I am thrilled to pieces with my first month of 2014. Compared to January in 2013, well let's just say, there is no comparison. For one thing, revenue is coming in, last year not so much. Also last year I got bad news regarding my health. This year I am doing much better.
Last month I tracked every penny I spent and I mean every penny. As always, I kept my grocery log so I wouldn’t go overboard on that budget and it made it easy to stay on track and know where I was throughout the month. It helped me a lot so I knew if I had that extra wiggle room in the budget to take advantage of a really good bargain like that ham and the steaks I bought at the end of the month.
I carefully weighed out my spending. The fixed monthly expenses that needed to be paid like the mortgage, utilities, etc. were paid without a problem. The grocery budget and the non-food budget were funded. Even our "fun" budget was funded and we enjoyed a dinner out at a noodle restaurant my girls had been wanting to try for some time.
I was able to afford to replace the battery on my truck and cross that off my auto repair and maintenance list. The best part was that I was able to take care of it without stress or a credit card.
I was able to meet and exceed my savings goal last month by 110% which made me incredibly happy. I also met my other financial goals last month. Additionally, I was able to finish the month out and head into February with extra money in my checking account.
I bought myself a few splurge items, so no, I definitely did not feel as if I was depriving myself of anything. A bottle of nail polish and two bottles of wine, all purchased on sale, took care of that. I definitely felt that I was treating myself well. I also treated my girls to donuts a couple of times last month and that made them feel special along with our dinner out.
I completely attribute my success to the fact that I tracked every single penny and knew exactly where I stood financially at any given moment. That accountability was key. It also made me really think about how I was spending my money and whether or not certain purchases should even be made.
It felt awesome to be in control of my money and my expenses as opposed to feeling like my expenses had a stranglehold on me.