For me November has always been a month filled with expenses. My annual auto insurance premiums are due at the first of the month. Both girls celebrate their birthdays. I usually finish up the last of my Christmas shopping. Thanksgiving is this month. The weather has changed and we get our first big heating bill of the season.
So how did I do?
Well, as it turns out, I did better this time than I have in a long time. I paid all of our monthly expenses and the insurance bill, but I did have to use money that was meant for savings in order to do it. Needless to say, I did not put anything away into regular savings this month. I did, however contribute to my retirement savings accounts.
I made my final payment to PayPal meaning I officially own every stick of furniture in my home. Best of all $0 interest owed and paid. If you choose to finance something it doesn't get much better than that.
I made some substantial payments on the old business debt I am diligently working to eliminate. Despite the extra expenses this month I was still able to make those payments as planned. I am super excited, because one of those debts will be paid off in full next month leaving only one more to go.
I kept our grocery expenses to a minimum and I kept our personal expenses low as well. I bought only one tank of gas this month. We only dined out for the girl's birthday lunch.
We did not spend any money on entertainment, however we entertained more company at our house this past month than we had any other month this year. I was able to provide meals and refreshments using items I already had on hand. It helps immensely that I brew my own beer.
And as you now know I bought a new car in November. I originally planned to buy it in December so my first payment wouldn't be due until January. But when a great opportunity presented itself, such as 0% financing for 72 months, no down payment, and no payment due for 90 days, there was no point in putting it off a couple weeks.
Prior to making this purchase I did a lot of calculating to see how it would fit into my budget, including the increase in my insurance premiums and the fees to license another vehicle. I checked everything out ahead of time.
I am feeling pretty good about how things unfolded in November. I still want to work on new ways to make the month have less of a financial impact. I may start paying my insurance in October or work on getting birthday gifts done earlier. I waited to license the car until this month so I won't have those fees due in November too.
When it comes to handling finances it sometimes seems more like a balancing act or a juggling act to get everything worked out than simply paying one's bills. At least I'm always up for the challenge.