Well, my financial month is drawing to a close so it’s time to review.
We once again got hit with a several unexpected/irregular expenses. They were all necessary, but they stung. There were things like three months’ worth of a high copay medication ($300), finally replacing the lost key fob ($162), and stocking up (waaaaay up) on protein bars.
That last one built up to an astonishing sum. Target was offering $5 gift cards if you bought a certain threshold of bars. So I placed several orders, each at $25 to $35. I ended up with 20 boxes of protein bars, aka about four months’ worth.
Technically, this was a good deal because I paid less than $1 a bar. But the end total was about $230 — and it’s tough to feel like anything is a good deal at $230. At least I don’t have to worry about protein bars for a while.
Anyway, those financial dings added up to quite a financial dent. And let’s not forget our more regular painful expenses like $600 for my health insurance, $200 for Tim’s massages, $66 for the animals’ Banfield plans, etc.
Even so, it looks like we’ll be able to put away about $700 this month.
The real key is that we have about $450 left at the end of this month. Yep, we had a banner month for lowered spending. There were two financial “weeks” where the weekly money lasted more than seven days. The others ended right on time.
Most of the credit is due to Tim. He’s cut way back on fast food.
The doctor was concerned about his fat intake, and of course I was concerned about the cost of the fast food. (And his health. Obviously that too.)
So Tim obliged us both by trying to keep more to what’s on hand at home. Which is harder than it sounds because we have, like, zero real food here. He has cereal and some snacks, but nothing very substantive.
Obviously, he needs to start eating something a bit more hearty than Reese’s Puffs, but at the moment neither of us has the brain space to solve that issue. The closest thing to a solution has been Hillshire’s new Small Plates. They’re small packages of meats, cheeses, nuts and/or crackers.
They’re not cheap, but they’re definitely cheaper than fast food. And they come with built-in portion control/calorie awareness. Tim’s trying to slowly take off a few pounds, but that’s not an easy proposition when everything hurts. His ADD doesn’t make normal portion control easy either.
So the Small Plates will probably be a mainstay for a bit. Assuming he doesn’t get utterly sick of those, perhaps we’ll try to buy some cheese and meats, cut them up and portion them out ahead of time.
Anyway, the savings this month will push us up to about $4,200, which is pretty fantastic. I’ll be able to pay all the back unemployment taxes immediately. By the time the IRS actually tallies up what I owe in penalties and interest I might even have enough to pay the whole amount without dipping into the emergency fund.*
Speaking of a truly rosy view, I’ll be petitioning to have the penalties waived. I’m skeptical that it’ll be granted since “I didn’t know” is apparently not the IRS’s favorite explanation. But I am turning myself in and acting in good faith. And neither the CPA who set up my corporation nor the one who did my first year’s taxes asked/told me about FUTA or FICA or anything else I needed to worry about, actually. Which I’d think counts as bad advice from a CPA.
How did your financial month go?
*It strikes me that these are optimistic thoughts you shouldn’t have right before you take your car to a mechanic, even for a routine check. I could be jinxing myself, but gol’ durnit I’m feeling positive right now and I might as well enjoy it!