First let me state that we budget successfully – except I think of a budget as a spending plan. Anyway, I took the Latte Factor challenge and to tell you truthfully, I didn’t find much wasteful spending. I did find that I could save $50 in tolls by taking a different route to work. The newer route takes 15 minutes longer to get to work. The neat thing is that $50 is 10% of our mortgage that we will use to accelerate paying it off. Further, since I understood the basic concept of the Latte Factor – finding money to invest – we re-examined our budget and indeed did find that we could start saving about $100 a month automatically into a 2.2% money market account each month. Plus we think we will be able to start a Roth IRA soon and slowly increment the percent we pay ourselves over the years. My ultimate goal is to pay myself 20% of my gross take home pay. However, my immediate goal is 5%.
As odd as it sounds we actually have found some comfort even though we have only $100 in our money market account, because we know that we will be putting away $100 each month without thinking about it. It will be even more comforting to know that our Roth IRA account will be setup in the same automatic way. I like automation as a software engineer and I like it even more when it is tied to finances.