March Budget Review
Monthly Review: March 2018
First off, I’m super disappointed in failing to keep up my monthly posts. I thought about just skipping a few and picking back up with June but I just couldn’t let myself slide like that. People always say “Life Happens” and it indeed does. I’m back in the saddle now and hoping there’s still a few of you readers out there who are interested. I’m going to do my best to also get April and May posted this month.
March is my birthday month! I turned 28 and while I had a goal of reaching $250k before that date, a combo of market and crypto turndowns set me back a bit. I did have one pretty insane purchase this month though… a 2001 F-150 Supercrew 4x4 pickup truck! Be on the lookout for a post breaking down why I decided to ditch my loaded out 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid for the 17 yr old bruiser.
This month also marked my 5 year anniversary of going down and supporting Ciudad De Angeles in Cozumel. Ciudad is an amazing model for children’s orphanages and is filled with some of the brightest kids I’ve ever seen. If you’re ever down that way, skip the touristy stuff and setup a tour of their facility and meet some of the kids yourself. You’ll be hooked! I was down there 9 days myself this month and did not want to leave.
On to the numbers breakdown
This is my standard income after taxes. There’ll be some changes soon with some changes to my retirement accounts changing the Roth / Traditional distribution as well as taking the new retirement plan from the Air Force which includes a 5% match.
Ouch! That’s the most I’ve spent since I started tracking my numbers. I guess it’s not too bad though because I still saved 51.6% of my income and I bought a truck for $2,500. So if you removed the truck from the equation, I’d probably be at an all-time low for Boston of $1,335.08. Now that I can live with. Especially since the truck expense isn’t a fair one. I’m just trading money not really spending it but since I wasn’t able to sell the car the same month as the truck I decided to list it this way.
Going Out: $53.82
Much like my low grocery budget, Haterz gonna say its fake. This category involves any food I didn’t cook myself or any alcohol purchase. I had a buddy come into town and we had an awesome dinner at the Hourly Oyster in Harvard square where I dropped $30.75, I hit up an Indian buffet also in Harvard Sq for $18.07 and did some socializing at the Club on base for a cool $5. Pretty minimal damage this month.
The last two months I racked up $72.91 & $65.46 at the grocery store but I also got tons of meat for the freezer. Having the proteins pre-paid allowed me to get back down to the low low price of $36.24 for March. I was also in Mexico for about 9 of the days and had already set aside money for eating there.
Bills for this month include Rent ($775), Unlimited Data Cell Phone ($85), Spotify ($5), Car Insurance ($96.65), Utilities ($75), and another stupid month of Chegg ($15). I somehow forgot to cancel again. I can safely say it is indeed cancelled now.
The only thing that shows up in my spreadsheet this month is the Epic Pass. The Epic Pass gives you unlimited access to a laundry list of ski resorts across the country. These passes are normally very expensive… $900! But they did an amazing thing this year and offered it to Military members for only $99 + processing. I love skiing but hate buying lift tickets. This will make the winter so much more fun.
As I mentioned before I also went to Mexico for 8 days but anyone who has done accounting knows that expenses don’t always show up in the same month that there realized. I had already paid for my Air BnB and raised money for the groceries and activities I would do with my sponsor child Norma.
I spent most of my days doing work crew where we cleared jungle and burned brush so they can continue developing out their property to expand and bring in more children. On our one free day I took Norma to a nice relaxing beach day with some snorkeling. I cooked most of my meals, stayed in a local Air BnB and biked my way around to keep the price very low.
Credit Card Hacking: $12
Uh oh. New topic alert. A few premium credit cards out there offer to cover the fee for Military members. These cards also come with great sign on bonuses. The problem with those bonuses is you have to spend a certain amount in the first three months to qualify. That’s not a problem for a normal person but for us ultra frugal… well we need some help. So I did a little manufactured spending which cost me $12 but unlocked the $750 travel bonus!
Feels weird seeing this category so high. Also seems weird having a vehicle listed as a miscellaneous expense but I’m not creating a new category in my spreadsheet for cars…I’m just too far in at this point. Besides the truck I had to pay some shipping, get some random things from Wal-Mart, and buy a little something for a retirement.
Started the month off fairly full and was out for 9 days so I came out pretty cheap this month.
Big Picture: Net Worth $7,529 decrease to $227,699
These negative months really suck. Especially back to back. I was SOOO close to $250k and now it feels like forever away. Another rough month in stocks and cryptos. My investments saw an $11,600 drop and my overall networth dropped $7,529. Got to have some bad times every now and then. Just gonna keep chugging and believe in the long game.
Thanks for reading! If you want more detail or would like to see a different way of breaking down spending please reach out with a comment.