First Friday Finance Fun for March

By Melissa

Happy April! Did you think this month would ever come? Because I was partly convinced that the month of March would never end. IT WAS ROUGH. And the really tricky part is that April might be just as long, if not longer! Good luck, friends. Good luck.

So this past month was a little interesting with our finances. We didn’t necessarily plan on a global pandemic limiting our ability to work and earn an income. Since dental hygiene is considered a non-essential treatment, and due to the fact that hygienists are one of the most susceptible professions to be exposed to the virus, I am no longer working. My last day was March 12, and at the time, I had no clue it was my last day! So, there’s that. I don’t think we will be going back in April, but really crossing my fingers for May! Even though I only work part time, I didn’t realize just how integral it is to my schedule feeling normal. I definitely am missing my coworkers and boss, my patients, and my ability to leave the house. Let’s all pray that me and my kids survive April. 🙃

So Where Did We Land with Finances this Month?

First up, we achieved our highest savings rate ever this month at 42.6%, due to our IRA, HSA, 401K and mortgage contributions. So yay! But contrast that with the fact that our investment accounts are straight up in the toilet. Yowza. Obviously those are volatile and we know they will fluctuate, but at one point, our net worth had dropped about $80,000 from what it was two months ago. It is up a bit, but we know that there is going to be a lot of change before this whole thing is over. Save and invest, the plan doesn’t change. It’s just hard to watch without wanting to throw up sometimes.

Jade getting ready to look over the numbers.
Budget Items

We came in under budget on almost all categories for March, with the exception of food. We blew through a decent amount of our eating out budget in the first week celebrating Philip’s birthday. And then we reigned it in, but the second half of the month with being so limited in activities, we found ourselves in a few more drive thru lanes than normal. Whoopsies.

And of course our grocery budget kind of blew up. As prepared as we basically were for quarantine life, I still wanted to have some extras on hand. Which led to me going to Costco, Sam’s Club and Trader Joe’s and getting extra freezer meals, and stocking up on frozen berries and chicken and whatnot.

One fun thing that we spent some money on was planting a new summer garden! We didn’t spend much, and I don’t know that it will produce enough vegetables to warrant the costs, but I have loved letting my kids water and plant with me, and for them to get excited about the things we grow, even if they don’t ultimately eat it. So hopefully in a few months we will start seeing some tomatoes, zucchini and bell peppers!

And if we are looking for positives in this weird budget situation, without me working, that cuts our childcare expenses and also our gas consumption! Apparently there are perks to never leaving the house! We will have to see if the therapy I will need after all of this will counteract those savings. 🙂 Kidding! Maybe.

Blog Income

Ha! This month was a little bit laughable. We had one purchase from our Amazon affiliate links which produced a whopping 27 cents. Woo! And thank you to the lovely human that used our links! Our traffic was down, due to the fact that we hadn’t been posting as much, so our Google ads didn’t produce much either, less than $2. But! It’s a work in progress! We can now very obviously see that the time we put into our posting schedule is relative to the traffic. So hopefully this next month will be better. We are still $2 closer to our goal of the blog making $100 this year, so shoot! We can do this!

Looking Forward

April is going to be weird. My income has stopped completely, but things are still up in the air with government assistance for my office that may help. Also, we should hopefully be getting a nice little direct deposit from the stimulus package that was recently passed. On top of that, it will be a three pay period month for Philip, which is helpful. And of course, to top it all off, I have zero desire to spend money right now. When I get stressed, I will sometimes online shop, but this time is different. Maybe because my stress is somewhat financial based, but I feel like I’m trying to hoard all my dollars. It is weird. So if you need me, I will be adding to online shopping carts that I ultimately do nothing with. It’s a fun habit.

Fertility expenses have also died down for now and we are waiting to see what, if anything, the insurance has paid or at least processed for scans and whatnot. So we might have some upcoming medical expenses for appointments that I’ve already had.

Wrapping Up

And that’s about it! It is such a weird time to be alive. Never could we have predicted even a month ago that we would be in this current situation. It certainly makes me grateful for the things in our lives that are constant, since everything else can feel so fluid. It’s weird because I know that we are all in this together, but at the same time, we can’t actually be together, so it feels just so isolating. You know?

Anyway, happy April! This month will be crazy, but maybe in the best possible way, you know?? Fingers crossed!

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