Monday, May 6, 2013

Saving the Moola: April in review

I know I say it practically every month, but boy, this year is sure going by quickly! I'm so happy with how well April went. Jason started a new job! He'll keep working at the library for now, and we're both so excited about his new other job. He's been working a ton of hours, but we know it'll all be worth it in the end. When he's gone, he misses Bug a lot, and she misses him, too, I can tell, but the harder and smarter we work now, the more we can enjoy her later on when she'll actually remember making memories with us. And believe me - the second he gets home, he scoops Bug up and loves on her until he goes back to work again.

Jason starting a new job really helped our finances. And I know it'll help in the coming months. Our goals are on my heart and mind every day: to be debt free by the end of this year and have saved a fifth of our emergency fund. I'm praying every day to stay strong in our budget. While it seemed we spent a lot of money in April, when I review just what we spent money on, it was all groceries. This doesn't really bother me since most of our expensive purchases were for a trip to Sam's Club where we buy things in bulk (and then these things last us for several weeks or months). But starting in May, I plan to be as diligent as I have been in the past when it comes our grocery budget. This won't be fun necessarily, but it is necessary.

I'm heading back to work in May, and I'm so excited! I've never not worked for this long. I'm looking forward to working, but I'm anxious about how everything will work: Jason working two jobs, me working one job and us taking care of Bug. I know everything will work, though. As Jason and I always say to each other, "We'll make it work. We always do."

We said that a lot to each other mid-April when we started having car trouble. Since we have one car we share, when we have car trouble, it's not really fun. In fact, it can be a downright disaster. Thankfully, this time, it really wasn't! For part of the car trouble, we just needed a new key made. We knew both of our keys were going and it was just time (after the car didn't start one too many times). We also had a scare 45 miles from home when our battery died. Thankfully, someone gave us a jump for free and we had our battery checked later on in the month. It was bad, so we replaced it. We also discovered one of our tires was nearly bare, so we ordered a new tire and had that put on. So all in all, the month of April wasn't very fun in terms of our car, but it just spurs us on toward our financial goals all the more. We're planning to buy a new-to-us car in 2014 - or at the very least, hoping we'll have saved enough to be able to do this. The sooner, the better. Our car is 14 years old, so it's really getting up there in age.

Changes to our budget in terms of household expenses were needed. We upped our laundry budget due to the fact that Bug uses cloth diapers and a lot of clothes and other items. We also bought a second cell phone and added another line to our cell phone plan. We're very grateful that Jason's working a second job to help cover some of these extra costs, but we're also planning to be very diligent in every area of the budget we can so we don't really feel the extra costs.

If you're like us and trying to meet your financial goals and looking for ways to earn extra money, you'll want to check out Plink. You can read about this program in detail here. Plink is a fantastic way to earn gift cards while enjoying a night out shopping or dining. If you link your Plink account to a rewards debit or credit card, it'll be like getting double rewards!

May is promising to be an exciting and challenging month. I can't wait to see how it all turns out!

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