We are officially 2 months into 2023 and I feel like we are getting through Q1 at a great pace. My spending this past month reflected this. February was filled with a lot of wedding planning obligations that significantly impacted my numbers. February is always my least favorite month because it’s the time when winter gets old, the holiday charm is officially gone, and there aren’t many things to look forward to for me during the month (besides tax season, yuck!). With all of that being said I was able to hone in on some habits this month that trigger my spending, and mitigate them. Keep reading below to see how I did!
Total Spending: $2,626.56
- wedding dress and accessories – 1597.44
- Miscellaneous – 1029.12
Even though the numbers are still high, the wedding dress was planned. Also the miscellaneous spending came out to $500.00 less in February than last month. I’m going to call that a win.
Total Saved Income: $0.00
- I stayed off of my phone
- Working out the second half of my wedding budget helped prioritize my spending.
- My W-2 job got really busy, so I focused some extra time on that during weekdays.
- I’ve been on a health journey that has been improving in the last month. The changes that I’m experiencing is taking my attention away from lazily scrolling for those online shopping guilty pleasures.
Total Invested Income: $972.00
Because my 401K is automated to take my contributions pre-tax(like most 401K’s), I never see the money in my bank account. This makes consistently investing $972 per month so easy. It truly would be more difficult to reach this number on my own using just discipline to not want to spend. I made two contributions to my roth IRA in January after getting an inflation bonus, so this allowed me to use that $541 in February for my wedding purchase without having to dip into my savings. The timing was absolutely perfect.
I felt a little guilty for investing less than $1000.00 in February because I’ve gotten so used to throwing larger numbers towards stocks in the past year. Here are some things that I like to remind myself when I start to compare my numbers to my past self:
- Circumstances change, and luckily I still have a fortunate circumstance.
- $972 is a lot of money!
- In 10 years this lone contribution is going to be worth more assuming that the market keeps going up over time.
Those are just some ways that I stay grounded when I start to feel a little anxious about my progress. It also doesn’t hurt to play around with a compound interest calculator from time to time. I frequently visit this really simple one when I need to remind myself of my progress.
To Wrap This Up…
- Your savings rate will be variable each month and that’s okay.
- Saving something is way better than saving nothing. It doesn’t always have to be a 4 to 5 figure number.
- If you cannot save in any given month, focus on what you have and how fortunate you are in life in general.
I am the most grateful for being able to make a large wedding purchase without having to dip into savings. Going forward I want to focus on being thankful for having the privilege of marrying my fiance in a wedding that is fully paid for in cash. Though this has been a pricey out-of-pocket experience, things could always be worse. I look forward to what March has to bring, and to the end of Q1, because it has been tough!