As I try to make up for my cruise indulgences on my revolving VISA, it has begun to pain me that I have no emergency savings. Repaying that balance is my priority, but how can I prevent it from getting out of control against my will if I’m always trying to make up for what’s already happened?

I manage my finances from paycheck to paycheck. My “budget” consists of a list of my bills by paycheck on a sticky note. Come payday (today), I immediately pay all of my bills with the remainder going to credit cards. When calculating how much I have left to pay on credit cards, I round each bill up to the nearest $5. I also allot $100 per bimonthly paycheck for cash. Since I withdraw in $40 increments, usually I have $20 of that 100 left at the end of the pay-cycle. Add in spare change due to rounding. On this particular payday, I had $25 left in my checking account. Usually this $25 would get rolled into the next paycheck’s credit card payment.

But what if it was more like change in my pocket that got emptied at the end of the day? This was a highly encouraging way for me to look at it, I’ve heard how fast pocket change accumulates. I say heard since it seems you need to be a guy to take advantage of the actual pocket change savings method, as women’s pockets are designed not to carry anything at all.

Thus, I renamed one of my (empty) ING savings accounts to “emergency fund” and transfered that $25 into it. With this new account name, I’m reminding myself that it is only available for use on Unplanned Necessary Expenditures. Not for when I’ve overshopped or when my VISA “just gets too high” for me to payoff that month. That would be through my will not against. I’m hoping that the knowledge that the remainder is now going toward savings will keep me from getting that bagel in the morning just because I have cash. That if f I don’t spend it, maybe I’ll end up with more to save. And that’s good for my savings and my waistline.

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