Our monthly budget update does not change much.
It is primarily fixed expenses, like rent, phone bills and car insurance, which remain the same month after month. Even the amount budgeted to our miscellaneous line (more on that here) stays the same most months.
So instead of giving a line-by-line breakdown for our monthly budget update, I do something a little different. Each month, I share five highlights from our budget, along with three goals for the month to come.
Here is the update for March 2020.
Monthly Budget Update: March 2020
In March, we…
- Paid $250 on the student loan
In March, we only made one payment to student loans– a whopping $250 around the middle of the month. What happened?
Well, COVID-19. It’s fair to say the world looks a lot different now than it did at the start of the month.
One thing that happened in Canada in response to the ongoing pandemic is government decided to put an interest-free moratorium on the repayment of student loans for the next six months. Considering everything that’s going on in the world right now, Jeff and I decided the best course of action for us would be to hang onto the money we would normally put toward student loans for the time being. I wrote more about that here, but the idea is that we’ll stash it in savings for now and make a lump sum payment later.
So yeah. We put $250 on the loan, but we stashed away another $350 for later. It felt weird, but I think it’s for the best.
- Added $1,194 to our emergency fund
Continuing our journey back to $5K, we added a nice little chunk of change to our emergency fund in March. This brings the total to $3,874 and puts us on track to finish this goal by the end of next month.
- Spent money on car maintenance (again)
Our emergency fund savings would have been higher if we didn’t have to shell out $513.91 for a new alternator. Yes, you’re reading that right. Less than three years after replacing the alternator, we had to get a new one. I love having a car but man, they can be money pits.
- Filed and received our tax returns!
Another year, another year of using Simple Tax to file our income tax. I love Simple Tax so much — it is, as the name suggests, so simple to use. We filed earlier in the month and received our refund about 10 days later. More on how we used it later!
- Relaxed the shopping ban (a little)
March was a weird month, friends. And while I didn’t go out on like, a spending spree or anything, I did shop a bit more than I have been. I expect this will continue a little in April, but I am doing what I can to keep it in check.
April 2020 Goals
Looking ahead, in April, we will…
- Give back
Jeff and I both transitioned into a work from home situation in March. It’s been an adjustment, but I am grateful that we have job stability, especially when so many do not right now.
One thing we both feel very strongly about — generally, but particularly right now — is finding ways to help. We have been discussing ways to we can give back both on a community and a more global level. We’ll continue this in April.
- Clean and organize the apartment
I’m definitely on the #QuarantineCleaning bandwagon. I’ve already done most of our spare room/office space and I’ve got plans for the rest of the apartment in the coming weeks!
- Try to relax
One thing I have been very conscious of as we navigate this pandemic is my own mental wellbeing. I work in an industry that has been very actively involved in the response since day one. As such, I have been doing my best to unplug when I can. This includes taking time to exercise (indoors and outdoors), watch movies, play games, etc. I plan to continue this in April.
Your turn! How did March turn out for you? What are your goals for April?