February 2012: Where did our money go?

by Erika Torres

You may be thinking this is a bit early, but at the beginning of the year, I decided to coincide our budgets with pay cycles rather than the months. This works out a lot better for us, because we’re working with 4 week cycles and bill cycles.

Since today is payday, that means our March cycle starts today and goes through March 22.

Our budget is a bit wonky right now because of the move. For example, during our March cycle, we won’t have to pay any rent because we paid it a month and a half in advance this past pay period. However, we will have double our debt payment since we weren’t able to make any payments this past month.

Where did our money go?

Our 100% income was comprised of 17% savings and 83% salaries this month in order to pay for the move.

56% to deposit and 1.5 month’s rent for the new place

15% on moving costs and some furniture (all bought used, all paid in cash)

4% on student loans

2% cell phone and utilities

3% Groceries

8% Fuel

6% Eric’s Car Insurance

4% Other (gifts, dining out)

2% Fun money for me and Eric


The Good

We only spent 4% of our income on “other” expenses! I am SO proud of us.

We were able to pay for the entire move and deposit without dipping into my side hustle income account.

We spent $650 on furniture for our new place, which we bought all used off Craigslist and we were able to pay in cash. We got a dining table (we didn’t have one), a couch, a large desk and a mirror.

We were able to pay off Eric’s car insurance too.

The Bad

We didn’t make any debt payments this month, except the minimum on my student loans. However, this month we plan on paying off our Citi Card! And then we’ll just have the student loans left.

We had to drain almost all of our savings account to pay for the deposit on the new place. The good news is we’re going to receive a sizable tax return–which is AMAZING news because I totally thought we were going to have to pay! This tax return will go straight into savings to beef up our emergency fund.

Our goals for February were…

Limit OTHER Category to 10% of our budget.Check! 

Pay deposit on new place without taking money from our travel fund.Check! 

Move the cheapest way possible–friends and a U-haul truck.Check! 

Earn at least $400 in side hustle income. Will have an update on this next week–it’s a good one!

Lose 4 pounds. That’s a pound a week. Definitely haven’t lost 4 pounds...

Our goals for March are…

Pay off Citi Card.

Come up with plan to pay off student loans

Lose 6.5 out of the 10 total pounds required for the 10-pound challenge by Week 8 update (My half marathon training starts Monday, eek!)

Go to barre 20 out of 30 days next month to take full advantage of my one-month membership.

How are you doing with your February budget?






Stef (City Girl) February 29, 2012 - 5:16 pm

Way to rock it on reducing the other expenses! Go, Honeymoon Fund Go!

kim February 27, 2012 - 10:57 am

Yay for preserving the travel fund!!!

SWR February 26, 2012 - 11:55 am

I definitely didn’t make my weight loss goals either. This coming month means warmer temperatures where I am, so I am hoping to be able to just get out and move more. (Along with that, I’m also hoping that my gym starts to empty out when everyone else starts dong the same.)

Craigslist is great for furniture, and we have also found that Goodwill and similar thrift stores are great for dishes and kitchen utensils!

Weekly Roundup Great Articles This Week In Personal Finance February 26, 2012 - 4:02 am

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Aloysa @ My Broken Coin February 25, 2012 - 12:21 pm

I think you did great. It sucks to drain all your savings for a deposit, but paying cash for the furniture is awesome. I bet the tax refund is going to help A LOT!

Kevin @ SpringCoin February 24, 2012 - 7:04 pm

Moving is always a pain, but $650 on furniture?? What a great deal. Craigslist is amazing for finding used furniture!

Jackie February 24, 2012 - 5:40 pm

That’s awesome that you’re getting a refund instead of having to pay. Always a nice surprise. Or at least I imagine it would be; in reality I’d be in shock!

Teacher Girl February 24, 2012 - 4:44 pm

Congrats on doing so well!! I can’t wait to see pics of the new place!! 😉

The Happy Homeowner February 24, 2012 - 1:03 pm

You guys did a great job! Kudos for the Craigslist finds; it’s such an under-utilized option when moving. Here’s to a great March 🙂

Well Heeled Blog February 24, 2012 - 10:42 am

We went to Vegas this month, so we are out lots of money and I’m up a few pounds. (All thanks to food). Ahhh such is life.

Jai Catalano February 24, 2012 - 8:05 am

Well you guys did just move so there is room to improve but what I am concerned about is the weight loss… 🙂

Michelle February 24, 2012 - 5:35 am

Good job on limiting it to only 4%! I definitely can’t say that about us.

SB @ One Cent At A Time February 24, 2012 - 4:58 am

That deposit is your saving, isn’t it? Agree if your land lord returns in full then only you can count all.


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