Monthly Financial Update: March 2019

In December, when reviewing my finances for 2018, I mentioned my desire to look at them on a monthly basis in 2019. Justin and I spent a little too much in 2018 and let our finances get the best of us. Maybe by looking at our finances monthly (and let you guys/gals keep me in check), we will do better this year. That's the goal anyway.

Here's month #3.


green - this year; yellow - last year

Where We Spent Our Money:

Top 10 Merchants
1. Electricity

2. Free People - at least one of the purchases is going to be returned, possibly both
3. Kroger (groceries)
4. Global Entry (We got all of our money back for this.)
5. Nordstrom Rack – clothes for me
6. Trader Vic's
7. Starbucks
8. Package Store 
9. Amazon - Clothes for my husband, electronics to get my Raspberry Pi up and running (It's still not.)
10. Cell Phone Bill

Top 10 Categories
1. Food and Dining
2. Shopping - clothes for me
3. Bills & Utilities
4. Auto & Transport
5. Personal care – hair
6. Entertainment – tickets to see Neil Patrick Harris, ice skating

compared to March 2018

compared to Feb 2019

Net Income:


credit card debt

Student loan debt

* Loan Payoff Date 11/1/22
* Emergency Funds: $5686
* Credit Scores: 747 (Justin), 797, 801 (me)

Overview of the Biggest Impacts This Month:
1. Shopping for clothes. I generally see clothing I like and wait for it to go on sale; everything [ liked went on sale this month. I will be price adjusting things that went down in price after purchasing as well as returning anything I didn't wear within the first week since buying. Usually, if I'm not excited enough to wear it immediately, it probably won't get worn often enough to be worth the price.
2. Ice skating. It's expensive, but it's exercise. And I've had a lot of anxiety recently, so I've found it a good, consistent way to release excess energy. Granted walking is free and also a good way to exercise, but I don't enjoy it quite as much and don't choose to do it like I should.
3. Bought tickets to see Neil Patrick Harris at my alma mater. Not sure if it will be worth it, but thought "why not?" Justin and I are trying to be more culturally aware and going to events is one way to do that.
4. Bought stock options; reduced our savings by a bit.
5. Reduced husband's take-home pay and raised his tax contribution since we are currently bringing home more money than we did last year.

What went wrong this month?
1. Shopping for clothes. Eek. But it's so nice to have something new to wear in my closet.
2. My husband spent more on alcohol than I would have liked. :-/ Hopefully, what he bought will last until the summer, if not beyond.
3. My ice skates broke, so we had to pay for rental skates. Granted it was only $3 at a time, but it is still frustrating that skates I've only used a few times broke. They were over 10 years old though, so it was bound to happen.
4. My jeans ripped and I had to buy a new pair. Luckily they were available used on Poshmark for a quarter of their original price!
5. We ate out more than we should have. I don't know why.

What went right this month?
1. By keeping track of my clothing spending on Google doc, I was aware of how much I was spending, even if I ultimately spent more than I should have.
2. Making leftovers for my husband to take as lunches over the weekend. It's hard to see a monetary difference since it is money not spent, but I can make assumptions.
3. Avoiding buying groceries we don't need. I'm not sure how we managed to stay under budget honestly, but I'll take it!
4. Credit scores headed up! Yay!!!
5. We didn't spend more than we made! Granted we haven't done that since September, but sometimes you should celebrate the little successes.

Financial plans/goals for next month?
1. Return clothing that doesn't work for me. Get price adjustments on clothing I like.
2. Pay taxes somehow. :(
3. Consider setting our Bank of America 3% category.
4. Raise my tax contribution. :(
5. Avoid alcohol purchases to keep grocery costs down. 
6. If we go on a trip, try to pay in points.

This month didn't go as well for us as last month and I suspect next month will be even worse with a hefty tax bill. All we can do is keep on trying. Luckily, putting together this post has put my finances in the forefront of my brain, so maybe I will make better choices next month than I might have if I had not written this post.

How do you stay on track for your goals? Do you think blogging is a good way to stay motivated? Or, if you are a more private person, what do you do instead? I'd love to hear!

Financial Resolution Goals 2019

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