We vowed not to buy any food this month. But ended up spending $283 for food- basically a spending freeze for a family of 7. Our cupboards, pantry and freezers were overflowing from stocking up in preparation for 5’s arrival. Then our amazing community flooded us with hot tasty meals! End result: we had way too much food. Which is an awesome problem to have with a newborn in the house.
That really caused our overall spending to be low for the month, despite some other larger than normal expenses. One beings we forgot to pay the Hubs life insurance and had 3 months due. (Oops!) Our utility bills were also rather high. But it’s February… in Montana. Perhaps the only month when people seriously start to question why they live here.
February is one of the months we stock up on kids clothes. Winter clothes go on clearance and these warmer outfits can be worn 9 out of 12 months here. So we buy enough for the rest of the year and a size up for the following school year. We hit up Target and Crazy 8, which are our favorite for affordable kids clothes. For boys pants we have to go with Oshkosh, which are the only ones that last through 2 boys before holes show up in the knees. But the pants we buy in September. So we had $61 at Target, then $90 at Crazy 8. We also bought the kids a yearly pass to a Children’s museum which was $70. A new Bible for the oldest who had outgrown his “children’s” bible, which was $20. And Valentine’s Day. We don’t buy the kids gifts outside of Christmas, birthday’s and holidays. But there are no shortage of holidays when you have young kids. They also have an Opa and Oma (my parents) who go nuts at every conceivable holiday.
This month we bought a pop up camper! After we “size” our emergency fund (when our cash starts to exceed the predetermined amount) we either Spend-Save-or Give. Despite keeping more cash on hand for our Sabbatical year, we still exceeded that amount with our tax refund arriving.
I have been looking at pop-up campers for the last two years. We finally found one light enough to be pulled by our van (a must), with 2 king size beds, a full size and a twin size. Plus a slide out kitchen. I am really excited to finally have an easier way to travel with our herd. We scored this deal with $4,000 cash. All the other expenses that were needed like registration, brake assist, etc., were added to the car maintenance category. So that was a bit higher than normal. But the plates are “permanent” which means we won’t ever have to renew them.
Other than that February was a slow month spending wise. Which is good because we are planning on some fun summer adventures.
The most curious thing about our budget is the expenses we don’t have.
We don’t have a mortgage–paid cash for our house!
We don’t have car payments. But own a car, minivan, and motorcycle
We don’t have credit card bills or student loans anymore.
And this year we won’t officially be saving for anything- like retirement.
Read more about how we budget in Real Budget, Easy Budget, or Our Budget (coming soon!).