belated march financial retrospective

I've been tragically derelict in my blog-writing duties of late.  So here is my much belated financial retrospective for March. 

In terms of expenses this month, the most notable things were tickets to two separate food festivals (and associated purchases), and quite a lot of money going toward a big camping event in Arizona.  Mr. Geek and I both play in the SCA, a group of silly history buffs who dress up in medieval clothes and hit each other with sticks.  March saw the second largest SCA event in the country, and so there are tickets, travel expenses, and gear for my camp kitchen on my spreadsheet.  Fun, but pricey.  But sometimes fun is worth it.  Frugality means not spending in some areas so that you have the ability to spend on the things you actually care about.  It's a good goal.

How am I doing on my mission to curtail food spending?  Not so hot.  March's 'grocery' entry is the largest of this year, but part of that was due to feeding several people out of my camp kitchen for a long weekend.  They did help offset the cost, though.  I fear that I must devise more active methods of reducing the grocery budget, for the simple 'try to spend less' approach seems to not be working. 

This month we see the glorious arrival of a fifth, purple pie slice in the chart, one marked 'savings,' thus indicating that for once I did not violate the master equation.  For my documentation purposes, 'savings' is defined as the difference between income and expenditures.  While this situation was largely established due to luck rather than discipline, I'll take what I can get.

In my mission to re-build my checking account cushion I failed miserably right up until the end of the month.  Despite my best efforts (and not overpaying on debts past my allotted snowball, no matter how much I wanted to), there I wound up, back at the same not terribly sizable balance.  Fortunatly, March has a bonus pay period in it.  Yes, it still means that the money from that paycheck must cover two weeks of groceries and fuel and the like, but it is effectively exempt from monthly expenses such as credit cards, car payments, and my membership in my commuting vanpool.  This left me with more money than expected at the very end of the month.  So while I can't attribute this month's success to any victory in personal planning and I didn't get to use my bonus paycheck for anything particularly interesting as suggested in the article linked at the beginning of this paragraph, I have technically succeeded at this month's mission to re-establish my cushion.  Huzzah!

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