Monday 169: March Recap and April Predictions

Monday, 4 April 2016

I’ve posted the March 2016 recap, with more details on monthly costs.  You can find it here.  The big expenditures were a car down payment of $5000.00 and a school tuition payment of $2500.00.  The first was unexpected (I wanted to not buy a new car until I retired) and the second was known and planned for in advance.  Pay raises and back pay helped us out a lot.

Sadly, like far too many people with a good income, we fail to be good shepherds of our money.

April 2016 has also known expenditures, for which the checks have been written and sent out.  These include property tax, earthquake insurance, and income taxes, which total $4598.00.

TS Eliot so ironically wrote that “April is the cruelest month . . . ” in The Waste Land.  I agree.   (Little did he know his line would be so ignominiously used in this blog!)

Sometimes money is a vast waste land – so much seems to go to wastes we call necessities.

By Francisco Anzola (Garbage truck) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Francisco Anzola (Garbage truck) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Unless other unknown expenses come up, we should be good from April 2016 to November 2016 – seven months where we can save money and pay down debt.  From December to April of every year, we have expenditures – property taxes, income taxes, annual earthquake insurance premiums, and accountant costs.

I’ve been thinking . . .

This blog is really helping us look at our finances.  We are really new to thinking and planning about money.

Dave Ramsey has been inspirational to help us see what needs to be done, but we still need to work on our thinking and spending a lot.  I keep rereading his book The Total Money Makeover.  

We have a lot of incoming capital – our accountant rubbed our noses in it rather thoroughly awhile ago, but we didn’t consider things as we should have.  When we met with him this year, and I mentioned the debt snowball being paid off, he laughed and said, “I never expected to hear those words from you!”

And it is true.  Neither of us are “good” with money.  J is terrified by money, N feels guilty about money – not a great combination for good fiscal management.  We are financial grasshoppers, fiddling away and not planning for times ahead.  Now, we plan to be ants and store for hard times, and be the tortoise, not the hare, and slowly and steadily change our ways.

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