I started out 2019 with a quarter tank of gas, $26 cash plus a good handful of change in my wallet and another $26 in my checking account. Not a lot, but certainly better than nothing. When payday rolled around on the 4th I paid all of our monthly bills ahead of their due dates, put money into my savings and retirement accounts. topped up the fuel tank on our car and set aside money for our grocery budget. I dumped all of the change out of my wallet into my change jar.
With my next paycheck I paid the mortgage two and a half weeks early and added to my savings and retirement accounts. I also set aside a little more money for our grocery budget and a few miscellaneous expenses. I used a $50 gift card I had earned last year, taking on a health challenge through my work to purchase a new pair of black slacks to wear for work. Very nice not to need to take money out of my budget for that purchase.
|$20 worth of groceries!|
The $20 Grocery Challenge was a roaring success. I nailed it each week and I am super happy about that. We made a game out of it and I really began to enjoy the challenge. So much so, we'll be doing it again next month as well.
I filled the tank at the beginning of January and was really thrifty with the fuel in my car ending the month with over a third of a tank still left. I mapped out my trips so as not to be wasteful and ran errands along the routes I was taking. I also made sure to hit the eco button on the car each time I went anywhere to get the best gas mileage possible while driving.
|Aetna, you kinda stink! 😝|
At the end of the year I got some less than stellar news. Last spring I put the girls onto my employee family insurance plan at work. Shortly after doing so we discovered the new insurance wasn't going to cover my daughter's orthodontics like the old insurance had. It never even occurred to me that this would be an issue. After eight months of back and forth with the insurance company the final verdict came down - not covering it. While it is a true bummer and an unexpected extra expense I have to just be grateful the old insurance covered over a third of it making the remaining balance a manageable amount to handle. I made arrangements with the orthodontist and I'll be making three balloon payments over the next year to pay it all off and they aren't charging me any interest or fees. I took money from our emergency fund to pay the first payment, the next one is due on July 1st and the last one on January 1st of 2020. That should give me plenty of time to save up and make those payments without having to use anymore of our emergency fund, but it is there should I need it. This is one very good reason to have an emergency fund. When I get my tax refund this year I plan to replace the money I used and add more to the account as well.
As I've already shared with you my goal from here on out is to live my life with more intent and purpose. A big part of that is to make sure that I am really mindful about my spending and that I make sure I spend each one of my dollars wisely. This past month I was really careful about my spending and took the time to make sure I did so with intent and purpose. As a result I spent much less and saved a good amount of money in January. I met all of my financial goals so I feel really good about the month we just finished as well as adequately prepared to head into February. What a fantastic feeling!