MONEY TALK: FEBRUARY DEBT DIARY

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I’d say February was our last month of really settling in and getting caught up after the move. That, and getting a handle on our finances. We had a hiccup in my two checking accounts strategy, but that simply made me even more in-tune with our money, what we owe, and when everything is due.

I wound up adding amounts owed into our calendar so I can see an overview of what we owe and when. With that, whenever I add money to our secondary checking (which is dedicated to bills, loans, debt, and rent), I can go ahead and pay everything that is due in that pay period so I don’t have to worry about bills until the next pay period. It’s helped a lot in not having to worry or stress about what is due when and it also helps prevent unexpected withdrawals (which is what we had to deal with in February).

So for February, we wound up having about $600 in one time expenses and here’s the overview:

  1. CRIB MATTRESS | We had a fun thing happen in February. Oliver started taking his diaper off pretty much every time we put him down for a nap or bed. Since he’s not potty trained, he peed quite a bit in his crib. So, even though we stayed on top of clean up, we had to replace his mattress. We spent close $100 between the mattress and a new waterproof mattress cover. Super fun.

  2. RENT ISSUE | So here’s what I was talking about before. We paid our rent for February at the end of January. Then, it took about 7 days to process out of our account. But, on the day our money was going to finally process over to our landlord, our auto insurance (which is an automatic payment I totally forgot about) made us about $10 short which created a whole thing where we had to get a cashier’s check for rent and another for bounced check fees plus we had a bounced check fee for our bank and our bank is online so we had to order cashier’s checks and do expedited shipping. You guys, it was a mess and extremely embarrassing.
    Long story short, that added over $100 in extra fees to get everything taken care of and taken care of quickly.

    Again though, it taught me that I need to keep better track of our bills and when they’re due (especially with our automatic payments, like auto insurance).

  3. GUESTS | Part of our baby prep was getting a space ready for relatives to stay with us over the span of about 3 weeks. Bedding, towels, stuff like that. Nothing too exciting.

  4. KID’S CLOTHES | We have a bunch of big kid clothes that we saved from our toddler, but we’ve shared a lot of our baby clothes so we got a few little baby clothes for Charlie. We also got our toddler some more pants and a sweatshirt since he was starting to grow out of some things.

  5. SICKNESS | At the end of the month, my husband got the flu and I went overboard on getting whatever I could to get him better especially since we were on baby watch and I really wanted him at the hospital when Charlie was born. Plus I needed stuff to disinfect the house since we were expecting guests very soon. And then of course I needed some things to help keep Ollie and I healthy.

Otherwise, I feel like we did pretty good this month. We got caught up on all of the money we spent on moving and with our tax refund we decided to pay off a few small thing (move-out fees from our last place and Ian’s laptop) as well as put some money away for some traveling that we’ll be doing to visit family this year.

FEBRUARY FINANCIAL OVERVIEW

Made - 4573.17

Spent - 5059.23

one time expenses - 595.72

rent - 2015.64

groceries - 531.63

restaurants/coffee/fast food - 318.70

gas - 57.95

loans - 912.44

debt - 155

bills -  471.95

Last month I made a goal to keep a good eye on our food spending. We did a little better. I’d say we saved about $100 compared to last month.

I did have one more meal plan subscription to pay for and then we went to cooking at home more and making our own meal plans. I shopped as budget as possible and did my best to not eat fast-food too much.

We also technically paid rent twice this month, once at the beginning of the month for February and once at the end of the month for March so our final amount spent had about $1000 extra that carried over from January to pay for rent.

All in all, besides the whole rent situation, I was pretty happy with how our finances looked in February.

GOING INTO MARCH

My biggest goal for March is to start putting more money into our debt to try and expedite that process. I’m hoping to put about $300 per pay period into the credit card to start. By April, I’d love to almost double that!