Monthly Status Report: February 2017

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

Feb­ru­ary was an EXHAUSTING month! I don’t know how peo­ple with kids work 10, 11, and 12 hour days. I was pooped! A cou­ple of very impor­tant mul­ti-day meet­ings took place and I was kept busy run­ning around sup­port­ing them all.

As if work wasn’t enough, I also decid­ed to add in the fun of buy­ing a house to the mix. I’m pret­ty sure I did noth­ing more than fill out paper­work and make phone calls for a sol­id 3 days. But every­thing has been going smooth­ly on the house process so far, so I’m thrilled this is actu­al­ly going to hap­pen this time!

I did have a fun week­end away in Chica­go. The weath­er was beau­ti­ful (65−70 degrees in Feb!!), the drinks plen­ti­ful, and the com­pa­ny was the best. I got to hang out with old friends, show off the city, and have lots of fun! We ate more calo­ries in 2 days than I did in the pre­vi­ous week com­bined lol. Good thing we walked at least 8 miles! This trip to Chica­go is why my food bud­get looks so whack.

To explain the chart below a bit bet­ter, the third blue col­umn con­tains the amount I actu­al­ly spent. You can com­pare that to the sec­ond col­umn, which lists the bud­get for that cat­e­go­ry. The same goes for dis­cre­tionary expens­es, although I don’t real­ly have a bud­get for them. I just try to not go crazy.

With­out fur­ther ado, I present my Feb­ru­ary 2017 expens­es (for bet­ter or for worse):

RentThird month of the new rent. Still amaz­ing.
Util­i­tiesNo util­i­ties! It’s all includ­ed in the rent.
FoodYou can thank Por­til­los, Wrigleyville, and Giordano’s for the high food bud­get.
PhoneSo low. I love Project FI!
AutoLots of dri­ving and one Über at surge pric­ing.
Inter­netNo inter­net charges for awhile 😀 also includ­ed in the rent.
Insur­anceHealth insur­ance is paid direct­ly from my pay­check.
PetMore food and lit­ter for the floof.
Sup­portI sup­port my sis­ter with her mis­sions!
BlogTime to renew the blog host­ing!
Enter­tain­mentMon­ster truck ral­ly sou­venir and hock­ey game raf­fle.
Shop­pingThe shirt for CMSE and a new book 🙂
Trav­elPay­ment #2 for Ecuador!!!!!!! AHh­h­h­h­hh!!!!
GiftsTick­ets to a Car­di­nals game with my mom­ma! (Don’t wor­ry, she already knows about them so I can put this on here. Love you mom!)
HouseInspec­tion fee. Good news is it will be reim­bursed!

Ignore the misc cat­e­go­ry in the pic­ture — I for­got I moved that to anoth­er cat­e­go­ry so that’s why I left it out. All told, my spend­ing totaled $2,731.76 for Feb­ru­ary! A bit high­er than ‘nor­mal’ and def­i­nite­ly high­er than last month. Con­sid­er­ing I don’t antic­i­pate spend­ing like that for the rest of the year, I’m ok with this. My expens­es will drop even more when I move into MY HOUSE (!!!) and don’t need to pay rent. How­ev­er, I’ll be back to pay­ing for inter­net and util­i­ties again. Cue sad trom­bone music.

Income

Gross: $5,508.22

Adjust­ed: $3,087.76 (after tax­es, deduc­tions, and oth­er with­hold­ings are tak­en out)

Tax­es: $1,496.32

A nor­mal month of income. Noth­ing came in except a few dol­lars in inter­est and my pay­checks. Next month will be fun since I get my tax refund back! And! I got anoth­er raise, so that will kick in for my next check. It’s my annu­al cost of liv­ing increase and only went up 1.11%. Not even beat­ing infla­tion, but I’m still grate­ful it’s some­thing. My salary has increased a whop­ping 14% in the last 12 months! That means 14% more to save! Woop!

Savings

401k: $2,147.38

Roth IRA: $450

HSA: $220.82

Cash: $0

Total sav­ings: $2,818.20

A ‘nor­mal’ month of sav­ings. I wish I had been able to save more of the cash com­ing in, but a trip to Ecuador for the Chau­tauqua is sooooooo worth it 😀

Since I spent more this month, my sav­ings rate came in at 50.01%. I’m impressed it was only .01% away from being an even 50%.

Accord­ing to the Lab over on Mad Fientist’s site, my FI date is now 7 years and 11 months away, which means I’m now at Jan­u­ary 2025 instead of Feb­ru­ary 2025! One month passed, one month dropped.

My total net worth is now sit­ting at $140,058.00! The mar­ket was INCREDIBLE in Jan­u­ary, so I’m just try­ing to tell myself these are paper gains and noth­ing to be count­ed on. Still, it’s nice to see!

Side Hustle

This month: $0

Total: $1525

Income: $0

No more expens­es for the near future as my shop has moved to the unfin­ished part of my new digs!

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

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29 thoughts on “Monthly Status Report: February 2017

  1. Your rent is AMAZING. I’m swoon­ing over that.

    I haven’t fin­ished updat­ing our num­bers yet, I’m hop­ing to be done with that by Fri­day so that I can post on Mon­day. It’s going to look all messed up for at least sev­er­al months, though because of our tem­po­rary down pay­ment loan, and then the repay­ment, and the sale of our place, and buy­ing anoth­er. It’s … all very con­fus­ing!
    Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life recent­ly post­ed…A bit of self care (and com­mu­ni­ty love)My Profile

    • I know how that feels! Mine has all sorts of extra ran­dom pay­ments in it. Good luck on the search!

