January was an amazing month for us. I felt so rejuvenated in the new year. We were able to put $2,772.19 towards our debt, and paid off TWO student loans!!
Now while being super encouraged, I know this isn’t going to be a typical payoff, and a lot of things happened that we can’t really count on:
- I was able to score a (long and horrendous but lucrative) 12 hour shift on New Years Day that paid time and a half, and I brought home about $700.
- A medical bill from September that was billed improperly and had to be reprocessed hasn’t come yet, but we had budgeted for it anyways.
- Jeff has been traveling for work and was paid $328.78 in travel pay on top of regular salary.
- And lastly (most surprisingly), some money we had basically written off as never coming actually showed up! Jeff did a side project for a friend like months ago… I’m talking maybe August, and was going to be paid about $500. Well after a bit of waiting and patience and some run around, we finally decided that he wasn’t going to be paid, and to just let it go and not lose a friendship. And then out of the blue a check came!!
So all those things, plus our usual $4,056.56 in monthly income between me and Jeff helped on the income side. The nurse in me wanted to call it the “preload.” Lol But one cannot survive on preload alone, and debt (for us anyways) is a spending problem, so heres how we limited our spending.
Mortgage: $1,006.35, includes the mortgage, homeowners and taxes, Paid as per usual. We were notified by our bank today that this is going up for next month. Yay.
Food: This is my arena. We budgeted for $650. I spend $434.01 in four trips to Aldi. Meal planning takes all of the credit here.
Electric Bill: We budgeted for $170, actual bill was $179.84. Were still getting used to our new electric water heater, but I think with some careful monitoring we can get under $170 and not have to adjust the budget.
Oil: This one wasn’t fun. I wasn’t sure how much to budget for so we just left it open. It was sub zero here for weeks, and we paid $609 for oil. Soul crusher.
Car Insurance: $86, which comes out as two payments of $43.
Communications: $166, includes Dish, Internet, our landline and Netflix.
Food Bank: $20, always and forever. Until we can afford more.
Student Loans: $341, I included this in our debt payoff number too. Now that Small Potatoes 2 and 3 are both paid off, our minimum monthly payment is under $300 (I believe $297).
We did really well limiting any extra spending. We paid $99.95 for our year subscription to BeachBody for our workouts, $81.68 on my mom’s birthday gift and surprise party, and I took Abby and Ben through McDonald’s one day for lunch when the groceries ran out the day before we shop. To the tune of $14.86. Jeff has been traveling for work all week, so he drives to the site and then stays at a hotel 2 miles from work, so that really kept our spending on gas low, $118.75.
Now that I have a new wire so I can charge my laptop, I’m planning posting here more. I’m working on the February budget now, so I’ll be posting that pretty soon, and I want to write about how I’m using consignment stores to get the kids’ spring clothes and also more budget meals.