This just in… OUR NET WORTH IS UP $7,270!
It’s true… we owned April hardcore. But before you get too jealous, we had a few factors on our side.
- Our Federal + State tax refund was over $3000. Yes, I know. I’m not really that happy about my gross miscalculation either. If I wanted to loan my money to the government for 0%, I’d just buy some bonds. I blame it on the baby. I feel like getting her one of the onesies that says, “Daddy’s Little Tax Deduction.”
- Courtney gets paid every other Thursday. That’s 1… 2… 3… paychecks this month. Gotta love those extra paycheck months. Woot Woot!
- I received a bonus check from my tax preparation this season. It roughly came out to be another paycheck for me, too. However, tax season is over which means I’m back to playing Mr. Mom until Australia.
Alright, so this does take a little wind out of the sails, but I’m not complaining. We should be able to have a decent May, but once June starts we know we will see one or two months of heading in the other direction.
Our student loans were only reduce by $661, but the real success was that we built our cash savings from $6,609 to $13,798. Never in my life have I been able to look at a bank account with $13,000+ in it. It’s such an awesome feeling that it’ll make spending money on Australia that much harder.
Potential Problem Areas With Out Budget!
During my last update in early April, I explained that my wife and I had decided to create one big budget for the remaining months we had left. Unfortunately, we are finding ourselves with a couple of problem categories. With around 5.5 weeks still left, I can’t see how some of these bad boys are gonna make it.
- Grocery [$58.92] – So… yeah. This isn’t a whole lot to go for 5.5 weeks. However, we did just buy a good sized load earlier this week. In addition, we won’t need to buy much the last week or two as we just finish off whatever is left before we leave. Some other good news is we’ve transfer Milligan from formula to whole milk now. Even with those small victories, I’m imagining a lot of peanut butter, jelly, and ramen in the near future.
- Eating Out [$0.17] – That’s not a typo. We sucked this puppy dry. The only good news in this area is that the last week proved the power of the cash envelope system. We’ve turned away several times from stopping for fast food.
- Entertainment [$58.84] – Whoo-hoo! This changed exactly $0.00 dollars in the month of April. That’s right… we didn’t spend a single penny on entertainment this month. No movie theaters, no rented movies, and no new fancy toys or games. It was a lot of weekends home, hanging with friends, and playing board games.
All of our other categories are right on target. In order to help combat our most immediate problem, Courtney and I have decided to combine our Eating Out and Entertainment budgets. Most of the time we treat eating out as entertainment in our heads, anyway. This will give us some breathing room without having to dip into our Australia Fund.
Some Of The Categories We Owned!
- Gas/Oil [$321.03] – I have a feeling this one is going to really bail us out. There is no way we will spend anywhere close to this. We have one more oil change and are going to be going down to one car soon. I’m super pumped!
- Child Care [$135.00] – Somehow I calculated the number of weeks we needed daycare for incorrectly. I’m not sure how, but we budgeted for one extra week of at $100. The $35 was on purpose in case we needed an extra day or a sitter for a night, but that $100 is pure bad math on my part. I guess it’s the good kind of bad math, though as at the end of the day that’s $100 more towards Australia!
- Cell Phone [$255.19] – I wrote about how I saved the $175 disconnect fee we had budgeted by picking up the phone and calling Verizon. In an effort to maintain some balance, Courtney and I decided we would split this money 50-50 and each take some “blow” money. I bought this Thesis theme (and a pack of bubble gum) and Courtney took a night out with her friends and bought some clothes for Australia she wanted. It was a much needed reward!
Future Battle Plans!
The month of May should be a fun one for us. Like I said before, I’m playing Mr. Mom during the day and Courtney will be wrapping up the school year this month. There’s a lot of research, planning, and selling that needs to happen this month to keep us on track.
We’ve lined up a family member to buy our four-door car, but I will be planning to sell my baby [Nissan 240sx] on the open market. I’m shooting for between $1000-$1500!
We will be continuing to purge our remaining personal possessions and will be joining the 100 Thing Challenge as we work to create a list of everything we will be taking. I’ve decided to give away the personal finance books in my collection, so don’t forget to stop by every Sunday for your chance to win one!
As we did this month, we will continue to keep up the extreme frugality. We are going to go all out to stay within our grocery budget. This last trip to the grocery store contained 15+ packets of Ramen. I’ve started to tap into more and more of the awesome bargain sites around the web, as well. For example, yesterday we helped curb our eating out desires by swinging by Domino’s for lunch and picking up our free bread bowls. Thanks WiseBread for the heads up!
Overall, I’m really proud of how we handled April. We had a lot of positive factors help really boost our savings, but kept from spending nearly any of the extra money that came in. We certainly haven’t been perfect, but we are committed to doing our best to minimize the problem categories in May!
How did your April turn out? Were you able to stay within budget? Do you have any advice that could help us stay within in any of our problem areas? Let everyone know by leaving a quick comment below!