Monday, 3 April 2017
I hate March. It’s one of the most expensive months on our yearly calendar, and downright depressing. Taxes are the reason. You pay all year, and then pay again. However, we are better prepared than just a year ago, when we started 182 Mondays, and I need to really focus on that as I write because this monthly recap is not pretty, and I’m feeling really depressed . . . but I’ll get over it!
As always, a different month, different expenses. In March, we paid state taxes, received a federal refund, and paid property taxes. It was also time to restock our coffee supplies and meat supplies. These all added to the costs for March.
- Taxes paid: $4295.00
- Credit cards paid: $1602.00
- Student loans: $786.00
- Electricity: $167.00
- Mobile phone: $198.00
- Land line: $80.00
- Household gas: $65.00
- Gardener: $100.00
- Insurance (house, car, life): $612.00
- Trash: $60.00
- Dog food: $38.00
- Gasoline: $97.00
- Groceries: $612.00
- Coffee: $64.00
- Household supplies: $505.00
- Dining out: $61.00
- Hobbies (major parts purchases): $745.00
- Vehicle registration: $238.00
- Savings: $1000.00
Total costs, without including savings, is $10,326.00, and with bimonthly savings of $500 each, it is $11,326.00. We have been saving for taxes, so that pulled money out of the savings account; this brings total monthly costs to $7031.00, not including mortgage.
Observations: This month was expensive beyond the normal allocations. Taxes in all directions, but as they were anticipated and saved for, there was not any more stress than is normal when you have to write those checks! Next month, our mobile phone will drop, I think to $160.00. Groceries should remain under $400.00, trying for $350.00. Coffee supplies should be good for the rest of the month – we buy about 6 lbs. of coffee at a time, to blend and to grind at home. Vehicle registration was another annual fee. Household gas was up because we had several weeks of wind, cold, and rain. Hobby supplies were high as Mr. 182 is working on making a fancy brew rig and I bought some art supplies and a book.
Remembering to put money into savings every month is a top priority around here!
Looking ahead to April: This next month I want to stay on budget as much as possible. Overall monthly expenses, including mortgage, are about $8100. 00. Add in savings, and we have $9100.00. Again, credit cards are the biggest problem, but we are paying out minimally $1500.00 / month. Yes, we could change our mobile phone charges, but the in-laws pay us a monthly co-pay; Mr. 182 is reimbursed for the land line, which he needs as he works from home. This reduces our monthly bills by about $180.00 / month. Hobbies were planned and budgeted for last month, but no high costs are expected in the foreseeable future.
And down the road, we expect to begin saving $2000.00 / month for vacation, while still allocating $1500.00 for the credit cards.
The fact is, we are really tired of paying on the credit cards! These should be paid off – they better be! – by the end of May 2019, in time for the end of 182 Mondays to Retirement! To make this bitter pill more tolerable, I calculated our net worth, and that was fairly good news . . . the question is, do you include life insurance value or not when you calculate it???
There is light at the end of the tunnel.