This month started off with what looked to be a major debt detour. My husband had been complaining of tooth pain for awhile and meant to go to see a dentist. When he finally did, he found that the bone above one of his molars had decayed almost entirely. The dentist was surprised that the tooth hadn't just fallen out on its own. So off he went to an oral surgeon to look into repairing the area above. Thankfully, we learned later that we had HSA funds to cover the initial treatment, but there is still the battle of getting our dental insurance to approve their share (they have initially denied it) before the next (more expensive) phase begins in a few months.
Other than that, I am happy with February went. For the first time in a loooonnnnng time, we came in under budget for our food (I'm guessing because February was only 29 days long?), and I plan on using this amount to purchase a few bulk food items to bring our grocery bill down even more. I did make a few purchases this month, like sewing supplies and a book for our kids, drop cloths for re-covering our sofa, discounted swimming lessons at the Parks and Recreation program (more on that next week), and a new cookbook that Kristen recommended at The Frugal Girl. The last purchase was really a want vs. a need, but I am a sucker for America's Test Kitchen cookbooks, and this one was on clearance for only $10, vs. the typical price over +$30, at their website. I have used another version of their Family Cookbooks so much that I am taping the cover together, so I hope that this one will deliver as well. And since I did our taxes, which is always a stressful thing for me, I consider this a good payment :).
What am I looking forward to in March?
This upcoming month I will be posting a series on starting a frugal garden, so stay tuned for that. Even in the leanest months of our law school years, I was so grateful that we had a large backyard with full sun. Watching seeds grow in the basement and then seeing them become full-fledged perennials that return year after year was such an encouragement to me. I got sidetracked after I had our 4th child two years ago and we had flooding issues in our basement last year, but this year the longing has returned to start lots and lots of plants and cultivate the ground we have. I also love the lessons that gardening teaches me about God, life, and even working on a challenging goal like paying off a lot of debt.
I know that not everyone will be interested in this, but I have started to sew a lot more these days, and like gardening, it's something that gives me a visible sense of progress even as our debt progress moves slowly. Time-wise, I wouldn't say it's the most frugal thing I could do, but therapy-wise, it's totally worth it. By the number of tops and dresses I've been working on for my daughter, I guess it looks like I've been needing a lot of therapy these days ;). I plan to post what I'm working on each Saturday if you're curious.
Well that's it for this month's debt report. If you're paying off debt, how did you do?