How are we on our fourth Summary Sunday already?!
As far as goals, go, we are still only really accomplishing 1, 2, 3, and 4; kind of accomplishing 8 and 9. I’m disappointed that we haven’t been able to save towards our trips yet, but we just discussed our March trip over our weekend and we really won’t need anywhere near $500. I’m sure once we get our credit cards under control there will be better cash flow into accomplishing those other goals.
I am impressed with our credit utilization drop though! Almost half way to our year goal!
- 3% monthly change in credit utilization; minimum 36% change during 2017 (current: – 17.45%)
January(X) February() March() April() May() June() July() August() September() October() November() December()
- $2,000 saved into a general saving account
- $1,500 saved as an emergency fund
- Continuously follow a “Savings Challenge”
- $500 saved for our trip in March
- $750 saved for our trip in July
- $800 saved for my trip in November
- Positive balances in both our checking account and bill pot at the end of each month
January() February() March() April() May() June() July() August() September() October() November() December()
- That we have enough cash each week to maintain a pleasant lifestyle
- Start a retirement account
How do we stand currently?
Credit Utilization: 32.55%
Emergency Fund: $0
Savings Challenge: $55
Trips 1/2/3: $0/$0/$0
Checking: $350 – but I need to go to the grocery store, get gas, and withdraw cash.
Bills Pot: $450 and paid $100 towards card 1.
Cash: H $?, W $?, Gas $?
|Card 1||Card 2||Card 3||Card 4||Card 6||Total Credit|
|Jan ’17 (1)||95.80%||22.81%||23.23%||34.55%||N/A||50.00%|
|Jan ’17 (2)||95.80%||22.81%||13.72%||33.24%||N/A||46.56%|
|Jan ’17 (3)||95.80%||23.38%||14.06%||19.03%||0%||33.33%|
|Jan ’17 (4)||92.47%||23.38%||14.06%||19.29%||0%||32.55%|
Card 1 was paid this week and while it feels like it barely made a dent, it was still progress. Cards 2 and 3 have been sitting pretty the past two weeks. Card 4 went up . . . and I have not used it and paid off a big chuck of it last week. It’s supposed to be an interest free promotion, so the additional balance must be fees associated with the account. Ouch!
We still had a drop this week! Which is exciting!
I did make a purchase with card 6 for $25ish but I haven’t received a statement yet. I will pay that balance in full prior to the end of the first billing cycle. Hold me to it!
I have extended this chart to include the full year, as well as Card 1. I may add Card 6, but since we plan to only use it for emergencies (aside from this first small initial purchase) it is unlikely. If we end up having to use it for some reason, then I will add it and devise a payment plan for it as well. As embarrassing as it is to admit, this plan will not pay off Card 1. Hopefully we will be able to pay it off in 2018, but I will gladly welcome any progress towards paying it off that will come in 2017.
I made my big $6 deposit today. It seemed so trivial, six dollars. If you think about it, that could be a fancy cup of coffee or a meal from a fast food franchise. Instead, I deposited it into savings. The growth may be small but it is happening and as quickly as the weeks seem to go anymore it’s happening right before my eyes. We are also saving pocket change in our jar and I will use that as a bonus deposit towards the end of the month. Even if it’s just a couple of dollars, it’s building towards us having a savings built for emergencies. That is huge to me!
2017 PROPOSED BUDGET vs ACTUAL
|PROPOSED||ACTUAL JANUARY PAID|
|CARD 5||Gone J||J|
|INCOME||Estimate: $4,040||Actual: $3,297|
As of the 20th of January we had paid all of our January bills! Hurray! Now we just have to start over again for February, unfortunately with the biggest bills coming due first. We have some money in our “bill pot” started though, hopefully that will grow enough to cover them all without having to pull from other areas.
With finding out that our dog is sick, our pet expenses have more than doubled our projected budget for the month and we still have a week and a half left. Luckily I stocked up on food a few months back because the $279 listed above does not include dog food. Fingers crossed I find another good sale before we run out.
We are finally getting to a point where I can say “we are out of money for the week” and it doesn’t make us cranky. Sometimes that means that we are down to the cash that we have, and sometimes that means we have money in the account but it’s destined for other things. We have had some fun meals this week after not grocery shopping last week (I cheated a bit and bought us juice, cheese, bread, and lunch meat) such as eggs with salsa and cheese for breakfast this morning. It is a perfectly fine breakfast, one that we enjoy. But we had woken up and were talking about all the fun breakfast foods out there and then got to the kitchen and realized we didn’t have bacon or sausage. We were out of fresh tomatoes and potatoes; the bananas are blacker than black. We laughed and made coffee together and then made our eggs. We enjoyed breakfast together on the couch and it was wonderful.
I think that more than this financial journey just bringing us a sense of being satisfied with spending less, it is bringing us closer together. Last night we had $20 for our date night. We went to subway and got food that met a promotion to bring the price down, shared a drink and passed on chips to avoid paying for things we didn’t really need. Then we headed over to a frozen yogurt place for dessert and both picked small cups. Our total for the night was $24 (which means our next date night has to be less!) and it was better than a big fancy expensive date. When you remove the stress of having to pay gobs of money for a night out you reveal this fun carefree spirit. I had so much fun!
We are still working on feeling satisfied on less, it is a process full of highs and lows. Most importantly we are enjoying this journey.
As always, I’ll see you tomorrow.