Club Thrifty February Budget Breakdown

no snowAs you read this, my state is once again reeling from a huge-ass snowstorm.  And, although the snow doesn’t bother me too much on a personal level, I really don’t want this awful weather to disrupt my vacation to Jamaica this Friday.  We have a connecting flight that we have to pick up in Charlotte, North Carolina, so the worst case scenario is that we’ll have to drive our asses eight hours down there to get on the plane.  I called the airline to see if that was an option and the lady said that it was but only if our first flight was cancelled.  Unfortunately, we may not find out that our flight is cancelled until the very last minute, and quite possibly too late to make it down to North Carolina anyways.  So, while I realize that these are some serious first world problems, I would appreciate it if you could manage to send some positive thoughts my way.  This winter has been obscenely cold and miserable, and my mental health requires a change of scenery, if only for a while.

Anyways, it’s totally February.  January sucked.  My 34th birthday came and went and I am sooooo ready to move onto spring.  So let’s just get on with it, shall we?

February Budget Breakdown

As you will see, our budget is mostly back to normal.  Here are our budget details for this cold, awful, dreary, yet generously short month (thank you, Baby Jesus):

  • Mortgage:     $1500
  • Groceries:     $500
  • Daycare:        $700
  • Internet:        $50
  • College L:      $25
  • College V:      $25
  • Gas/Misc:     $200
  • Cell Phone:   $55
  • Health Ins:   $395
  • Utilities:        $400
  • Life Ins:         $86.25
  • Jamaica:        $400
  • SEP IRA:       $1,500
  • Roth IRA:      $500

Total: $6,336.25

A few things: Our mortgage is nowhere near $1,500 but we’ve chosen to overpay for the time being.  I paid off the utilities at our old house last month so at least there’s that.  Our daycare would usually only be $600 this month since there are only four Fridays, but I am paying for my kids to go to their old daycare for a few days while we’re in Jamaica.  And while I’m pretty cheap, I always pay my regular daycare lady whether my kids are there or not.

As I wrote about a month or two ago, our trip to Jamaica was mostly paid for with credit card rewards.  The $400 I’ve budgeted for the trip includes:

  • $160 for private transport because I don’t like to sit on a giant  bus with 40 other people and wait for them to get dropped off at their resort
  • $200 for tips to help ease my guilt for traveling to a fairly poor country and staying on a huge luxurious resort
  • $40 for gifts for our taxi driver’s children.  I set up our private transport and Facebook-friended our driver.  After chatting with him for a while, I found out that he has two small kids, a 3-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy.  So again, to ease my guilt, I bought them gifts that will fit in my suitcase.

So that’s it….our February budget breakdown.  I know, I know.  It’s so exciting.  Feel free to read it again if you need to.

What does your budget look like?  Did your January suck like mine did?  Do you feel guilty when you travel to poorer countries abroad?

About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.

Comments

  1. January sucked because of a family emergency that I had to buy last minute airfare for because I didn’t have enough miles. Some of my stocks from last year is punching me in both my face and gut as it’s down greater than the market.

  2. Couldn’t agree more with you about the weather, it’s been absolutely terrible. It makes me realize how much I take the summer months for granted every single year. Budget wise, January turned out OK. I was able to keep my spending low, but like others, took a sizable hit from the market drop.

  3. Have fun in Jamaica, mon! Where you staying? Ocho Rios? My January was lovely – got added to the GRS staff writer roster and finalized a new website. Also got the outline done for a new book that hopefully will be coming out this year. Oh, and I just looove the winter! Denver gets protected from the white stuff, but we got ourselves a little. My neighbors love me, because I shovel all their driveways – my favorite exercise! (I know, I know, but hey, nobody’s perfect!)

  4. Wow that’s really cool that you got your taxi driver’s kids gifts. Super thoughtful. I haven’t calculated our spending for January yet, but I will be doing that this Saturday. It’s also been super cold here and the weather has been nasty. Last week I spent 2 hours…2 freaking hours…driving to work one morning. It was snowing hard that morning and I was caught off guard. I’m ready for Spring.

