March 2018: this feels like cheating

Having now completed my first year of blogging, here’s my twelfth spending report to round it out! Y’all, I’ve gotta say, looking at March’s spending but also hitting my highest-ever savings rate(!) feels a lot like cheating.

Obligatory photos

First things first, it’s spring in DC. And that means it’s cherry blossom time!

I will never stop spamming everyone with these

Although it’s not really spring in DC. Spring of Deception, maybe? We’ve been on our fourth (or fifth?) winter these last few days. Maybe it’ll finally get warmer for good sometime soon and I can put my coats and sweaters away for the season.

Also remember that time it snowed on the second day of spring?

Raking in the $$$$

In addition to it being a wonderful extra paycheck month, I also got my DC tax return. You know, the one that includes an almost $1,000 credit on my rent ($940 this year since my AGI was higher than last year). It is mind-boggling to look at my income and see four thousand five hundred dollars in that box because that is NOT how my finances look, ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I want my finances to look like that, always (attention, universe. This is me putting that out there!). I don’t plan on working for a relative pittance at a non-profit forever: I’ve got better things to do with my life, like FIRE (after which I can go back to lower-paying non-profit work solely because I can). But at least for now, that is a metric shit-ton of money.

I didn’t go anywhere in March, so I also worked all four weekends at my second job. That’s not going to last since I plan on cutting back when hiking season kicks in in earnest, so I’m trying to work lots of shifts now.


March saw two meetups: a #DCMoneyNerds one and a ChooseFI one. Our #DCMoneyNerds one took place in a library because #librariesaretheshit and early March is iffy for anything outside (see also Spring of Deception and Fifth Winter), but the ChooseFI one happened on the national mall. And it just so happened during the cherry blossom kite festival!

Meetup with a view (and a resulting sunburn/Fitbit tan line, whoops!)

I met Young FIRE Knight, The Give and Get, one half of Chain of Wealth, Owning the Stars, and Poorer than You in March. I also got to see Good Life. Better., Shift Upwards, Hungry Being, Accidental Fire, and, of course, Military Dollar (team #TripleRegret forever!) again. Go ahead and be jealous because yes, there’s an awesome group of people in the DC area!

We have a new supervisor at my second job, so of course there were a few opportunities this month for us to go out and get to know her a bit better. That’s not reflected in my spending since I subtract anything I spend on socializing or transportation for my second job out of my earnings. But I didn’t do too poorly there:

What you came here for



My half of rent
Internet and utilities


My half of utilities


Student loans


This might be the last month of my standard $110.25 auto payment. Stay tuned for some big changes in this realm


Barre membership


Because I completed the January challenge, I got a $25 credit to my account that I could use towards a month of my membership. Turns out I had an old $10 credit from a while back, too, so I got $35 off barre in March


I had a bit of a gap between my FSA money and my deductible


Personal care


Charitable giving


I’ve set up a recurring monthly donation of $25 to Planned Parenthood


A Lyft and a bike share ride
Misc dues/subscriptions


Patreon and an annual membership
Blog expenses


I renewed my hosting in November but needed to renew my domain name


I’m going to Florida to visit a friend for Memorial Day!
Total spending:


Paychecks and other income


Bless you, five paycheck months!
Side hustle income


Second job minus money to the tax savings account and the occasional going out with coworkers


DC tax return
Total income:




57% savings rate. For the record, I put $1,000 of my tax return into my emergency fund so it’s looking a tad more respectable these days, even if it’s not quite where I want it to be yet.

It may feel like cheating, but April (and May after that) is going to be expensive, so I’ll certainly take this win while I can get it.

18 Replies to “March 2018: this feels like cheating”

  1. I am so jealous that you DC PF people get together and hang out! And I’m stuck in Northern Ontario.. living vicariously through all of your lives on Twitter.

    Anyway, congrats on your big savings month! We’re going to be getting our tax returns soon and they are going to help me make up for some truly appalling saving since Christmas.

    1. It’s pretty awesome that so many of us live here, not gonna lie. But maybe one day you’ll be able to crash a larger meetup somewhere! 🙂

      Thank you and hooray for tax returns! I can never find it in me too look at them as a bad thing haha.

  2. Hey income is income no matter how you get it! That’s awesome way to go! That’ll be so exciting once the student loans are paid off!

    April will definitely be a more expensive month for me as well, that’s why we have the rest of the year to make up for that! ?

  3. Ugh, I feel terrible for continuing to miss all the DC meetups. However, super excited to meet some of you guys & gals this weekend at Camp FI!

  4. Your spending looks great this month! Also, I’m really jealous of that DC Money Nerds lineup. I really need to take the train there one weekend!

    At the Choose FI meetup were there a lot of people you’ve never met before?

    1. Hop that train (or bus!): I want to meet you! Yeah! I’d say probably 2/3 of the people who were there were people I hadn’t seen before (and there also wasn’t much overlap from the first ChooseFI meetup I’d been to a couple of months ago).

    1. Good to see you again too, and we should be meeting again sometime soon! Plus I hear you’re planning a bike ride with Guy on FIRE, which should be awesome!

  5. I’m so jealous of all that cherry blossom – it looks ace. And the DC meetup, loads of cool bloggers around that area,

    Congrats on the savings rate, that is epic.

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