February Budget Update

Maple Syrup

It’s the end of the month and time for the budget report.

I didn’t think we’d pull it off but we did! Since it was a short month, three bills weren’t due (they’ll double up in May) and that helped but even without those missing numbers we still would have had a little buffer.

February Income
As previously mentioned, our budget is based off the previous month’s income and in January we only deposited one check for me so we were working with less money. It was a big test and I’m thrilled we were able to save just over $100.

If you looked at the budget template, I break down our spending into two broad categories Monthly Bills (the things we are definitely paying for – mortgage, car payment, utilities, daycare, etc.) and Variable Expenses (the spending we hypothetically have more control over). Here’s how those areas shaped out:

February Bills
As noted since February is a short month and we have our bills on autopay, we didn’t pay our gas, electric or Danny’s phone bill. I could have made the payment but consistency is key and I didn’t want to complicate things later. This also gave us the ability to reinsert our insurance money in the budget. Since we were working with less money (and pay it annually) I took it out of the equation but given the surplus from the other areas it made sense to put it back in.

February Expenses
Again, since we had less money to work with I cut our food budget by $50 in February. We also went out to lunch  for Valentine’s Day and got a pizza this month BUT we still stayed within our budget by $1!!! It’s the little things that make budgeting fun.

I thought the car would bust us again this month because Danny has a huge crack in his windshield but we’ve decided to kick the bucket on that repair. He’s also managed to avoid paying for parking thus far and we haven’t received any tickets so we had a $45 buffer in the car category.

Lucas’ party plans were changed so we didn’t spend as much money in preparation for that. I also really wanted us to have a good budget month and postponed a lot of shopping for the weekend festivities to March 1.

Household was above because we paid for TurboTax but it balanced out from other areas and overall we came in $27 short of our expense budget.

February Overview
After a disappointing January, February was a real confidence booster. We had less money to work with and still came out ahead. Things had to be moved around (ie Lucas’ party) and some expenses postponed (ie bills weren’t due and Danny’s car wasn’t fixed) but that’s life! I also started a new freelance position to help bring in some extra income that should help with the big picture.

Looking Ahead
Next month is a big one!

  • Lucas turns 3! – We’re keeping things low-key for his big day but I’m going to get some decorations for his party with his friends.
  • My mom’s birthday – All my mom wants is a day with Lucas (and she’s getting it) but we’re also going to celebrate her big day.
  • Early Mother’s Day gift – I have a hard time spending on self-care. I don’t spend on clothes or make-up and I typically never get my hair done BUT new mom life can be draining and I know having my hair straightened will allow me to feel a tad bit more put together; therefore, we’re going to include a hair appointment in the budget.
  • We officially become a family of 4 – I honestly don’t know what to expect in regards to our budget and a new baby but we’re going to find out!

March Budget Breakdown
We’re entering new territory next month so I gave us a little more than usual in variable expenses to account for the occasions listed above but we also have a full income and a nice FSA reimbursement in our favor.  The numbers do not include our tax refund which is going directly into savings in order to pay our lump sum insurance payment this summer.

Laying out our budget like I did in the original post here’s how things shape out.

      • 30% – Variable expenses
        • Food, gas/car, boys, household, misc.
      • 16% – Mortgage
      • 18% – Bills
        • Car payment, gym, and utilities
      • 13% – Daycare
      • 7% – Digital Expenses
        • Phones, cable, internet, Netflix, Spotify, Google, Amazon
      • 16% – Savings

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