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.
The word that best describes this month is Travel! I started out the month in Omaha for the Berkshire Hathaway meeting, which (parts of) was tons of fun! I stayed close to home for the next two weekends, and then hopped on a plane to hang out with my best friend from college in St. Louis for the weekend. My local airport added a direct flight to St. Louis, which meant traveling there was a breeze! (and Southwest made it a super fun trip. They didn’t pay me to say that, btw.)
Then, this last weekend I FINALLY got to go to Seattle! I had an absolute blast at Camp Mustache. It was very different from my experience at the Chautatuqua this fall, but a good different! I got to see some familiar faces from Ecuador (Mr. Money Mustache, Paula Pant, her partner and several other attendees!), so that was very exciting. I also got to meet tons of new people! I really enjoyed getting the chance to talk to everyone and learn their stories. I’ll have a more detailed writeup of Camp Mustache later, but just know for now that I had a great time.
Other than that, I hung out at home, played sports and generally just relaxed.
But I’ve segued far enough from the numbers. Without further ado, I present my spending (for better or for worse) for May 2016.
|Rent||Stilllll paying rent. It’s actually slightly higher this month as I paid for access to my spare key fob. Don’t ask, I’ll get mad all over again.|
|Utilities||Utilties were super low again this month. Probably the last month for awhile now that it’s getting hot out :/|
|Food||Most of this could actually be attributed to travel…..|
|Phone||So low. I love Project FI!|
|Auto||A few longer drives to Omaha and Minneapolis made for more gas costs, and parking was ridiculously expensive at the airport.|
|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||Just some more wet food and litter for the furball.|
|Support||I’ve started supporting both of my sisters in various ways.|
|Misc||Most of this is medicine from my facial bacterial infection from Omaha. Bleargh.|
|Travel||Significantly lower this month! One plane ticket and an incredibly expensive Uber ride in Seattle.|
|Shopping||Bought some stuff on Amazon and some clothing.|
|Fees||Normal fees charged to my investment accounts.|
|Gifts||I’m participating in a bike ride for MS in June!|
All told, my spending totaled $3188.26 for May. Much much much much better than April! My total savings rate for the month was 42.88%, which is almost 10% higher than last month. My necessary budget was up a bit this month, but discretionary spending went down a lot. Go me!
A bit normal than higher thanks to some credit card rewards I cashed in!
Roth IRA: $450
Total savings: $2,641.60
I wish I had been able to save a bit more outside my retirement accounts, but one month won’t derail my plans.
As of April 30th, my net worth sits at $97,068.98. I’m THIS CLOSE to hitting 100k!! THIS CLOSE I TELL YOU!
According to the Lab over on Mad Fientist’s site, my FI date is now 9 years and 7 months away. I added two months to my timeline this month which is no beuno. Fortunately, June looks like it’ll be a lower spend month! Phew!
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?