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.
I’m writing this post as a blanket of heavy snow falls on the world around me. Everything looks so pretty with untouched snow on it! That and the Christmas music I have playing 24/7 are putting me in a very festive mood. I’m thankful for some time to just sit back and relax because November was crazy! I applied, interviewed, waited, got the job, sent in my acceptance, found a place to live, went to Thanksgiving with family, welcomed a new nephew AND moved all in the space of 4 weeks.
Obviously, all of this torpedoed my No Spend November idea, but I’m still grateful I tried to do it anyways as it did cut down on expenses the first half of the month. I will go more into detail soon about the expenses side in a wrap up post for No Spend November.
I’ve segued far enough from the numbers. Without further ado, I present my spending (for better or for worse) for November 2016.
|Rent||Just about 3 weeks of rent at the new high price. Thank goodness my rent is droppin like it’s hot for December and onwards.|
|Utilities||Should be the last full month of utilities I pay for awhile!|
|Food||Packing up a kitchen = higher food costs.|
|Phone||So low. I love Project FI!|
|Auto||All gas as I drove a LOT in November.|
|Internet||Should be the last full month of paying for internet!|
|Insurance||Health insurance is paid directly from my paycheck, and the others are an average from my 6 month payment.|
|Pet||Turns out I bought enough in October for $0 in Nov.|
|Support||Rolling into one big payment for Nov/Dec|
|Shopping||Mostly clothes for interview/new job!|
|Entertainment||Lots of movies and a video game.|
|Vacation||Bought my flights for Camp Mustache SE and partial housing for #FinCon17!|
|Gifts/Charity||Christmas gift for my sister and a donation to charity. More on that in a future post!|
All told, my spending totaled $6331.26 for November. Remember that goal not to spend over $2500? Let’s look back on that fondly and laugh. Unexpected expenses came up (flights, housing for FinCon, charitable donation, moving) and charged quite the bill. Paying off that bill hurt but I’m still grateful I was able to pay it off all in one fell swoop instead of letting it accrue interest over the next month(s). My cash reserves are quite low at the moment, but so are my expenses. I also plan on getting a big windfall in December from moving allotments, my bonus, and moving reimbursements.
The atypically high spending for the month caused my 2016 savings rate average to fall from 42% to 35%. OUCH. My savings rate for November was -22%. This is the first month I’ve ever gone over that badly (so far as I can recall anyways). Not necessarily a fan but again, well worth it.
Adjusted: $2,817.84 (after taxes, deductions and other withholdings are taken out)
A bit lower than normal since I didn’t have any side income and I am paying for my extra days of vacation.
Roth IRA: $450
Total savings: $2,641.60
The best part about having your savings on autopilot is you still save the normal amount when you’re busy throwing around dolla bills.
As of 1 December, my “cash stash” sits at $111,960.00. Even with all the crazy spending I did this month, I set a new record high! The market went up like crazy in November. Not a huge fan of why it went up, but happy it did. My Roth IRA edged over $20k for the first time, and my 401(k) went over $70k for the first time. I now have $100k solely in investments! Once all the big deposits come in from work, I should hit my goal of $120k by the end of 2016. Thank you, Mr. Market and lots of savings.
According to the Lab over on Mad Fientist’s site, my FI date is now 9 years and 3 months away, which means I’m now at February 2026 instead of June 2026. I fully expect to breach the 9 year mark next month with the extra income. I will also have lower expenses for December so more of that money should be staying in my pocket!
This month: $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?