After crunching all of the numbers, it was good to see that we made a little progress this month on our debt after not being able to make a payment last month. This month also included two birthdays, Awanas dues of $120, a birthday party, and a wedding we had to attend. All in all, I was happy with how things went.
Here were some successes that we saw:
* We held a garage sale that raised $100. It was money that helped ease the pressure of this month's expenses, but I will never do one again. Read more here to see why.
* We saved money by switching from disposables to cloth diapers during the day for our youngest. We already had the covers and pre-folds on hand, so this cost us nothing except for a higher water bill (next month we will see the full impact of that).
* Our utilities averages continued to drop this month by $11. Last year, the average balance for electricity and gas combined was $182, now it is $150. Coupled in with the mistake we found in our garbage bill, we are now paying $51 less a month for utilities than we did last year.
* Our FICO credit score jumped by 20 points and moved us from good to excellent. Not like we want to be borrowing anything anytime soon, though! :)
It is good to write about the successes, because right now, I really feel sometimes that we will never move forward. If we were starting at a balance of, say, $20,000, it would feel like more progress to say, "Hey, we've almost cut our balance in half!" But it started at $90,000, so there you have it. I try to remind myself during these times that had we done nothing, our initial balance would have grown, and we would be in a much worse place. I am looking forward to this spring when we will pay off our first full student loan and move on to the next one.
This coming month will bring a few extra trips we are taking to visit family and the gas associated with that. Thankfully, gas is at a very low price here right now ($1.99/gallon). Other than that, I am hoping that October is calm and event-free!