Thursday, January 31, 2008

Staying on top of the Freedom Account

I've written several times about my use of a Freedom Account to budget for less frequent expenses. This piece of my personal finance arsenal has been invaluable in keeping me on track with my debt reduction. I've recently set up an improved spreadsheet to track the funding of my Freedom Account, specifically to track the balances in the individual categories. This has helped me to stop plundering the account whenever something comes up; I now have a clear picture of exactly how much is available in each category, and I can see where I have the ability to "borrow" from myself if something unexpected comes up.

The start of the new year has brought with it a number of subscription renewals and annual fees, and I'm easily able to cover these, thanks to the "Subscriptions" category in my Freedom Account. I'm able to fork over $87 for my passport renewal without batting an eye, because I've saved up for it. I was recently able to buy a new toner cartridge for our printer because I'd saved up for it. A recent bout of preventive maintenance on the Looniemobile was easily managed because I'd saved up for it. All of this is done as part of my regular bi-weekly budget, by paying myself first and diverting funds into the appropriate savings accounts.

I've created my own spreadsheet to track the categories in the account, and this suits my needs perfectly. If you're not inclined to build your own, however, you can check out the resources available at Money Musings. This site has some great spreadsheets available, both for free and for a small price. I recommend checking it out.

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