This originally appeared at ING’s wethesavers.com blog.
The prompt: We asked our Customer Bloggers to share how often they think about money and saving. Alicia reflects on the August heat and its slow drain on her savings.
How often do you think about money and saving? Do you ever escape it, or is it always lodged in your subconscious?
August is always the worst. Not only is it the hottest month of the year. I’m seriously sitting here hoping for a heat index of less than 105 degrees so I can go for an evening run tonight.
It’s also the worst bill month. It’s the one regular time of year I transfer money from savings into checking as the deluge of needs knocks our increasingly less adequate income mercilessly down.
- $800: The start of school, otherwise known as the 29% of my husband’s tuition and fees not covered by his assistantship.
- $1100: The “it seems inexpensive until you’re writing a lump sum check for it” student insurance
- $300: Car insurance
- $790: Rent, utilities, cell, and internet
To be brief: August is really a thirsty vampire fang deep in my finances. Even more so this year, with involuntary increases to the retirement plan (20 bucks a paycheck) and yet another increase to the parking decals for campus ($190).
I start dreading August in April for all the known and unknown bills waiting for me. I think about it all summer. I decline trips because I have to save for August. I check my account balances and think, will we be ready for August? I don’t even count the money in my savings for August as money. August expenses not including gas, food, or entertainment are coming close to exceeding our take home pay.
Despite all my good work, planning and saving and being able to pay all we need to pay in August, I always feel really terrible about money from our income to our savings. I find myself looking at want ads, wondering how much longer my husband’s PhD can really take. I become very superstitious, knocking on wood, tossing salt, carrying around pictures of my rabbit’s feet, hoping that nothing will go wrong with the cars and that there are no emergency surgeries, like when my husband’s appendix became very angry in 2007.
I curse that we will never be able to have children living like this, well not if we want to clothed, eating, or alive. Those silly details.
Oh August, you’re definitely the cruelest month, despite what T.S. Eliot thinks. My tomatoes are dying. The chickens think it’s much too hot to do anything other than sit in the shade under the coop. And me, the supersaver I am, just wants to drink lemonade in the shade and wait for September.