Monthly Status Report: January 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

Jan­u­ary simul­ta­ne­ous­ly crawled along and flew by at the same time. I had an absolute BLAST hang­ing out at Camp Mus­tache SE with new and old friends. I took the time to hang out with friends at home as well. I had a few fun board game nights and went out to a cou­ple of hap­py hour events.

I also par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Über Fru­gal Month as chal­lenged by Mrs. Fru­gal­woods. I am proud to announce a suc­cess­ful month! I’ll go into more details after the break­down of my expens­es.

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 Jan­u­ary 2017 expens­es (for bet­ter or for worse):

RentSec­ond month of the new rent. Still amaz­ing.
Util­i­tiesNo util­i­ties! It’s all includ­ed in the rent.
FoodCheck out me com­ing in way below bud­get. I’m so proud!
PhoneSo low. I love Project FI!
AutoGas, with one $56 park­ing charge at Mid­way. Ugh.
Inter­netNo inter­net charges for awhile 😀 also includ­ed in the rent.
Insur­anceHealth insur­ance is paid direct­ly from my pay­check, and the oth­ers are an aver­age from my 6 month pay­ment.
PetMore food at lit­ter for the floof.
Sup­portI sup­port my sis­ter with her mis­sions!
MiscSpend­ing cash for my trip and the fee for my con­sul­ta­tion with Kei­th @ CMSE
Trav­el$500 down pay­ment for the Chau­tauqua in Ecuador!!!! I can’t WAIT to go back!
FeesFees are dumb. Can we agree on that?
GiftsRetire­ment gift and a belat­ed Christ­mas gift for my sis­ter
Hob­biesFab­ric for a new baby quilt for a friend!

All told, my spend­ing totaled $1,618.26 for Jan­u­ary! If you read last month’s sta­tus report, you’ll know I only want­ed to spend $1,200 for the month. I know $1,618.26 is more than $1200, but I’m con­sid­er­ing the month a suc­cess any­ways. If not for my down pay­ment to the Chau­tauqua in Ecuador this Octo­ber (!!!!!!!!!), I would’ve made it. How­ev­er, I con­sid­ered the down pay­ment a non-nego­tiable. If I hadn’t signed up right away, I would’ve missed out on going alto­geth­er and that’s just not cool. I’m par­tic­u­lar­ly proud of my spend­ing (or lack there­of) on food. I cleaned out my freez­er and made do with sub­sti­tutes instead of run­ning out to the store all the time. I won’t be con­tin­u­ing this in Feb­ru­ary but I also didn’t go out and spend a crazy amount on the 1st just so I could say I didn’t spend it in Jan­u­ary. Thanks to Mrs. Fru­gal­woods for the excel­lent chal­lenge!

Income

Gross: $6,999.98

Adjust­ed: $3,701.70 (after tax­es, deduc­tions and oth­er with­hold­ings are tak­en out)

Tax­es: $1,456.76

You have no idea how tempt­ed I was to add $.02 to the gross income to make it an even $7k. But truth in num­bers and all that jazz.

This month I earned slight­ly more than nor­mal thanks to get­ting my deposit back on my last apart­ment. It would’ve been high­er, but they dinged me for cat dam­age. Why did I get a cat that likes to chew on expen­sive wash­er gas­kets!?! It’s a good thing he’s incred­i­bly adorable.

Savings

401k: $2,275.20

Roth IRA: $450

HSA: $970.82

Cash: $1,499.50

Total sav­ings: $3,696.02

A few things to note about the sav­ings. My 410k is set slight­ly high­er than it was last year. I found out my employ­er will deposit the match through the year no mat­ter when I max it out. If I wasn’t sav­ing for the house, I would try to max it out way ear­ly but I am sav­ing for the house so I left it as is.

Jan­u­ary is also the month I get my HSA match. They deposit $750 straight into the account which tech­ni­cal­ly helps off­set the high­er costs of using my health insur­ance. Real­is­ti­cal­ly it means more mon­ey for me to turn into even more mon­ey thanks to my BFF Com­pound Inter­est.

The cash amount saved (again, so want­ed to add $.50 to that num­ber) is sim­ply the amount left over after my expens­es. If I were still in my old apart­ment, I prob­a­bly would’ve only been able to save maybe $100? I’m so hap­py I moved!

