Good-bye March! Hello, return to our regularly scheduled debt paydowns!
First off I’d like to give myself a huge pat on the back for doing five posts per month since the beginning of the year. My original goal for 2014 was to do one post per week, a minimum of four posts per month. This is a huge boost since last year there were times I could only get to a single monthly update!
The updated numbers: $83,813.38 as of yesterday. Yeehaw! That’s $1,452.57 down from last month (yup, back on track!), although I contributed a total of $1741.92, $289.35 went to interest. That’s about right for interest, it’s always been just around $300. The latest paydown means 11.8% down in the total since the birth of the blog, or a whopping $11,213.49. Nice!
Big expenses in March:
- WE MOVED–big costs included paying double rent, but also clearing out the refrigerator and filling up the new one, and random home supplies purchases. So we went over budget in groceries, which was expected in replenishing the new fridge, but surprisingly dining out was limited and within budget–probably because we were just too busy with moving to go out! II had purposely boosted up the “home supplies” budget in March from $100 to $200 knowing that we would be buying extra things for the new place. But I know there were several other purchases (too many in Mint.com categorized as “shopping”) that we went over that $200.
- I finally cancelled the gym membership we signed up for together back in October. Super embarrassing details in another post, but I knew it was a bad idea and totally overpriced. It cost another $150 for the early termination fee since it was a one-year contract, ouch, but at least that saves me $70 per month from here on out. We have a small gym right across from our building (literally…we can see people working out from our balcony) and all I ever use is the treadmill if I’m not running or biking outside.
- We went to the circus! I love the circus and hadn’t been there in probably 25 years. I know, I’m such a dork! This one was more modern and held at Verizon Center in DC, where they have basketball games and hockey games and concerts. Not the hot stinky big top tents that I remember. This was totally a last minute date although we got tickets 3 hours before the event on StubHub, two for $68 and they were in the third row! We were pretty overdue for a big date, since we were so busy most of March and February with the move, February we were dealing with buying the new car, and the last time we really went out was in January at the basketball game. Whew.
Anyway, the increased paycheck and retro-pay that finally kicked in really helped with the extra expenses in March, but I also realized another source of extra income–travel reimbursement for work. Whoa! More on this later, but I’ve been having to drive to other sites for work since getting promoted, and we get 57.5 cents per mile. Suffice it to say that February driving got me $239, and March driving got me $365. That more than covers a couple tanks of gas!
Next on the agenda for April:
- Taxes! Ugh!
- Our big trip to New Orleans and Florida. Yay! This weekend!!
- Recon missions to scout out wedding venues. Oooooh!
How did your March paydown go? Anyone got good suggestions for cool places to go in New Orleans? Any crazy April Fool’s pranks I missed? I thought about having a post like “I just got the bonus to end all bonuses at work! I’m out of debt now!” But it would’ve been waaaay too sad. 😉