First month of 2015! I’m really pleased with myself; aside from the major planned purchase from my travel savings, I stayed right on track with the tight, savings-focused budget I set up. I feel like a lot has happened since I set my goals up last month, so just as a reminder, my plan is to try this tight budget out through March and see how I feel about it; I may ease up a little at that point if this is leaving me feeling deprived.
Anyway, I kicked the budget’s butt this month, even though I was starting slightly behind because of borrowing ahead to help pay my eye doctor bill in December. Low gas costs helped, and so did being pretty ruthless about sticking to my cash draw for food and incidentals.
1) Slush purchases were: postage, fancy coffee for me and a friend one day (I was feeling flush and generous so you can tell it was early in the month), the yearly subscription to my flickr pro account (completely forgot this even existed; boy was I surprised when it was withdrawn from my paypal/bank account), a fabulous leakproof soup container for my lunch, and a pizza I bought for the guys at the shelter where I volunteer. Gifts: a book for my mom’s birthday. Professional expenses: a conference registration fee and a book. Medical: a couple of co-pays and some drugstore stuff.
2) My biggest purchase this month: over $600 for plane fare for a spring break-slash-conference trip.
3) Repairs and maintenance: I spent $24.70 on dry cleaning!!!!!!! This is the charge that inspired me to dig out the supplies for my dress shield project.
4) Those of you who follow me on twitter might note the absence of a “godawful amount of money on boots.” I did in fact buy boots! But thereby hangs a tale, which I will tell next month. Don’t worry, every penny’s accounted for 🙂
Now the more exciting part:
1) Still debt-free!
2) Bought $250 in Roth IRA shares with side hustling money. I’d been letting this accumulate but when the markets dropped substantially earlier in the month I figured I’d go ahead and buy. In that figure, I also counted the amount in my Roth savings account (from which I make contributions) mostly because I couldn’t figure out where else to count that cash and didn’t want to add another line to the budget 🙂
3) The travel fund got pretty anemic after I bought that plane ticket but since I’m now putting $250 into it every month it’s already looking better with this month’s infusion.
Overall, I had a net income of $3302 in January, including paychecks, side hustle income, and pre-tax 403(b) contributions. If you don’t count the plane ticket paid for out of a savings account, which for these purposes I’m not, I managed to live on 33% of my net income! And 26% of my gross income, if you’re into that kind of thing. In conclusion, I feel like a rock star. An especially frugal, low-income rock star who didn’t have anything major go wrong with the car this month, but STILL. Heck yeah!
The markets were soft and the plane ticket took a bite out of my savings, but regardless, I still had a net worth increase of $1530, for a total of $15550.80. I am enjoying being over $15,000; there’s something satisfying about hitting those 5K milestones.