Can I say good riddance to March? It was cold, rainy, snowy, and expensive. I'm so over it and hoping April is an easier month. This month I was glad to have savings envelopes in place, even though several were maxed out. I also made a little money this month which helped offset the costs of all our extra expenses.
So here are our numbers:
Groceries - 18% - This month we ate out a bit more, and while I did buy alcohol it wasn't a huge amount, but both were enough to increase the budget by 3%. It has been a stressful month personally, so I find when I'm stressed I don't make wise food purchases and we eat more pre-packaged or fast food.
Savings - 14% - Regardless of our expensive month, we were able to still save 14%. While I'm annoyed that it could have been more, I'm still happy we have saved more than we planned both months of this six month challenge!
Monthly Bills - 42.5% - Our electric bill was cheaper again this month, but we had a few quarterly bills due, so our monthly percentage was the same as last month. This is also less than we originally planned when we did our budget at the beginning of this challenge.
Our vacuum died after a good 10 year run and the printer also died, so we replaced both. Fortunately, we had enough in the house repair envelope to cover them by the end of the month. I thought about going without a printer until after my shopping ban, but I use it for my eBay business to print shipping and save quite a bit from going to the post office, so I decided it was worth the cost and necessary.
Our Honda also needed a tune up this month. We had about a third of the cost saved in our car repair envelope and the other two-thirds will be made up with our tax refund that will come in later this month.
Personal Spending - I bought 3 things in March with my personal spending. I decided to take up adult coloring after reading about the benefits of it helping with anxiety and stress. I bought a coloring calendar,which has a daily coloring exercise, on clearance at the bookstore. I also bought some nicer colored pencils since the only ones I had were Crayolas left over from when the kids were little! While this wasn't on the approved shopping list for my challenge I feel ok with my purchase of $22. I have already noticed I feel less anxious when I spend time being creative! I didn't buy any books this month, but made use of the library instead, so I had a little extra in my envelope that wasn't earmarked for an approved purchase. I also bought 1 plant for outside, which was an approved purchase. My local grocery store has beautiful big ferns for only $10! I am getting a little stockpile of money in my personal envelope. I plan to buy more plants later this month so it will probably all be used up by May.
As I said above, the house repair and car envelopes are empty. In addition to her dog food, Mocha also had a groom and I bought her antler bones which drained her envelope. Chad and I also used all of our date money. The fuel, gifts, donations, and travel/hosting envelopes all have money left to carry over to next month.
This month I want to keep the grocery costs down so April is not as expensive. I'm also hoping nothing else breaks down! We also have two birthdays this month which will be covered by the gifts envelope. Right now I don't anticipate any other major expenses other than things that have been planned and budgeted for already. Let's hope it stays this way!
Month three here we come!
How about you, friends? How was your March?