Hav­ing dras­ti­cal­ly low­ered expens­es meant my sav­ings rate for Jan­u­ary was a whop­ping 74.30%!! I would be thrilled if this became my new nor­mal. Not sure how that will go with the expens­es from the house though. Stay tuned for more details on the mon­ey side of that life change!

Accord­ing to the Lab over on Mad Fientist’s site, my FI date is now 8 years and 1 month away, which means I’m now at Feb­ru­ary 2025 instead of August 2025! This means I dropped an entire YEAR off my FI date in 2 months! I expect­ed my low­ered expens­es to have an impact, but I didn’t know it’d be that huge! This is the best ever!

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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23 thoughts on “Monthly Status Report: January 2017

    • Thanks Mrs. Picky Pinch­er! I’m inter­est­ed to see what they look like too! So far looks like the P&I will be $356 for a 30 year fixed. This house is a bit tricky because it’s a his­toric house, so any ren­o­va­tions I do have to be approved and done to a cer­tain stan­dard, which basi­cal­ly just means they’ll be $$$.

  1. Awe­some, con­grats on the low­er retire­ment date! I’m sure once your rentals start run­ning you’ll be FI in no time. Also that’s an amaz­ing sav­ings rate! I’m cur­rent­ly stuck at about 50% down from 65% (oh the joys of trav­el). I’m 13 years away from retire­ment though so that’s good! Head­ing in the right direc­tion.

    I’m so excit­ed for you to move into your new house and start rent­ing it out!!!

    • The best part about the house is it comes with ten­ants in it! No need to look for new ten­ants right away thank good­ness!

      Also you’re mov­ing in the right direc­tion, so it won’t mat­ter how long it will take you as long as you keep going for­ward.

      • I must have com­plete­ly missed that, that’s amaz­ing! Hope­ful­ly they are good ten­ants and you’ll have your work cut out for you! Hon­est­ly though, I firm­ly believe good land­lords attract good ten­ants. We nev­er had a prob­lem with our ten­ants in my exes house and it just made the process so much eas­i­er.

        I agree, and thank you for the kind words. I think I have enough fire and pas­sion to dri­ve me for­ward right now and who knows where I’ll be in a year or two. (Hope­ful­ly also a house own­er though ;))

    • Thanks! Only a few more months of these num­bers, I’m afraid :/ I’m lov­ing it while it’s here tho!

    • Every­bodyyyyyyyyy.….….… yeah­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­hh.….….……

      I can­not wait! Which reminds me we still need to hash out those lyrics!

  2. I real­ly, real­ly wish I liked liv­ing in the Mid­west! I did it for eight years, and it sure was cheap­er, but I missed the moun­tains and the sea.

    Great job, though, and to think that your rent will go DOWN while your income goes UP in your new house! Fab­u­lous, fab­u­lous, fab­u­lous.

    • I would be so much bet­ter at ski­ing if I lived any­where near a moun­tain. I love to ski! But right now I like pay­ing less mon­ey to live so.…

      • We do get that BAH! Actu­al­ly that’s anoth­er great finan­cial mis­take. I moved to my new job in Fall of ’14 when BAH was high, with a wed­ding date of June ’15. I picked a rental house based on the BAH w/ Dependent’s Rate of 2014. It dropped sig­nif­i­cant­ly that Novem­ber and still hasn’t recov­ered, and we weren’t eli­gi­ble for BAH pro­tec­tion due to the change in mar­i­tal sta­tus.
        Les­son Learned: pick hous­ing with the BAH you have (or the salary you have for the non-mil­i­tary), not the BAH you think you will get. Eas­i­ly a 5K/ yr mis­take
        John @MilitaryFire recent­ly post­ed…DIY: Your Bar­ber is Steal­ing Your Wal­letMy Profile

  3. Nice work! Apart from not being a chapess we’re in fair­ly sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions, cer­tain­ly for age and goals. It’s not nec­es­sar­i­ly healthy to com­pare, but screw it, I like to com­pare, so I’m sure I’ll be read­ing through your archives in due course.

    All the best
    FS

    • Just remem­ber, our lives are dif­fer­ent so don’t beat your­self up if we vary at all. It’s not a race.

      That being said, beatcha there! hha­haa

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