Keeping Finances In Check

I have to admit that I'm not actually looking forward to today's "money Monday". While January is the perfect time to start over and renew financial goals, Justin and I have been less than interested in focusing on our finances.

Then, to make matters more complicated, we are currently helping to dig family out of a hole.

On the one hand, it's what you do for family. It's a good thing to do. On the other hand, I just want to scream as I see our money going into a black hole of oblivion never to be seen again and used to pay for things like bank fees which my husband and I did not incur through our own spending. Argh.

Anyway, this blog post is not meant to be a rant. Rather, my hope is that the main takeaway is a reminder not to get into debt in the first place.

Spending Ratio

Let's start with something positive.

Justin and I spent less this year than we did last year in January. In fact, we actually spent less in January than we did during November and December, so that's good too. My ultimate goal, as I'm sure I share nearly every month, is to get our spending down to the number we spent in August, approximately $1000 less than we spent last month. I'm not really sure if it will happen again though given our current situation (bailing my parents out of debt) and all of the travel we will be doing in the next few months. It's a good goal to aim for though.


While I'm great at complaining about debt and how I never expect to spend as much as I do, I can honestly say I frequently find myself surprised when we manage to somehow end the month with more money in our pockets than we began it with … especially when that number was decreasing and decreasing and decreasing during the 4 months prior.

However, when I think about it, it actually makes sense:
• Justin's paycheck went up in January when his boss forgot to deduct the money that is suppose to go into our HSA account…
• I received $100 bonus for making 5 transactions in my new Capital One 360 checking account

Why can't every month be like this? I want extra money to just appear out of nowhere!


Our debt has gone down by approximately 4.9% an increase from 3% in past months and when I say that I don't know how it happened, I think what I'm really saying is … I need to look at our finances again and really figure out where our money is going. Don't get me wrong – I'm happy. I was just set up to be disappointed. Does this mean that Justin and I are finally on track to really begin paying down our student loans and debt? I certainly hope so…

Net Worth

Our net worth is up 6% from last month and 20% from May (our worst month in 2014). I'm so ready for it to be in the positive! Unfortunately, assuming everything stays the same (which it won't), Mint says we won't have our student loan debt paid off until 2028 – 13 years from now. Doesn't that just make you sick?

Other Thoughts For This Month

• I obtained a second job this month editing a book. While it did take me away from family time during my dad's birthday weekend, I'm grateful for the extra income.
• We used Travelocity to save $100 on a hotel for a weekend getaway as we attend a wedding this November in FL. It's nice being on top of planning in such a way that saving money is possible.
• I took advantage of a sale at Neiman Marcus where I bought $100 worth of merchandise for $50. This put us ahead in buying wedding gifts for 3 of the 5 weddings we will be attending this year.
• Justin & I opened a Discover It card which is currently giving us 5% cashback on gas purchases, 0% interest for 12 months, and no transfer fees for what we owe on our other credit cards. This means we can put the $100 that was going toward interest toward our payments instead. YAY!
• Justin did our taxes yesterday and we are getting back a sizeable amount since we are claiming the marriage benefit … otherwise we would owe in the thousands (claiming "married but filing separately"). I definitely recommend doing up your taxes multiple ways to see which way will benefit you the most.

Your Turn

How is 2015 looking for you? Are you on track to meet your financial goals for the year? Or what about in the short term – for example, the month?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...