February 2014 Monthly Budget Review

It’s hard to believe that I’m already writing my second monthly recap. It really shows how quickly time passes and how easy it is to get distracted and let our goals quietly slip past us, regardless of how significant they once seemed.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I spent Valentine’s Day weekend binge-watching House of Cards Season Two. Okay, I spent quite a few nights this month watching social dramas on Netflix, but it’s been cold. And staying in can be kind of very nice.

Was February good to you?

The Budget Recap:

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with February’s budget, especially since I managed to save $2,708 (hello, tax return!) Once I noticed the IRS deposit in my account, I invested the extra money before I even had time to consider other ways that it could have been spent.

The gas overage was unavoidable due to one of the coldest winters in Tennessee’s history! The hefty gifts expense was mostly due to last minute Valentine’s Day gifts for my parents and my grandmother. Unfortunately, my procrastination in buying and sending the presents led to outrageous costs at the post office, but I wanted them to get there in time. It’s the thought that counts, right?

My one time expenses were: TurboTax ($54.61), my annual eye exam ($20), Hootsuite University ($21), Bluehost ($123.38), Southwest Companion flight ($5), and shipping my Macbook charger from Canada ($43.71).

A few of these overages should really be filed under a “carelessness expense” sub-category. Sigh.

One day I’ll learn from my mistakes. But let’s be real: a lifelong habit of being a procrastinator will not be solved overnight. Nor will a tendency to be absent-minded.

February Budget Screen Shot

Other Goals:

Cashville Skyline

February posts: 9

Most popular post: The Tiny House Movement: Where Do You Fit In?

Alexa ranking: 598,442

Twitter followers: 394

Facebook likes: 1 (and it’s me, *insert sad face*)

I joined the Yakezie challenge, switched to self hosting, added some cool plugins, and started a Pinterest page! I’ve also been pairing my (limited) graphic design skills with some of my photography to create some shareable images, and I’ve edited a small amount of my theme’s CSS.

Education

I’ve completed Skillcrush 101, but I’m behind on my portfolio website project. Hopefully I can get that done in the next week or so. It’s time consuming, but I know it will be worth it.

Health

I epically failed on both of my health goals (cooking more lunches and exercising), but I’m ready to try again in March. I’m not sure why my health-related goals are always my lowest priority, but I need to better manage my time and commit to them.

Edit: I cooked big ol’ pot of minestrone soup last night, so it looks like I’m already starting this goal off right. Score!

March Goals:

1. Keep up the momentum with budget and Cashville Skyline.
2. Complete Skillcrush 101 portfolio website project.
3. Cook lunches for at least two of the four weeks. One down, one to go!
4. Exercise at least three times per week.
5. Try to avoid driving. Bike or ride the bus whenever possible (more on this later!)

Thank you all again for the continued encouragement. I’ve loved receiving everyone’s feedback on my birthday, health insurance, hosting, investing, tiny houses, are more. This blogging experience has been far cooler than I ever could have imagined!

Readers: How was your February? What are your March goals?

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Discussions — 29 Responses

  • Income Surfer March 3, 2014 on 11:13 am

    It looks like you did darn well to me Cashville. I know you guys in Tenn will be happy when the spring thaw comes, weather this year has been crazy. Have a good week and keep up the good work.
    -Bryan

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Income Surfer March 3, 2014 on 1:08 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, Bryan!

      Reply
  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach March 3, 2014 on 2:14 pm

    2,700 is savings is awesome!!! Hope the weather warms up and you can start biking soon. We actually had “weather” in LA this past weekend. Shocking! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Tonya@Budget and the Beach March 3, 2014 on 2:25 pm

      I heard about L.A. crazy weather! It’s actually snowing in Nashville right now. Definitely looking forward to spring in a few weeks!

      Reply
  • Retired by 40 March 3, 2014 on 3:22 pm

    Love this budget! Easy, simple, and calls you out! Way to go saving $2,700 in February! Also, you have a great goal to drive as little as possible, and can I say, I am completely jealous. I live in St. Louis, where today it is 3 degrees…. πŸ™ However, once it warms up I’ll be biking everywhere I can!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Retired by 40 March 3, 2014 on 4:55 pm

      The day after I make this goal, Nashville has its first snow day of 2014, and the even the busses aren’t out. Hahaha. I can’t wait to start riding my bike more. I want to get into the habit before the summer hits and start making excuses because of the heat!

      Reply
  • Jon @ Money Smart Guides March 3, 2014 on 9:32 pm

    February was a slow month on the income front but I had a lot of work to do “behind the scenes”. I still have a good amount to do in the background but I’m hoping everything I did in February will start paying off soon.

