February Spending Update
Did February seem shorter than usual or was it just me? My foundation goal for February was to successfully complete a no-spend month. I call it a foundation goal because setting that challenge underpinned everything we did and how we did it for the month. How did we go? Well, we mostly achieved that goal but there were a few hiccups that we didn’t expect and didn’t plan for. On the whole though, spending for the month was way down. In fact, total spending was down nearly 25% on January’s total!
Unexpected and Spending Emergencies
As mentioned in my mid-month No Spend update, there were a couple of unexpected spending challenges that couldn’t be avoided. Yes, the need for ice cold beer on a very long hot day can be considered an emergency and is therefore required spending. ( 🙂 ) In the second half of the month, the latest addition to our household, Na’avah the tabby/torti kitten, was the instigator of an unexpected expense. She discovered two unassailable truths: cats can’t fly and gravity sucks. And, I had an unplanned, outside the budget $90 vet bill. She’s OK but even after two weeks she still has a little kink in her tail. Hasn’t stopped her harassing the older cats though, so she must be OK!
The major thorn in my side for spending is groceries. February’s spending in this area was down 16% but I know we can do much, much better. This month, I’m allocating an absolute amount for this area and once it’s gone, it’s gone. That’s no doubt going to be a shock to the system for both my daughter and myself but it’s an area that sucks more money than it ought and I need to get it back under control.
Spending on petrol (gas) was much lower in February. That was due to the very low oil price plus less driving. There’s no way we’ll replicate February’s spending in that category this month as petrol prices are already on their way back to their previous levels. I am, however, hoping to continue to spend less time behind the wheel this month.
Outlook for March
As my income in February was lower than I’d hoped, we’ll be having another super strict spending month in March. Maybe not as strict as February but pretty close. Despite that, I will give myself permission to go to the movies because Insurgent opens this month and I’m just not that good at delayed gratification. I love the Divergent Series and loved the first Divergent movie. No movie theatre snacks though… They are crazy expensive.
It’s my daughter’s birthday this month, so there’ll be some spending involved there, too. Not too much though, just enough to make it a special day… Maybe a trip to the movies!!! Do you think she’d see through that ruse?
I’m hoping that by using a zero-sum-budget this month I’ll be able to keep better control of our spending and get my mortgage numbers going in the right direction again – down. Add in some serious planning and I expect a great outcome this month.