Yes, singing about money is only fun when Abba does it.
We're at the end of February, and Friday the hubs and I will get paid. We've done a fantastic job staying on budget this month, and we're going to be able to send extra cash flow to my debt. Here's a breakdown of our expenses this month:
Heat: $248 (down from $300 last month, and I'm hoping it will be down again this month since we've cut the thermostat back to 68)
Fun money: $95 (twenty of this was for a shovel and the rest we spent on Valentine's Day gifts)
Gas: $200 (sucky commute...and I even drive a car that gets excellent gas mileage)
Total Expenses: Just over $1900
On top of our monthly expenses, we also managed to send $2697 to debt and pay cash for our almost finished shed.
For March, I believe we're on track to send $3000 to debt payoff provided we can continue to reign in the spending. I have to be honest: this is the first time in five months that I've kept to my spending budget. Before I started budgeting to zero a la Dave Ramsey, I knew we were paying our bills, and I knew there was plenty of slush. I would "budget," but I wasn't making my money work for me. I was estimating, not budgeting. Now I gather all our bills, I plug them all into excel, and I fill out the fun money portion last. $50 every two weeks seems to suffice for our house. Any less than that and I start to feel deprived which tends to lead to a shopping binge and then subsequent purge.
For March, I want to go out to eat with my husband once. I'd also like to buy some exercise equipment. Instead of paying for a gym membership, I'm going to invest in one of those big round balls and a stretchy band. I've taken Yoga and Pilates before, and I know how to use the equipment. I just don't see any sense in paying for a service that I can do myself (except cutting hair because even though I can cut my own hair, I can't do it well).
In addition to reigning in spending, I picked up some extra work this week. I'm teaching Saturday school this weekend. Also, a fellow teacher had to step down from afternoon tutoring due to a spring sport, so I stepped up to take his place. The money is good, and I really enjoy helping the students who come. It's made me realize how much I truly love working one on one with kids. I feel like I have a better influence over a group of 5-8 students than a group of 25. Teaching a group of 25 is largely about crowd control. With 5-8 students, I get to know them and what they need, and they get to know and trust me. Anyway, I believe I will be doing the work until the end of the school year, so that will help me get my debt snowball rolling a little faster.
Eating in for a whole month probably helped more than anything. In addition to eating in, I also "ate down my cabinets." If you opened up my fridge, you would think I'm starving myself and my husband, but truly all I'm doing is meal planning before I go shopping. This has been beneficial for two reasons. One, I'm not tempted to buy things that aren't on the list. Two, I have less produce waste.
For March, I'm going to continue eating in. As I said earlier, the husband and I will probably go out to eat once or twice, but I really enjoy cooking. I find that as soon as I get home I want to fire up the stove. Cooking is a great stress reliever for me.
I guess that's all for tonight. Night night.