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March Summary

April 1, 2014

As you can see, I’m catching up on my posting today and even though I was super late with February’s posting, I’m kinda on time for March. If you read my earlier blog post, you know that March was a crappy month. But, in an attempt to maintain transparency, here are the numbers:



So one of the most exciting parts of March was that we got our tax refund!! And the very first thing we did was pay off hubby’s student loans! I cannot tell you how exciting it was to see $0.00 as the balance in that account. We kept $600 of our tax refund in our checking account to cover some of the expected overages we encountered this month, then promptly moved the rest over into our savings account. In addition, the refinancing/consolidation for my student loans went through and we now have a much better rate of 5.25% for 10 years (for reference, my plus loans were at 7.9% and the majority of my direct loans were at 6.8% unsubsidized). With the new rate, we are paying less in interest per month on the total amount than we were just on the plus loans! 


We went over in almost every single category this month. Our car insurance is paid semi-annually and HOA fees are paid quarterly, and even though we budget for them each month, I’ve been really bad about rolling them over into a “sinking fund.”  Instead, we’ve just put the surplus each month towards debt and dealt with the extra hit to the budget in the month in which we incur the expenses. This has worked OK, but it is beginning to get a bit old. And this month, with all the additional expenses we incurred, it would have been really hard to break even without our refund.

Besides the HOA fees and Car Insurance, we also had our last expenses related to the bathroom reno! Now, the room is complete and looks amazing! We came in right around our expected budget for that and I’ll share all of that in a separate post.  In addition to the bath reno, we also had expenses for my sister-in-laws bridal shower and bachelorette party (which I co-hosted) and random car maintenance (buying cabin air filters that hubby changed himself, and oil/lube/inspection for one vehicle) expenses. All of that combined pushed us waay over our misc. budget item by about $1500! 

We went slightly over with our grocery budget to stock up on a great chicken and shrimp sale at our local store (buy 2 get 3 free!), but overall, not to shabby. Our gas bill was crazy due mostly to the fact that our rate increased by 50%! We actually used less gas than last month, but still ended up with a higher bill. Hopefully there are no more polar vortexes in sight and spring will finally make an appearance – that should help things a little bit.

Finally, Daycare expenses were slightly higher this month – the annual 4% increase went into effect. However, the kiddo moves up to the next class in mid-April when he turns 3, which means a lower monthly daycare charge! We should end up getting a credit for what we overpaid in April and that should be applied to the lower rate we will be charged this month for May’s tuition. On a related note, the kiddo’s expenses were a little overbudget in March, but I am returning some of the things that we bought from Macy’s since I found them cheaper at Costco. That will be credited to the account in April though.

March Debt Repayment Summary


So as you can see, the awesome, awesome thing from this month was paying off Hubby’s student loan. After about 7 months on this journey, I am soo proud to say that we’ve paid off two loans entirely (hubby’s student loans and my car loan), and paid off over $12,000 worth of debt! Now the only debts we have left are the Highlander (at 0%) and my newly refinanced student loans (approximately $95,000 at 5.25%). My loans are still in deferment until July 2014, and as such, we’re switching gears slightly and focusing our attention on building up our savings a bit. We’ll still continue to pay interest on my student loans during this time, but want to make sure our savings are extra beefy before July. Once July comes, we’ve planned to pay approximately 70% more than the minimum payment on my student loans so we can get them paid off in 3 – 4 years instead of 10!

April Projections

This is looking to be another expensive month for us, but I’m hoping that we’ll be able to put about $400 into savings and start building our “sinking funds.” I really want to avoid another March where we have to take the money from our monthly budget for our normal expenses. In addition to our normal sinking expenses, I’m adding a line item for personal property taxes that will be due in October. I’m basing it off of what we paid last year, and since our cars are depreciating assets, it should be the same or less.

Outside of some minor savings and our “sinking funds,” I’m hoping that we just break even. April is my and the kiddo’s birthday month; I’m turning the big 3-0 this year and he’s turning 3! My birthday has taken the backseat for the past few years, but with such a big one this year, I am determined to celebrate myself, in addition to the kiddo. That means that we’re having two weekends of parties and two weekends of costs. Our grocery budget will be waay over (I’m expecting almost double) because we are due for a Costco trip to stock up on staples and we’ll need to make a Costco trip for all the celebrations we have planned!

In addition to birthdays, we also have some yardwork that we need to get done. Our HOA does inspections every year and this year, we need to replace our landscaping timbers and do some powerwashing to make sure our place is up to the covenants. It’s an extra expense we weren’t planning for, but because hubby is so handy, we’re going to save a ton of money by having him do the work himself.

A final item that is going to cause overages in April in our misc. category are expenses related to my brother’s wedding. Hubby is buying a suit (he’s a groomsman), annd we are planning on buying their wedding present early. We found a super amazing deal on one of the items on their registry and are just going to buy it now before the sale ends. This money was budgeted for in May, so we’ll just take it from May’s wedding fund:) We budgeted for the suit in April so even though we’ll technically be “over,” it was planned and expected. 

So, in summary, the goal for April (and realistically, May) is to break even while saving at least $400 each month. We’ll see how it goes….


From → Posts

  1. Hey, congrats on paying off your husband’s student loans. That must feel GREAT! I have a question, and I apologize if you’ve addressed this elsewhere…. but that is one crazy amount of money for monthly daycare! I thought WE had it bad, but $1800+ a month… whew! It sounds like you only have two more years of this before your child is in school, so that’s good… but I just wanted to see if I was actually understanding the daycare costs properly.

    Congrats again on those student loans! Woohoo!

    • Hey! Thanks so much for the kind words:) With regards to daycare – it is $1800+ a month. Luckily it will be going down substantially this month! But yeah – it’s basically another mortgage payment…

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