Wednesday, April 06, 2005

March 2005 Wrap-Up

Well, March is finally over. Now I can stagger backward and survey the damage.

Conscientious followers will note that my credit card debt blossomed from last month. Explanation: $8,450 of that debt is at 0% and is being arbitraged into a 3% return in my ING account. Thus it also shows up in my "Liquid Assets" category. The other $917 is the balance on my Citi Dividend card at month's end. I pay this card in full every two weeks. Though the balance is never carried longer than two weeks, it does affect my net worth at any given point in time. So I could either just subtract it from the "Liquid Assets" entry (what I'd done up to this point), or list it as credit card debt the way it is now. This way is easier.

I consider March to have been a messy month. Sure, our net worth increased by about $400 from February, with my liquid assets increasing by $267 (after adjusting for the arbitraged $8,450). But I simply feel that I spent more than I should have done.

Let's consider the irregular expenses that I encountered in March:

  • Dental bill copayment for wife: $154 (forgot it was coming)
  • Miscellaneous lawn 'n' garden: $131
  • Replaced/repainted wood siding on home: $397
  • One day vacation from work: ~$100
  • Maintenance / repairs to Honda: $209

    March was the first month ever in which I managed to brown-bag my lunch every single day. Yet Quicken tells me we dined out 7 times in March. At least four of these instances were directly due to us being tied up in repairing our house. So I could probably lump about $65 of my March dining expenses into the "House: Repairs" category to be more precise, which would leave us with "Food: Dining" expenditures around $40. Last month (February) we spent $112.18 dining out, including work lunches for me early in the month (before I saw the light).

    Note of Interest: Our auto fuel costs in the fourth quarter of 2004 were $134.98. For the first quarter of 2005, these costs totaled $190.31. That's an increase of $55.33, or about 40 percent. Looks like I can figure on spending about $19 more per month on gas, at least.

  • — Posted by Michael @ 12:29 AM

    ** Comments Closed on this Post **

    Thoughts on my personal finances, goals, experiences, motivations, and accomplishments (or lack thereof).

    My financial life began turning around when I took responsibility for it.
    — Dave Ramsey


    Start (2005-12): ~$21,900
    Currently: $0
    [About Our Debt Paydown]


    Savings Goal: $15,000
    Currently: ~$15,115
    [About Our Liquid Savings Goal]