January achievements and February goals

I know this is a very small achievement, but I managed to make it through the entire month of January without any significant overdraft fees. I had a fee that I paid this month because of a credit card overbalance fee last month, but I managed to go the entire month this time without going over. This is something that hasn’t happened since October 2008, so I’m very happy. However, part of this is because I took out $500 of my stocks to help pay for a lot of the expenses that I had out of pocket due to the conference that I was running.

The conference ended up costing me around $1000 out of pocket. I’ll be getting a check back for it in 2-3 weeks. My plan is just to assume that $1000 doesn’t exist and put all of it on my credit card that I opened to pay for my car repair. If I can manage that, I’ll be in a pretty good place at the end of the month.

February is the first month of $10 food days. Cpt. Baseball and I will be working together to make sure that we keep to our low food budget. It is the 3rd day of the month, and so far I’ve spent $13, which isn’t too bad at all. I spent an average of $20/day on food ($612 total). This is a ridiculous amount. So obviously, spending only $10 a day on food will significantly save me money. About $330 this month.

While I love taking Jack to doggy-daycare, he will have a modified schedule this month. I can only afford to take him about 10 days this month. So I’m going to take him every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and when there is such significant weather that I can’t walk him. I hate leaving him in the crate while I’m gone for such a long time at work, but monetarily, I can’t afford to send him every day this month. I’ll take him for a walk in the mornings that I don’t take him to doggy daycare and then drive him to the dog park in the evenings to wear him out. He should be fine, and I know that it is nice for dogs to have relaxing days as well as intense play days. This will save me about $70 this month. Not chump change at all!

With these two changes in my spending behavior, I’ll be able to save almost $400 this month. Which, still leaves me $100 short of what I make per month, but is a large step in the right direction for me!

Goals for February:
*Reduce my credit card debt to $15,400
*Increase my emergency fund to $200
*Spend no more than $280 on food this month
*Spend no more than $280 of pet-related expenses this month
*Pay off my car repair debt
*Have no bank fees this month

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