Here’s how it broke down this time around:
We have moved into a 2BR apartment! So far, we are loving it, and selling items on Craigslist gave us a small financial boost that we spent on time out on the town. This wasn’t the best move, but it has allowed us to enjoy friends visiting town and other unneeded needs (AKA K-cups and thai food). Once the costs of moving settles down (connection fees, movers, etc), we will have cut $400 off our rent each month, free and clear. Not to mention the costs kept down by not having 2 extra rooms to “decorate” (aka fill with extra crap). We definitely enjoyed our time at the previous house, but we are both ready for this newer, smaller chapter. That said, does anyone have any ideas for how to make sure Craigslist and “side hustle” money goes where you want it to instead of your pocket? I know I should race to the bank right after a sale, but I rarely do and by then it’s gone!
These expenses are mostly utilities bills (a bit higher due to connection fees for electricity and internet) and also two monthly expenses that are budget “cream,” if you will: a massage account and Netflix. Stress-relief anyone?
I met my April goal of closely keeping food at $100 per week for the last two weeks, and it is something I would like to keep up for May. This is not really a “challenge,” so to speak, but definitely something I am proud of, as groceries is an area JHubbs and I both like to splurge. (Note: Grocery Shopping Gelato does not come out of the grocery budget. Just another reason to shop at Whole Foods….)
Hopefully, I will be filling up less each week since my commute has shaved a half hour per day (yay!). Unfortunately, this means JHubbs has added that time thereabouts… so… we’ll see! We also throw the bi-monthly oil change (my car) into this category.
One thing JHubbs has been helping me prioritze is spending money. When you’re trying to reduce debt, it is very easy for me to get strict with our spending and say “No spending money!” But time after time this no-fun attitude leads to feeling deprived and angry about our money. $20 each per week gives us the freedom to get wings and coffee and whatever other little things will make our week go smoother. Not to mention saving for small, long-term gifts!
This section was original titled “unmarked,” which I realized would get me into a lot of trouble with finance peeps. No money should be unmarked, right? That’s the point of a budget! So, I would ideally like to mark these funds to replenish (AKA create) our emergency fund. Now that the move is over, it is time to prepare for the next one if JHubb’s job situation works out. So, this amount will be sent straight-away to the far-away, hard-to-access internet account in the clouds, to never be touched again. This emergency fund has been up and down more than a jackhammer, starting way back in November with wedding and gastrointestinal surprises, then December when we had our hospital misadventure, not to mention April’s car mishaps, and now with the move. But that’s what it’s for, right?
Still no good here. This is about half cars and student loans, and half consumer debt, and we went in another few hundred on our recently-paid-off card for a car repair. Such a gross feeling! Our first priority is the consumer debt, which has the higher interest rates and is in general a reminder of mistakes past. But, we are not late or ignoring anything, so I have to be lame and at least feel “not horrible” about this. Not good, just not horrible. The payments range from $65 to over $350, and the sooner ANY of these debts can be paid back, the sooner I will feel happy, free, and financially sound.
I can’t wait for that day!