Wow, February went by quickly! I don’t supposed that would have anything to do with it only having 28 days….. Or, it could be the fact that we celebrated both Valentine’s Day as well as The Big Guy & I’s 5th wedding anniversary! How cool!
Actually, it’s kind of sad because we were just too busy to do anything for either occasion, so we just celebrated both last weekend! I was absolutely amazing, because The Big Guy took her to grandma’s house on Friday at 1pm, and then we didn’t go pick her up until Saturday evening. It was like a full 24 hours off, and I loved it, but I also missed her :-(
Alright, enough family stuff, here’s our budget:
As you can see, we made a ridiculous amount of money, but we also spent a ridiculous amount of money. Normally, I would say that was a bad thing, but in this case, it was actually good. Here’s why:
- Vehicle Payment: We made a double payment on our vehicle this month, meaning we’ve paid March’s already!
- Student Loan: Also a double payment
- Auto Insurance: Double payment as well
So, even though those look crazy bad, they’re actually good things. As a result of the good things we did with our excess income, we were able to pay down $4,209 of debt in February! This brings our total to $6,928 for the year, or 23.1% of our yearly goal of paying down $30,000! If you want to follow along with this challenge, check out #30k2015 on Instagram!(Also important to note: I cannot draw a straight line. Or maybe I’d had one too many margaritas. Whatever)
On to the wins:
- Income: Between our tax return, a bunch of odd jobs, and some other stuff, our income was way high. Yippee!
- Blog Income: Also higher than expected. This number is after taxes. Remember, I report the income I earned in my Blog Income Updates, and the money I actually receive here in my budget updates.
Besides Income, almost nothing was in budget, but as I explained earlier, that is partially because we made double payment again! So, here are our losses:
- Car Repairs: I had actually budgeted $400, but that went way over. What do you do? It’s still better than a car payment :-)
- Property Tax: I hired a company to protest my property taxes, and they won, which means that I owed them $443 (1/4 of what they won me back through the reduction of taxes!)
- Pet: Ok, I had thought that maybe pet costs would be $50, but between buying her Sentinel (flea & tick), and dog food, and when The Big Guy came home with a $30 dog bed, I knew the budget was toast. Once we went back and forth about whether or not he should return the dog bed (he won ;-( ) the next week Kylie proceeded to chew a basketball sized hole in it. Betcha he won’t do that again!
- Groceries: Bad, Bad, Bad. Usually I don’t worry too much about out food budget as long as we come in under $400, but we’re on month #4 of spending over $300, so I would like to at least have a couple of months at or under $300.
- Restaurants: What a terrible month! We weren’t really under any sort of extra stress, we just got lazy! The Big Guy and I had a talk and we’re going to get our lives together and stop this crap….
So, there’s are budget for February, with all of it’s ups and downs! And, as of 2/28/15 we had paid all of our March bills, meaning that we’re a month ahead on bills and we can live on last month’s income! Seems so simple, doesn’t? Unfortunately, it’s not exactly that easy. Since I’m making less than at my previous job, we actually need the income from this blog, as seen below:
As you can see, we’re actually short about $600, but we’re scheduled to make somewhere between $800 & $1,000 after taxes. Still, I don’t want to count on it, and seeing this huge deficit in our budget motivates me to stay within or under our budget!
Also, I’m not sure what’s going to happen after April 15th. I was hired as a tax season employee at my current job, and while I’m grateful for the work, it’s also kind of confusing because they keep talking about expansion & keep me on, and additionally, one of their accountants is due 2 weeks after tax season ends, and I’m not sure if they want me to stay on and cover during her maternity leave. I guess I just need to sit down and have a conversation with my boss about what’s going to happen after tax season.
But, that crazy long story aside, we’re focusing on getting The Big Guy a job, and maybe me staying home and making this blog a full-time job??
Expect a lot of changes to keep coming, but no matter what, we’re doing to continue try, trying again to stay on budget!
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[email protected] says
I think February can be a hard month. I am always getting past the excitement of the new year plans and its so dreary out. I get tired of being in the house and so I eat and shop. Hopefully all this snow will melt and March can warm up a bit. I am looking forward to picnics and grilling out instead of overspending on dining out.
I get stuck in the exact same rut, but when the sun comes out I miraculously find energy!
Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom says
I did a double take when I saw your budget-to-actual income up there. Very awesome. Hope you get kept on at work (if that’s what you want), I can see how things could get a bit busy during tax season and how that kind of talk could be pushed off for a while. Go ask! That’s a great idea.
Thanks Emily! Easier said than done, though!
Joyce @ My Stay At Home Adventures says
Last month was “eh” … for us. I think we ate out more than we ever did in one year! I think you did a great job with your income. As far as staying at home and making your blog your full time job, awesome idea!
Ugh, I totally know the feeling! As far as staying home, we’ll see! Any advice?
Bradley @ btjpersonalfinance says
I am super impressed by your blog income and your tenacity when it comes to tackling your debt. Keep up the good work!
I’m so glad I found your site! My husband and I are also working on saving and budgeting so we can retire as early as possible. I love that you keep it real with your budget. We are also trying to pare down our grocery spending, but you just never know when life will happen.
Good luck next month!
Grocery spending is tough, isn’t it! It’s just food, why is it so hard to stay within budget ?!?!