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.
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):
|Rent||Third month of the new rent. Still amazing.|
|Utilities||No utilities! It's all included in the rent.|
|Food||You can thank Portillos, Wrigleyville, and Giordano's for the high food budget.|
|Phone||So low. I love Project FI!|
|Auto||Lots of driving and one Uber at surge pricing.|
|Internet||No internet charges for awhile 😀 also included in the rent.|
|Insurance||Health insurance is paid directly from my paycheck.|
|Pet||More food and litter for the floof.|
|Support||I support my sister with her missions!|
|Blog||Time to renew the blog hosting!|
|Entertainment||Monster truck rally souvenir and hockey game raffle.|
|Shopping||The shirt for CMSE and a new book 🙂|
|Travel||Payment #2 for Ecuador!!!!!!! AHhhhhhh!!!!|
|Gifts||Tickets 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!)|
|House||Inspection 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.
Adjusted: $3,087.76 (after taxes, deductions, and other withholdings are taken out)
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!
Roth IRA: $450
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!
This month: $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?