Saving: The Emergency Fund

Oh the emergency fund. It’s more or less non-existent. To be quite blunt, for the last several months I have completely and totally SUCKED ASS at saving. That may be putting it mildly actually.

Ok, maybe I’m being a wee bit to hard on myself. True, my savings are dismal. BUT for the very first time EVER I went on “vacation” (does visiting family really count as a vacation???) and did not go into debt because of it.

Please commence your wild cheering.

Seriously. I did not. Yes, I did use my credit card to buy my plane ticket. But then I immediately paid it off. Yes I did use my credit card for a number of purchases while in PEI (think books and Paderno) but I used my credit card in lieu of my debit card and paid off that amount, plus a bit when I got back. Yes I did spend money on food while I was home but really no money than I’d spend during a regular week (and really, I spent barely any money at all the week I got back). Yep, I had to put money in the van for gas but my father saves his spare change for me and that was more than enough money for gas. So really, my vacation didn’t hurt me financially, even with the money I spent on taxis too and from the airport, yay me.

Right so savings. They need serious help right now. I did shuttle some money into my short term savings account with my most recent paycheck. I should be able to move it into my long term savings account when I get my next paycheck. I’m just holding it on my far more accessible short term account in case an emergency pops up. I’ll do the same thing with my next paycheck but the amount I’ll be able to set aside will be less.

What I *really* want to do is by the end of the year, and the end of my contract, have enough money set aside that I could live off for at least a month. Because really, it would make me feel much better. Ultimately, long term, I want to have enough in savings to live off of for several months but this is my hope (goal?) for the end of the year.

But then there are those damned credit cards. My goal, once upon the time, was to be credit card debt free by the end of this year. I’d like to keep that goal as well. So there’s a dilemma. Can I realistically put aside enough money for savings and pay off all my debt by the end of this year??? And yet still DO thing. True, I’m pretty much a hermit as it stands right now but you know, I do occasionally leave the house. And since I work from home, more often than not leaving the house involves spending money one way or another. And I really, really want to get to Montreal for a short visit sometime around the end of August. As long as I don’t shop too much it really isn’t that expensive.

On my current salary can I do this in six months?