Curveball Accounts and No-Spend-Days

I was reading this great blog article on Making Money Make Sense and a line popped out at me:

Assigning one day a week as a no-spend day may wake you up to all the ways money disappears, while shoring up your bank account.


A day of no-spending? Could we do that once a week?

I think it would take a ton of planning on our parts. Even thought we have cut WAY back in the last few years, we still get a little willy-nilly with our lifestyle. Not in the spending thousands of dollars way, but in the “I made a plan for dinner tonight and we bought the groceries, but now it is hot and can’t we just got get $1 tacos instead” kind of way.

So maybe we should try this…

Another thought that popped from the article is the concept of  a Curveball account. While my husband and I have some savings accounts that are for when we overspend or for a special event that is coming up (like our vacation next week – squeeeeeee!), I haven’t thought of an account like this where the spending is more intentional for things that don’t quite fit in the emergency category. I think I need to convert our “Regular Savings” account into this and start taking money out of it when we don’t stay in budget because a special thing (for which we weren’t able to plan) comes up. I think that would keep us a little more honest.

And, I think that we could be more intentional about how we save. Right now, I have a certain amount of money come out of our paychecks, but what if we tried something like this:

So the next time you save 50¢ on a coupon, go home and drop that 50¢ into a I’m-a-smart-shopper Jar and then deposit all those savings to your Curveball Account at the end of the month.

How cool would that be?

Thanks to Gail for the great article!


November 2010 :: Goals

Our goal for November is to pay $1,100 toward our debt. Taking into account the interest that will be charged ($192) , the net will be $908.

So our totals at the end of  November should be:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $ 22,673.22
Taxes Owed              ::  $          00.00
Car Loan                     ::  $ 16,450.44
Personal Loans        ::  $          00.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 39,123.66

*does not include school loans

And now for the Savings Goals – at the end of  November, we aim to have:

Regular Savings  :: $       50
Family Leave       :: $    500
Emergency           :: $    741

Total Savings      :: $ 1,291

The reason for the reduction is that we are going on our first real family vacation this month, and this is some of what our savings are for, right? We’d rather deplete those than charge more!

According to MSN Money, our debt-free date is :: January 24, 2013. I have to admit, adding a year to our debt-free date was really hard for me, but it is a real life, not a spreadsheet, so I will be thankful that it is only another year…

October 2010 :: Report

Debt Reduction

Our goals for October were:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $ 23,331.04
Taxes Owed              ::  $          00.00
Personal Loans        ::  $          00.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 23,331.04

And here is where we were after 10.31.2010:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $23,332.22
Taxes Owed           ::   $       00.00
Car Loan                  ::   $ 16,699.32
Personal Loans      ::   $       00.00

Total Debt*             :: $40,031.54

*does not include school loans

Yes, that’s right. As I mentioned last month, we became the owners of a new minivan. And $17,000 more in debt….


We were pretty close to budget in most areas this month. Food continues to be an issue, but I think we’ve had some recent honest conversations at home that I hope will help…


Savings Goals for October:

Regular Savings  :: $     300
Family Leave       :: $ 1,067
Emergency           :: $    724

Total Savings      :: $ 2,093

Where we landed at the end of October:

Regular Savings  :: $   320
Family Leave       :: $  1067
Emergency           :: $  724

Total Savings      :: $ 2,111