Monday, 7 March 2016
In some ways, February was a success. We saved $3000.00 and put a substantial payment toward Credit Card #3. Credit Card #1, the one we use for Amazon, saw a lot of debt, and little headway into the principle. I am going to have to rethink how and when we use it . . . Netflix is linked to it, as is Audible. Those are the only two expenses that are regular occurrences . . . a few other things besides the meat slicer were added to it, but it really was not, not, not what I had hoped for.
We also went over our food budget, and I am really not too sure why. Some months are just more messy than others, and February was one.
Here is a breakdown on our expenses:
- Dog Food – 29.99
- Mobile Phone – 275.03 (we carry 4 family members on this, with unlimited data; husband’s preference)
- Land Line Phone – 80.58
- Electricity – 200.16 (paid 30.00 extra)
- Household Gas – 76.40 (January was very, very cold!)
- Water – $181.40 (occurs every other month)
- Gardener – $100.00
- Household Items – $361.99 (includes meat slicer)
- Groceries – $559.72
- Gasoline – 153.12
- Insurance (Life, Hazard, Auto) – 596.34
- Hobbies – J – 122.50
- Dining Out – 47.95
We had a couple of emergencies, too:
- Car Repairs – 1133.18 (and we could still do another 1200.00 to the same car . . . )
- Medical – 35.00
- Clothing – 37.42
And then we had to pay the accountant for our tax preparation:
- Accountant – 400.00
Overall, our average monthly expenses for fixed costs come to about $6800.00. This includes every bill I know we have. As you can see, our house payments are quite high, but we also live in a very expensive part of the country. Food, hobbies, clothing, and dining out are not part of the mental expenses in my head, nor is the contribution to our savings accounts. Nor does this include pre-tax contribution to retirement funds by both of us.
I suppose we could cut the land line, but I needed it once for an emergency when all cell service was out . . . I generally pay the electric bill ahead because we are on a “level pay” plan where costs are figured at $171.00 / month (we run three refrigerators – 2 for the beer man). Hobbies were a bit higher than normal, but something needed to be replaced or repaired.
I dislike all that interest we pay! Once the credit cards are gone, and the student loan, life will be much easier, but there is another student loan looming on the horizon.
Altogether, February was very expensive, and yet, despite it all, we did manage to put more in the bank than expected, and pay more than I had planned on Credit Card #3. So, rather than gripe, I am pleased to see we did okay overall! A dent is being made, the debt snowball is rolling, and there is money in the bank.