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.

Spending:

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.

nov-16-budget

 

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.

Income

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.

Savings

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 Uber 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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