Wants vs. Needs
We touched on this subject earlier in the year, but it impacts our budgets so much that it bears repeating.
Needs = things we must have to keep us, body and soul, together.
Wants = things we like to have.
I’m definitely guilty of giving into my wants. One example is this past week where I bought the biggest possible bag of Mini Eggs to help me cope with some emotional stress. Now I could argue pretty hard over this purchase being a need, but I get that it isn’t. One way I make these emotional purchases work for me is to have a set grocery budget that I can spend any way that I want to. If I spend $15 on Mini Eggs this week, that means I’m eating some pretty basic groceries next week. That give and take is one reason I love budgets.
The Curveball Jar
Jar #1 is the “Found Money” jar (also referred to as the savings jar recently).
Jar #2 is the “Food Tax” jar.
Jar #3 is the “Curveball” jar.
Our instructions to start this Curveball jar were to take a look at our food savings money, our Found Money jar and our Food Tax jar, then move that money into the Curveball jar.
I don’t have a lot of money in my jars yet, but I’m hoping to sell some things once social distancing is no longer necessary and will try to build up the jar money then.
“A curveball account is one step to strengthen your personal economy.” — Gail Vaz Oxlade
The important distinction that Gail made about the Curveball Account is that it is different than an Emergency Fund. The Curveball Account is for those small, unexpected curveballs that life likes to throw at us, where an Emergency Fund is for a larger life crisis.
ATM Fees & Your Personal Economy
I think the first thing I ever learned from Gail was that, if I’m paying bank fees, I’m an idiot. I hate giving away money when I don’t need to and that’s what bank fees feel like for me. Gail touched on this topic at the end of the week.
There were two specifics to look at and do:
- Take 3 months of your bank statements and add up how much you spent on bank fees and ATM fees. Divide that number by 3 for your monthly average. Decide how you feel about that number.
- Stop using any ATM that’s not affiliated with your bank to stop paying big fees!
One of our ongoing tasks for the year is a weekly gratitude journal or practice. I’ve still not gotten into a good rhythm with this, but am grateful for Gail’s continued reminders about it.
In addition to Gail’s tips and reminders–and the Mini Eggs I bought–I’m grateful for the good books and music I’m using to pass my time.
What are you grateful for this week?
New to the Money Master Class? There’s still time to get started!
Check out this tweet to see all of Gail’s #MoneyMasterClass tweets from the start.
Check out my weekly recaps to get caught up.
Start here with the Money Master Class Intro and Week One Recap
Missed last week? Find it here: Week Thirteen Recap
Check out Gail Vaz Oxlade’s books here:*