Longest 28 days of my life. February was a beast. And not just because our food spending once again went off the deep end. We’ve a had a brutal winter here in NYC, and spring will be welcomed with open arms and a victory dance. We’re hoping March is better in every way.
March is a big month for us. It’s our last month to gear up for baby #2’s arrival. We’ve got a weekend away planned, some visitors coming into town, and a long list of cleaning and organization to get done before April. I’ve already told Johnny I want him and Sally to just leave for several hours one Saturday so I can deep clean every inch of our apartment like the crazed pregnant woman that I am. It’s also very important that we stay on budget this month since we have a pricey little bundle coming our way. But hospital bills and the promise of sleep deprivation and blowout diapers can’t damper our crazy excitement to finally meet the little lady!
February Budget Recap
But before we move onto March, here’s a quick recap of how our February budget fared:
- We went over on our grocery spending again! By $150 this time. But we did a ton of stocking up at Costco that we won’t have to do again for several months — frozen chicken breasts and ground beef, paper towels, toilet paper, butter, shredded cheese. Okay, the butter and shredded cheese is weird to buy in bulk, but they’re so expensive anywhere else in NYC that I had to.
- Our electricity bill surprised us and was much more expensive in February, so we’ll be going back to our original budgeted numbers for that category.
- We went $30 over in our Everything Else category, mostly because I went ahead and stocked up on some newborn essentials, like a new nursing bra and diapers and wipes.
- We stayed within or under budget for all of our other categories and still managed to meet our savings goals for the month. We also got our tax return, which inflated our savings by several thousand in February. But guess what? It’s all going in a 529 college savings plan pronto (more on that soon).
And now, let us March onward…
March 2015 Budget
|Personal & Clothing: $120 (rolls over monthly)
Everything Else: $305
Gifts: $145 (rolls over monthly… currently at $355)
Vacations: $200 (rolls over monthly… currently at $600)
Total Expenses (minus rent): $2,136
Church/Charitable Donations: 10% of gross income
Savings: at least 25% of net income, but planning on enough side income to have saved 50% at the end of the year
*Living in NYC, our rent is a bit of an anomaly (major understatement) compared to our peers in the rest of the US of A. To give you an idea, it’s more than twice what we were paying in Utah. Yeahhh. But that just means the rest of our budget is that much more essential this year.
March Budget Changes
- We finally found out our new health insurance premium, which is currently $0. But when baby #2 makes her debut in April, it will be changing to about $30 per month.
- Sally’s started a pre-preschool program near our house. It’s just two hours of mommy-free time twice a week, and she is loving the independence! It’s a small program with three other children, and it averages about $15/hour, which is about as reasonably priced as it comes in NYC. It’s been great to see her separation anxiety disappear as her social skills blossom, and we’re also really happy for her to have some guaranteed structure and social time once the baby comes, too. All that said, it’s added $300 to our monthly budget.
Can’t believe March is already here! Cheers to a clean budgeting slate this month. How is your 2015 budget coming along? It’s never too late to get the budget ball rolling!