Where's Margie's Money?



March Goals Recap

(photo credit)

Hello April!  Oh man, it is GORGEOUS outside today, spring is here!  It’s supposed to hit the mid 80s inland (70s on the coast) and I’d love to be out at the beach right now, soaking it all in.  Just have to make it through the day – I hardly have any plans for this weekend and I can’t wait!

I can’t believe March went by so quickly!  This has been a great month – my first full month of blogging and tracking my expenses.  I know I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve made some great strides.  And what a difference a budget makes!  Usually at the end of the month I’m stressing about how much money I don’t have.  This month I even had a surplus (well, a tiny surplus but a surplus none-the-less . . . with ZERO credit card utilization.  That’s HUGE!)!

Here’s a recap/update of my March Goals:

Personal

  • SUCCESS! Finish knitting blanket for my friend’s baby who is due, um, any second now.  I’ll visiting them next week for two days and I want to have it done so I can gift it!  I was able to finish this the night before I delivered the blanket in person. 🙂
  • SUCCESS! Finish my current book (“Wuthering Heights” – I’ve NEVER read it before!) and then finish one more.  Shouldn’t be a problem since next week I’ll be doing so much traveling. Finished “Wuthering Heights” and “The Other Boleyn Girl” on my trip.  I’m currently reading “The Happiest Baby on the Block” in preparation for our little one.
  • SUCCESS! Navigate Washington D.C. with grace (my first trip to the city to attend a conference for work). This ended up being easy peasy.  I really look forward to returning for a longer visit one day.
  • SUCCESS! Have a great time visiting my friend in Virginia without going over budget. I spent $170 and my budget was $200.
  • FAIL. Go on at least one date with DH. We didn’t go on a date but did have a chance to spend two Saturday afternoons together running errands and visiting friends.
  • SUCCESS! Organize or fix four spaces in our apartment. I sorted through my stockpile of Real Simple magazines, cleaned the kitchen window (inside and out), booted up my old lap top and transferred files that I wanted to keep (but I still need to e-recycle it), and I took a bunch of paint to the hazardous waste recycling center.
  • SUCCESS! Donate, trash, or recycle at least 20 items in our home. I didn’t keep an itemized list but I’m sure it was well over 20 items . . . I recycled a bunch of Christmas decorations, 5 old yearbooks (I only kept the one from my senior year), an IKEA vase, some old stuffed animals from my childhood, and nearly a dozen cans of old spray paint . . .
  • FAIL! Send thank you notes for the two wedding gifts we just received (all other thank yous have been long sent).  I’m such a loser for not doing this yet.  Must. be. done. ASAP.
  • SUCCESS? Walk the dog at least four days a week. I didn’t keep track but I’m 90 percent certain that I took Kona for a walk at least four times per week (except for the week I was out of town).
  • SUCCESS! Find out the gender of our little one!  Yup, it’s a girl!!
  • FAIL! Organize wedding photos and decide which ones I’ll have printed and framed (will try to work in these costs into April’s budget). I made some really great progress on this one but didn’t finish the project.  I’m 75 percent done with the album and then I need to decide which ones we’ll actually print and frame for our walls.  This has actually been quite the time suck!

financial

  • SUCCESS! Create a monthly budget and track spending. I have my budget in an excel spreadsheet and I input spending several times a week to stay on track.
  • SUCCESS! Brown bag my lunch to work four out of five days of the week minimum. (I only ate out for lunch once this month – and it was less than $5!)
  • SUCCESS! Deposit $1,700 into savings for February 2011 and March 2011. I deposited $1,750 yesterday – that felt SO GOOD!
  • SUCCESS! Attend 7 yoga classes (IF this fits into my budget) – otherwise attend five. I was able to afford 7 and I went to all of them. 

I’ll post more on my March budget later this weekend when I have a chance to review all the numbers, but I do know that I came in under budget by $39.70!  I decided that I’m going to donate that (well, I’m rounding it up to an even $40) to my friend’s parents who just lost their home in a fire last month.  They are low-income immigrants and didn’t have ANY insurance . . . they lost EVERYTHING.  $40 isn’t much but when you don’t have anything, even the littlest gestures help.  It’s my way to pay my positive progress in March forward. 🙂

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