Monthly Status Report: March 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.


Oh March…. what an absolutely insane month. My responsibilities are picking up at work. The stress of getting all my paperwork in order for the house. Buying the house. Moving into the house. Figuring out what to do with all my stuff and figuring out how everything works in the new place. Hanging out with my friends. I had a LOT going on in March.

Unsurprisingly, my spending went not only out the window, but flew out of it as though there was a fire. As much as I tried to keep my spending down, it still crept up on me. I have faith, though, that this will be just one small blip in my overall journey and won't be anything to stress over in a few years. Right now though, I have a LOT more gray hair than I did.

Without further ado, I present my March 2017 expenses.

RentLast month of paying for housing out of my own pocket!
UtilitiesNo utilities! It's all included in the rent.
FoodNo ragrets.
PhoneSo low. I love Project FI!
AutoOne year of auto insurance, prepaid when I switched companies.
InternetNo internet charges for awhile 😀 also included in the rent.
InsuranceHealth insurance is paid directly from my paycheck.
PetMore food and litter for the floof.
SupportI support my sister with her missions!
BlogNext year's hosting fee, plus new monthly charges for support and plugins. subscription. BASEBALL IS BACK!!
ShoppingRandom necessities
FeesFees are dumb.
MiscMoving charges, doctor visit, kitchen island…. misc stuff.
TravelFlight for FinCon! Paid for with miles 😀
HobbiesOne weekend quilt retreat with my momma!
HouseYeah….. down payment…. that hurt.

All told, my spending totaled $9,488.50 for March! That is more than I've spent in the past few months COMBINED. It hurt to get that money pulled out of my account, not going to lie. But, the cool thing is, I wrote a check for $5k and now have $8k in equity in the house since I had a bunch of credits and closing fees paid for. So it's not like the money just disappeared on a shopping spree or anything. But hey I have a roof over my head and I'm not the one paying down the mortgage! Woot woot!


Gross: $6,462.00

Adjusted: $3,119.58 (after taxes, deductions and other withholdings are taken out)

Taxes: $1,518.46

A normal month in income. It's slightly more than it was thanks to my 1.11% raise that went into effect at the beginning of the month! It's not much but I'll take it. April will be a fun month for income with the first rent payments coming in and my tax refund.


401k: $2,171.22

Roth IRA: $450

HSA: $238.73

Cash: $0

Total savings: $2,859.95

Absolutely zero dollars were saved in cash this month, because I spent it all on housing stuff. My savings rate this month was a whopping -70.75%. Yes that's right, folks, negative savings. But, like I said, since I put it into the house I'm not really spending it.

According to the Lab over on Mad Fientist’s site, my FI date is now 7 years and 11 months away, which means I’ve stayed at February 2025. I'm not exactly sure how Brandon runs the calculations over there, but something seems a bit off. I would have expected it to take a huge jump backwards like my spreadsheet date did but I'll take it? (My spreadsheet went from 7 ish years to 25 ish years. $70k of debt takes a toll on the ol FI timeline.)

My total net worth slid to $137,901.00 this month. I'm not worried about it going down (was bound to happen at some point) as I will be making up the lost ground quickly with the rental income. Fluctuations are normal!

Side Hustle

This month: $0

Total: $1525

Income: $0

No more expenses for the near future as my shop has moved from a workshop to boxes.

Note: this will be the last month for this format. Next month I will be changing things up with the addition of my rental income and related expenses. Stay tuned! Also, this post now contains affiliate links so I can offset keeping the lights on around here 🙂

Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?

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14 thoughts on “Monthly Status Report: March 2017

  1. Keep in mind that the 70k of debt is balanced out by the value of the asset that it was used to purchase (your house), so there is no change to your overall net worth by getting the mortgage (unless the value of the home has changed since you purchased it). In theory, this should apply to ALL purchases, however for normal consumption items we typically discount the value to near-zero immediately after purchase/consumption, so it goes down as a loss to net worth. Houses and cars are different in that they (usually!) hold at least some of their value over time, so they shouldn’t be written off right away. Although personally, I conservatively don’t count my car’s value in my NW even though it’s probably worth at least $5k, simply because I don’t want to have to assess my car’s value every month when I do my NW reports.

    The only immediate losses that you should see are closing costs and other fees associated with the transaction. And of course the ongoing expenses associated with real estate like property tax, insurance, mortgage interest, improvements, repairs, vacancies… 🙂
    Mitchell recently posted…Monthly Financial Snapshot: March 2017My Profile

    • I like how you basically blah de blah over the stuff that’s causing me the most stress there at the very end of your comment hahahah

  2. Hahahaha, buying a house has that effect on your budget. 🙂 Our budget took at least six months to recover after we bought our house back in September. But at least you’re renting out part of the property, so that’ll be great for reducing some expenses.

    • I have a feeling things will settle down big time after I get the house exterior repaired and repainted!

  3. We’ve had some expenses pop up in our new house that inherently come with purchasing a new home. I am working on a kick a$$ farm house table that costs $115 in material. The same table would be over $600!!

  4. No worries, Gwen. That happens when you buy a house and move. It seriously disrupts life. But things will settle down, you’ll settle in and the expenses will get better. How’s that new kitchen island working for you?

    • The kitchen island is amazing!! So glad I got it. The feeling of joy as I set my stuff on the island to make my lunch this morning was overwhelming!

  5. Yesss. Baseball IS back! Curious to know, what VPN do you use to get pass the blackout rules? Piscotty had some real bad luck getting hit three times in the span of less than 10 minutes.

    Congrats on the official move. My company is moving to a new building in May so I am also in the middle of a move to stay close to my job. It will be my first time living alone (well I’ll have a roommate) away from my family so it’s a big change. I am just glad I already secured a duplex for rent that will be just 4 miles from the new office building.

    • I use a variety of Chrome extensions. Just turn em on and boom! Baseball! Poor piscotty… I’m just glad he’s ok!!

      Glad you found housing! New office space space is the best!

  6. Awesome month, Gwen. Congratulations on the island. What is it about islands? When I was growing up, there was no thing as a kitchen island. But now I’m definitely jaded. I can’t live without an island and granite countertops.

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