Wednesday, March 12, 2014

February financial recap - where did all of the money go?

At the end of each month, I look back to evaluate how we did against each budget category, and determine what changes I need to make in the months ahead to keep us on track with our yearly budget.

February was a wild month - lots of car repairs, my birthday, Sam's 8th birthday, a trip to see family, Valentine's Day, & an extremely high amount of dining out (as a result of all of the special events & travel).

Here's how we did!

I received a peer bonus at work - $86
And made a little money on eBay - $25
Plus our normal paychecks
Grand total of $15,629. (This is our net, after health insurance, retirement savings, taxes, & charitable giving come out, plus all of the regular old deductions).

We also made $3,800 on our rental property in Washington.

And, total spending (includes both mortgages on our two residences, and our rent in San Francisco):

Major areas where we were over:

  • Our auto category. Two cars needed new tires. Budget is $200, we spent almost $1,000.
  • Dining out. Budget is $150, we spent $516!
  • San Francisco Utilities - budget is $400, we spent $660. Cost of increased power & water usage.

Areas where we were under:
  • Gas - we continue to spend less than anticipated. (Our budget last year included lots of driving to our vacation house, as well as trips to the mountain for skiing). Under by $150
  • Groceries - who can believe it?! As you can guess from the dining out, we ate way too many meals out for birthdays, and on our trip. The grocery bill was a record low of $286, so saved $163.

That's pretty much it. It was not the normal month, but I'm glad that I track, & plan ahead. March will involve finalizing our taxes, which is most definitely not going to be pretty. I need to start planning for that.

How was your February spending? Any big areas where you were over or under? Do you need to adjust your yearly budget to stay on track? 


  1. Through the roof on repairs to the house we are selling. So much so, I stopped keeping track - too upsetting. But we have not bought groceries, or hardly eaten out, so some of that was off-set. I am really ready to get back to normal! One more month of crazy!

    1. Fingers crossed that you get through the crazy with your sanity intact! We spent a bunch of money on repairs when we got our Washington house ready to rent. And, their are plenty of monthly fees associated with the renters. Oh boy. ;-)

  2. Sometimes things just go wonky. This month I had to replace the stove and water heater so I feel your pain. But next month will be better. Just keep on keeping on :)

    1. It happens, right? The one month where you need a car repair, everything else falls apart. ;-)

  3. I have enjoyed following your blog, especially when you moved to the Bay Area because I live here also. I know the prices are crazy here, and was curious to see how you were still able to manage your budget. Can you please tell me where you do your grocery shopping? Thx.

    1. Thanks - we pay more in some categories, & less in others. It's a bit of a mixed bag. Less in auto insurance (surprisingly), a lot more in housing costs, food is about even, and we eat out so infrequently (February aside), as we both work *a lot*. I don't like to eat out after having been gone from the house all day.

      We shop once a week at Costco, and fill in with produce at the local fruit/veggie stand, as needed. Because of our work schedule, it's very difficult to add in other grocery shopping, which has kept our cost in check. We also get free meals & snacks at work, which has helped tremendously.

  4. Wow! You all make a lot of money. Great work on your income. It's not easy to work hard and set yourself up for a 6 figure income.

    1. Well, there are times when it's worth it, and other times. . . where it's just a lot of effort & doesn't feel worth the sacrifices. I go back & forth. ;-) Making money is definitely not my measure of success, but without the income, we couldn't afford where we live. I can't decide whether it's a blessing or a curse. It's both, I think. It's easy to get caught up in a "spend" mentality, that's for sure.