Monthly Status Report: April 2017

Happy May, friends! With the addition of my monthly rental line items, I am changing the monthly report format. Please note I also have some affiliate links in the posts now, as they help offset the costs to keep this blog running. Let me know how you like the changes in the comments!

Why do I do a monthly status report?

I find it best to do a monthly status report for a few reasons.

  • It helps me evaluate how I did the previous month. Did I hit a target reduction in spending or did I go way over budget for a par­tic­u­lar category? Did I earn more? What was my overall savings rate?
  • It helps keep me accountable. How can I make an extra purchase knowing I’ll have to explain myself to all of you? Talk about awkward when the blogger can’t walk the walk and talk the talk.
  • I want to prove this crazy thing called financial independence works!
  • It provides an example of real world budgeting and expenses. Some of the people I talk to haven’t ever seen a proper budget or seen one put into action, and part of the purpose of this blog is to lead by example!

I use Mint to help me track my spending and keep an eye on my accounts. I also use a really awesome and super in-depth spreadsheet. So many formulas….. Some people use Personal Capital and others use You Need a Budget (YNAB). Whatever tool (or combination thereof) works best for you and your needs is the best one for you, since everyone and their budgets are different.

Spending

April was a much calmer month all around than March. No new major expenses or surprises popped up on the house or in life, although I didn't appreciate the inconvenience of two of my tires giving out in the same week. Fortunately I have a healthy cash cushion even after buying the house so I was able to absorb that cost without too much angst.

The theme of the month was Meetups! I absolutely love going to different group meetings and making connections with a new group of people. I met up with the local real estate investors club, a planning meeting for a new Makerspace (hopefully coming soon. I need space to work on projects!!), practice for my new softball team, and last but certainly not least, an FI meetup in Minneapolis!

I especially love going to FI meetups. This is what, my 5th or 6th group meetup? I can tell you, they never get old. Chatter flew across the group as topics like investing talk, birth stories, travel tips, and favorite concerts/bands got discussed. Even though I'd just met everyone in the group that day, they already felt like old friends. (Amanda from Centsibly Rich doesn't count because we carpooled, shared a hotel room, and she used to be my neighbor.) The group included Wealth Well Done, Physician on FIRE, Bible Money Matters, the Grounded Engineer, Gecko Vision, Apathy Ends and the No Nonsense Landlord. It seemed like we had just about every facet of finance covered that night. It also seemed like we hit every brewery in town but I was assured there were plenty more to explore for the next meetup.

Without further ado, I present my April 2017 expenses.

RentFirst payment isn't due until May!
UtilitiesFirst bill in May. It's going to be a bit higher than my last place
FoodBelow budget!!!! Amazing!
PhoneSo low. I love Project FI!
AutoGas and fixins on the car. 4 new tires and labor isn't cheap. But so, so worth it.
InternetInternet will start in May as well.
InsuranceHealth insurance is paid directly from my paycheck.
PetStocked up in March, no need for more in April.
SupportI support my sister with her missions!
BlogMonthly fees for support and email.
FeesFees are dumb.
ShoppingRandom necessities
TravelLast payment for Ecuador, hotel in Minneapolis, and a Lyft ride.
HouseLawnmower, rake, gloves and other assorted house supplies.

All told, my spending totaled $3050.26 for March! Slightly higher than normal, but I'm still working on finding my new normal with the house. Forking over $500 on new tires really killed any hope I had at getting in at a ‘reasonable' number. Still, $3,050 isn't bad and I could have easily spent far more.

Income

Paychecks: $3,118.58
Rental income: $1,100
Tax refund: $1,019
Misc: $101.68

Total: $5339.25

April was a fun month of income due to my tax refund and my VERY FIRST RENT CHECKS! They were especially welcome this month with the unexpected expenses.

Savings

401k: $2,171.24
Roth IRA: $450
HSA: $220.82
Cash: $1,891.44

Total savings: $4,733.50

What a great savings month! I love it when I don't actually spend all the cash that comes into my pocket. The 401k deposit jumped up a little with my raise last month, so now I will hit the max earlier in the year. Probably makes about 1 day total difference but hey, every day counts!

Net Worth

According to the Lab over on Mad Fientist’s site, my FI date is now 7 years and 7 months away, which means I’m at November 2024! I'm stoked to have gotten over the '25 hurdle that was stymieing the last few months.

My total net worth jumped to $151,331 this month thanks to a strong market, lower spending than last month, and including home equity. I broke the $150k barrier! I believe I am still on track to hit $200k net worth by the end of the year, but we shall see!

 

Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?

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25 thoughts on “Monthly Status Report: April 2017

  1. I’m jelly of that cost to live in your apartment! How’s the renting going? It took us a solid three months to recover from buying a house; you’ll get back to your groove in no time. Sorry about those new tires! But I guess safety comes at a premium. Sigh. Our April was really rough, so we’ve got a lot of work to do for May.
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What A Frugal Weekend! April 30My Profile

    • Renting is going ok. Still quite a bit adjusting left to do. Don’t forget I didn’t have a mortgage this month. Next month’s status report will have numbers in that line 🙁 🙁 🙁 Sorry to hear your April was rough. Here’s to a better May!

  2. Great work as always! It’ll be interesting to see how the FI community reacts to the next economic downturn. Is it bad I’m secretly hoping it happens sooner rather than later so stocks go on sale (market timing face punch)? It seems like you have a growing Cash balance, do you have a target level of cash before plowing additional funds into investments of some sort? While I take advantage of tax advantage buckets first, I still remain conservative and probably hold too large Cash balance above emergency needs.

  3. Congratulations! How great are rent checks? Like ‘look at this money, this was the easiest money ever!’

    Well, you’ve just finished buying so it probably doesn’t feel easy right now. But the big work is done and yet the money will keep rolling it 🙂

    • I just need a space to do wood working! And maybe have a little corner for stained glass stuff

  4. Nope. Still feels great! Actually a bit better because the work is so fresh in my mind. Feels like I’m actually earning it!

  5. Those are some solid numbers, great work! Looks like you also had an amazing time (and I can imagine how good it feels to get those rent cheques).

    I got home from Japan on April 20th so my budget is 100% down the drain. Thankfully I’m living expense free until I get a job as my in-laws are housing us and my partner (who has a job) is covering our three expenses – food, gas and board games 😉

  6. This is the first monthly status report on your blog, so don’t notice the changes 😉
    Do like how you put everything up here, and shows your working on something great! Congrats with your first rental checks. We hope to join that party somewhere this year. But we’re just starting out, so we expect to be making slow but steady progress.

    • Join the North Stars group on the Rockstar Finance Forum! That’s where this particular meetup was born 🙂

  7. Do you track your monthly progress for yourself or mostly for your blog? I don’t enjoy looking at each penny I spend although I know many do and track every dollar. I instead like to set up the automatic savings, group money into categories beyond that and focus energy on other things.

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