So, how did I do on my goals for Feb?
1) Double my fast offerings. Check. I did that for both Feb and March. So far so good. (I didn’t double for Feb, and then double again in March. That’s a little much for me.) And I have to say, I think that it is working. Maybe it is the paying off the credit cards thing or the raise thing, but somehow, I have more money this month. I even upped our allowances.
2) Don’t buy anything unnecessary. I think I did pretty good on that. I looked through my checkbook and I don’t see anything that sticks out. And, I did not get my hair cut, even though it desperately needs it and I hate it more and more every day. I am going tomorrow. I tried to go last night, but they closed at 7 for a staff meeting, and I walked up at 6:57. Ugh.
3) Increasing the value of our home. This one kind of bombed. We started out good, working on it when we said we would, and we did get some stuff done, but then after we put the hood up in the kitchen, the work slowed down. Then screeched to a halt. Alann says he will finish the hood over spring break. (It is attached to our cabinetry, but there is no duct-work.) I would love to say that we will finish it, but it is such a big job sometimes that it gets daunting.
Also, my 401k is set up and my old one is rolled and so that is a load off my mind. I am glad we got the new 401k here. I was a little turned off by no retirement plan when I started, but now there is one and that makes it so much easier.
And I have changed my direct deposit so that I am less likely to spend my money unwisely. In doing so, I decided to open an ING electric checking account. This will allow me to pay my bills without waiting for the money to transfer from ING to my evil bank account. And, now I can transfer to the CU too, which is more helpful than anything else.
On a side note, I did get my garden all planned out. Of course, now that I read The Simple Dollar’s post about planning a kitchen garden, I am feeling inspired to plant more tomato plants, because while I do not really care for them raw, I LOVE salsa, tomato sauce on pasta, and we add canned tomatoes to just about everything. So now I am trying to reconsider. I am sure I have space if I rearrange things a little. Maybe. Last year, the tomatoes became a jungle. I kind of wish I had a spot just for tomatoes. Some people here just grow them in their front yard “flower bed” areas. Mine have to be protected from the dogs, because Tanner would either destroy them, or he would wait until they fruited and then pick them and eat them himself and save none for me.
Last night, I took my engagement ring in for inspection . We have a guarantee that should anything happen to my ring- the diamond falls out, the setting breaks, etc- they will repair it or replace it with an equal ring for free. This guarantee is only in effect if I take it in for inspection every 6 months. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is every 6 months, not every year or 18 months, so that you have to come in and browse. (I just ate a jelly bean that tasted like a diaper. (The way a diaper smells, I haven’t ever licked a diaper.) It was a clean diaper, but disturbing none the less.) Anyway, I went in last night, and as there is nothing else to do while they inspect and clean my ring, I started looking at all the pretty sparkly things. I have a secret weakness for big sparkly things. I always secretly hope that Alann will buy me jewelry for my birthday or Christmas, even though I know it is not feasible. I try to subdue the beast with costume jewelry, but there is a difference between real and fake. Now I love my engagement ring. Alann picked it out himself and when it is clean, it is very very pretty. But I have noticed since moving to Utah, that the fad here is for the big “mound” rings- a solitaire surrounded by other stones, or with stones down the side of the band. This one ring usually functions as wedding and engagement rings. Mine is a solitaire. I like it, but sometimes I wish it were more. I have looked into getting a band with channel-set diamonds that would accent it and we have talked about getting my diamond reset with other "stuff." So I noticed last night what are called “solitaire enhancers.” It’s basically a second ring that my ring would sit inside, so that it would look more like the big mound rings. I tried it on. It was really pretty. It was “only” $400, he could get it down to $350 for me. I was sorely tempted. It fit perfectly. I left without it, but I did tell Alann about it. (Hint hint nudge nudge, maybe for Christmas…I’ll buy you a wii if you buy me this) I think it would be a good intermediate step between this one and getting this one reset with other stuff too.
On to my monetary goals for March:
1) Save 1/3 of the cost of flights to Missouri for Craig’s wedding. This is roughly $200, which sounds scary. Alann’s parents have offered to buy our tickets, but I do want to pay for as much as possible. They have enough other stuff to do.
2) Save 1/4 of the cost of the flight to Missouri for my friend’s wedding in June. Alann isn’t going. (At least he has expressed no interest in going.) This should be $75. Saving for these things may result in a slight cutback in debt repayment. But since I had $250 left over after my bills were paid this month, I think we can maybe handle it.
3) I can’t really think of anything else. A lot of the big nagging things have been taken care of so I don’t have much to go on. As usual, I will try to keep our expenses low, stay on budget, and pay off as much debt as possible.
So off we go on another fun month.