Monthly Financial Update: April 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 letting you guys/gals keep me in check), we will do better this year. That's the goal anyway.

Here's month #4:


green = this year, yellow = last year
Compared to Last Year:
• We spent more on food, entertainment, travel, shopping, auto/transport, and bills in 2018. That's probably because we went to California and drove up PCH. Also, it was cooler last year at this time.
• We spent less on taxes (got money back last year!)

Compared to Last Month:
• We spent more on taxes (duh), auto/transport, travel (we went to Miami), and personal care this month.
 We spent less on shopping (I didn't buy clothes this month.), food & dining (surprise!), bills (not sure why?), and entertainment.

Where We Spent Our Money:

Top 10 Merchants
1. IRS

2. Electricity
3. state taxes
4. Adidas (husband's clothes)
5. Confidante (restaurant, parking)
6. Alamo Rental Car
7. RaceTrac (gas)
8. Costco (groceries)
9. Von Maur (clothes)
10. Dass (hair)

Top 10 Categories

1. Taxes (ouch!)
2. Food & Dining

3. Auto & Transport (car washes, parking at the airport, gas went up in price)
4. Shopping (clothes for hubby)
5. Bills & Utilities
6. Travel (Miami)
7. Personal Care
8. Entertainment (Diner En Blanc Paris)

Net Income:

😳 Woot taxes. Grateful to have had money in a savings account to pay for it.


Student loans still headed down…
Credit card debt slightly more than it was last month. 😳 No excuses. (I blame my husband. 😛) Either way, good to know and be aware of where we need to improve.

* Loan Payoff Date 11/1/22
* Emergency Funds: $8386
* Credit Scores: 750 (Justin), 799, 803 (me)

Overview of the Biggest Impacts This Month:
1. Taxes. Yuck.

2. Travel to Miami. (hotels, restaurants, entertainment, parking)
3. Easter dinner. (Added to grocery cost only slightly.)
4. Buying clothes for my husband.
5. Pollen! This meant more car washes… 😳

What went wrong this month?
1. Taxes. Ain't no one got money for that.

2. Travel. I had less pay because of my time off and more expenses because we were traveling, but I was able to come back to work feeling stronger and more capable of handling the issues that were dragging me down.
3. Shopping for my husband. I love him, but did he really need the clothes? Then again, do I ever really need clothes? The things we ask ourselves. 🙄😂
4. Pollen. One car wash a month seems like enough. Especially for a car whose home is a garage spot. That's just my opinion, though.
5. Credit card debt went up, according to Mint, and I'm not quite sure how? (More research needed. Mint doesn't match my Google Doc in this?)

What went right this month?
1. Travel to Miami. It added to our expenses, but I needed the mental break. I was able to come back to work feeling stronger mentally, emotionally, and physically.

2. I had a week-long vacation (only 3 days in Miami) which reduced my take-home pay, but it was much needed.
3. Easter dinner wasn't too expensive and didn't add too much to our expenses! Yay!
4. We stayed under our grocery budget! By a lot! :)
5. We made some returns. I mean it's the little things, right?

Financial plans/goals for May?
1. Keep DC travel as cheap as possible.

2. Eat out less. Get restaurant budget under (more) control.
3. Continue preparing lunches over the weekend (including extras for the freezer for weekends we aren't home).
4. Watch our "shopping" budget. (We do need to buy bug spray, though.)
5. Use points as often as possible when planning travel to LA.

We have some unnecessary expenses coming up in May and I have a few vacation days off so we will need to be careful with our spending in May. There are some upcoming expenses that I think are beneficial to my mental health, though, so it's just going to be a balance. Keeping bugs out of the house is nice, visiting with friends we rarely see is good, and ice skating (or exercise) is good for my mental health. I'm also looking at speaking with a therapist, but that's still up for debate. 

Justin and I did decide to put off something we want to do until next year and pay a small fee for that opportunity cost, so we are making decisions that will hopefully help our finances in the long run. 

I guess what it all comes down to is figuring out what works best for us – mentally, physically, and emotionally. You can give up a lot in the pursuit of financial freedom, but if it takes away from your happiness, it might be worth reconsidering/reinstating. This is not to say that a person can't put up with a lot and that being "comfortable" is a necessity. Sometimes removing that sense of comfort can be beneficial to your growth. You also need to pay attention to your needs though. Giving up one thing may result in other aspects of your life suffering, and that may not be worth the opportunity cost. You know?

Complicated thoughts today.  
What is the hardest thing you've ever given up? How did you deal?

Financial Resolution Goals 2019

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