I began the month with about $25 left in my checking account and a quarter tank of fuel in my car. Not a bad way to start out, I think.
I paid all of our monthly bills ahead of their due dates. Our electric bill was rather high which is to be expected with the frigid temperatures we've been having. We used our electric fireplace and the portable infrared heater to supplement our baseboard heat. It helps us to keep the house much more comfortable and saves us money as the baseboards don't need to work as hard.
I made a decent sized payment on my debt goal. I added money to my personal savings and retirement accounts. This year, in addition to eliminating debt, I am working to increase savings. I am already off to a good start.
Nearly two thirds of our grocery budget was spent at Cash & Carry where I was able to purchase a large amount of meat for excellent prices. Then Albertson's had a great sale on pot roast so I bought three of those using up another chunk of the budget. I used the remainder of our budget to purchase produce and some dairy items. I was very careful to try and not overspend and go over budget, however I did go over a little bit. To make up the difference we opted to not do any dining out or do any activities that would cost money. Instead I used that part of our budget for groceries and we all agreed it was worth the sacrifice.
I bought two tanks of gasoline last month. I topped of the truck, which still had a quarter of a tank and then filled up our car. I felt, given the precarious weather we were having, it was prudent to have both vehicles fueled up. I also replaced the battery in the truck as it was old and starting to give me trouble. This was a planned purchase so it didn't adversely affect the budget.
We did have an unexpected vet bill for one of our kitties who slipped on the ice and sprained an ankle. Fortunately I had enough wiggle room in the finances to accommodate that expense. He is healed up now so it was money well spent.
I filed my income tax return and I am expecting a sizeable refund due to the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Like last year once my refund arrives I plan to make some serious progress on my goals.
What little extracurricular spending I did was limited to a few Christmas clearance (80% OFF) items I picked up. I got our gift wrap bin restocked and a Christmas gift purchased for under $8. I also picked up Christmas candy ($1.24 ea) that will work perfectly for Valentine's Day. I replaced my worn out moccasin style slippers with a pair I found for $10.
I stopped into a few thrift stores last month. The first one I didn't buy anything, but the other two I found yarn, patterns and a few items for gifts. I also found two vintage quart jars and a pretty china dish for the retirement house.
I went to the fabric store three times. The first was to buy yarn on sale, the second was to exchange one of those skeins of yarn for another color and the last was to pick up flannel for pajama bottoms. I got the flannel on sale for $2.79 a yard plus an additional 20% OFF with a coupon I had.
All in all, not a bad January.