Monthly Status Report: July 2017

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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!


MortgageNot including principle, which is accounted elsewhere on my spreadsheet. Actual payment is $705.43 a month!
UtilitiesLow house bill yay!
FoodI'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.
PhoneSo low. I love Project FI!
AutoAll gas. Dating someone 5 hours away means more driving which means more gas.
InternetI still haven't figured out what my bill amount actually is….
InsuranceHealth insurance is paid directly from my paycheck.
PetThe cat likes to have food everyday and clean litter. What a weirdo.
SupportI'm really slacking on this front. Sorry sis! It's on my to-do list I promise.
BlogMonthly fees for support and email.
ShoppingNew containers for food prep.
FeesI hope to get some of these refunded!
MiscCash out for repayments and other misc stuff that doesn't fit nicely in a category.
TravelFlight to Ecuador for the Chautauqua!!!
HouseWasted 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 🙁


Paychecks: $3,194.07
Rental income: $600

Total: $3,794.07

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.


401k: $2,171.24
Roth IRA: ——
HSA: $220.82
Cash: $0

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!

Net Worth

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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17 thoughts on “Monthly Status Report: July 2017

  1. I’m looking forward to hearing about your experience with the contractor. That sounds like a pain. I don’t see how she can do anything legally if you already paid her for the work she had done. Unless it’s in the contract?

    $1100/month in retirement sounds great! Is that money that you had to put in yourself, or your employer put in? Pensions are weird and I don’t understand them.

    • We literally have no contract, so it’s not like she can come after me for breach of contract or anything like that.

      This is money the company has set aside for me. It’s completely separate from my retirement money.

  2. I’m still pissed at that contractor! Jerk face she was. Here is to a better August with the house.

    As for the NW jump – yeah for you!! My numbers have been al shoddy since starting to pay rent at Johns. For some reason I can’t get a grasp! Then, of course, The Beast had to break down and will soon need new tires. On the other hand, with new rental income coming in things are about to be looking up!! Just in time to kill it at FinCon. What’s the secret password to get in to your pad?? Mama needs some time in the infinity pool. 😉
    Miss Mazuma recently posted…Make The First MoveMy Profile

  3. That’s awesome that you’re vested with your pension now. Although I understand from a business perspective why there is a waiting period for vesting from a personal perspective but it can suck… Especially if the job isn’t what you dreamed it would be.

    Last week I finally got added to my company’s pension (I’m part-time so it took about 2 years to qualify). Your pension sounds to me like a Defined Benefit pension whereas mine is Defined Contribution (which isn’t as nice but still better than no pension).

    Definitely enjoy your blog, keep it up!

    • Hi Jim thanks for the comment! You’re right, I just vested my defined benefit pension plan. It took me 5 years!! I am also incredibly fortunate to have access to a defined contribution plan which vested in 3 years. Congratulations on getting vested! It’s a great feeling.

    • You do bring up a fair point, but I’d say I still need to up it since I eat more often when he’s around. Otherwise I skip meals here and there!

  4. You have a BF now? That’s awesome! Congrats to you. I seem to have 8.5 years to go on the FI Lab. I took a decent chunk out of my stash to pay cash for a 1 bedroom place, but it seems like my time to FI isn’t really too different from before. Maybe it added a year? I don’t really remember.

    I’m starting a new job next week, so I can finally start making some progress again. It pays a lot less than I’m used to, but my housing costs are less than 10% of my pretax wages, so I would guess that it should support a pretty solid savings rate to. Plus my taxes will be noticeably lower too. Bummer is the new employer doesn’t have a 401k. Argh. I’d guess my time to FI might decrease just from having monthly expenses in AZ replace the higher ones in CA.

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