Lifestyle,Money March Sucked- How We Ended The Month $2700 Over Budget

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 counter flea 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?

Thanks Google for the appropriate meme.

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 my area. $1069 Gone.

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.

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In Summation

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 comments

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16 thoughts on “March Sucked- How We Ended The Month $2700 Over Budget”

  1. APurpleLife says:

    Oh no!!! I’m sorry. That does sound like a sucky March. I’m glad y’all are feeling better and hope the war of the fleas is over soon.

    1. Ms. FOGO says:

      Hi Purple. Thanks. I think they will need to spray the house one more time (yay for warranties) and then we’ll be good.

    2. Radical FIRE says:

      That’s sounds like your title it correct, March sucked

      I remember when I was younger our cat had the flees and it was total panic all around the house. I only remembered it after your story, I hope they will be gone for good in your case!!!

      Good thing you have an emergency fund and are feeling better. Fingers crossed April will be an amazing month, you deserve it for sure!

      1. Ms. FOGO says:

        This is part of why I love emergency funds so much. When March started going to hell, I knew we could afford it. It just sucked.
        Thanks for reading!

  2. Oh, I have been down this road. Once, many years and apartments ago, we got fleas–same thing, indoor cat, etc. I suspect it was started with a critter that sat on our jute welcome mat–I walked outside in socks, and voila, we were off.

    I’ve never felt so gross, so itchy, so much like I was losing my mind than in that period. I even killed a vacuum with the daily vacuum of area rugs, couch, hardwoods, etc. I still feel gross just thinking about it.

    I’m with you–our March was also budget-busting, so may April be calm for both of us.

    1. Ms. FOGO says:

      Yeah. Every time I feel something on me, I think it’s a flea. There was a breakdown, but it’s getting better. We do need a new vacuum though. Ours is crap and can barely get anything off the couch.
      Thanks for reading!

  3. Abigail @ipickuppennies.net says:

    I dated a guy once whose dog got fleas so he stupidly put on a flea collar. Meaning that the fleas just jumped off the dog and into the furniture. He was able to use over the counter flea stuff successfully, thank goodness. But I ended up having to flea bomb my apartment just to make sure I didn’t bring any home with me. (Either it worked, or I hadn’t brought any home because I didn’t get any more bites.) Ugh.

    Sorry this month was so awful for you. It feels like it all just piles on, doesn’t it? But I’m glad you got your car taken care of. You’re right to see to the repairs immediately instead of tempting fate any further.

    1. Ms. FOGO says:

      Ugh! That sucks. I am glad fleas didn’t get into your apartment.
      We don’t risk anything with cars. The last time Mr. FOGO’s car broke down, he had to call out of work because he couldn’t get there. We just get it done.
      Thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Moriah Joy says:

    Fleas are of the devil… we used to live next to cows, and it was impossible to get rid of the pesky critters. I almost cried that summer. Glad you’re 11 day flea free, and I hope it stays that way.

    1. Ms. FOGO says:

      They truly are the devil. I never knew I could hate something as much as I hate roaches. We are going to have them come out and re-spray the house just to be safe.
      Thanks for reading!

  5. jovermyer1 says:

    Take a look on the bright side, almost everything that could go wrong went wrong, and you came away with only $2,700 in pain. Hope this month is going better already!

    1. Ms. FOGO says:

      Thanks! So far it’s okay. Fingers crossed it stays that way. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks for reading!

  6. February was our sucky month – car breakdown, house repairs, illness…you name it. Hopefully April is better for you!

    1. Ms. FOGO says:

      That does suck. I am so sorry you had so much going on in February. Hope it’s better for you as well.
      Thanks for reading!

  7. Cars suck you dry!! One of the things that keeps my family afloat is being a bit handy with the help of Youtube and Google it’s incredible what you can take care of. Although I have to say bearings are not the easiest.
    I do my own oil changes because despite the price advertised they always get you with wipers, “the best oil”, spark plugs, cabin filters, carb filter, etc.And those are super cheap. I highly recommend Rockauto to get parts. extremely cheap and gets to your door.
    And of course an OBD II scanner that plugs to the phone. I can’t tell you how much money I have saved with that. Once that a car is in the shop you are up for grabs. whatever they tell you you have no much else to do other than believe what they tell you and drop the cash.
    I hope April is better for you guys. I know that feeling of seeing your saving efforts ran over. It will get better.

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