Happy New Years to everyone! I would like to take a moment to wish everyone a year full of Peace, Love & Happiness. I hope that 2009 shapes up to be better than 2008 – even if you had a good year!

So I opened a ING account for savings. As of today, there’s only $20 in it, but I’m having $25 put in each paycheck – hopefully, I won’t even miss it. (My raise will be about $43 per paycheck.) I can also send money to it whenever I want from my checking account.

I’m also toying with the idea of putting 10% of one paycheck into my local savings account and then 10% of the other paycheck into the ING account. That way, I have some money in case of emergency, but not access to all of it right away. (ING has a 2 business day transfer time to get your money back.)

Even if I don’t send any more money to the ING account, by this time next year, I’ll have $650 put in, plus interest.

I’m also going to be linking my other checking account to the ING account so I can put half of my HSA flex money into it directly. (That will be an additional $425 a year!)

By the way, I’m doing 10% of my TAKE HOME pay, not that the amount before taxes. For now, if I get a new job or make more money, I’ll change that. For now, it’s less panic inducing to do it this way and I’m still saving money.

I realize that the amounts and goals that I’m talking about are a lot lower than many of you are looking at both for savings and debts – but baby steps in savings for me…I’ve never been a saver and this is new to me!

I’m also going to try and update goals/debts monthly in my side bars so I can see my progress. Does anyone know where I can get those cute little progress bars for wordpress?