It was a longer month and as a result I had five paychecks instead of four which helped me really stomp on my financial goals this month. Right off the bat I managed to take care of Savings Goal #1 and pay our monthly bills with little difficulty. Always grateful and relieved when that happens. All of my Financial Goals were met this month as well.
We were able to significantly lower our power bill this month by turning our heat off completely during daylight hours and allowing the sunshine in. Despite the enormous amount of rain we've had there were also enough sunny warmer days to really make a difference. I was even able to start hanging laundry outside to dry.
Although I went over budget on the groceries I was very careful with what I spent and what I purchased in order to fill our new freezer and our pantry. Having both of those full gives me the peace of mind of knowing I have plenty of items on hand to feed my family should our financial situation change again.
A friend gave me all the coupons out of her Sunday paper this month, as well as the ads, which helps me immensely in defraying the costs of our groceries and our nonfood items. I used quite a few coupons, especially for cat food, litter and some toiletry items. I also used the ads to determine what to buy and where.
I kept fairly close to our menu plan and we diligently used up our leftovers, mostly in our lunches, but also to create extra suppers. Our kitchen scraps were fed to our neighbor's chickens. We kept our food waste to a minimum.
We dined out at the beginning of the month and saved money by using a $10 gift card given to us at Christmas and drinking water instead of ordering milk or sodas. Even after the tip I spent less than $15. It allowed us to have enough money left in our entertainment budget to go out to lunch later over Spring Break as part of our Staycation.
I won $10 playing Bunco, I hadn't won in quite awhile, and I used my winnings to treat us to frozen yogurt one afternoon and go to the movies on $1 movie night over Spring Break.
I sold quite a few items on eBay and one on Etsy (thank you again to a fellow blogger for that purchase) which allowed me to not only hit my second savings goal but exceed it putting away four times the original amount I had planned. I was thrilled beyond measure, let me tell you.
I have been doing the surveys at the end of my grocery receipts which gives me extra rewards points on my Fred Meyer rewards card every time I do. I used those rewards points to save 10¢ a gallon both times I filled my gas tank this month. I was also extra careful about my fuel usage to make those tanks of gas last as long as possible. Most shopping and errands were done along my route to and from work with very few extra trips anywhere.
I was also excited that we managed to get an extra five days use out of our propane this month. Again by being careful with our usage we were able to extend it a lot longer and with the price of gas and propane going up quite a bit last month it makes it all the more important to be conservative.
At the end of the month I found myself with an extra $100 and no place it needed to be. It has been a very long time since that has happened. It was funny because with all our needs met I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. I could have put it in savings, and seriously considered doing so, but instead I used part of it to treat myself to a few little luxury items in the form of a new top and some Merlot for me and ice cream for the girls. I put $25 in the gas tank of my car, paid for my daughter's honor band fees and the rest was kept to use for whatever we need at the beginning of the month. Not all that exciting, I know, but I like my new blouse and the wine is nice.