Financial Update: April 2017

We got ON IT this month.

- I earned a month's worth of pay at my second job, which helped EVERYTHING
- We stuck to our written budget 
- We used our cash envelopes perfectly (paid for everything using cash except fuel, which we use debit cards for)
- We really killed it with groceries this month!

We always struggle with the grocery budget. Always. However, this month we nailed it. Since we started following Dave's plan, we always set a monthly grocery budget, then we break that number down and divide it equally across the weeks. For instance, this month we set aside $320 cash for groceries. We divided that into $80 each week. Early on in the month, though, we spent more than $80 each week and ended up dipping into next week's grocery cash.

That left us with $29.00 for groceries the final week of April.

Instead of crying about it, saying "we'll do better next month", and going back to the ol' plastic card to make up the difference (which would have put us $51 over budget), we chose to embrace it. We took our $29 and turned it into a challenge; we'd eat ULTIMATE poor people food. For our own amusement, we dubbed it Ulti-Po' Week.

We racked our brains for the cheapest meals possible. I begged my mom for simple, old-timey recipes from the farm. I Googled "Great Depression cooking." Relying heavily on cornbread and leftovers, we devised the cheapest, most minimal meal plan and grocery list imaginable to get us through this last week.

Then we hit Sprouts.

I pulled up my calculator on my phone, and we added up everything as it went into the cart, making sure we were staying below $29.00 and allowing room for tax.

Somehow, we managed to get everything on our list. And our grand total???

$27.07. We had two dollars to spare. 

That, dear reader, was an Oliver family first, and completely unexpected during Ulti-Po' Week.

So, how did it all turn out? Here's a side by side glance at our debt snowball progress from last month:

Those numbers still seem so incredibly overwhelming, so inspired by some of my debt free community friends on Instagram, I decided to break things down to focus on our current snowball attack and savings goal:

This is a much more hopeful and optimistic visual look at the debt we're currently attacking as well as a good way to keep track of the cash we're flowing into savings to put toward an impending used car purchase this fall when my lease ends.

So yes, April was the best month we've had financially in a while, which has renewed my Baby Step #2 excitement!

1 comment

Anna Marie Schaefer said...

Nice work! So excited to see good news again.