  5. Neat idea getting gifts for the kids! We just had a big snowstorm here yesterday too. Just about a foot, which was a lot of fun to shovel. My wife’s going a little mad being stuck inside with the kids too. It’s times like this I hear more and more about Florida.

  6. I shoveled after yesterday’s snow and I am running out of places to put it. It is now dangerous to pull out of my driveway because I can’t see if any cars are coming because of the giant snow banks.

    Gifts and tips ensure good service and can improve the quality of life for lower income workers. If you can afford to travel you can’t cheap out on the tips.

    • I agree. We just tip a few dollars in our room each day, at meals, and when we get drinks. It isn’t a lot to us but it is a whole lot to them!

  7. I absolutely love how you Facebook friended your taxi driver and have been talking to him!! How on earth did you go about doing that? I am sure he will be absolutely thrilled to receive gifts for his kids! You rock!! :-)

    • He actually suggested that we hook up on Facebook so that I could message him any last minute flight changes from my phone. I thought it was really sweet!

  8. Hope it all works out for you guys to go, Holly!! Funny about the mortgage pmt: when I saw it, I thought “Wow! I’m surprised they have such a big payment – I thought they were more frugal than that.” :-) Smart, smart move on putting that as your regular number so you can dump that mortgage ASAP.

  9. Awwwhh! I love the fact that you are bringing gifts for the driver. That is so sweet. It really is. I love little random acts of kindness. It says a lot about you, and it always brings me joy. Have fun. It’s always noon somewhere! So enjoy those Mojitos.

  10. Sounds like you are going to have a good vacation – positive thoughts to you guys so your flights make it on time. That’s nice of you to get your taxi driver’s kids gifts.

  11. Wow, pretty cool that you friended your driver on Facebook and will give gifts to his kids. I’m sure it will be truly appreciated. We befriended a public transport driver when we went to Honduras and on the long trip, he told us about his family and gave us tips on where to go/what to do. We gave him a good tip and also used his brother’s tour company for an excursion.

  12. This winter sucks! Hope your flights get out on time.

  13. I’m keeping fingers crossed that you make it to Jamaica without problems! Those mid-winter getaways can be crucial for the mental health- have fun!

  14. January sucked for me too. I had my share of snow/travel problems in January so I’m hoping you don’t run into any issues on your way to Jamaica! Enjoy your trip!

  15. That is so nice that you tip generously and buy gifts for the drivers children. I always plan on bringing gifts like that for children but I always forget!

  16. Sending positive thoughts your way, Holly! Have a wonderful time in Jamaica and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. :) Love that you friended your taxi driver and are bringing gifts for his kids. They will be thrilled!!

  17. I said a little prayer that your flights go off without a hitch. I really hope you get some much needed time away, and good on you for thinking of the less fortunate, even on vacation. That’s great.

  18. Sending LOTS of positive vibes your way.

    I can’t get over the daycare costs! I’m never going to be able to afford children :/

  19. I love that you befriended your taxi driver and budgeted gifts for his kids. That is awesome! Hopefully this awful weather is not going to prevent you from getting to deliver them to him!

  20. Hope all goes well and you make it there OK. The midwest and east just seemed to get a beating this year with the weather. Now I know why I pay such high rent. :)

  21. We have been getting beat down by our two little ones lately. One is almost on the verge of walking and the otherwise is steadily trying to assert her “independence.” We usually cook our meals but we’ve both been so worn out it’s just been easy to order out so our January Take Out bill was way too much and definitely over our budget.

Trackbacks

  1. […] at Club Thrifty, is planning a vacation to Jamaica, and wrote about buying her taxi driver’s kids some gifts.  I absolutely, 110% love this.  When we went to Cuba, it was very strange giving things instead […]

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