Monthly Financial Update: March 2020

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 for 2020:


Last Year:
• We spent more on financial (buying stocks?)
• We spent less on everything else

In February
• We spent more on travel (2 flights to NYC, broadway tickets which should be refunded, photography session for our time in Paris, and a hotel in Orlando) and entertainment (2 conventions).
• We spent less on food & dining, shopping (bedding, picture frame & mats, clothing, headphones, new phone charging cable), bills & utilities, auto & transport (parking charges and new tire), fees & charges (insufficient funds charge, interest, wired funds transfer fee) personal care (dry cleaner), gifts & donations (expensive shipping to Australia).

Where We Spent Our Money:

Top 10 Merchants:

1. James Nomad Hotel in NYC
2. Trader Vic's (restaurant)

3. City Farmer's Market
4. Electricity
5. Local liquor store
6. Liquor store near work
7. Kroger
8. Pep Boys (tire replacement, should get $ back with warranty)
9. Costco
10. Free People (clothing)

Top 10 Categories:
1. Food & Dining
2. Shopping (bedding, clothes, picture frames, signed book, gift, artwork)
3. Travel (2 hotels, 2 taxis)

4. Bills & Utilities
5. Auto & Transport (gas, parking, tire)
6. Charges & Fees (interest, unavailable funds fee)
7. Personal Care (dry cleaner)
8. Gifts (Keith, Angie)
9. Financial (life insurance)
10. Entertainment (An app I need to delete)

Gas & Fuel – under
✗ Groceries – over
✗ Restaurants – over
Hair Appointments – under
✗ Everything Else – over

Net Income:

student loans

I had some issues changing a loan's information, so it looks like we owe more than we did at any other point this year, but we don't.

credit card debt

How Did I Do On My Financial Goals for March?
Make Belk returns.
Book flight for EDI to CDG
Look at refinancing my loans at 1.94% with Earnest
Figure out spring break plans for April.
Submit warranty info for tire.
Watch spending in NYC.
Consider looking at the budget to see where improvements and changes can be made.

* Loan Payoff Date 5/1/23 (with new loan info updated, I'm not surprised to see the date pushed back)
* Emergency Funds: $7,862
• 401K $39,781
• Credit Scores: 743 (Justin), 800, 803 (me)

Overview of the Biggest Impacts This Month:
1. Going to NYC (lots of restaurants)
2. Covid-19! We bought a lot more groceries and liquor than originally anticipated! I also spent a lot of time trying to organize our space, which meant buying items to hang pictures on the wall or replacing old bedding.
3. Will I be able to make returns for items I purchased prior to the lockdown?
4. Listing a lot of items on Poshmark! Hopefully, some will sell!
5. Buying stock options through Justin's company.

What went wrong this month?
1. We got a bill for using the toll lane without permission. But now calling to pay it is taking a lot of time and we are struggling to get anywhere with it.

2. We haven't had time to get our warranty money back from our flat tire incident.
3. Not being able to make returns. Hoping stores will accept returns after the quarantine is over.
4. Spending excess on food. Just because we weren't sure exactly what was going on with grocery stores and the pandemic.
5. Seeing items that need replacement and trying to take care of that.

What went right this month?
1. I had time to call and correct a bill.

2. I fixed the issue with Mint not showing information about our loans.
3. Saving money on gas by working from home.
4. Being able to work from home in Justin's case, getting a normal paycheck despite not being able to work in my case.
5. Coming up with new and unusual ways to spend time with friends in NYC despite the impending Covid-19.

Financial plans/goals for April?
1. Pay taxes. They say the Americans who pay their taxes first will get financial help from the government first regarding any Covid-19 distress.

2. Delete the entertainment app on my phone. ($2.99/mo)
3. Pay the toll.
4. Get money back from the tire warranty.
5. Talk to Justin about student loan 0% option and if it will help us or not.

I don't know about you, dear readers, but covid-19 has had a huge influence (both good and bad) on our spending and our life in the past month. We've accomplished more than we expected and spent more than we ever planned on groceries. It will be interesting to see what happens as we aim to flatten the curve.

Financial Resolution Goals 2020

Financial Resolution Goals 2019

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