Okay, hold onto your hats...I'm about to shock you.
1. I got a credit card and am using it ALL THE TIME.
2. I'm not tracking my spending anymore.
3. It's all going really, really well.
So, I decided to get a rewards credit card a few months back. After doing a lot of research, I went with the Capital One Venture Card (the one's with Alec Baldwin on the commercials). I figured I might as well earn points and save money on some of my travels, and this one seemed the most flexible.
My plan was to use the credit card for everything, but keep tracking all my spending as I had been for the last few years.
But then I didn't. I just used the card for my usual expenses, including my cell phone bill, groceries, etc. Basically anywhere that lets me pay with credit card, I use this card to rack up points. I keep an eye on the balance throughout the month, making sure nothing crazy is happening. At the end of the month, I looked at my checking account (which has only a few bills auto-paying out of it), paid the credit card bill in full, and had about $150 extra bucks to put in my emergency fund.
Hmm. That all worked out okay. So I went ahead and did the same thing in December. Lo and behold, the same thing happened. I had about the same amount left over in my checking (even after Christmas spending!), so I transferred it to my emergency fund.
I am still doing several automatic transfers to savings right after payday:
*Summer Saver: this district doesn't pay in August, so I am saving for that)
*Travel Fund: I throw $100 into this every month.
*Roth IRA: I have this set up to max out my $5,000 contribution over the course of the year
*House Fund: Right now I have $500 per month going into this account
Since my E-fund is funded for over three months right now, I am not putting too much in it, just whatever is left over at the end of the month. I wouldn't have thought I could be comfortable not tracking my spending obsessively, but things are working really, really well.
Are you shocked? Want to shame me? Want to punch me for pulling this off? Let me know your thoughts (and that I still have a reader or two out there).
Next post: How I plan to be more disciplined in spending, without tracking every penny.