06 March 2013

The Slush Fund

I often talk about my slush fund, and older Cheapskaters will know what I'm talking about, but a question recently had me explaining to a new Cheapskater just what my slush fund is.

In the traditional sense a slush fund is money put aside to use for illicit purposes, mainly being bribery, particularly political bribery.


In the Cheapskating sense a slush fund is what is left from your allocated grocery budget each week, fortnight or month (depending on how you budget). For example if you allocate $90 a week for groceries this week, but only spend $84.30, then you have $5.70 left over. That money goes into your slush fund.

I shop monthly for most groceries, with a few things being a yearly stock up; meat, poultry and bulk dry goods are bought quarterly. It's not nearly as complicated as it sounds. I allocate $280 a month for regular groceries. What is left from the $280 is put into my slush fund (which is a pocket in my purse) and the next month I draw $280 and do the shopping. What isn't spent goes into the slush fund.

And that's how a slush fund is built, Cheapskates style.

This money is then used to build my stockpile (and I'll explain that in another post) or pick up a few extra good specials or even treats without me needing to find the money - it's in the slush fund.

I carry my slush fund money in my purse so that if I am out and see a really super fantastic special, I can buy it. Sometimes it's used for a bulk meat buy when there's a super special on, like last week when sides of lamb were $4.99/kg at Tasman Meats (I used my slush fund to buy two).  I've been known to clear supermarket shelves on a really good sale, all made possible because I have a slush fund.

Without it, I'd be scrabbling to find extra money to buy that lamb or clear those shelves. That money would either have to come from future grocery allocation or another category, leaving it short.

At the end of the year my allocated grocery budget will still be $80 a week, or $4,160 for the year and if I've withdrawn the grocery money and spent the slush fund, the money spent will still average $80 a week or $4,160 for the year.  If I haven't spent all the slush fund there will be some left in my purse to start the new year.

Most people take their grocery money (or do the shopping and just pay the bill) without thinking about the leftover cash. It gets put into general funds, and by that I mean it stays in their purse or wallet, mixed up with their other money and gets spent on whatever.

At the end of the year their grocery budget will be what it is - on budget, over or under, but they won't have anything extra to show for it.

Building a grocery slush fund is a wise move for any homemaker, regardless of the size of the household. Singles can benefit just as much as families and couples.

Your  grocery slush fund is allocated money you've not spent, and so put it in reserve, and use it when you need money for those grocery bargains and bulk buys so you can stock up debt free.

1 comment:

  1. Do you really grocery shop for $90 a week?! That's awesome!


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