March 2008 Update
I spent way more money than I should have on other stuff. :( I took out money with the intent of setting it aside for something certain, but then because I had that money WITH ME I ended up spending it. :( To remedy this, I need to make sure that I keep that set aside money AT HOME or wait to pull it out until a later time, when it is needed.
I also really need to better budget the groceries. I am thinking of setting aside WEEKLY allowance for this right now (even though I take out two weeks worth per paycheck). I think it will help me not to spend so much. And until I get better at stockpiling, I think I will still make up my weekly menu. BUT instead of just making a menu of what I want, I will check the upcoming sales and base the menu on that. A step in the right direction (better than what I was doing). :)
The good thing about budgeting is telling your money where to go. And because we budgeted $500 to go towards the principle of our second mortgage, we are down another $500!!! :) Old habits of spending are hard to break, so putting this money toward the principle as soon as we got it was a VERY good thing!
I avoided using the credit card AT ALL!!! Adding a blow fund to the budget REALLY helped. Actually, I just checked the previous statement to make sure, and I did forget we donated online and had to use the credit card, which was paid off immediately.
I sold something and was paid via Paypal, which allowed me to make an online purchase without having to use the credit card! :) WOOHOO!!
Our utility bill went down again this month! Down another $50!! I know that it will continue to go down for about another month until we start watering the lawn more frequently and then who knows what it will do. I am hoping that the gas (for heating the home) and the water (for watering the lawn) will come out even. We did not do anything different between Feb and Mar, so it is prolly the fact there are warmer days coming. :)
I also set up my coupon box!!! WOOHOO!!! Now if I can just remember to bring it with me and USE it!! :)
My husband is currently overpaying on his 401(k). (Meaning he is paying more than they match.) My in-laws found themselves puling out of their 401(k) during an emergency and are sad not only they are taking away from their retirement, but that they are fined for it. But they need the money. With the possibility of my beloved's job not so certain in a few years, we figure it is best to stop overpaying, pay only the match, and then build up our emergency fund with the extra so we will not have to pull out of 401(k) should he lose his job.
We sadly found out that our second mortgage has been, without our knowledge, adding anywhere between $10 and $12 monthly to the PRINCIPLE! ARGH!!! I talked to the bank, and they mentioned that it was disclosed that they would be doing that (for insurance), and everything is included in the monthly payment price. :(
Having a blow fund this pay period REALLY helped to avoid using the credit card.
Having only enough cash on hand for a week's worth at a time, and making sure to put money away before I can spend it will make sure the money goes where it is supposed to.
Funding the 401(k) only to the match point will allow us to build up our emergency fund faster so that in the event of my beloved losing his job, we will have an emergency fund to pull from and NOT have to pul from his 401(k).
I cannot wait to be rid of this second mortgage! I hate paying interest on extra money added to our account. I do wish we had understood and read better what was going to happen. I am frustrated that upwards of $10 a MONTH is being added to our principle. :(