My one thing is to clean the house so that when we come back from the long weekend it's not stress inducing. We've been consistently behind on chores for about a month, and that ends today :)
Our down payment technically came from money that my husband and I earned and saved, but the "technically" is probably the most important part. I was able to put aside ~10k while I was still in college because my parents paid for my housing, and when I had that 10k, my dad took me to Fidelity to meet with his financial advisor and got me set up so it could grow. I put half in a Roth IRA, and the other half in an investment account, and when the advisor asked me what I wanted to save up for, I picked something that seemed reasonable and said a house. It seemed kind of silly to my 20 year old self, but seeing that label on the account was pretty motivating, and a short 6 years later I was able to cash it out for its purpose. The majority of the savings came once my husband and I were making a dedicated effort towards it, but have a strong foundation to build on made a big difference in how possible the whole thing seemed. Anyway - I couldn't have gotten to that point without my parents supporting me through school and introducing me to the resources I would end up needing to save and invest. The first semester I was making real money I was so proud of how much I was spending on eating out and buying stuff - pretty much opposite of how I would feel now, but it was so much easier to learn that lesson when the stakes were low.
My one thing is to clean out the cat fountain, which I've been meaning to do since last week's one thing.. Edit: Not a fountain of cats (which would be either cute or horrifying), but rather a water fountain for our cats.
@EA_Mann This is what I do for work - I can make 3 weeks worth of work breakfasts at a time, and most of the time I'm the only one with anything in the freezer, so I'm not getting in anyone's way. Bonus: we have real creamer, so I can reheat with a splash of that for extra fanciness.
Tonight – staying in and making tacos ($0). Getting gas for my car ($35). Saturday – Celebrating my January birthday with friends! Activities have already been paid for, and we’re going in between meal times, so maybe $0? Dinner hasn’t been decided yet, but there will probably need to be a grocery shop ($20-30). Sunday – Church, then brunch with groceries picked up on Saturday. Then my whole family is going to the Cat Circus to see the Acro-cats! We’ve already bought the tickets, and my parents will probably pay for dinner, so another $0 and the infinite gain of getting to see cats jump through hoops and play guitar. I’m pretty excited. So – $65 total, which seems pretty low. If you count everything that’s already been paid for it’s more like $155 though, which is more typical. We’ll see!
Savings Emergency fund – goal of $6300 February: $1600 March: $1700 April: $1800 $100/month for the foreseeable future. Normal Travel fund – goal of $infinity February: $300 March: $450 April: $68 $200/month is the goal, looking towards a trip to a family wedding in December, and longer term towards a cruise next year. It went down, but that's good - we put down a deposit for the JoCo cruise! We also bought some packing cubes from this budget. :D Japan travel fund – goal of $8000 by September January: $1200 February: $2600 March: $4300 April: (5000 saved - 1835 spent) = $3165 $700/month in here, which will put us on track. This went down too, but only cause we bought our plane tickets! April was a good month for travel related plans. Debt Student loans February: $17317 March: $17002 April: $16742 $350/month. The goal is to have them gone by the end of 2016, and with stock and stuff vesting this year, that looks possible! So funny story about the loans - last month I was hoping to put about $5000 of my bonus check towards them. Turns out we owed $5400 in taxes, so that didn't really happen (all the tax stuff on the Billfold helped me understand why at least). I'm glad we had the money set aside, but it was still pretty demoralizing. We've since changed our withholding so that doesn't happen again. I'm still hopeful about knocking them out before 2016, but it might take a little more dedicated effort.
I've done so many one things today (called about taxes! found out we're getting money back! sent that money to our IRAs before the 15th! researched patio sets!) because my office has been atypically empty, but I haven't actually done much in the way of work. So my real one thing is to get back to work so that tomorrow isn't stressful.
I don't check Mint everyday, but at least a few times a week just to keep up with categorizing everything. When my husband and I first got married, we were fortunate enough to be able to set a budget that didn't really cut back on things we were used to doing, so we use our budget to keep us from buying a ton of fancy cheese or going out all the time, but if our normal grocery spending is a little high one month it doesn't have a huge effect on our finances. Mint is also great at keeping track of rolling amounts, and it's had a very real effect on my stress-about-money levels now that I can go to Home Depot and know that it's okay to spend $200 on things, because it's planned for and all the money is already accounted for. I will check it a little more towards the end of the month, and if I see something in the yellow or red (usually lunches or eating out), I'll mention it to my husband so we can both be a little more intentional about our spending.
The only instance I can think of where giving smaller amounts isn't worth it is for things that might have paypal/transaction fees. I know for Child's Play Charity, the people raising money on livestreams always say to donate at least $5, less than that and the fees are a significant percentage.
Savings Emergency fund – goal of $6300 January: $1500 February: $1600 March: $1700 $100/month for the foreseeable future. Normal Travel fund – goal of $infinity January: $150 February: $300 March: $450 $150/month is the goal, looking towards a trip to a family wedding in December, and longer term towards a cruise (the JoCo cruise!!) next year. Japan travel fund – goal of $8000 by September January: $1200 February: $2600 March: $4300 $700/month in here, and making up the rest with bonus money and part of the extra paycheck that comes in May. As I was hoping, I was able to add an extra $1000 in March from my bonus. Debt Student loans January: $17632 February: $17317 March: $17002 $350/month. The goal is to have them gone by the end of 2016, and with stock and stuff vesting this year, that looks possible! I'll be putting the rest of my bonus check here as soon as we figure out how much taxes are going to cost - I'm hoping we don't owe a ton so we can put at least $5000 towards loans.