Finances

January Updates

Today and tomorrow are my two least favorite days of the year: the Super Bowl and the day after when everyone talks about it. I spend every Super Bowl Sunday reading in a separate room of the house from where A watches the game. This year is a little different since I have the blog to keep me occupied for an hour or so.

January was mostly on budget just because I am traveling a lot again. I am expecting a lot of travel in 2019. I already know I am going to be gone a lot through June and at least three more times in the fall.

 

January was the first month since I started contributing to my 401k again so I had to adjust my budget for about $250 less per month. It really only changed how much I am putting toward paying off my ring. But as you can see above, I was able to make a big payment toward the ring and got it down to $6000! Utilities were over by a little because Texas weather be cray and I refuse to be cold so most of the overage is the heating bill. Our heat is gas, not electric.

Also in January, we actually added to our debt.

grayscale portrait photo of shocked woman
Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

We have been wanting a Lovesac couch since first saw one like 5 years ago. They do huge sales all the time and we finally decided to just go for it. We ended up with 60 month interest free financing, which makes our payment only $62 a month. So you don’t have to do the math yourself, that makes the couch around $3700.  BUT our couch is really cool because the covers are machine washable which is great for our stinky pets and each piece is easily replaceable instead of having to replace the entire couch. Are there cheaper couches? Yes. Should we have waited until we could save up and pay cash? Maybe. I barely count this as a debt though since it’s interest free. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Also, no regrets, I really love this couch.

I was really hoping we would have my ring paid off by this summer but it’s starting to seem pretty unlikely. I was hoping we were going to get a decent tax refund. Turns out, we actually owe $300. I guess it’s being pretty common this year since we just went through the largest tax change in years. First let me say, I am not a tax accountant or an accountant so these are just based off my personal research. But I think I got hit by a couple of different things. A and I (finally) got married in late 2017. I changed my status to married in 2018 and simultaneously changed the number of exemptions I did. Between the tax change and the changes in my W-4, I was getting paid about $150 more per month. That was pretty awesome, but I was also immediately suspicious. If it seems like too much of a good thing, it probably is.

A takes an approach to taxes that is a little different from some people. He would rather not get a refund then get a huge refund, even if it means paying in a small amount. When you get a large refund, you have basically loaned the government money interest free. Sure you get it back, but even with the low interest rate environment, you could’ve made more putting that money in the bank. Or paying your bills. Or whatever you would’ve done with that money during the year. Some people say they use the refund as a savings account. I get that. If you have a hard time managing your finances, it forces you into saving something. Ultimately, I side with A. It was nice having the extra money during the year and we made some huge strides in paying off our debt with its help. So while it sucks that I have to pay in money, I’m not sure that I’m going to make any changes to my W-4 for 2019.

In other news, I have a couple of things on the horizon for 2019. We are traveling to Arizona to see my friend’s wedding in May. I’m going to Disney in September (!!!). A and I are probably going back to D.C. for a long weekend in November. I’ll keep you all updated as they come up!

 

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