Friday, September 6, 2013

Saving the Moola: August in review

August was a bit disappointing in terms of our finances as we found ourselves scrambling to purchase a new-to-us car when our car was unexpectedly totaled. Needless to say, we didn't send a single extra penny to my student loan institution and now have a car loan. Ay yi yi!

The good news is that we were able to pay off about 30% of our car loan when the insurance company valued our car much higher than we were expecting. Let me just tell ya: it was beyond worth it to have full coverage on our car. I knew it was, but I didn't know just how much. I'm incredibly thankful we had made that decision a year or so ago to keep full coverage on our car.

Because of this new debt, we realized we wouldn't be able to be debt free this year. This was my dream last year, and then we became pregnant. We started stockpiling money last year when we knew we were pregnant and because of that, we were unable to be debt free. Then, this year, we were going to be debt free.

But as we all know, we plan and God laughs. Because His plan is always better than our plan. That's so reassuring to me in times where my plan goes bust. Like now.

I'm embracing the season of life we're in and am incredibly thankful for the blessings we've been witness to and have experienced because of our car being totaled. I'm very thankful for a car that runs very well and has a working air conditioner. I'm very thankful that we had an emergency fund to pay for a rental car and get us through a few days of not being home very much and being on the road a lot, which led to extra money needed for gas and take-out.

Even though we ended up spending quite a bit more in August than we had planned (cars aren't exactly cheap, ya know!), we were still able to practice frugality to some extent:
  • I cut Jason's hair.
  • I made a toy for Bug out of felt, thread and some buttons.
  • I started work on a toy for Bug out of a milk carton we had received for free from Meijer.
  • We got a free jar of peanut butter and a free gallon of milk from Meijer with our mPerks card.
  • We carefully menu planned the entire month and ate out as little as possible.
  • We've been feeding Bug only breast milk (this has been ongoing since my milk came in and was enough to satisfy her, so about 2 weeks of life on).
  • We cloth diaper Bug every day. The exceptions to this are when we're out of the house, at night and if she has a particular horrible rash that paper will likely clear up. Then, she's in paper. I keep our paper diaper costs low by shopping the diaper deals when we need a new package. A package of 36 diapers lasts us at least three weeks since she's mostly in cloth.
  • We picked 4.5 lbs. of blueberries.
  • We've harvested about 75 cherry tomatoes so far this gardening season and about 25 big tomatoes. We canned two big jars of tomatoes to use later to make chili.
August was a bit of a sad month, besides the totaled car, as we decided it was time for Jason to leave his job at the library. This was for a variety of reasons, the main one being that he was working way too much and seeing Bug far too little. He's been working overtime at his main job, and it's really important to the both of us that he cultivate his relationship as a father to Bug. Fathers can be really underrated, but to me and him, the father plays an important role for daughters (and sons). The last week in August was his first week free from the library, and it really helped our routine and his time with Bug.

I'm hoping September is a calm month as August definitely was not! We're plugging away at keeping our expenses low and our income high while taking care of our Bug.

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