“It will take me only like twenty minutes to finish this if I can focus.” – Why I am only now finishing this post on March 21st. It’s been a loooooong year around our kiddos, hasn’t it?
February was three weeks ago, and wow does it feel like a long time ago already. And yet, March 2020 doesn’t feel much longer ago than that. As my roommate likes to say, “time is a flat disc” these days.
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Food and Drink
Our restaurant spending looks quite a bit lower in February than in January, but that’s only because WE TOOK A VACATION so we had the better part of a week not at home and that food spending goes into a different category.
Our food and drink spending is definitely up still – much of it intentional with more restaurant spending to help out our local businesses – but our alcohol spending is significantly down compared to 2020. Our alcohol consumption is actually down even more, because when I do buy a bottle of wine these days, I’ll “splurge” and spend $15-$25 (sometimes slightly more) because I’m drinking so much less. Better wine, less money, and fewer days drinking.
We are nearing the end of the winter months, which means we’ll be getting to turn the heat off soon! I’m very much looking forward to the lower utility bills that come with warmer weather. We did connect our propane fire pit to natural gas (and the grill is hooked up as well), so our gas bill has been up lately due to lots of outside time and lots of grilling.
We went on vacation! For four nights! We may still have not left the state of Washington, but we took an extra long weekend out to Forks in February and it was wonderful. We stayed in a stationary travel trailer and spent a ton of time outdoors on the trails or indoors coloring, reading, and playing games. It was a much needed trip and we could have used a few more days.
The one item under “clothing” happened while on vacation as well – a pair of Minecraft shoes for the kiddo, which he adored, but as of writing, I’m not sure what happened to them. They’re Vans-like slides, though, so until the weather dries out again, I suppose it doesn’t really matter.
As COVID numbers continue to trend downward in our area and the days get nicer, we are definitely planning to take more chances to get away, at least within driving distance in self contained lodging (or camping). It may be a while yet until we feel comfortable traveling for pleasure via airplane, but these local trips camping or to Airbnbs sure do us a lot of good.
If you haven’t stayed in an AirBnB before, I would highly recommend it. We love the flexibility it gives us while traveling as a family – full kitchen, laundry, and extra bathrooms, and it’s usually considerably cheaper than a hotel, especially when you travel as a group. If you’re new to AirBnB, here’s a link for $55 off your first stay.
February 2021 Spending (Excludes mortgage, childcare, insurance)
|Feb 2021||Jan 2021|
|Including Mortgage Principal||41%||43%|
We finished out the month of February with a 41% savings rate, just slightly down from January. While we will again likely not end the year saving half our income, being in the forties feels really good. March sees the the most recent stimulus check hit our account, but I’ve decided to separate that money out from these reports since they aren’t really income, and they will either go to spending and giving locally or some to the kiddo’s college fund.
It’s been more than two years since I initially downloaded Personal Capital and started actually tracking our net worth. While savings rate is still more important to me because it’s what we can actually control, there is something to be said for having a sense of your overall net worth (though also important to know NOT to look during market volatility if it would make you tempted to pull your money out).
I was unconvinced for a long time that I even needed to track our net worth, but I’m so glad that I finally set up an account where I could track it all. I especially appreciate being able to look at the graphs for individual area, like investment accounts and cash savings.
We have a bunch of separate accounts, so it’s really nice to see them all in one place. I’m also working on growing our overall cash savings, and Personal Capital aggregates them all across four different banks, which makes things a lot simpler.
If you haven’t set up a way to track your net worth, I’d recommend Personal Capital for that purpose. If you use this link to sign up, you’ll also get a $20 Amazon gift card for doing so.