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Welcome to my March Financial Update!
I can’t believe it’s April already! I love it! The sun is setting later and later every day. It’s slowly warming up. Migrating birds are flying in from the south. Summer is just around the corner!
March was a pretty good month for me, financially. I had my second month in a row with expenses under $1,000. You can read last month’s financial update here. Income was also strong due to a three paycheck month. Don’t you love those?
Mr. Frugal Turtle and I had a rare date night in March. We went out to dinner (he paid) and then we went to a movie. He paid for the movie as well (what a guy!). I paid for the drink and snack. It’s always a shock to the wallet when I have to pay close to $15 for one tub of popcorn and one soda. Oh well, we had a great night and really enjoyed the movie (Logan).
Taxes are done!
I spent one joyous night early in March filling out my taxes and was refunded a total of $602 from federal and state. I qualify for the free e-file so I took advantage of that. I’ve used TaxAct the past couple of years and they seem to make doing taxes a little easier than most tax programs I’ve tried. I’m not an affiliate for them, I just use and like their program enough to recommend it!
As soon as both the federal and state tax refunds were deposited into my checking account they were transferred to my IRA. It was such a great feeling to transfer $602 to my retirement account!
On to the numbers!
March net worth
I ended March with a net worth of $118,030.34. My goal for this year is to end the year with a net worth of $150k. If I can reach $125k by the end of June I think I have a good shot of reaching that goal.
My net worth includes my retirement accounts and my regular savings account.
I use Personal Capital (affiliate link) to keep track of my net worth. Personal Capital is really easy to use and I have to admit, I’m kinda addicted. You can link your credit cards, banks, and investment accounts to this site and it updates all the time. I log in and check my net worth almost every single day. It also has a pretty sweet retirement planner that tells you what you can work on to make your retirement even better.
I was able to put $3,919.90 towards retirement in March. $2,076.90 went in my 401k and $1,843 went to my IRA for 2017.
I saved almost $4,000! If only I could do this every month! It really helped that it was a three paycheck month and I got my tax refund back as well.
I usually don’t include my savings rate on the blog, but I do calculate it out every month. I’m excited to tell you that my savings rate for March was 80.88%. It hasn’t been that high since October 2015. October 2015 was also a three paycheck month!
I took home $4,190.81 in March from my job plus the $602 from my tax refunds for a total of $4,792.81. That number includes the $2,076.90 that went directly to my 401k and I never touched at all. Work has started to pick up and pretty soon I’ll be working more Saturdays and getting some overtime, so that’ll be nice for the paychecks!
|Soda and popcorn||$13.96|
March was a great month for expenses! They totaled $916.42.
If only I wasn’t feeling lazy and didn’t feel like cooking one night after grocery shopping with Mr. Frugal Turtle, I would’ve came in under last months total expenses! Instead, I treated him to Chipotle. 🙂
I need to lower the grocery budget
I really want to get our grocery spending under control. While I realize it’s not too terrible to begin with, I feel it could be better. The past couple of months I’ve really put some effort into shopping off a grocery list and making healthier meals.
For a while recently I was depending on frozen processed foods for dinner and I really wanted to get away from that. I was also eating way too many bagels and Pop-Tarts for breakfast and wanted to make healthier breakfasts.
Enter Rice and Bean bowls for dinner and batch cooking Steel-Cut Oatmeal for breakfast! I don’t follow a recipe for either meal.
The Rice and Bean bowls consist of either black or pinto beans, basmati rice, sour cream, salsa, cheese and spices. I usually make a large batch of rice to last for several meals. I just heat up the beans and rice, throw the rest of the ingredients in the bowl, mix it all up and feast! Some times I eat it with tortilla chips to add a little crunch. It’s a fast, easy meal to make after a long day at work.
For the Steel-Cut Oatmeal I just add in raisins, coconut oil, cinnamon, brown sugar and a pinch of salt about half-way through the oatmeal cooking time. I make enough to last for four days. I just portion it out and reheat it in the microwave. Simple, delicious, and fast. Depending on what I’m craving each morning I might add frozen blueberries, peanut butter or sliced banana to the oatmeal.
I’m always looking for ways to save money at the grocery store and I’ve been using Ibotta(affiliate link) to get a little money back. Ibotta refunds you money if you buy certain items from certain stores. A lot of times I’ll do my shopping and then afterwards check out the Ibotta app to see if any of the items I bought qualify for a rebate. I do it this way so I’m not buying things I wouldn’t normally buy just because I’m getting a deal.
I got a raise! Technically I got the raise at the end of March, but it won’t show up on the paychecks until April. It was a pretty nice raise to. It was slightly over 5%. Usually the max is 3%. Any more than that and they have to get approval from corporate. I was pretty happy…and shocked!
I made some money from the blog for the first time! It won’t show up in my checking account until sometime in April so I didn’t count it in this month’s income. Thanks for supporting this tiny blog!
We may have made some decisions on taking a vacation this year. Mr. Frugal Turtle wants to go camping in Oregon for a couple of weeks. We would drive out there with all of our camping supplies and check out the sites! However, I don’t know if I can take off two consecutive weeks from work. I need to check with my manager first. Hopefully she okay’s it!
Do you have any suggestions on where to go camping in Oregon? What state parks do we need to check out?