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Jon @ Money Smart Guides March 3, 2014 on 9:36 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Jon. I’m sure that March will be a more profitable month for you and all your hard work will start paying off real soon.

      Reply
  • Raquel@Practical Cents March 4, 2014 on 12:02 am

    Congrats on you savings! Love it when I can get a tax refund. I just finished House of Cards Season 2 this past weekend. Loved it!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Raquel@Practical Cents March 4, 2014 on 12:32 am

      The only bad thing about binge-watching House of Cards Season 2 as soon as it was released is a really long wait until Season 3!

      Reply
  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life March 4, 2014 on 1:56 am

    Good for you for getting that return invested before you managed to do anything else with it. Very impressive. The way the months fly by is so crazy. Faster each year.

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life March 4, 2014 on 2:40 am

      Thanks, Stefanie! I don’t mind the winter flying by. I’m so ready for spring πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • E.M. March 4, 2014 on 3:31 am

    Nice work on putting your tax return toward investments! Health goals always seem to fall by the wayside for me as well, even though I know they should be #1! I keep hearing about House of Cards…I’m afraid to look into it lest it becomes another distraction! =)

    Reply
    • Addison Cash E.M. March 4, 2014 on 3:43 am

      Oh, House of Cards is the best kind of distraction there is πŸ™‚

      One of the great things about monthly goals is the ability to try again in 30 days. It’s never too late to turn things around.

      Reply
  • Mr Ikonz @ Project Ikonz March 4, 2014 on 11:34 am

    Can’t believe just how closely you track to your budget!
    Ironically, I was up over $22k in my Feb net worth update, but I don’t actually have a budget that I use (next task).

    I really like your combination of financial and well-being goals.

    I didn’t notice any investments (outside of savings). Do you make any regular, long term investments?

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Mr Ikonz @ Project Ikonz March 5, 2014 on 1:10 pm

      I’m impressed that you’re able to do so well without a budget! Keep up the good work! My savings are investments at this point. I’ve been transferring all savings into index funds and ETFs.

      Reply
  • Michael@Save-Invest-Grow March 4, 2014 on 6:01 pm

    Congrats on a great month! Very nice job on the budget. I also watched all of House of Cards season 2 this month. I was feeling a little guilty about spending that much time on it, but winter has been brutal here in the Midwest, so oh well. I’m hoping to get outside a bit more in March!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Michael@Save-Invest-Grow March 4, 2014 on 8:31 pm

      Thanks, Michael. I may need a Netflix detox this spring (or my father to change the password on his account!) Haha.

      Reply
  • Ryan @ Impersonal Finance March 4, 2014 on 7:50 pm

    You did awesome to save that much money Addison! And your design skills are certainly starting to show, as some of the images you’ve used are amazing. But I know what you mean. If I spent as much time exercising as I did watching TV, I’d be in way better shape. But hopefully March won’t be as cold, and I can start getting outside again. Best of luck in March!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Ryan @ Impersonal Finance March 4, 2014 on 8:28 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, Ryan! Definitely looking forward to tuning the bike and getting outside soon.

      Reply
  • Holly@ClubThrifty March 4, 2014 on 8:49 pm

    So many people had crazy utility bills this month. Totally not your fault. I blame mother nature =(

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Holly@ClubThrifty March 5, 2014 on 12:03 am

      Fingers crossed for a mild summer in Tennessee this year πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Kay March 5, 2014 on 1:22 am

    Looks like you did a great job. With this cold winter we are definitely seeing an increase in utility costs. I just consider ourselves lucky that we can pay it without much trouble, it must be very hard for a lot of folks out there.

    I’m trying to get started on the Pinterest thing too! Good luck!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Kay March 5, 2014 on 1:06 pm

      You are totally right, Kay. We are very lucky that the unbelievably cold winter hasn’t created financial hardship.

      Reply
  • Thomas March 5, 2014 on 10:45 am

    Man you’re doing real good with the savings! Keep up the good work captain cashville!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Thomas March 5, 2014 on 1:07 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, Thomas!

      Reply
  • Little House March 6, 2014 on 2:53 pm

    You did well in February. I’d say keep up the momentum and I’m curious to hear about your experiment with driving less and biking more. The east coast is definitely getting hit hard with a brutal winter. Hopefully it will warm up for everyone soon (and it’d be nice if the rain gods showered California a little more!)

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Little House March 6, 2014 on 6:11 pm

      Judging from your logo, I’m guessing you’re a big biking advocate πŸ™‚

      Thanks for following my experiment. I hope to write a post on it soon!

      Reply
  • Health Driven: My Attempt to Ditch the Car - Cashville Skyline December 21, 2015 on 4:18 pm

    […] Monday’s February Recap post, I mentioned that I had failed epically on my health goals (cooking my lunches and exercising). […]

    Reply