We may earn money from the purchase of items mentioned in this post.
I am so glad February is the shortest month of the year, and not because of our finances — though I won’t complain about the positives of that. It’s because I’m sick and tired of the weather. By February in the Midwest, most people are done with the winter. We’ve hit our max of cold days. We no longer want to be couped up inside with dry skin and germs. It seems everywhere we turn people are coughing, sniffling and complaining about being sick.
March, while still cold and dreary, is a month of hope. We’re almost out of the dreaded winter. Even if we get a big snowstorm, it’s not likely to stick around too long.
So good-bye February and hello March.
February is also a good month for most people’s budgets.
With February being the shortest month there are 2-3 fewer days to spend your hard-earned money. This should mean savings in food expenses, gas, electric, water, etc. For some of those utilities you don’t see the savings until March, but still, something to be thankful for.
However, it is not a good month for everyone’s budgets. Year after year Brian shares stories about his co-workers who get in a bit of a bind because they don’t plan. His job is hourly, and they are paid twice a month on the 15th and the last day of the month. His co-workers are not dumb people, but it seems that every single February they forget that their paychecks will reflect the shorter month. With 2-3 fewer days an hourly person is going to make less money.
So the hourly employee who is paid twice a month needs to either set aside money in the good months (those with 31 days) for the shorter months (February).
Otherwise they need to be willing to cut their expenses in February. If you are struggling with your budget this February, think about ways to not let that happen next February, because I have a secret for you. February is always going to be the shortest month, even in Leap Year, it’s still the shortest month.
The way that we budget Brian’s end of February check will not impact our budget until March. We are fully prepared for the smaller paycheck and plan accordingly.
We also received our tax refund this month, and we used that money to essentially increase our emergency savings. I want us to move to a system of budgeting where we use the previous month’s income to dictate the next month’s allocations. For instance, starting in March, our March budget will be created using all of the income from February. The only way to make this happen was to temporarily beef up our emergency fund.
This way of budgeting will allow us to better allocate our money at the beginning of the month.
This can be a difficult change to make because you must have an extra months worth of income to be able to do it. Between our income tax refund and one month of not paying extra on the student loan, we were able to make this switch.
Due to this switch, this month was slow and steady in the area of our budget snowball. We just paid the minimum due but will be back on track for extra payments next month.
Income report from February
Cashback from credit card $200.55
Cash back from Ebates $ 69.41
Total extra income $ 269.96
Current outstanding student loan debt $28,400
Be sure to check out our complete debt snowball progress month by month.