March Review And Expense Report
It feels weird, but good, to realise that we are in April already. How time flies! While my Instagram feed is getting flooded in pictures of spring greenery and new life, here up north, we are still waiting for that elusive day when daytime temperatures are equal or higher to the nighttime temperatures.
Excited rumourmongers stalk the weather forecasts and hope it will be this time. Snow is melting outside, making for somewhat lethal walking conditions, but we are excited, spring is coming!
April saw us hosting my father for a few days in Easter, which meant going out to eat and sharing a few beers afterwards. We also indulged something horribly in candy over Easter, being neither healthy nor frugal. Ops.
savOn the positive side, our continual saving and investing, even in spite of being in the red and having guests over, I still managed to get my negative net worth down to the five figures in NOK! Woop woop! That zero line is inching ever closer, and I feel confident I will reach it within the year. Barring a mortgage, it’ll only be up from there!
A Month Of Extremes
March was a month that saw me working two surprise 14 hour days back to back at work, which made me break my perfect streak of never buying dinner at work (valid since I started last May) by getting food twice in a row.
I don’t feel bad about these two dinners, as I know they are exceptions to the rule, and I would not have been able to keep my head with me all night on just oatmeal alone. A woman needs her vegetables too!
On the other side of that coin, I also made my first few pennies online with sidehustles in March! I hope to be able to keep steadily building this up to a sustainable level, just like the little baby blog has grown from a few views a week to steadily getting several views every day. Slow and steady!
Financial Independence Game Checklist
Am I allowed to do a bit of shameless self-promotion? It is my blog, after all, isn’t it?
I was inspired by the Choose FI episode about the milestones of FI, and thought: “Hey, maybe I could make a cheerful checklist with a board game feeling and try to gamify our way to FI a bit?”
So I tried! I made one for people who primarily sidehustle to FI, and one for people who primarily save their way to FI:
- Financial Independence Checklist Game for Savers
- Financial Independence Checklist Game for Entrepreneurs
I am having quite a lot of fun with making these things. With so many days off in Easter, both Mr. E. and myself have been hard at work trying to build on our sidehustles. In some ways, to such an extent that we realise we’re not really having a sustainable work/life balance at the moment, and should probably try to cut back a bit.
But it is so nice to feel that sense of accomplishment as you finish something and put it out into the world! Practice makes perfect, I suppose, and we do work now with the intention of being able to get more free time in return later.
The week of Easter has seen astronomical candy expenses compared to our normal. I don’t even think we went this nuts over the holidays!
We really just went full on enabling mode, and kept buying stuff we know ourselves and the other person likes.
It was not even because prices dropped, because they didn’t.
There is only one thing to do about this, seeing as we both want to eat a healthy, balanced diet with lots of vegetables, and that is to cut way down, back to our intention of one unit of candy per week or less.
No Added Sugar
So in the spirit of all those “No spend” months I keep seeing cropping up everywhere, I am going to try to do a “no-added-sugar” month of April.
I already broke it the first of April because we were visiting friends and there was chocolate (and I didn’t think about doing it until Monday), but none the less. A less than perfect streak is no excuse not to give it your all the rest of the month!
Here Comes The Sun
March was a good month socially. Towards the end of the month, we turned our clocks forward (a practice Mr. E. and I abhor as it throws our rhythm out of whack twice annually for no reason), and suddenly, it felt like summer!
A cold and wintery summer, but summer all the same!
It was the light, of course.
Going from walking to and from work in the dark of winter, the sun now rises around 6 am. I can watch it from the couch as I get my morning writing in before work.
In the evening, it does not set until after 8 pm, and increasing every night. I can’t tell you how much this does for my energy levels. Having sunlight still outside after dinner just makes me more awake and energetic. It feels as if I get more hours out of the day, and it is amazing.
It is a bit strange that the longer days took me by surprise so much, seeing as I walk to work every day and see the seasons change around me daily. But it did, and I am happy it did.
Expenses and savings:
Curious about the nitty gritty details of this month? All expense reports are in Norwegian kroner (NOK). For a somewhat representative picture, US and UK residents can remove a zero.
- Saving: 13 710 (a mix of investments, mortgage savings and emergency fund)
- Fixed expenses: 5 700 (rent, electricity and phone bill)
- Groceries: 3 230 (ahem… candy mayhem of budget destroyers)
- Student loan: 1 500 (steadily decreasing, over 1 100 to the principal)
- Various: 1 390 (LED light bulbs, museum ticket, plants and soil, +)
- Social: 760 (dinner out and some drinks while hosting guest)
- Transport: 500 (includes weekly bus pass while hosting guest)
- Sidehustles: 50 (Etsy listing fees, postage)
March savings rate: 51%, hooray!