February Finances

Spending on Hobbies/Leisure : Photography in February increased 6830% to a total of $1,131.67.

February was an expensive month, but it was planned that way. I've been buying stock $10 per pay check for several years now. I've wanted to replace my camera and go digital, so I'd planned to use some of that stock, when it got high enough, to purchase the camera. This month, I did just that. With enough left for a really nice Valentine's Day dinner and a new printer. That said, we didn't watch the rest of the money as closely as we should have so things got tight right at the end of the month. We weren't able to make an extra deposit in the checking account and because of the stock sale, our net worth (according to MS Money) actually went down $30.00 (It's still negative.)
On the other hand, we stuck to our budget quite well other than the one-time special purchases and one of our credit cards is now paid off. March looks to be a big income month too. My job pays bi-weekly, so two months of the year, we get 3 pay checks, and the third doesn't have the optional deductions (insurance, transit, etc) taken out, so it's a touch bigger. Also, tax returns and possibly a bonus are on the way. So we'll pay off another card, and put the rest into savings to pay for two trips we're taking later this year.

Our goals are, by my birthday (in July), to have $0 in credit card debt. (The only other debt we'll have is Education Loans) We also hope to have $2500 in our savings account as an emergency fund, and have enough to cover the first of our trips in the savings account. (We'll move that money to the checking account before we go.)
By the end of the year, we plan to still have $0 carried on credit cards (we may use the card, but we'll pay it off each month) and start an IRA for TBWITWW (I have a really good 401k and she'll have a small one by then, but we need to put more away for her.) We'll be setting an additional savings goal once we have a better grasp on what the finances look like with the credit card debt cleared. We need to start working on a down payment for a house. Our credit took some hits over the last several years, so we know we're better off waiting so we'll be in a better position when it comes time to start shopping for loans.

I'm just starting on this financial journey, so there's much fine tuning to do. But I'm excited and motivated, which I've never been before.

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