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.
Overall, July was a fun month! It wasn't quite as cheap a month as I had hoped it would be, but I still managed to reduce my spending a bit and come in under budget. A good chunk of my month was taken up with obsessing over Pokemon Go. I reduced my spending as I was encouraged to go outside and ride my bike around (or walk, or rollerblade), although I might've driven a bit more to get to areas to go hunt in. I consider it a wash, really.
I ended up driving back to my hometown twice in July: once for my sister's graduation party and once to meet my mom to drive to St. Louis for her mother's day present! We had a blast even though the Cardinals lost to the Dodgers.
I also got the pleasure of meeting Jason from Phroogal! He dropped in for a bit on his Roadtrip to Financial Wellness tour. I was very glad I got to meet him, as he inspired a lot of great thinking from not only me, but the audience. I have a post in the works about the experience that I'll work on getting up soon. I'll be excited to see the conclusion of his trip at FinCon in September!
Other than that I stayed close to home: read some books, watched a few movies, worked on my side hustle, and played more than a few softball games.
But I've segued far enough from the numbers. Without further ado, I present my spending (for better or for worse) for July 2016.
|Rent||Stilllll paying rent.|
|Utilities||They're starting to creep higher. Not surprised since we had a LOT of days with temps and or heat index well over 100. Stupid corn pushed the dew point wayyyy too high.|
|Food||Yep. Way over budget. Totally worth it. #noragrets|
|Phone||So low. I love Project FI!|
|Auto||Happily under budget! I'm slightly surprised- I did a lot of drive time.|
|Internet||Same price as always.|
|Insurance||Health insurance is paid directly from my paycheck, and the others are an average from my 6 month payment.|
|Pet||I stockpiled supplies well last month.|
|Support||Monthly allotment to my sister.|
|Blog||I got some dope business cards for the blog! I can't wait to hand them out to people!|
|Misc||Seems high due to buying the tickets for the Cubs. My friends have already paid me back for some and I'll get the rest in a few weeks. Also bought some fabric 🙂|
|Travel||Only a few bus tickets this month 🙂|
|Shopping||My warddrobe continues to age. I realized several of my favorite clothes are starting to be home only 🙁|
|Entertainment||I bought a few games this month. They're a lot of fun!|
All told, my spending totaled $3038 for July. I'm not a huge fan of spending so much, but I did have several repayments which cancelled out some of the bigger totals. I also bought several things that needed replaced, which is a natural part of the clothes cycle. My total savings rate for the month was 42%, which is almost exactly equal the average rate for the year. While I wish I could've done a low spend month, I'm content with where I ended up.
Slightly higher than normal due to repayments. Otherwise, same ol, same ol.
Roth IRA: $450
Total savings: $2,641.60
A very normal month for savings.
As of 1 August, my net worth sits at $103,331.79. Yes, that's right. I HIT $100k! Everytime I get to type that I just get so happy 🙂 Hopefully this last paycheck and 401k deposit help keep that above the $100k line, as I had a few days where I dipped below it in July.
According to the Lab over on Mad Fientist's site, my FI date is now 9 years and 7 months away. I dropped 4 months from June's report for an estimated date of February 2026. It seems so far away!
This month: $115
I added a few more supplies that I discovered I was missing, despite buying what seems like half a guy's garage off Craigslist. I'm starting to produce some products now and they're being very well received! I want to make a few more before I tell you all what I'm doing 🙂
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?
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