  2. Your Chica­go trip sounds fun! And every month I’m so jeal­ous of your $400 rent. My rent is basi­cal­ly equal to yours plus EVERYTHING you spend in your “dis­cre­tionary expens­es.” Womp, womp, that’s DC for you (and I guess I also don’t live in someone’s base­ment).
    Ellie @ The Ched­da recent­ly post­ed…The (Job) Hunt is OverMy Profile

    • And you don’t live under a ram­bunc­tious 7 year old who sounds like a boun­cy ele­phant. The all-inclu­sive rent is saweeeeeeeetttttt but wear­ing thin at this point.

  3. Oh LAWD. I can’t imag­ine buy­ing a house AND work­ing long days like that. You real­ly are a troop­er. I’m hap­py to hear the house-buy­ing is going smooth­ly! I know how *hor­ri­ble* it can be, so yay! 🙂

    I’m envi­ous of your tax refund. We filed on Mon­day and owe for the first time ever. Ugh! I expect­ed it though since my income jumped up $17,000. Oops. We adjust­ed our with­hold­ings so hope­ful­ly next year won’t be as pun­ish­ing. Got­ta pay Uncle Sam, though, I guess.

    Also, I stum­bled upon stained glass stuff at Hob­by Lob­by last week­end and total­ly thought of ya!
    Mrs. Picky Pinch­er recent­ly post­ed…Updat­ed Easy Home­made Yogurt RecipeMy Profile

    • It’s been a strug­gle but I can see the light at the end of the tun­nel! Woo!

      I didn’t intend to get so much back buttttt I didn’t change my with­hold­ings at all when I moved/got rais­es. Oh well. I can put it to good use lol.

      Yay! Stained glass stuff! I rarely go into Hob­by Lob­by because I always end up spend­ing way too much mon­ey when I do!

    • Oooh I only get the reg­u­lar pay­checks in March 🙁 but I will get my tax refund! So that will basi­cal­ly be anoth­er pay­check. And… I get some of the rental income from the prop­er­ty start­ing then too.

    • Track­ing your spend­ing is the very impor­tant to my suc­cess. I like to track where my mon­ey is going so I can adjust my habits if they’re not align­ing with my core goals.

    • Thanks Mrs. BITA. Don’t get too green.… I am liv­ing in a base­ment. Under the main liv­ing areas. The house now includes a 7 year old that likes to run around, play jacks, and prac­tice her tum­bling skills. Good times, good times.

    • Gosh I hope so. That lit­tle beast got a raise and is STILL BEATING ME. I am deter­mined to be tri­umphant over the guinea pig!

  4. So good to hear the house buy­ing process is going smooth­ly! Hadn’t got­ten an update late­ly, but I assumed all was well. And, CONGRATS on the raise! Hey, it’s a good thing a friend of yours cough me cough bought you lunch one day to off­set that Chica­go trip. 😉 Glad you had a great time with your friends!

    • And many thanks I give for the deli­cious vict­uals (and fab­u­lous com­pa­ny!) pro­vid­ed!

  5. Hel­lo Gwen! I have been read­ing your blog for the last cou­ple of months now and it has been real­ly inter­est­ing! Awe­some about the house by the way, I look for­ward to hear­ing some more details when it has all been ful­ly final­ized. You will have to give us a blog post at some point in the near future show­ing the dif­fer­ence in costs that you expe­ri­ence on a month by month basis liv­ing in your new house vs rent­ing. Keep it up!!!

    PS: I will have to use your suc­cess as my bench­mark to chase!! Some friend­ly com­pe­ti­tion nev­er hurts haha!

  6. I just dis­cov­ered your blog and actu­al­ly sent it to my lit­tle broth­er as an inspi­ra­tion to start track­ing his spend­ing. Fan­tas­tic job this month. Con­grat­u­la­tions on the house!
    RI recent­ly post­ed…2016 Spend­ing RecapMy Profile

  7. Just heard your inter­view on the RPF pod­cast. Very impres­sive. I am tempt­ed to send this link to my sons, who are a lit­tle younger than you, with a note along the lines of, “This is the kind of woman you want to mar­ry, boys”.

    I prob­a­bly will — with­out the com­ment. 😉

  8. It looks like a good month. Though I have to ask, why the Roth IRA? With income tax rates at 0% for ear­ly retirees, why not invest in tax­able accounts that don’t have such oner­ous restric­tions as Roth IRA’s?

    • Tax­es, most­ly. I can’t guar­an­tee I’ll have low­er income in the future, so this is a nice hedge. I’m not pay­ing too much in tax­es right now (~20%). Hon­est­ly, it should prob­a­bly be a Trad IRA but I haven’t changed it over.

  9. Awe­some work! Its nice to get a kick from the mar­ket, but I’m wait­ing for the oth­er shoe to drop. Its tough not being a mar­ket- timer! I like the trad IRA. Don’t pay the tax­es now, and roll over into a Roth dur­ing low earn­ing years.
    I’ll be excit­ed to get our tax­es done and get that refund once USAA fig­ures out their 1099’s!

    Go Bru­ins!
    John@MilitaryFIRE recent­ly post­ed…Opti­miz­ing Advance Pay dur­ing Mil­i­tary Trans­fer Sea­sonMy Profile

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