I decided to continue with my Uber Thrifty monthly reviews in 2016 because these posts rank amongst my highest each month. Comments and emails I receive suggest my readers, all of you darling people, seem to really enjoy them. So I will continue to post these articles for you each month again this year.
Our first month of 2016 is in the books already! It was a wonderful month for us and I am super excited. Once again I was blessed to be able to pay all of our bills - electric, water, sewer & trash, internet and orthodontist - well ahead of their due dates. I love how empowered I feel when I do this. I just think I am so on top of things. J
I paid the mortgage two weeks early as I have done for quite some time now. 2015 was the first full year I've done this and when I received my tax form 1098INT (year end mortgage interest statement) and compared it to 2014 I was amazed at how much interest I did not pay last year. Just a little tweak and wow. It really does make a big difference.
I used coupons combined with good sales prices in order to spend a lot less on our groceries and non food items. Although I went over the grocery portion of my budget, I was under in the non food portion so it worked out alright. I stocked our pantry and freezer quite well and we are set with plenty of dish soap and laundry detergent for quite some time.
I did store surveys to gain extra bonus points on my Fred Meyer rewards card and saved an extra 10¢ a gallon when I filled up the gas tank on the car at their station. I did not need to put fuel in my truck again this month.
I made a sizeable payment on my big business debt. My goal is to have it paid off this summer. I'm pretty sure I shared with you that I worked New Year's Day. The extra money I earned that day was enough to make an extra payment on my big business debt payment. Doing this has moved up the timeline for payoff a whole month now. I think if I'm careful with my spending I'll be able to do it again in February. I also made my savings goal.
All of my yearend tax statements arrived rather early this year. My employer sent out our W-2s mid month and I was able to get my taxes filed on the 18th. This is, by far, the earliest I have ever filed my income tax returns. Yippeeeee!
I was able to purchase two pair of warm comfortable socks on clearance to add to my work wardrobe. I replaced my well worn workout pants by finding a nice pair on the clearance rack too. Additionally, I managed to get a few things on clearance to put aside for Christmas and Easter gifts and Valentine's Day. By using coupons on items that were on sale I bought a few things for Easter baskets. I also bought a few plants and a couple pots for our house and a friend of mine. My personal spending last month was very little coming just under $55. I'm pretty happy about that and how far I was able to make that money go.
I sold a dozen eggs to our next door neighbor. The hens are now back to earning their keep once again. We just opened the second 50# bag of lay pellets they bought last fall so they are still very much self sustaining other than the labor we exert to get them food, water, collect the eggs and keep the coop tidy. However, we are more than compensated for our efforts with the fresh eggs we get to eat, not to mention the joy we get just in having them. These ladies are pretty awesome.