As expected, the month of February was a bit harder than the initial excitement that came with January. Despite the ups and downs, though, I think we can honestly say that we are still taking great steps in the right direction each and every week.
Our February Debt Recap
Sometimes it can be fun to see how someone else is making (or not making) progress toward achieving their goals, which is why I take the time each month to update you on mine. Really, though, I want to hear all about the successes and failures you are facing so that I can encourage you, so don’t hesitate to contact me or leave a comment below!
This month brought with it a lot of successes and I can’t wait to share them with you!
Our grocery budget was a huge success, once again, throughout the month of February. After January’s pantry challenge, we allotted ourselves a bit more money ($280 total) and shopped weekly with a grocery list and meal plan.
Week 3 got a little harder as my sister and her family moved in with us temporarily. We made a meal plan, but it’s been a little challenging figuring out who is responsible for what and how to break up the expense of it all.
In the end, we decided that we’d split the meals up so that each of us was responsible for the cost of three dinner meals, and then we’d share the cost of the “big meal” of the week. Due to the fact that our families eat very differently at other times of the day, we’ve decided to stick to our own breakfast and lunch routines within our own budgets. I, personally, am thankful for that because that’s where our family saves a lot of money.
All in all, we managed to save $46 over the course of the month and I think that’s a huge success!
Cash Only System
Our decision to go back to the “envelope” or cash-only system was another huge success. In fact, we managed to save much more than we would have if we’d had the ease of using the money with a swipe of a card. Additionally, we weren’t tempted to take money from one envelope for use in another area of our budget, which helped to keep us accountable.
Save the Change
Whenever we have cash we make the attempt to save the change whenever we can. With the exception of a few quarters I paid my niece and nephew for their help around the house, this month was no different. I didn’t count the amount we saved in change, but there’s definitely a visible increase in our savings jar.
Like any other month, February didn’t come without struggles.
Our challenge to stay away from online shopping was, overall, very successful. I did receive an Amazon gift card for my birthday and quickly used that for an Audiobook I can’t wait to finish. Otherwise, having cash on hand made it easier to say no to those additional online purchases.
Save the Dollars
My intention to save all of the $1 bills just wasn’t something we could manage. For the first couple of days, I considered it, but the truth is, we needed many of those bills throughout the month. In the end, I’m okay with it because we managed to save much more than we would have with those $1 bills anyway!
We did end up canceling our planned mini-vacation on account that Justin’s health was still not up to par. It was the right decision to make but resulted in us still having to pay for many of the expenses. Overall, it was a wash and we used the little money we had left over from our vacation fund to enjoy a take-out dinner in lieu of being out on the town.
Thank you to everyone who sent me sweet birthday wishes. It was a fun day, and we managed to keep from overspending the budget. My sweet husband got a bunch of family members to contribute toward a pair of Air Pods that I really wanted, and I also received an Amazon gift card for that Audiobook as well. Overall, my family did a wonderful job refraining from overspending our wad!
Our February Results
While we did not achieve our goal of paying off $2,750 in debt this month, we did manage to pull together $2,718.73 and pay off our Car Loan #1! Much of the money came from our debt snowball, but we definitely worked hard to save in our grocery budget, household, and miscellaneous envelopes so that we could put a little extra down on debt.
After the success of January’s budget, we have a total year-to-date payoff amount of $6,389.34, meaning that we are nearly 20% of the way to our yearly goal.
Additionally, above and beyond the amount that we paid toward debt, we now have $238.42 in our Acorns account toward our Christmas fund. If you haven’t taken the time to check out Acorns, I highly recommend you do!
Reevaluating Your Own Progress
I think it’s fair to say that, while this particular month was a success for us, that’s not always the case. In fact, even with careful planning, we’ve had some huge failures in our attempt to get our finances (and other parts of our lives) in order. If, for any reason, you didn’t see as much progress as you’d expected, just know that every step you take in the right direction is getting you closer to that end goal, so don’t give up just yet!
How did you manage your own goals this month? Is it getting a little easier? I’d love to be able to cheer you on, so leave a comment below!