The CC debt will only take two more paychecks to pay off. I'd rather do that then bust my "magic number" of $5K. I've never saved up that much before and I'd really like to get it to $10K next year. Hey! I think I just found a goal?
I give my kids allowance without any strings attached. They're supposed to pay for school lunches which is $2 per day ($10 a week) and $10 a week for anything they desire. So I don't think the amount is out of line, its just that they NEVER have any when they really want it. That's pretty hard to stand up against when they're starting to have a meltdown in the middle of a store...but I'm getting a reputation for being "hard on us." In reality - I think they're spoiled rotten.
At the same time, I'm teaching personal responsibility towards family contribution. They each have a list of chores done daily/weekly. There are consequences for not following through with the chores, but they are not tied to allowance in any way. (Take away computer time/cell phone/Wii, etc.)
Before my promotion I lived 10 minutes from work where there was no parking charge. Now, I have to drive downtown where they charge for parking. I have put my increase into savings - that's how I'm adding $200 a check to deferred comp.
I use Mint.com to track my expenses and income so I pretty much know where things are going -- and I have a rough budget (a feature of Mint - it will e-mail me when I've gone over an expense for the month) I just feel...I don't know, like I could be doing more? Is saving $1000 a month too much? If I keep up what I'm doing, then between age being on my side and job funded retirement, I'm completely on track to retire very comfortably.
I'm getting some ideas for goals.
Increase emergency fund to $16500 (currently $1000)
Start investment fund. I have decided on a Vanguard traditional IRA. (I have $2k to do this right now)
Continue automatic investing to ING. Decide on a dollar amount at which to transfer funds to investment vs. savings.
Learn! I feel like there's so much to grasp before jumping into this!