Big news here at the Stapler household! Big news and little news.
The big news is my belly.
The little news is the teeny, tiny, blueberry-sized baby growing in there.
But you’d never guess that if you saw the stomach I’m rocking these days. It’s taking my word of the year to the next level. I meant to set the 2014 goal of “growth” to mean our finances and our family, but not necessarily my big ole stomach. Well, I suppose you can’t get one without the other. The problem with a second pregnancy is that my body remembers how well it expanded the first time, and at 8 weeks pregnant I already look 20 weeks along.
I couldn’t work as many hours as I wanted to work in March. This past month has been very difficult because I have been nauseous just about 24/7. Everyday things, like making dinner for my family or concentrating on my work or sleeping through the night, have been a challenge. The first draft of this post dedicated three paragraphs to all the remedies that I’ve discovered for my nausea, but I deleted it and I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say that I’ve drank more ginger ale in the past month than I have in my entire life, Saltines are my best buddy, as are Lemonheads, these little ginger chews called Gin-Gins (which are significantly less expensive at the corner store than on amazon), and Zofran — an anti-nausea medication that is the best thing invented since duct tape.
We also went over our grocery budget in March. The grocery store, with all of its food and people smells, is my own personal nightmare. Mr. Stapler doesn’t like to use coupons, so I’m not ready to let him do the grocery shopping yet. Instead going grocery shopping in the evening, which is my worst time of the day for nausea, I go out first thing in the morning after I have a good breakfast in my stomach. I spend most of my grocery trip breathing through my mouth, but at least I get through it without panicking that I’m going to get sick on someone else’s shoes while I wait in the checkout line. Needless to say, I spend as little time there as possible, so I am not doing any bargain-hunting. I didn’t even use any coupons on my last trip. The cashier was shocked!
This past month, therefore, hasn’t been the best. While I have been growing another family member, I have been shrinking our finances. Here’s a look:
Cash: -$2,501.26. This looks worse than it really is, because it’s a result of transferring $4,300 from a cash IRA to an investment IRA. I’m not sure how to explain this, but we added more cash to our account than we transferred out. Unfortunately, a good lot of that added cash went into an untouchable, “Tax” savings account. It will be spent in a few days, when the IRS withdraws our tax payments.
Credit Cards: +$2,205.29. Apparently last month’s under-spending just led to over-spending this month 🙁
Loans: -$680.83. This is the typical monthly reduction in our student loan principal after our $1,300 per month payments.
Investments: +$4,363.35. This is due to us transferring money from a cash IRA to an investment IRA (see above!). Hopefully it’ll start earning some money now.
Net Worth: +$337.63. Despite my miserable income earning this past month, we grew our net worth through making our regular monthly payments on our student loans.
Progress on March Goals:
- Make ends meet with my income. FAIL! Battling a lot of nausea, it has been tough to put in as many work hours as I had hoped this month. I hope April brings some relief from the nausea and I can crank out more hours. There is plenty of work for me, I just need to get it done.
- Finalize the IRA transfers. SUCCESS! I’ve done everything I can to transfer these. You’ll see that two of three have been transferred. The last one is waiting for state government to turn it’s gears and make the deposit in to Mr. Stapler’s waiting Rollover IRA. Once that is done, we should have a $10,000 increase in our net worth picture.
- File and pay our taxes. SUCCESS! They’re filed and the transfer is set up to go through in a few days. Next month’s update, you’ll see a $9,000 decrease in our cash. Wah wah 🙁
- Make our 2013 Roth IRA contribution. FAIL! I got cold feet on this one. Because we didn’t make ends meet in March, we dipped in to our E Fund even further and now I’m not sure if we will dump it into the IRA. I would like to wait and see how I do clocking more hours this week before making the plunge.
- Make ends meet with my income. I really have to start doing this.
- Make a sale with our business. We are wrapping up negotiations on our first sale. It’s been frustrating, because Mr. Stapler has been working with this business for two months. Then they lowballed us on the price. I think that must be par for the course in business to business sales, though I’m not sure how much my patience will hold out with the process. It looks like we’ll make a small sale here, and hopefully it will lead to more business from this customer.
- Put $5,000 into our 2013 IRAs or a student loan. I have this struggle again. We have $3,800 in our Emergency Fund and hope to net $1,000 on a business sale, after taxes. When April 14th comes around, I’ll see who wins this battle between our Emergency Fund, 2013 IRAs, and Student Loans. With a baby on the way, I’m feeling more conservative than ever about our Emergency Fund.
How did you fare last month? I hope some of you made more progress on your debt repayment or savings goals than we did!