Last month (February):
Years left: 6.833333333
P = $875.17, I = $339.24, Escrow = 621.66
This month (March):
Years left: 6.666666667
P =$881.26, I = $333.14, Escrow = 621.66
One month savings: $2.62
Too bad the stock market didn’t keep those gains– we had been at the point in which the taxable e-trade account was bigger than our remaining mortgage. Now we’re two months away again. I shake my tiny fist at Mint for showing me stock market updates more frequently than I want to see them. It’s a bit unnerving to have one’s net worth fluctuate so wildly.
I spent the month of February with conflicting feelings… On the one hand, I hated having this stupid challenge in the back of my mind and having to be mindful about my spending and DH’s spending. On the other hand, I had a paper deadline for Feb 28th and kind of didn’t want the month to end until that got finished(!)
Well, we did it. Spent $1,227 of non-childcare non-DH’s-allowance out of our take-home pay. That’s less than $2000. This makes up for the profligacy of the previous two months and we’re back on track for summer, even if my summer salary gets sequestered (it shouldn’t– it’s from the last fiscal year or something).
Where did it go? $550 to groceries (that’s a lot for us!). $303 to utilities (that includes stuff like the insect guy and the internet/phone etc.) $125 on “shopping” (a catchall for books, diapers and other things). $86 on gas. $71 on restaurants (much less than usual). $34 at the dentist. $25 on Netflix. $20 on charity. $12 on heart medication for the cat.
Now, lest you think we’re an angelic family of four, that doesn’t include bills that we pay once a year (like private school) and it doesn’t include the $1,260 that we spent on childcare and out of DH’s allowance. This month was full of coffee bean experimentation (DH’s current hobby).
This week, btw, we didn’t spend any money before the month ran out. (DH ordered parts for the fridge, but that hasn’t been charged yet. Update: I spent $26 on gas on the 28th.) I also got a check for doing a referee report. And we got a $50 cash back check from the credit card company.
What did we learn?
1. Not having an emergency is nice. DH bought an engine/fan set-up for the freezer to replace the one that keeps freezing up (after stalling out). That should cost around $50 and will hopefully work. If not, then one of our soon-to-happen emergencies is going to be buying a new fridge. We’ll probably get something reasonably nice this time around.
2. We’re kind of tired of the restaurants in town anyway.
3. We have a lot of food in the freezer. And some of that food should be thrown out because it didn’t taste good when we froze it either. (I’m looking at you, disastrous Jambalaya. I do think we’ll be able to eat the last of the Turkey Turnip Chickpea stuff eventually, but only when someone is craving an ultra-healthy chicken soup.)
4. Not going into the city saves quite a bit, but also creates a bit of wanderlust. We may go crazy sometime in March.
5. Fancy cheeses sometimes go on good sales. Buy the ones that are on sale when you’re trying to save money instead of not buying any. Failing that, get one of the inoffensive cheddars. Don’t come home with no cheese or you will be sad when you need a snack.
6. After a couple of weeks I stop the “wanting to buy things just because I can’t”. I must get acclimated or something.
7. I still hate having to think about money. After years of not having to do that, it is nearly impossible to make thinking about it again “a game” or anything other than annoying.
8. We have a lot of individual bills. For some reason it doesn’t seem like as many when they’re listed on the cc bill as it does when mint updates with them every few days.
9. I really want to go into the city and spend a lot of money just because I can. I won’t though. Well, no more than usual, anyway. Well, maybe a little more– I am hitting a milestone birthday.
In the end, I think I’ll keep Mint. I do like being able to see how much we’ve been spending. I don’t think I’ll keep such a close eye on the individual items going forward, however.
Do you track your spending? Do you budget? How does (or does not) that work out for you?