March 2019 Recap

Hi, friends!  Happy April!  It is my birthday month and the weather is getting nicer – life is good. 🙂 Unfortunately, the warmer weather hasn’t been all good news in South Dakota.  We had a major winter weather system affect the entire state on March 13th and 14th.  It was nasty.  Parts of the state that already had saturated ground from snow melt received a couple inches of rain they did not need.  In my area, we received a foot of snow and other areas received even more.  This system, coupled with additional snow melt, caused major river flooding in the state.

This weather system is related to my financial journey because it resulted in long hours at work and therefore quite a bit of overtime (I work for the state emergency management office).  The overtime will be applied to my April budget since my first overtime paycheck was paid on April 1st.  This month, however, I received my final two paychecks from teaching two online homeland security courses simultaneously.  These pay $1,200 every two weeks.  For April and May, I will be back to teaching only one course, but the extra income was nice while it lasted!  I also had some Facebook sales of miscellaneous household items and some mystery shopping reimbursements that helped bump my income as well.

I did not travel at all in March, with the exception of one brief in-state work trip.  My other spending was also fairly standard this month.  A few non-traditional expenses included a $190 eye exam (I haven’t had my eyes checked since middle school so I was way past due), the purchase of a clearance winter coat from Eddie Bauer, and the purchase of two new purses during a Kate Spade surprise sale.  My eye exam confirmed that I have near-perfect vision.  I expected that to be the case, but you never know.  A little preventative maintenance goes a long way.  My new winter coat from Eddie Bauer was a good investment.  The coat was about $80 and it’s one of those neat down coats that folds up super small, making it great for travel and throwing in a bag or backpack.  As I mentioned earlier, we tend to get a lot of snow and bitterly cold temperatures during winter in South Dakota, so an appropriate coat is a necessity.  I do have a work-issued coat that I normally wear, but it does not have a hood and I wanted one that does.  Finally, the two purses I ordered from Kate Spade were 60% off and a great deal.  I am willing to occasionally splurge on a quality handbag, but even then, I won’t pay full price.

I ate very few meals out this month.  While our emergency operations center was activated, lunch and sometimes supper were provided every day we worked, which really helped with my groceries budget (unfortunately this has been not-so-good for my weight loss, but that’s a story for another time!).

Most importantly, I realized that I could pay off my auto loan in full this month with my leftover income!  I had about $2,800 left to pay on the loan and $2,650 left in my March budget.  I am taking the remaining $150 from my April budget.  So, I am now officially done with Dave Ramsey’s baby step #2!  The only debt I have remaining is my mortgage.  It feels great to know that it is one less expense I need to account for every month.  My monthly car payment was $403, so being able to allocate that amount to something else every month is an awesome feeling.

My net worth increased from ~$74,000 to $82,000.

April should be a high income month as well.  I plan to cash flow some funds for a new dining room table and chairs.  Other than that, the rest of my leftover income will be split between my emergency savings fund (50%), travel fund (25%), and home repair fund (25%).

Have a great week!

~Autumn

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