For those of you who didn’t make it through my last post, 5 Genius Ways to Save Money on Toilet Paper, you will be happy to know that it was entirely an April Fools’ joke. I have not gone off the deep end. We don’t ration toilet paper, make our own, or any of those other ideas. I did have a really fun time writing about it though and I’m glad I had some of you going! 🙂
My due date is coming up in a couple of days! I’m usually late, so I figure I’ve got at least a week left. I have lots of loose ends that I’d like to tie up before the baby comes, so unlike most women who are 9 months pregnant, I’m in no rush to have this baby. I just started using Instagram a couple weeks ago, so I’ll probably post some pictures when he or she (we’re waiting to find out the gender) is born. Feel free to follow me if you’re on Instagram.
During March, we put $2,876 toward our student loans! Our beginning of the month payment went toward our student loans like normal. The end of the month payment (and all of our payments in the coming months) went toward the 0% APR balance transfer that we’re using to save money on interest. We also got a deposit from SmarterBucks, which is a cash back program where the money goes directly to your student loans.
Our total net income for March was $4,410. Since we live on last month’s income, this is income that we haven’t touched yet. We will budget and spend it in April.
Blog Income– $1,160 This is the income I actually received this month (minus my blogging expenses), which means I earned it a month or two ago (payments always lag a month or two). Taxes are not taken out yet.
Etsy Income– $133 Partway through the month I put my shop on vacation mode. I’m taking a maternity leave from Etsy for a while. The thought of having an influx of orders when I could be having a baby any day now was stressing me out. It seems like my customers either place orders months in advance, or want it done by Friday.
Pet-Sitting Income– $145 I’m actually not really an animal person at all, but when my friend went out of town, I offered to take care of her cats, bunny, and gecko. I also got her mail and did a couple of other odd jobs while she was gone.
Each month we budget down to zero using last month’s income. Our spending in March comes from the income we earned in February. In addition to the debt payment above, here’s how we spent money in March:
Other Giving– $20 Other charitable donations we made.
Mortgage/Rent– $0 We don’t pay any rent living in my in-laws unfinished basement, but we still keep this category here so that you know we aren’t leaving anything out. Our alternative living arrangement not only frees up money in the budget to put toward debt, but it provides a constant reminder of our goal to get this debt paid off as fast as possible.
Internet– $270 Hooray for getting new internet! Did I mention that I’m excited about not having to budget my bandwidth anymore? I am! We paid $200 for the installation and the monthly cost is $70. My in-laws pay for all the other utilities, so we decided to take care of the internet costs ourselves.
Republic Wireless Cell Phones– $22 We both have smartphones through Republic Wireless (you can read my review here). With tax, each phone (with unlimited talk, text and WiFi data) is around $11. You really can’t beat the price and service they offer.
Health Insurance– $156 We have an ACA health insurance plan. We had a private, high deductible plan back when those were allowed. You can read about how the ACA changed that.
Car Insurance– $97 We have auto insurance through USAA for our two older vehicles (both 1997) with a $250 deductible.
Renters Insurance– $14 We also have our renters insurance through USAA. It doesn’t cost much and it’s really great to have when you need it.
Food– $310 We were a little on the high side for groceries this month, for no reason in particular. Being pregnant, I do tend to be a little more impulsive about food.
Gas– $470 Part of living in the boonies with free rent means that my husband commutes at least an hour each way to work, so our gas spending is high. Plus, with weekly doctor’s appointments for me, I’ve been driving more than usual. Thankfully gas prices is starting to go down again.
Fun– $2 The kids and I went to Jamba Juice when there was a buy one, get one free coupon. I used the coupon in conjunction with a gift card that had a balance remaining. The gift card covered almost all of the purchase, but I had to pay a little out of pocket.
Household– $74 We were definitely higher than normal in our household spending in March. This includes $28 for electronically filing our taxes. The funny (well, annoying) thing is that our electronic submission actually got rejected because of a complication with a first-time home buyer credit from 2008, so it looks like we’ll have to paper file them after all.
Gifts– $32 We went to a wedding reception and I put together a cute gift with all sorts of cleaning supplies. I’ll do a post on it eventually. I also bought some books for our daughter’s birthday at the beginning of the month.
Clothing– $7 I got a few kids things at the thrift store on half-off day.
Medical– $68 Some co-pays for my husband and me.
Car Repair– $109 Remember back to when my husband hit the bear with his car back in October? It really messed up the headlight wiring. It was fixed at one point, but it’s been out for a while. He finally took it in to be fixed.
Law Practice– $134 In addition to my husband’s law practice management software subscription, he had to pay Bar Association dues this month.
I think that pretty much covers our spending for March! If you missed the 2014 Annual Spending Totals Report, you’ll have to check it out. It was actually really fun to put together and see how our spending looks on a larger scale.
How did your finances go in March? How are you doing on your 6-month goal?
Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links. For more info check out my disclosure page.
Let's Do This Together!
We're banding together to pay off some serious debt in 2019! We want you to join in the debt-smashing fun!
When you subscribe, you'll get monthly reminders to report your progress and you'll see how we're doing as a group!
You'll also receive frugal inspiration and financial motivation in your inbox to help you along the way!
Are you ready to smash debt with us?!