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February was actually a great month for budgeting, despite spending so much money. I finally am able to really contribute to our monthly budget and it feels so great! We did have some irregularly high expenses this month (date nights!) but we will adjust for them in the coming months. However, you know how they say your standard of living often increases when your income increases? I feel like I’m already getting into that mindset, which I need to stop ASAP.
February Income- $3,363.28
We live off last month’s income. For an explanation of why we do this, check out this post.
Andy’s February Paycheck- $2,187.40
This is Andy’s net (take-home) pay. 10% of his paycheck is automatically deducted for his TSP (retirement fund.) This post explains why my husband and I are comfortable sharing our salary information on my blog.
Bailey’s February paycheck- $1,722.40
I started working again! One job is a part-time Office Assistant job at a department store while the other is a part-time seasonal tax preparer job that is expected to last about a month or two. Unfortunately, none of this money went towards our debt snowball this month but it covered some irregular expenses: $840 for an upcoming dental procedure, $121 for new clothes to fit my work’s strict dress code (which was recorded in last month’s budget),$116 for date night, $115 for a new passport in my married name since I have yet to switch that over, $300 to boost our emergency fund, $143 for Lily’s vet visit, $15 for the pet sitter, and I have no idea what happened to that last $75-ish.
Bailey’s Income from Surveys & Coupon Apps- $10.00
I cashed in $10 from taking online surveys and using coupon apps. Read my blog post about my favorite ways to earn money from home through apps and surveys!
Since we live on-post, this is automatically deducted from Andy’s paycheck so it does not come out of our regular budget. When we use less utilities than allotted, we receive a refund check by mail.
Total Spent- $960.00
We believe that “our” money is not ours, but God’s, so we give a 10% tithe on Andy’s paycheck. Read our thoughts on tithing here.
I have a sponsor child, Veronica Sarah, through Compassion International, to whom I gave a monthly donation. We also bought some cat food for a pet food drive our neighborhood was hosting. And Kroger’s was taking $1 donations to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which I donated to (with tears in my eyes) in honor of my sister’s struggle with McArdle’s Disease. The rest we are rolling over until we can decide how to best give it away.
Total Spent- $47.39
Rolling over to next month- $140.04
This includes our cell phones, internet, renter’s insurance, Amazon Prime and Netflix.
After last month’s issue with our renter’s and auto insurance, we were finally billed this month for them. So far we haven’t been double-charged, but we still don’t know why it missed a month’s payment in the first place…? I decided that this would be the last month we have an Amazon Prime subscription, since I rarely used it. I could often find what I was looking for cheaper in town, and their movie and video selection was not great.
Total Spent- $236.17
This includes groceries, fast-food meals (not date night meals), household items like toilet paper, and home improvement.
We ended up spending a little more this month on fast food than we would like. With me working so many hours and Andy’s work schedule being similar (he works on both office work and college in the evenings when he gets home), we didn’t have a ton of time to cook. On the bright side, when we do have time to cook again, we can use our new Food Saver and deep freezer! We received a $200 gift card to Sam’s after our mattress snafu which meant we only had to pay a total of $56 out of pocket!
Total Spent- $305.54
This includes my dental insurance, chiropractor visits, and any over-the-counter medicines.
With my tax preparer income, I was able to set aside enough money to cover my gum procedure in full. It stinks that I have to pay 100% out of pocket for this, but we’re just grateful we can afford to do so and not have to take out a loan for it. I also still have $65 set aside to visit the chiropractor.
Total Spent- $0.00
Rolling over to next month- $905.00
This includes gasoline, car insurance, car repairs, AAA membership, and car taxes.
Other than some oil and coolant for our vehicles, no major repairs this month… thankfully! We will need to see about repairing the oil leak in my car and coolant leak in Andy’s truck at some point soon, though. Although I am now commuting an hour 3-4 days a week to work, we didn’t have to adjust our gas budget which is a blessing! We also went out of town twice this month, yet still came under our gas budget!
Total Spent- $307.45
This includes new uniforms, college classes, haircuts, and mandatory fun events.
