Happy Wednesday friends! It’s hard to believe that March is here. Personally I’m ready for spring. A few trees are in bloom here in the South which is a great teaser of things to come! Wherever you are I hope the weather is nice.
Going forward each month to help keep me honest during this financial journey, I will recap our monthly spending based on a percentage (%) of our total income. See the chart below. As mentioned in my earlier posts, Week 2 Financial Roundup and Weekly Roundup-$356 in Savings, you will see how we started and finished each month. Of course, I reserve the right to exclude certain categories (I’m sure you understand) but apart from that, what you see is real!
What expenses surprised me during February?
[texthighlight color=”red-mute” ]Gas Expenses[/texthighlight] – Wow…the total we spent in gas was hurtful! To think that we are paying almost 10% of our income a month in gas is a little depressing. I am considering returning to the commuter bus during the month of March. I blogged about that here. It’s not my favorite way to travel but if it saves us $200 a month, I’ll get over it.
[texthighlight color=”red-mute” ]Unexpected expenses[/texthighlight] – This one can be tough because things happen. Out of the blue two weekends ago, my car stopped working. Car repairs are never fun. Fortunately we had it towed to our favorite mechanic and the repair was less than $200.
Sidebar: First, make sure that your car insurance policy includes coverage for towing service. We have never had this extra service but with our new policy, the hubby added it. Good decision too because we have used it at least 4 times in the last year. Big save! Secondly, try to locate a reliable and friendly local mechanic. In the south, we call them tree-shade mechanics. You know him, the guy covered in oil who talks funny but is extra knowledgeable about cars. Our mechanic has saved us hundreds of dollars. It’s a good thing too because our cars are older but paid for!
One additional expense this month (a good one) was for a baby shower for a lifelong friend. I don’t know many of us who can stick to a budget when shopping for little girl’s dresses. It’s impossible for all of the right reasons. Her sister did a great job of decorating and providing delectable delights. A few snapshots are below. We had a great time!
5 Lessons Learned for March:
1) Stick to weekly budgeting. It makes a difference.
2) Take lunch to work every day. The only exception is for team lunches.
3) Plan breakfast the night before to avoid the “I don’t have anything to eat, gotta go to Starbucks” run.
4) Keep the Emergency Fund stocked. $1000 in a separate account for emergencies. They do happen.
5) Keep your goals and plans in front of you and communicate them regularly with the hubby.
I hope to post very soon about my additional income and debts paid during February! More to come!
How did you do for February and what are you changing in March?
Photo Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net