084.08

The bottom cell tracks what I put into and what I spend from that other account.  I used to feel guilty when I would spend money on clothes or eating out, since each time I spent money it would show up as a drop in the amount of money I could put into savings.

I also have been playing a game with my paychecks.  May was a 3-paycheck month for me, but I hate waiting until 2 weeks into the next month for the next paycheck.  Instead, I track the third paycheck against the next month (in this case, May’s 3rd pacheck becomes June’s first).  I suppose this one is more of a silly thing I do to make sure I keep the right amount of money in my account.  I’m also doing this because I’m going to have to buy a plane ticket this month, if I don’t decide against going home for Thanksgiving.

I have a hidden buffer in my account as well.  I have $1100 that is going to be used on a new laptop (as soon as Montevina is released & used in the Apple computer I’ve been drooling over), and I’m not tracking that.  The money is partially from gifts and partially from my stimulus check.  I tried to buy a computer last year, but seeing the drain from my accounts would have been too painful.  This year, I’m removing that money from my view so when I spend it (I really need a new computer!), I don’t get guilt about ruining my savings.

Does anyone else do this with their money?

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3 Responses

  1. OH!

    That is brilliant. It really kind of… forces you to be smart about your spending lol

  2. I am planning to do that – I have a plan to save an emergency fund and house deposit, plus enough for furnishings for the home and an overseas trip. The latter two get put in the same account but not tracked, as I couldn’t stand to watch my net worth drop when I buy/pay for these things. I totally understand your rationale.

  3. @FB: Haha, I guess that’s true! Anything I spend over that $1100 for the computer will have to be tracked (I’m expected to spend a little extra, but not by much!), so that will keep me from trying to get a lot of extras.

    The extra account, believe it or not, is to help me spend MORE without guilt. I love buying new clothes, but when it was directly responsible for a decrease in the amount I could put into savings I had trouble spending it!

    @debtfretter: Exactly! I don’t want that penalty to keep me from buying things that I need or deserve!

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