Short Term Savings: I’m Stumped

I’ve heard from everyone and their dog that you should be saving 10% of your income. For the past several months, I have been putting $417 into my Roth IRA (to max it out at $5000 per year) and an additional $320 (or close to it) into my short term savings account, which is sitting pretty low right now. As you can see on my Means page, I have $8,000+ in long term savings for whatever might arise. I would prefer to never spend it and let it gather interest for retirement.

My question:

10% of my income is $350 or so each month. I’m already putting more than that into the Roth. If I put $320 into short-term savings as well, I have to keep the rest of my spending fairly lean at $400 (in my humble opinion, up for debate, challenge me!) because I’m also paying a ton towards my student loans each month, almost $1000 whenever I can. I’m so curious to know how you would operate my money. If you have time, would you please take a peek at my budget/income and tell me how you would change it. I know I need to be more frugal, as evidenced by my out-of-control spending. But am I allotting too much or not enough towards my savings and student loans? Are my loan payments too aggressive? They want around $164 per month and I just paid my usual $1,000 payment. Tired of being manhandled in interest, you know?

My dream self would not only contribute $350 to short term savings every month, she would also have money left over each month to stick in there as well. 2012, let’s make this happen!

Give me your two cents please?