Andy had to buy another set of winter PT’s. In fact, he only bought half of the set since it was so expensive! He still needs to buy a few more sets of winters, and then a few new OCP uniforms. We have $11 left of his FY2016 clothing allowance, so the rest will have to be paid for out of pocket. We’re still waiting on reimbursement from Andy’s TDY (“business trip”) that occurred in January; after talking to S1, Andy believes we probably won’t receive it until June at the earliest. #ArmyLife
Total Spent- $94.39
TDY expenses- $-415.23 (negative balance)
Rolling over to next month (for new uniforms)- $11.29
This includes anything related to Bailey’s work and education.
I am pretty well set on work supplies. It feels nice to be back at work again 🙂
Total Spent- $0.00
This includes any and all Gracie and Lily-related expenses.
We had a pet sitter come take care of Lily and Gracie when we went out of town overnight. We also had a scare with Lily and had to take her to the vet. She was wheezing horribly while sitting on the couch, and limping around. The vet said she had a fever and joint pain (from the fever.) We also had to buy some carpet cleaner and anxiety herbal medicine for Lily, since she has a new habit of peeing on the carpets while we are gone. We think this is because I’m not home to be with her all day like I was for so long.
Total Spent- $193.44
This is for any date-night related expenses, including activities and eating out.
Our date night budget was much, much higher than usual, but we were totally okay with that! We went on a spontaneous date night to Back Home Restaurant when I got off work a few hours early, and then we went to Paducah for an overnight pre-Valentine’s Day trip. We stopped by Patti’s 1800s Restaurant on the way home, and that place is not cheap but it is so delicious! And for our third big date of the month, we saw Scotty McCreery in concert. Since Andy has Army things going on these next few months, we are taking advantage of the time together while we can. Oh, and we also rented a Redbox movie.
Total Spent- $130.16
This is for Andy and Bailey’s individual fun money allowances. They each get $100 can spend them however they please or roll it over to the next month.
I spent my fun money on a few new blouses and a few fast food meals, plus my bridesmaid dress for Brandi’s wedding this spring. Andy spent most of his budget on fast food, as well.
Bailey’s Total Spent- $167.11
Andy’s Total Spent- $95.22
Like most military families, we’re on the move every 2-4 years, so we try to save in advance for these moves.
This is not a priority for us right now, since we are not estimated to move until Summer 2018 We’re currently planning to tap into our emergency fund to cover moving expenses. (NOTE: Joke’s on us! In March, we found out we’re moving this summer or fall.)
Total Spent- $0.00
We’re hoping to go on vacation soon (no clue when), so we wanted to start saving towards it now.
We managed to put a good chunk of money towards a vacation this summer. I’ve announced it on my personal Facebook page, but we’re waiting to make it blog official once we have it Army-approved! (NOTE: We found out in March that our trip to Aruba was being canceled since we are moving unexpectedly.)
Rolling over to next month- $400.00
We’re working to pay off our debts, so I decided to list these with more detail than our other budget categories. Any “extra” money for debt snowballing will be paid in the next month.
Discover Card- $63.00
This is for the minimum payment on my Discover card. It went down $3 this month. After next month, I will put more extra money towards the card than the minimum payment!
Estimated payoff date: June 2017.
(SPOILER WARNING: We paid this off at the beginning of March!)
Student Loan- $72.54
This is for the minimum payment on my student loans.
Estimated payoff date: June 2018.
Personal (Wedding) Loan- $230.39
This is for the minimum payment on my personal loan, which we used for the wedding.
Estimated payoff date: March 2018.
Debt Snowball- $63.00
This is for any payments above our minimum payments.
We put $63 extra towards our debt snowball in February (based on January’s budget), so next month we should have a nice chunk of change to put towards this with my two new jobs!
Total Spent- $428.93
Andy and I keep a $1,000 emergency fund in our savings account to cover any major unexpected expenses that we can’t cash-flow in our monthly budget.
So far our emergency fund is holding steady! 🙂
Rolling over for future- $1,000.84
I participated in the Growella Games for 8 weeks. If I saved $75 a week (for a total of $600), they would match the $600. I promised Growella I wouldn’t reveal if I won the challenge, so you’ll have to go to their website and watch my vlogs to see how I did!
Rolling over to future- $???
How was your February budget?