Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saving the Moola: February in review

I'll just start by saying we did not save as much as we hoped to in February. Our paychecks have been definitely impacted by increased taxes, so our paychecks were lower than expected. They were also lower than expected in January, but we were still figuring out exactly how much we could expect from our various income sources so our budget was not completely correct at the start of February. Our expectations did not align with reality, unfortunately.

When we filed our taxes, which was one of my goals for February, we found we actually owed the federal government more money! This was a bit disappointing - we have never owed above and beyond what we already paid during the year. It wasn't a horrific sum of money, although it didn't really matter - it's the principle of it and I was very upset over the whole thing. Thankfully, we received a bit of a refund from the state government (more than what we owed the federal government) so that was good. We try to not get too much of a refund, but we also try to make it so we don't owe anything additional. I guess between the two, we succeeded!

Our tax issues did not help our savings plan. Then, during February, this pregnancy threw me for a loop when I reverted back to how I felt during the first trimester: very picky in what I wanted to eat. This caused us to spend a lot of extra money on groceries and eating out. I started craving exactly what I craved for the entire first trimester: grease, cottage cheese and fruit. I also was back to craving very specific things (like potato salad), so there were a lot of runs to the grocery store to pick up what I wanted that specific day.

Between all of that, our savings was definitely impacted, but the good news is we still saved money. That's really great, and I'm keeping that in my mind when I'm feeling a little down.

In case you missed it, you'll definitely want to check out this post on how to earn extra money and score free food by becoming a mystery shopper. This has helped our budget so much in that we can get a few groceries for free and eat out often. Jason just ordered the Kindle Fire he's been saving up for - we're both so excited to receive it from!

I'm not really sure what the plan is for us financially in March because while I'm definitely delivering Monster in March, we don't know when so we don't know what exactly our income will be. Jason will be taking a couple weeks off from work, and I'm taking eight or so weeks off. In April, May and June, we'll just be on survival mode and spending as little money as possible from our Monster savings account. We're praying we can spend less than we expect during our leaves from work so we can give a huge chunk of money to my last student loan when our lives settle back into a routine. We'd appreciate any prayers you would offer up on our behalf!

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