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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.
If June was an interesting month, July was a roller coaster ride of a month. I started out on vacation in Las Vegas and had an absolute blast! It was my first time visiting so I had no idea what to expect. I was blown away by the lights, crush of humanity, and oddities that were everywhere I looked. (Think fat man in a bikini and bunny ears.)
The next weekend after that I hung out with my parents and built a loft bed for my studio unit. I spent a week hauling the wood around in my car until my boyfriend came into town and was able to help me assemble it in the house. Oh yeah, how could I forget starting to date him!? Hard to believe we've already been together a whole month. Time flies when you're having fun!
The last weekend in July was a lot of fun in particular as we went off into the wilderness, unplugged from society, and enjoyed the beautiful landscape, weather, and spending uninterrupted time with each other.
In other, not so happy lovey dovey related news, I did end up firing my contractor for “failure to complete the work in a timely and quality manner”. She was not very happy and is threatening legal action. I'm not very happy either- I wasted two months and over $5,000 on her shoddy work. Again, this is something that deserves a post of its own, so I'm going to leave it at that. Fortunately, I only paid her a little bit more before I fired her which of course is reflected in the spending below.
Here's how I did on overall spending in July!
|Mortgage||Not including principle, which is accounted elsewhere on my spreadsheet. Actual payment is $705.43 a month!|
|Utilities||Low house bill yay!|
|Food||I'm still in denial about how much food I eat. Don't judge me too much. I should probably bump this up now that I am buying food for two people every now and then.|
|Phone||So low. I love Project FI!|
|Auto||All gas. Dating someone 5 hours away means more driving which means more gas.|
|Internet||I still haven't figured out what my bill amount actually is….|
|Insurance||Health insurance is paid directly from my paycheck.|
|Pet||The cat likes to have food everyday and clean litter. What a weirdo.|
|Support||I'm really slacking on this front. Sorry sis! It's on my to-do list I promise.|
|Blog||Monthly fees for support and email.|
|Shopping||New containers for food prep.|
|Fees||I hope to get some of these refunded!|
|Misc||Cash out for repayments and other misc stuff that doesn't fit nicely in a category.|
|Travel||Flight to Ecuador for the Chautauqua!!!|
|House||Wasted money on the contractor. Yippee.|
All told, my spending for June totaled $4,542,49 with the house project payment, and $3,542.49 without it! I'm happy to see my spending went down, even with vacationing in Vegas and buying my plane ticket to Ecuador. I would say I'm looking forward to my spending going down, but with the amount of travel I'll be doing in the next few months combined with more spending on the house…….. I doubt that will be the case 🙁
Rental income: $600
I didn't get the tenant's rent money for July before I told him I was kicking him out soooo lesson learned there. I won't have any income from that unit in August either. Sad, sad panda.
Roth IRA: ——
Total savings: $2,392.06
Now I have my Roth all set up with Fidelity, it's time to resume my automatic deposits. I'm behind a few months now!
According to the Lab over on Mad Fientist’s site, my FI date is now 7 years and 0 months away, which means I’m at June 2024! Last month I was at September 2024, so I went back to “my timeline”. Astute readers may note I included my pension in my net worth calculations for the first time. I didn't include it before as 1) I had no idea how much was in there and 2) I wasn't vested so I couldn't have taken it with me if I'd left the company. Now, however, I'm vested! If I work until I'm 31 and don't take the pension until I'm 65, I can be reasonably sure of getting $1100 a month. My company is one of the few out there that still offers a pension and 401(k) options.
With the pension inclusion, my total net worth jumped 9.07% to $172,479 this month! I'm pretty pumped about the jump! (Even if it's more or less manufactured- I'll still take it!)
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?
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