March 2015 Budget

Argggg!  My first red month of the year.  No More Waffles wrote a post on to rent or own and you should read it (and the comments).  It really hit home last month (and this one too) as my home continues to fall apart.  The 20 year old furnace started acting up.  Winter was still in full swing in March so I couldn't just turn it off.   If I were single I could keep the house warm with space heaters and the ol' gas fireplace.  But the family demands comfort from me!  Such high expectations from 1st world citizens.

I have been putting a couple hundred dollars into it each year for the past 4 years.  Sure it provides my family with heat in the winter and cool dry air in the summer.  However it is one of my nemesis'.  I feel like the dad in the Christmas Story going down to the basement to do battle.  In this house and my last I could usually guess the problem and order the part online.  This time I had no clue and couldn't wait for a part to ship.  So I had to call my local repair man (the same one who put the furnace in all those years ago.

When he arrived he was pleasant as always (yes a big pay day from this guy).  Went down and after 30 minutes announced the main control board was faulty.  I can fix it for only $700.  I wept, I yelled (not really), and died some inside as my savings quickly disappeared for the month.  If I had a warranty or rented the bill would have been negligible or nil.)  Warranties run about $1000 a year or less depending on the age of certain things in your home (like a furnace). 

I have been gambling with the house devil a lot lately with no emergency fund.  Next month I will rant some more on this subject and hopefully you will either sympathize with me or have a good laugh.  For now let's see how the rest of the month went.

I just wanted to mention my whopping 2 percent raise.  I guess that is what the average person gets within my department.  Seems kinda low doesn't it?  Compared to my last raise at my previous company (1%) it is double so maybe I should be happy.  This raise just doesn't compute as my company is doing well and the broader stock market easily beat 2% last year.  This is probably very similar to most of the working class out there.  I call it stagflation of my wallet.  Goes to show you can make more as a stockholder than you could as an employee.

Additional income was from those lovely dividends.  March treated me well with $63 of income.  While this couldn't cover any of my bills it will grow over the years.

Under K or Over J
No repairs and fuel was under budget
Home/Personal Expenses
This was way over budget ($786) from a couple of things.
1) Still over budget buying diapers and clothes for the kids.
2) The evil furnace.
3) I even went over on buying things like toilet paper and toothpaste.  
$200 over budget (quarterly sewer bill and high heating costs didn't help).  Should improve next month as warmer weather starts to move in.
2 Mortgage loans and 1 kid in braces.  Other than that debt free.
Aldi's continues to save me money.  Saved $142.  This continues to be one of my biggest variable expenses.  Since I have control over this I am continuing to find ways to reduce this cost.

What happened DFG?  Went $50 over budget this month.  I don't recall eating out that much.  Ah I remember now.  We donated to my kids charity buy buying a truck load of candy bars at a dollar each.  I sold most at work but we kept about a hundred at home to feed the now pregnant wife with her favorite food over the next several months.  A price well paid and will give me months of hormone relief.  If your reading this my dear wife remember that I love you!

Dining Out
Only went out to eat with the family once this month.  Our best ever!
Candy bars and a lot of them
Tax software and some movie rentals

Savings & Summary
It was a close month but the unexpected (and very expensive) furnace repair cost me my entire months savings.  My expenses exceeded my income by about $100.  Luckily I have built enough buffer in the emergency fund that I was able to cover the repair.

Savings rate for the Month = 0%  (well actually it was negative but 0 is the lowest I will go)

Congrats to all those who met or exceeded their savings goal for the month.  For those who didn't just keep on trying and don't give up.  Persistence is your luck.

Happy saving,



  1. Hang in there DFG... brighter days are ahead, I promise. I too got a poor raise... 3%. But having a good job, thats close to home and pays pretty decent is better than nothing at all. The great news is that the dividend increases over the past month have been fantastic. Keep trying to save that money and invest because there is nothing like getting 15% raises for doing nothing!



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