February 2015 Budget Check-In

Here it is, WAY past the half-way mark in February, but I did want to go ahead and do a little check-in.

Note: We use Mint.com to track our finances.

feb2015checkin

February 2015 Check In

 

The Woohoo! Category includes:

  • Not over-budget in any category yet!
  • Our slush fund looks very good, considering my mini-vacation to Virginia earlier this week. I hardly paid for a thing, other than gas and two (inexpensive) souvenirs.
  • I only needed to fill up twice on the trip to VA, so we’re even a bit under on gas so far.
  • I’ve been able to snowflake a bit of money to our Student Loan Debt Eradication fund. (I’ll give the specifics in the month’s end recap.)
  • We have two more checks to deposit – my mom sent me a birthday check (woohoo! it will go to our fancy schmancy Valentines/Birthday dinner tonight!) and H brought in a little bit of money from his side hustle.

In the Whoops! Category:

  • I had to budget for the $1500+ Airbnb payment for our upcoming France trip in July. We charged the trip on our credit card, and are waiting for reimbursements (which we asked for by the end of February). One person told me he’ll need more time (I told him he could get it to us by the end of March), one person hasn’t responded at all, and another told me the check was in the mail. We shall see….
  • We’re dangerously close to our food budget this month (no surprise there), and that’s with the extra $60 my mom sent to us for an evening out!
  • I’ve already mentioned how I’m disappointed over our 2014 taxes this year, but it’s pretty clear that it worked out in our favor overall (giving me the cash to pay down our debt quickly when I needed it, and we didn’t end up owing). However, we are not going to make an extra Student Loan payment this month, because we want it to be at least $1000 before we make the extra payment, and we’re just shy of that number. Now I want to wait until next month so I can submit the extra payment right after our minimum payment goes through so most of the additional payment will go to the principal, not interest.

Notes:

– The $120 that hasn’t been taken out for kids’ activities is L’s piano lessons – her teacher doesn’t cash the check at the beginning of the month when we write the check, and somehow this always drives me a bit crazy. I like to see things clear as soon as possible!

– The bills area looks pretty low, but that’s only because our electricity bill and water bill seem to come in pretty late in the month. Our AT&T bill was just processed (I think) so that’s probably a bit more even now. (Not that you probably care. Ha ha!) Anyway….

– I’m hopeful that we’ll have a nice chunk of money left over (over all) in our checking account before we get paid on the 28th, and that can all be moved into the Student Loan Debt Eradication Fund so we can make a huge payment in March. Our net income in February won’t be something to write home about due to the $1500 that went out to Airbnb, but some of that will be coming back to us (let’s hope sooner rather than later…).

Question: has anyone had experience with Airbnb overseas? Anyone have any recommendations for traveling to France? We’re considering flying into Paris and taking a train to the town where we’re staying for the conference, and I’m a little concerned about how easy it will be for two Americans who only took French in high school…. Suggestions welcome! And for everyone: how is your monthly budget faring? Do you check in at least twice a month to see how you’re doing?

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5 thoughts on “February 2015 Budget Check-In

  1. I’ve never tried AirBnB overseas, but getting around France without speaking French was really easy. Just learn enough to read the signs – exit, bathroom, etc. You’ll be able to fake it for sure. 🙂

    We aim for budget checkins every two weeks or so. It hasn’t happened this month so it’s not going to be pretty. I wish I had a better way to keep an eye on things, but the Mint budget features drove me crazy last time I tried them.

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    • That’s good to know, Jenna! (About the French, I mean.) I just started looking around at the restaurants in the city where we’re heading, and I realized not only do I need to learn a few more basic French menu terms, I probably need to save a bit more money, as eating out will be expensive!

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