Adventures in Frugality ~ February 2017

Oh boy, it's been stress-city round these parts. 

I blame tax season. I have a love/hate relationship with tax season. It speaks to my love of personal finance organization, charts, and reports. Love of statistics and color-coded Excel spreadsheets. I love it.

It's the owing I'm not too big a fan of.

And we owe. We owe pretty much every year because I'm self-employed and that is such a roller coaster that it's always difficult to predict how I'm going to do year after year. 

2015 was a cluster....well....you know the rest. We started a retail business....I went haywire with the idea that I SHOULD be doing something different with my life....my own business that I had poured heart and soul into for 7 years got put on the back burner. It was kind of a mess. HOT. MESS.

We got our collective shizz together though, and I killed it in 2016. I got everything back on track and I'm super happy with where my photography biz is right now. My #1 focus. No more business ADD. 

But, with taxes looming I knew because I did SO much better in 2016 than 2015 that we were going to owe a tidy sum.....so I started socking it away early, in anticipation.

And yeah. It's a tidy sum.

But we're ready for it. It stinks but we are making adjustments to make sure we don't owe quite so much next year.

I guess I need to look at the lemonade from the lemons: it means I had a really good year.

WON:

- How did we "win" in February? Well, booking for my business were fantastic and I booked a handful of events that helped us have a very relaxed "off season" month. Typically February can go one of two ways: lots of bookings for upcoming events and I'm happy.....or it's dead as a doornail and I have the sads. 
Self-employment, man. It's not for the faint of heart. 

- We put our house up for sale!!! Finally!!! I feel like we are really moving forward with our future plans and this makes me SUPER happy. 

- Got rid of a TON of clutter as we staged our house for sale. Sold some stuff on Ebay (to the tune of $60), listed all of my old vintage kids clothes on Etsy and sold some ($137.00 total this month). Sold a tent ($100) and some other furniture ($100 also).

We'll be getting rid of more after the house sells....new house, new stuff. Some of our furniture we've had since we were single and it's showing it's age for sure. 

- After a brief hiatus I revisited Every Dollar (www.everydollar.com) for budgeting. I'm still writing everything down as well, but it helps to lay it all out there too. 

LOST

- OMG, WAYYYYY too much eating at restaurants. It's our achilles heel for sure. I knew it was going to be an issue this month with putting the house up for sale and having to constantly vacate for showings. We didn't want to continue to make a mess in the kitchen with dinner that we just had to keep cleaning up when people wanted to see the house.

So it's been pizza. Restaurant stops......bad bad bad.

So, we talked and decided we needed to add a buffer to our budget in March to take care of this issue. We will probably be stopping for easier dinners more often, with being away from home, so that needed to be addressed.

- With taxes looming and putting the house up for sale, we haven't really dedicated a lot of time to the debt snowball, but we were able to throw a little extra at it. 

Paid off in February: $1193.99