The shortest month of the year is gone! I’m a little sad, but at the same time relieved. Mardi Gras is done with, Valentine’s Day is done with, bf’s birthday is done with (I promise I’m not the Grinch), and now we’re 16% of the way through the year! So what kind of progress have I made on my goals?
Pay my roommate the remaining $421.10 I owe him
- Save $460 for my car insurance (due in March) - I later lowered this to $300 (based on anticipated income), but I actually saved $400 and will pay the remaining amount the eighth!
- Don’t spend ANY $$$ on eating out or vending machines - I spent very little? I spent $10.99 taking bf out for yogurt and $9 on food at work (both the last week of February). The latter was because I had only had yogurt the day before and was starting to get sick from low blood sugar.
- Don’t use my Discover Card AT ALL - Welll…sort of? I used it twice, once to buy baking things for Valentine’s Day and once to buy a loaf of bread, but both times I paid back that amount as soon as I got paid, so although I did use it, I paid it off during the month, which I hear is how these things are supposed to work.
- Begin researching Morningstar for creating a portfolio – NOPE.
- Stay within my set monthly budget - I did for most everything except miscellaneous expenses. There were a lot more “holiday-esque” celebrations this month than I anticipated.
- Lose 10 lbs – Almost! 02/01/13 – 188, 02/28/13 – 179.6, aka a net loss of 8.4 lbs!
Log into My Fitness Pal every day– Yes!
- Work out every day - Ha. Ha. Ha. No.
- Write 13 blog posts (minimum) - Eh. No. But I didn’t do badly either? I hit 9, or roughly 75% of that goal.
- Read 8 books – NOPE. I intended to, I really did, but I wanted to finish Catch 22 so badly…but I hate it so much. I think I’m throwing in the towel for now on finishing it.
- Work with BF to learn to read sheet music – I’d say there was a little bit of victory here. When I went to church with him I could at least follow the pitch of the hymns I didn’t know.
Looking at that, it doesn’t seem like I actually got a lot done, but I’m very satisfied. Only eating out twice (and spending $20 vs. $150) on that this month is a really big accomplishment for me, as well as seeing a weight starting with 17_ for the first time since 2008. And I made progress on most of the ones I didn’t outright accomplish. Reasons for that are mostly work-related, in that we have a huge deadline coming up so there’s been a lot of coming early and staying late and sleeping 15 hours from exhaustion every day.
So what about my budget?
I did a lot better this month than in January. I tracked my spending very carefully, and although there was a hiccup literally on the last day of the month with card interest and fees tipping my expenses to be a little more than my income, I would say that February blew January out of the water in regard to spending.
Total Income: $1475.08 & Total Spent: $1442.88 for net difference of +$32.20.
Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!
Except not really. Discover charged interest (which I had forgotten to take into account in my budget), as well as a Protection Plan Fee. So when I take into account that expense (even though I didn’t spend it, it’s still on my card and therefore I count it as an expense), my total spent is $1489.10 for a net difference of -$14.02. Although I am in no way pleased that number is still negative, it’s still a drastic difference from the -$202.25 from last month. In fact, it’s a 93% improvement! #smallvictories
- Rent (& internet) - $496 – I am officially caught up on rent with my roommate! Yay!
- Groceries – $108.8 – Exactly $19.99 of this was eating out. $10.99 was from treating bf to froyo on his birthday, and $9 was the cafeteria at work. The rest actually from a grocery store (and not even the deli part )
- Auto – $73.12 – Gas is getting more expensive. Also I’ve been visiting bf’s family a little more often, so it’s a little more gas.
- Electricity – $61.48 – A little lower than last month.
- Discover – $73 – This was the $49 minimum payment plus the $24 payment to pull me back under my limit (which had happened because I forgot how interest worked because I’m silly).
- Miscellaneous – $174.13 – This was VERY high this month, but that would be because it includes a trip to the doctor’s office, my mom’s birthday present, bf’s birthday present, Valentine’s Day stuff, etc. February is an awful month for gifts! Some of this was also stuff like cat litter (boring).
- Savings/Specialty – $432.20 – $400 of this was car insurance (surpassing my goal of putting $300 toward the total $480 this month) and $32.20 is still sitting in my bank account…although honestly it will probably go to gas for the next two weeks instead of my savings account.
- Fees – $46.22 – This would be the payment protection plan and interest that I didn’t even remember existed. Because I miss the forest for the trees sometimes.
If I had anticipated the interest, I would have spent less on bf’s present and made sure to have a back-up lunch at work, which would have kept me in the green. But now I know and can adjust accordingly. I wasn’t as frugal as I could have been, but I hit a point about 75% through the month where it was really difficult to keep depriving myself, and honestly, I don’t think I can sustainably do that. Being out of debt and saving up for tuition asap is very important to me; however, to constantly have to say no to everything is really too much. What good is 2013 if all my memories are of me hiding out in my room looking at spreadsheets? Nada.
So was February Fierce? Yes.