Monthly Status Report: November 2016

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 247 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.


Gross: $5,810.00

Adjust­ed: $2,817.84 (after tax­es, deduc­tions and oth­er with­hold­ings are tak­en out)

Tax­es: $1,180.32

A bit low­er than nor­mal since I didn’t have any side income and I am pay­ing for my extra days of vaca­tion.


401k: $2,091.60

Roth IRA: $450

HSA: $100.00

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!

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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16 thoughts on “Monthly Status Report: November 2016

  1. I’m pret­ty sure I failed No Spend Novem­ber on Day 2, but it’s total­ly okay!

    On the FI Lab, I’m at 8 years 7 months. It was 8 years 3 months at the end of Octo­ber. Whoop­sie!

    But Decem­ber is when I get a lit­tle bump in my income, so maybe I’ll get it back clos­er to 8 years than 9 years when I do my next update at year end. 😀

    Expense report will be post­ed on Wednes­day. It was actu­al­ly pret­ty good com­pared to Octo­ber despite my fail­ure to not spend.
    TJ recent­ly post­ed…When $6,000 Turns Into $111,000 In Five Years.My Profile

  2. We went over our gro­cery bud­get, but for all the extra cooking/baking I did in Novem­ber, I’m not too wor­ried. I bud­get like a lazy per­son, so I just set a “tar­get” for elec­tric, gas, etc. And I nev­er change it from month to month. I know now that the snow is falling we will go con­sid­er­ably over in those cat­e­gories com­ing up, but again, I’m not wor­ried. It bal­ances out with the months that we were way under (when I refused to run the AC 😉 ). Can’t wait to hear the details about your char­i­ta­ble giv­ing! Of all the rea­sons to go over bud­get, that has to be the best!

    • I Kin­da do the same thing with regards to bud­get­ing amounts. It all aver­ages out!

      I can’t wait to share the details of my char­i­ta­ble giv­ing with you all. I think it’ll be a real­ly great mes­sage for every­one!

  3. I think you still did a great job for hav­ing a spendy month! I hope you’re enjoy­ing the new gig and low­er rent. 🙂

    Novem­ber was rough for us, too. It was our final hur­rah before 18 months of aus­ter­i­ty as we pay off our $65,000 of stu­dent loans. I guess you could say we real­ly treat­ed our­selves this month to a lot of crea­ture com­forts. We adopt­ed a cat, bought a KitchenAid, bought a food proces­sor, and a few oth­er things that added up. Our sav­ings rate in Novem­ber month was 40% when it usu­al­ly is around 50%! Blah. I did enroll in the Fru­gal­woods Über Fru­gal Month chal­lenge, so hope­ful­ly we can get on track after the hol­i­days. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pinch­er recent­ly post­ed…How I Final­ly Con­quered Impulse Shop­pingMy Profile

  4. That’s intense, but all towards a good goal right? I’m sure you’re look­ing for­ward to recu­per­at­ing next month and start­ing afresh in your new place!

    What Video game did you get? My part­ner end­ed up get­ting us Fall­out 4 for cheap dur­ing Cyber Mon­day so we’ve been busy switch­ing between that and our library games.

    I’m in the red this month too, with a trip home for the hol­i­days break­ing the bank, how­ev­er if we exclude that I spent a mea­ger $684 so I still con­sid­er it a win!
    Vanes­sa @ Achiev­ing Free­dom recent­ly post­ed…Results From a Chal­leng­ing Novem­berMy Profile

    • Total­ly! I got Poké­mon Sun. It’s ok so far. I’ve been play­ing a lot of fall­out shel­ter on my phone and I’m hav­ing a blast! I’ve been think­ing of play­ing Fall­out now because I
      like it so much.

      Spend­ing less than $700 in a month is super impres­sive!!

      • Hahah, I remem­ber before Fall­out 4 came out, I was addict­ed to Fall­out Shel­ter. I remem­ber play­ing Sim­Tow­er when I was a kid and it remind­ed me a lit­tle of that. Hav­ing Fall­out 4 has been a blast so far, but I real­ly enjoyed Fall­out 3 and New Vegas so it made a lot of sense. Wait­ing this long was total­ly worth it and the reduc­tion in price was fan­tas­tic.

  5. We all have those months! Con­sid­er­ing all the stuff you had going on, includ­ing mov­ing — it was a great month. Can’t wait to hear about your char­i­ta­ble dona­tion!

    We went over a lit­tle in Novem­ber since we bought a whole grass fed steer. Hop­ing to stretch that out for a whole year this time…last time it was only 11 months.

  6. Con­grat­u­la­tions on the new job and whirl­wind of activ­i­ty in Novem­ber! Sounds like spend­ing will be trend­ing down soon enough. I love Project FI too — my bill has been some­where between $26 and $29 every month.

    • Thanks Kudy! Your bill is way low­er than mine! I don’t know if I could ever just that lit­tle data in a month…

  7. I’m just curi­ous. What is your pref­er­ence of Project Fi over Repub­lic Wire­less? I’m cur­rent­ly using RW and just ordered a SIM to test out Fi. I did notice though that RW is cheap­er than Fi but RW doesn’t work inter­na­tion­al­ly nor do they cred­it back for unused data.

    • The inter­na­tion­al use was the main rea­son I went with Google FI over RW. The cred­it back for unused data is a nice perk 🙂

  8. Sound like spend­ing should trend down very soon. Would be good to get it inline to the expect­ed level…but hey unex­pect­ed expens­es do hap­pen. The impor­tant thing is that you’re not forced to take out loans because of these unex­pect­ed expens­es.

    • Yes my cash reserves got a bit low after pay­ing for every­thing with my cred­it card, but the pay­ments came through and I am more than flush now! Woo!

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