Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happiness Project: Recap on Finance Month

I've gotta be honest here. I've been mulling this post over in my head and dreading it. Finance month was supposed to be the month where we got our stuff in order. Instead, the universe had a different plan in mind. This last month, Sean lost his job and we became a one income family.

finance tower 1
"Finance" by CyberLiquid on Flickr

The good part? I had already started looking at our finances and had a spreadsheet in order before we found out. We knew what we spent, I'd analyzed our expenditures and we had already started talking about where we could save.

But still, it put us in a bit of a tailspin and it was not at all what I had planned. But here's the rundown on how I did at my initial check list.

- move my multiple 401(k) rollovers to a single location. finally. - no, did not do this.

- check out the investment options for the 401(k) accounts and make a decision already. I let this slide as well, but it sits on my to do list.

- look at our spending and try to identify if we can save in a couple of key areas. Right now I know our water bill and electric bill seem really high. - yes! we did this!
**Specifically for the water bill, we've moved to a 3 or 4 loads a week limit. This seems to cover our darks, lights, whites, and "other" (which is usually linens). For our dish washer, we've moved to a "only run when full" rule.
**For the electric bill, we moved the thermostat a couple of degrees lower at night. Zoom sleeps in blanket sleepers, and we are not usually cold at all. We also turn the heat off during the day.

- assess the feasibility of .... buying a house this year. whoa. Check! Ok, this one is the weirdest update of them all. After looking at the costs of renting versus buying a place, we've actually found out that buying would be cheaper. What the what!?! Yes, you read that right, and I'll post more about this whack-stastic idea in detail sometime soon.

- do more research on coupons. Is there a way to make couponing work without having to buy a ton of stuff or buy stuff I don't usually use? - Check! I've signed up for Safeway coupons in a couple of different ways.

So what is the theme for March? Well, it's Spirit. I'm in the middle of planning for a two retreats and co-leading a Lenten Study Circle on Facebook, so Spirit makes the most sense this month. I'll post up my questions and goals in a post real soon, too. (The Welcoming Spirit blog hop is one of the things I've been hoping to do, and I'm so glad that it's up.)


Lola said...

My spirit seems to be if I can overcome the fear...I'll do just fine.
Thanks for stopping by. It means a lot, really. I didn't have the time to prepare when I lost my job and learning a lot about Me since it is the first time in years I haven't worked. Kinda scary listening to your inner You! Wish me luck...Thanks again. I joined the blog hop...I have so much to learn with this blogging gig. Like how to add buttons and such! I'll get there...Lola

Paula said...

Thank you for stopping by Lola :) It definitely can put you in a tailspin to lose a job. I know you'll find a new job - and I love your positive spirit!