Friday, March 21, 2014

The February Report

Taxes filed. Not as great of a refund as I had expected but something is better than nothing so in the grand scheme of things I can not complain. I started this post at the end of February and am just now getting around to finishing it and updating you on how we did financially in February. So not only are taxes filed but we have received our refund. I have been struggling just to make it through the weeks lately. Work is crazy and was feeling overwhelmed in general. Trying to get back on track but it is tough. Meal planning has totally gone out the window and we have been consistently spending about a hundred dollars a week on groceries, I know we can do better but I have been content with that. Our slight boost in income has made us slightly lazy and feel sort of entitled when it really shouldn't. We should be buckling down and paying more towards debt and saving more. We had a plan for our tax refund but got slightly carried away so still trying to see if I will be able to work the plan out to fruition. Will report on that in the March report as that is when I counted our tax refund as income. I don't know if I had mentioned that but Matt's bankruptcy has been filed and he has his final step this upcoming week, so happy to have that behind us so that he can start rebuilding his credit. February was an ok month financially, though we were able to sock away enough money for the next propane bill which may not be until this next winter now but my grandparents have generously been paying for it for us which I feel terrible about and we keep trying to pay them and they won't let us. First world problem for sure I suppose. When it gets filled this next time around I am handing them the money as soon as possible and not taking no for an answer.

Here is how our debt stacked up at the beginning of March:

Credit Card #1: $363.24 (-$36.30)
Credit Card #2: $4,343.63 (+$131.88)
Car Loan: $12,547.02 (-$190.40)
Student Loan #1: $27,692.93 (see note)
Student Loan #2: $57,065.03 (-$131.79)
End of February Debt: $99,626.40
Debt Paid of in February: $226.61
Debt Paid off in 2014: $485.95

So February was about as good as January which isn't great but the bills were able to be paid and money was put in savings. Student Loan #1 is still tricky, I realized I think I had the right number to begin with and that because I am making such a small payment, all I am doing is paying a little bit of the interest so that balance is increasing each month which is what I knew would happen so really I have probably added more debt than is reflected. I think for now I will track the balance from month to month and may or may not include it in calculations. I will see how it works out for next month's report.

We made more than I planned for us to make in February which actually allowed for the first money remaining at the end of the month that I have seen since we started budgeting. Kind of exciting. Some exciting stuff has happened financially in March already as well. But will fill you in on that probably toward the end of April lol. I am not completely happy with the online PearBudget application and am seriously considering switching to You Need a Budget as soon as possible. I have seen rave reviews about it on a couple of blogs and think that it's flexibility would work better for Matt and I. We shall see. I have yet to enter any receipts into Pear Budget this month, seriously lacking motivation. Sitting here drinking hot cocoa and once I hit publish on this entry, I am going to tackle that. Then clean off my desk maybe. Or watch Grey's Anatomy.....whichever calls my name louder I suppose :-)