No matter what I do it feels like we are living paycheck to paycheck. I wanted to start 2013 by spending less and only buying the things we truly need like gas and groceries. Last Wednesday night I ran out of money so a few items like lunch and gas ended up on the credit card. This is how much is left on our Bank of America checking account:
The good news is we already saved $500 this month. I went ahead and sent another $250 to our Discover savings bank account. I can't really explain the feeling of saving money but it feels just as good as swiping a credit card. I'm hoping we can continue to save money and keep the credit card spending down.
Murphy's Law: Most PF bloggers out there are familiar with this term. Yes- "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong" but I'm prepared. Our tax return should be a little bit higher this year so a big portion of that money will go to cover anything that can break or fail. The big items that worry me are the water heater, dishwasher and our washer and dryer. Most of these items are almost 10 years old so I'm waiting around for them to fail. The minor items are stuff like our garage door opener and the garbage disposal. They key to dealing with Murphy is to know he is coming and be prepared, I will not let him / her catch me by surprise.
Expenses: There are things coming up that I need to plan for and I'm not really sure where most of this money is going to come from:
Wedding: In March we have a wedding in New Orleans. Flying is out of the question since it will cost well over $600. We are driving and hopefully gas won't be more than $130 in the small car. I have 65,000 Marriott rewards points so hotel is paid for but we have some friends that want to stay with us. I don't mind sharing a room but we would need more space. My points will not cover a suite and the average going rate for any room is $229. I do know someone that works at another hotel and I could get room comped but again not for our DF's.
Birthday: This year we have a new birthday to celebrate in the family. March will be baby's first birthday and we're already in the planning stage. Somehow I know this will probably set us back at least $200 but my plan is to fully utilize the grandparents. I'm hoping my parents can cover the food catering and the mother in law all the champagne for the toast. My portion of the expenses will be the birthday cake and her gifts. I expect no more than 25 guests but the list keeps growing, do we really need to invite the babysitter?!
Landscaping: March is also the time when we will have to do our landscaping. I need to replace a couple of trees in the front yard so I expect that to set us back another $200. Our gardener will do most of the work and put in mulch so that will be another $150. Another $100 will be flowers and fertilizer. I also need a couple of trees in the back yard but I don't expect those to be more than $40.
If anything else comes up, don't worry there will be a blog post about it.