Where's Margie's Money?



February: End of Month Musings

I can’t believe it’s the last day of the month already!  A nice short month and I’m ready for March.

For my monthly recap I thought I would do a list of my highs and lows…

The Highs

  • Did our taxes (but haven’t submitted them yet) and realized that we are going to get a nearly $2,000 refund!  Quite a surprise as we assumed that we would get the “marriage penalty” because we make almost exactly the same amount (within $5K of each other).  In the past, I’ve almost always gotten a refund but DH has had to pay.  At best, I figured we would cancel each other out and pay (or get) a minimum amount.  So, this was happy news!
  • Had a great “date weekend” with DH. DH works most weekends and rarely has BOTH days off.  When we realized that he would have last Saturday and Sunday free, we planned to spend it together.  We went to the movies on Saturday (saw “Just Go With It”) and on Sunday we splurged a bit ($132 including gratuity per person) and got massages and lunch poolside at a spa.  It was extremely relaxing!
  • Celebrated a quiet Valentine’s Day.  DH sent me chocolate covered strawberries to work and made me dinner.  Very sweet!

The Lows

  • A birthday celebration involving wine tasting for DH and a friend turned me into a bit of an emotional wreck.  I know it’s the pregnancy hormones but I felt left out of the celebration even though I helped plan it and knew full well that the event centered around tasting and drinking wine (something that I could not participate in).  On the bright side, I kept it together pretty good during the evening and afterward DH was extremely loving and understanding of my feelings. I’m committed to not putting myself in that situation again.
  • I didn’t budget AT ALL.  Yup, I have a quite handy budget spreadsheet that I’ve been using (off and on) for over a year.  But I didn’t even bother to use it this month.  I have no excuse other than sheer laziness.
  • I screwed up a travel expense claim at work and now have to track down a hotel receipt.  I went to a conference last week that cost nearly $400.  unfortunately, the way it works at my organization is that you pay out-of-pocket for travel expenses and then get reimbursed.  In SOME cases you can get big-ticket items (like an expensive registration fee) paid for in advance but for this trip that wasn’t possible. I made a rookie mistake and checked out of my hotel room using the hotel’s Voice Mail Check Out system thinking that the statement they slipped under my door was enough evidence of a receipt.  Wrong!  It doesn’t show that I paid or that the balance is zero.  So to get a receipt I had to fax (FAX?  Who faxes anymore these days?) a request to the accounting department of the hotel and they’ll send me one back. I’m just worried that this will take time and/or the fax will be lost.  That $400 is destined for our joint savings account as I didn’t put any money into our house or child fund this month.
  • Which leads me to . . . I didn’t put any money into our house or child savings accounts this month.  DH and I have agreed to save $250/month each for a future down payment of a house as well as $650/month each for our “child fund.”  That $650 is actually our anticipated cost of child care per person once the little one is here and my maternity leave is over.  We figured it would be smart to start saving that money now so we can get used to the impact that it has on our wallets.  Unfortunately, because of the $400 out-of-pocket this month for my recent conference as well as the airfare I booked for a conference next month (almost $380) I didn’t put that money away (but I will as soon as I get reimbursed! PROMISE!!).  That leaves $120 left to put aside this month . . . as of right now I actually have $122 left in my checking.  So, technically, I COULD still do SOMETHING. But my paycheck for March doesn’t hit my account until the 2nd.  Could I make it through one day on just $2?  Hmmm. 

So there you have it, a few highs and lows for the month of February.  Feeling optimistic about March!  I’m going to spend the next 24 hours considering my March goals.

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