March Sucked- How We Ended The Month $2700 Over Budget
Hello FOGO Readers,
We knew that March was going to be tough. I didn’t have any closings, so there was no money coming in from my end. Mr. FOGO makes less than I do, so that leads to a tight month financially. We even paid our mortgage over a month early so we would have to worry about any excess expenses this month. We planned the best we could.
However, it was not enough, because March sucked ass. It was awful. If it could go wrong, it did go wrong. It was the single biggest budget breaking month we have had in quite some time. Add in the fact that this was also the month where I wasn’t getting paid and it truly impressive. How impressive? Think over $2722 over budget.
So, what lead to this budget buster? Quite a few things. Lets line them up!
We Got Fleas
We ended February with the discovery that the house and our cat had fleas. While we have had our cat for going on five years, she has never had any issues with fleas. She is an indoor cat. I never thought about fleas as a potential issue since this is my first cat, and I am incredibly naive. I guess I felt that she doesn’t go outside, so there was no cause to worry. Little did I know that these blood-sucking demons from hell would invade my home and cause all sorts of grief.
Fleas ended up costing us my sanity, the cat’s climbing tower, and $1,265 and counting. Yeah. You read that correctly: $1,265 and counting.
How do they cost that much?
I’ll tell you.
First, we bought over the counter flea stuff that kind of worked (Mr. FOGO’s suggestion). $118 gone.
Then I did way too much reading on fleas. I mean an absurd amount. Long story short, these little fuckers take forever to go away. We are at war in our home. The eggs can hatch up to two years later. We now live by a “days since last flea sighting.” Currently, that is 11 days.
Next, I checked with our pest company to spray our house. That would cost $150 for a one time spray. Since fleas tend to come back, it is not feasible to pay $150 each time. So, we switched back to our old pest company (the one where I never had fleas). Why? Because they only charged $100 per spray and it came with a six-month warranty. They would only do this if we switched, so we did. I also got a 15% discount for being a builder partner (thanks job) and 5% for paying the year up front (thanks emergency fund).$420 gone.
Then, we had to take the cat to the vet. I’ll be honest; it has been quite some time since the kitty has made it to the vet. Add that to the fact that fleas can cause a slew of other problems, and we had to get the whole work up done. Everything you can do, she got it done. We also got flea medication that works. This way the cat is bait. They bite her, and they die. $585 gone.
Note to anyone going through this currently: do NOT get over
counterflea medication. It will not work. You are wasting money. Go to the vet and get the good stuff.
Lastly, we are now replacing the stuff we threw out. The cat’s tower is gone; fleas infested it, and we couldn’t get them off. Have to replace that. Of course, after our flea experience, I had new requirements for this. It was not allowed to be carpet unless I could take it off and wash it. That ups the cost a bit since most are carpet. However, my sanity is better, so it’s worth it. Mr. FOGO also threw out all of kitty’s toys (just found that out), so we have to replace those as well. Also, got an extra piece of furniture so the cat would stay in the office more and kill fleas in there. She is currently avoiding it, and I need her to be bait. $145 gone so far.
Renewals and Fees
We had two things that were up for renewal this month. The first was the termite warranty on the house, and the second was the American Express card.
We were going to let the termite warranty go until we learned that to try to get it next year would cost over $700. Currently, we are on the lower cost plan since the original warranty came with the home since it was new construction. We get 2-3 more years of the lower price to renew before the cost goes up to over $700. If we stop short, then we immediately go to $700 rate next year. Plus, it comes with an inspection, so it keeps the house safe. Worth it. $225 Gone.
I was contemplating getting rid of the American Express card before we started looking at refinancing as an option again (more on that in the future). Due to that, we cannot be screwing with my credit, so I went ahead and kept the card. $160 Gone.
Mr. FOGO’s Car Needed Repairs
“I’m just going in for an oil change.” Aren’t those always the famous last words?
The funny thing is once Mr. FOGO told me he was taking his car in I said, “With our luck this month, it will be over $1000.” His reply, “No it won’t. I’m just getting an oil change.” Cue the deadpan look at the audience.
Well, it started as an oil change and ended with a bunch of other stuff needed- the most expensive thing being replacing one of the wheel bearings. Since we live in Florida, when something is wrong with your car, you take care of it before it gets worse. You cannot go to work without it; biking isn’t really a thing in
We Got Sick
Then, to add insult to injury, we also got sick in March. It started with Mr. FOGO getting bronchitis from people at work. I ended up with the cold, so I got the better end of the stick. It sucked all around.
We took Mr. FOGO to the doctor since he just kept getting worse. Thankfully we have an HSA, so none of that came out of pocket. Finally! One thing that didn’t affect the budget.
However, that did lead to lots of runs out for chicken soup and other sick related things. Since Mr. FOGO is the cook of the house, I ate out more (I didn’t want to cook). So, there were increases there which will be looked at when I do the March Goals.
That was our fun-filled month of March. We went $2722 budget and lived to tell the tale. Thank the heavens it is finally April.
I know that we are lucky in many cases. We have an emergency fund and a sinking fund to get us through months like these. Without that emergency fund, we would have ended up with a new $2722 credit card balance. We also could pay our mortgage early, so we didn’t have to think about that. When 40% of Americans cannot handle a $400 emergency, that is a big deal.
So, how was your March? On budget? Budget-breaking? Let me know in the commentsTags: budget, budgeting, March 2019, over budget