Stephan realized it long before I did, but after he mentioned it, I realized it’s true. Every March, we are short on funds.
I’m not sure why it happens. Maybe it’s because we spent a lot on Christmas. Not that we have debt from Christmas shopping, mind you, but if the money goes toward gifts, then it is diverted away from other things for the time being. You know, things like buying toothpaste and getting oil changes. Things that you have to do eventually but can sometimes can put off for a bit… until you can’t put them off anymore.
Part of it is because, while my income is steady and predictable, Stephan’s is not as much. Well, it’s moderately predictable in its ups and downs, but it’s not what I’d call steady. While his business seems flush with cash in December and early January, income dips in late January and February. Plus Stephan has more travel expenses in the first quarter of the year than at any other time as he drives or flies to Michigan, West Virginia, Ohio, Wyoming, Alaska, and Northwest Territory for competitions. And of course, it doesn’t help that people owe him money that they haven’t paid yet.
So every March, we feel a little strapped. This year is better than previous years. We are at last finished paying off all our credit cards (hooray!) and we have savings to pull from if we need to. We’re not desperate by any means. We have money for groceries, for birthday presents, and for a little vacation we’re taking this month. We’re not struggling financially. But I couldn’t put as much into savings as I’d have liked to when I did the budget this week, though there is some money going toward building the emergency fund. I reduced our “fun money” category a smidge. And all that is okay. That’s part of being responsible. That’s part of the steps we take toward financial freedom.