Finance Report – February 2016

The transition to a new month is when most people review their budget, as do we. See our January review here.

I’ll start with what had the most impact on our budget this month: tax refunds. Andrew and I filed our taxes in January, so we got our refunds early. (Except my state refund, which I’m still waiting for…) We’d talked beforehand about how we wanted to use this money. Part of it was put back for a trip we’re taking in April, and the rest was supposed to go to debt. We did pay off debt #2 on the list as planned, but the rest of the game plan changed somewhat.

My laptop is due for replacement, especially after I dropped it and killed the screen the last week of February. Instead of using tax money to replace it immediately, I started a laptop replacement fund.

Andrew spent a few days in Orlando participating in Extra Life United. His entry fee, flight, and hotel were paid for. We had to cover food, park admission at Disney, and souvenirs–which I grossly underestimated. His mom generously contributed to his trip money, which was a huge help.

The statement for debt #3 arrived on the last day of the month, when I had planned to make the extra payment. I left the money where it was and will bump it to this month’s payment.

Then of course I decided I wanted a birthday fund for myself (it’s quickly approaching), so Andrew agreed it would be ok to set out $50 for that.

Barring all of that, we did pretty well staying within normal budget categories. Andrew being gone for most of a week allowed us to cut the grocery bill to help account for other things.

I didn’t do much to update our budget spreadsheet for March. The main change I made was to split eating out and going to the movies, and increase those budgets slightly. I kept losing Andrew on those being in one category, so they’re split up now for clarity.

Now that we’re doing better at maintaining, I’m thinking about trying You Need A Budget. Back before I met Andrew, I did pay bills with “last month’s money” and I’d love having that security again. People rave about YNAB everywhere so it’s tempting to give it a shot.

I believe that’s all there is to update at this time. Check back next month for March progress!

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