Saturday, April 3, 2010

March Wrap-up and April Aspirations

I started March with a lot of anxiety and uncertainty about how we would manage the bills. Praise the Lord I am feeling much better and have been able to lean on Him more instead of trying to manage all the financial struggles with my own solutions.

We were able to pay all the bills this month, but we did have to put some things on the credit card for the first time in a long time. We are hoping our tax refund will arrive before the payment is due so we won't have to carry a balance. If you don't carry consumer debt you probably understand how painful using the credit card is for DH and I. We are trusting God that this is a very temporary way to stay afloat.

I had a couple of goals for March. One was to keep the grocery spending to $100. I totally failed at this and ended up spending $145.56. This was even with some grocery gifts and a gift of a PCC gift card. I'll do better in April. Another goal was to list 5 things on ebay. I also didn't manage this one, but I did list and sell one thing which is a big chore for me so I won't chalk this up to total failure. I also managed to repost many books on that have been out in our garage since a water issue in our basement last November. This is a potential way to bring in a little income, so it balances out the non-ebay listing a little bit more.

For April I will keep the same goals of $100 for groceries and listing 5 things on ebay. I will be spending a week at my parents' house so that will alleviate some of the grocery burden. I'll plan to spend approximately $25/week so I don't run out of budget halfway through the month like I did in March. I also think listing 5 things on ebay is reasonable for one month so I'll try it again.

The pantry/freezer challenge continues to progress and I am hopeful I'll be able to defrost the freezer completely in April and use some of my pantry space for my craft supplies that have been stored in the garage since the water problem in November.

Here's what the pantry & freezer look like today:

Here's what they looked like in November before a huge Thanksgiving basket from church:

We definitely need to increase our income for April as we have property taxes due on our rental property at the end of the month. We have saved some for this but haven't been able to save for the last two months. Again, if the tax refund comes we'll be able to pay this without difficulty, but it could be a mad scramble. DH has been interviewing for some other part-time work so we're hoping something happens there to produce a paycheck soon. =^) I also should be more motivated to put stuff on ebay just in case we need that extra cash sooner rather than later.

I also want to express our deep appreciation for the gifts of food, cash, needed items, and gift cards that we've been blessed with this month. We also very much appreciate the kind words of encouragement and support our friends & family have offered as we try to stay afloat and wait on the Lord's direction. It is humbling to be on the receiving end of all of this, but we rejoice that God is meeting our needs and that He is able to use so many in the church body in the process.


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