Hello Dear Readers,
January was a big month for our household! I officially switched from a salaried job that I hated to an independent contractor job. The switch has been good so far but I haven’t been doing it long enough to really make a good judgement of it financially or personally, but my fingers are crossed that it exceeds my expectations.
We had our big vacation to Disney World that we had been planning since fall of last year. We had a wonderful time but it was no surprise that we all contracted the flu after the trip. Four airplanes in the middle of flu season…no way to come out unscathed. Throw my birthday into the month and we had one big event after another.
Let’s dive right in…
- Combined Net Income: $13,149.23
- Returns of previously purchased items: $23.69
- Return of annual premium for denied disability insurance: $4,769.88
- Earned dividends on bank accounts: $70.37
Total Earned Income: $18,013.17
- Mortgage: $2,289.90
- Preschool: $822.50
- Cell Phones: $102.71
- Utilities: $203.99
- Internet: $44.99
- Personal Trainer: $940 (two months for me and my husband)
- Home Owners Association dues: $600
- Restaurants: $238.79
- Grocery: $232.60 (very low for our family but we traveled for a week and had a gift card that we used on groceries for another week)
- Gas: $205.96
- Clothes and Shoes for the husband: $214.32
- Dog sitter for Disney trip: $125.00
- ATM: $100
- Medical: $64.48
- Hair: $42
- Flowers from the husband for my birthday: $21.95
- Post office: $8.20
- Car Wash: $7
- Credit Card 1- $496.21
- Credit Card 2- $7,192.07
Total Expenses: $13,952.67
The credit card charges consisted of airfare, hotel and our dining plan for our Disney trip, some remaining Christmas purchases that weren’t on the December statement, a new iPhone for work, paying off our other iPhone with our provider, and sling tv subscription. Some purchases on one of these cards were returned and that will be reflected in our February statement. We are starting to play with credit cards a little more in order to get the reward points. I’m planning on closing one of our current credit cards that doesn’t give us very many rewards and opening up some new accounts this year.
I’m excited to point out that we are in the middle of “dry January” and purchased ZERO dollars of alcohol for the month. This is a big deal for our family. Sunday marks the official end of football season and my man tends to consume a little bit more in the fall as he watches his favorite teams. Our monthly alcohol purchases were as high as $254 at one point. It doesn’t help that my husband likes the crafty IPAs which cost a bit more than other beers. Dry January is a chance for him to let his liver rest and save us a couple hundred bucks. Going forward we will likely average $100-150 a month pending the type of alcohol we select. We don’t drink nightly but we also don’t drink cheap alcohol so even with weekend only consumption it still adds up.
From an income perspective we still did really good with my job change. We do have to set some money back from my income for taxes. So we should see a big jump in savings with big quarterly withdrawals when we pay these tax bills. Additionally, I should be approved for a disability plan that I applied for with a different company and the $4700+ dollars that was returned to our account will be taken out for that annual premium.
Our beginning account balance on January 1, 2020 was $47,539.71 and our end of the month balance is $53,360.79 which is an increase of $5,821.08. Again, most of this will be coming out when my disability insurance is approved. This is a large amount of money to have sitting in a high earning checking account but we don’t feel comfortable gambling with this money. We have six months of living expenses saved and while we could earn a lot more interest on this money in a stock market account, we could also lose a lot of money if the market were to tank.
I’m hoping to start making some additional mortgage payments in the next two months to work towards our goal of being mortgage free. I want to get a few months at my new job under my belt first to ensure I will be successful financially.
As always, thanks for reading and feel free to comment if there’s anything you see that we can do better on. I have no doubt there are many.