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February Finances

February 27, 2015

Thank goodness the month of February is short. The weather is often gray and drab. We’re all sick of it being cold and we are ready for the fresh feelings of springtime. Have you ever wondered if you should manage your money any differently given the shorter time frame?

I’m a believer that money should always be adjusting and moving with the differences in your whole life and it doesn't matter the form that they take.

February is either 1, 2 or 3 days shorter than the other months, which can be as much as 10% shorter. I certainly notice its impact on both myself and the world around me. It’s nice because it gets us into the spring of March more quickly. Still, things feel a little rushed and creep up on us faster than usual.

One attribute is that there are 3 fewer days to spend money. Three fewer days to feed the family, buy coffee, or drive to work with roughly the same amount of money coming in during this shorter time period. All of this can make it seem like there is a little more money left at the end of the month than usual.

On the other hand, you paid your mortgage in full, for up to 3 fewer days of housing. Utilities are metered by the day. Paychecks are generally attached to time worked or services provided, not according to the calendar month. So what are the real differences?

Let’s consider where you may be gaining a little financial leverage, and where you may be getting the short end of the stick.

Any monthly bills are going to be more expensive by the day in February than any other month. For example, a mortgage of $1,700/ month will be $60.71 per day this February, but only $54.53 in March. A $100 yoga membership is $3.57 per day this February and $3.23 by the day in March, which is roughly 10% higher in February.

By contrast, when you look at the other areas you spend money on such as eating, social activities, transportation, utilities, etc., which you do daily, and ultimately pay by the day and not according to the calendar year. Meaning, a short month makes no actual difference in the overall financial impact.

Don't let it fool you!

Any sense of deep pockets is an illusion and in fact, February is a slightly more expensive month.

I urge you to use this information to make adjustments accordingly, allowing your money to continue supporting your deep goals and values. Things are more different in February than other times of the year. Let’s treat it that way!