March 2016 Progress

 March Madness

Kinda feels that way anyway.  I’m not sure what exactly happened, but we seem to have been a lot more scattered this month and much less disciplined.  We’re hoping to recharge with a little trip to the beach and come back ready to be a little more focused.

We hit another milestone this month with the final payment sent to Mrs. C’s student loan.  We started the year with five outstanding debts on the paydown tracker and now we have three.  That spreadsheet is starting to get a little boring.  I think I’ll keep it that way!

Current Goal Status:
Financial goals:
  • Reduce overall outstanding debt (including mortgage) by 15%.
    1. Debt reduction for the month was 7.56% which puts us on track for a 16.63% overall reduction for the year. Paying off the student loan balance puts us ahead of our goal!
  • Make contributions to investments (taxable and retirement) of 15% of salary.
    1. We have contributed 12.59% of our income to investment accounts including 401k, 529, ESPP, and Brokerage.
    2. This number dropped a bit from last month due to the large influx from the tax refund.
    3. Since we have more free cash flow each month, I’ve increased the amount going to the investment account by $100/month.  I’m confident that I will be able to increase this again this year as well as making a lump sum contribution later in the year.
  • Eliminate outstanding credit card debt.
    1. Outstanding balances eliminated in Feb.
    2. No interest accrued on revolving balance in March
  • Eliminate remaining student loan debt.
    1. We were able to eliminate this balance with our income tax refund.  No more student debt!
  • Make a contribution to an IRA.
    1. No progress here… yet!
  • Generate revenue from a new income stream.
    1. No progress here… yet!
Expense Goals

Expense goals in Feb were not much better than January.  Still, it was a little better:

  • Meet the $800 per month grocery budget
    1. We actually did this.  March grocery expenses came to $738.  Not keeping up with meal planning and actually making it to the grocery store seems to make this an achievable goal.
  • Reduce dining out to $400 per month (2015 – $600)
    1. Ok, so highest dining out month yet.  We spent $924 on restaurants.  I kinda beat myself up on this topic earlier this month, but it’s been a crazy month all around with ‘life’.
  • Reduce entertainment/alcohol to $250 per month (2015 – $435)
    1. This was our highest month for entertainment as well at $548.  We entertained more, had date night twice this month and hit our last hockey game of the season (The Preds make the playoffs, then I’m heading to Nashville for a game!)
Personal Goals:
  • Meditate at least three days a week
    1. I meditated 16 days this month.  Consecutively!
    2. I owe part of this to the Headspace app.
  • Take walks at least three days a week
    1. Down to about 45k steps this month.  Between the cold early in the month and now extreme amounts of pollen, I’m not getting outside as much as I’d like.
  • Spend at least seven days camping
    1. Nothing this month, but plans in place for June and confirmed a trip to Cumberland Island, GA in October.
  • Go kayaking at least one time
    1. Still Brrr (the water still is anyway).  Not yet.
  • Take one family vacation
    1. I’m posting this from the beach.  Shh!
 Net Worth Update for Q1


Assets up 3.33% in Q1

Liabilities down 7.51% in Q1

Total Net Worth change of +17.04%

March Summary

Even with the frenetic pace of life and a frustrating amount of dining out this month we had a positive cash flow of $870.  With the extra buffer in cash flow, I also set up an additional recurring monthly transfer to our taxable investment account.

Right now, the kids really really REALLY want to head down to the pool.  It’s 65F here at the moment, but it’s sunny and they have unstoppable determination for some swimming.  My guess is that it’ll be a short adventure.  Stay tuned.



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