Monthly Status Report: October 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.

View from the wall
View from the wall of a 900 year old castle in England


What a magical month! I spent the first two weeks of October gallivanting about Western Europe and having a blast. Since so much of my spending can be directly attributed to my vacation, all of it done on vacation will get put under that category and not under food or transportation. It seems like just yesterday I was packing my bags and now it's the beginning of November……. crazy talk!

I've segued far enough from the numbers. With­out fur­ther ado, I present my spend­ing (for bet­ter or for worse) for October 2016.


RentLast month of rent at this price. It goes up 60% when my lease is up Nov. 7th.
UtilitiesGoing down! Woot woot!
FoodTechnically under 😀
PhoneSo low. I love Project FI!
AutoA few tanks of gas and one headlight. Replacing the headlight only took 5 minutes this time! #girlpower
InternetSame price as always.
InsuranceHealth insurance is paid directly from my paycheck, and the others are an average from my 6 month payment.
PetEeks. Everything came due at once- wet food, dry food, and cat litter. I also had to buy a replacement scratch post.
SupportSupport for my eldest sister as she travels the world doing good things.
BlogThe other half of the payment for my AWESOME NEW LOGO 🙂
VacationYep. That's high. Ouch. But super worth it.

All told, my spending totaled $3472.31 for October. Ouch. However, I consider it money well spent as the biggest chunk was on travel. My normal spending categories were actually under budget since I was gone the first two weeks! I made a couple of silly errors that resulted in me having to buy silly things like a new cat scratch post since I left it at my parent's house. My headlight also went out only 18 months after I replaced it the last time. I was extra careful not to touch the bulb this time. All in all, an amazing month of life and a ‘meh' month for finances. Despite spending so much money this month, my savings rate went up to 31.4%. That is below my average for the year, so I will be doing a “No Spend November” to boost that average. I mapped out all my expected expenses for November and I'm not going to spend over $2500. (Provided I stay in my current place and I don't move for the new job. If I move, I will have all sorts of moving related expenses and any budget goes out the window.)


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

A normal month of savings DESPITE the fact I took a two week vacation. Saving is a priority to me and I will save the same amount even when I'm busy doing other things.

As of 1 November, my “cash stash” sits at $105,394.88. I wish this had moved further up, but lots of travel means a big credit card bill at the end of the month.

According to the Lab over on Mad Fientist's site, my FI date is now 9 years and 8 months away, which means I'm now at June 2026 instead of March 2026. I hope my bonus coming in December helps propel me back into my trajectory I was on before Sep/Oct. Still, 9 years left in the workforce isn't bad!

Side Hustle

This month: $150

Total: $1525

Income: $0

Look for my post on my side hustle/hobby soon 🙂

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

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8 thoughts on “Monthly Status Report: October 2016

  1. Well done considering you got to play baller in Europe for a good portion of October!

    October wasn’t such a great month for me. Net worth went down thanks to Mr. Market. Hopefully November will be better.

    Do you mind if I jump aboard the No Spend November train? 🙂

    Current FI countdown clock according to the FI Lab is 8 years 3 months. 😀 It still blows my mind that FIRE could be a thing before age 40.
    TJ recently posted…Experiences vs Things is a False Dichotomy (…and the Evolution of My Relationship With the Internet….)My Profile

  2. Bravo for prioritizing saving, even while being on a nice vacation! We went over budget by about $500 this month–which isn’t good! That means we won’t be able to put as much money into savings this month, so that really sucks. It’s tough for us right now since we just moved into our house. I was hoping the costs would level out by now, but I was sooo wrong!
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…Guest Post: Farming Phyllis’s Secret Coffee RecipeMy Profile

  3. That looks like a pretty great month despite the travel. Nice Job. You say ” I don’t move for the new job”. Did I miss the update? Did you get the new job? Are congratulations in order?

    Pets! This always happens to us – everything comes due in the same month and makes my budget look stupid.

    We had an excellent month for savings in October but the market nearly wiped out everything we saved : / I’ve posted our monthly update, so come take a look and empathize with me.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…On the path to financial independence: October 2016My Profile

    • Nope you didn’t miss anything but I’m mentally preparing myself for the move. I doubt I’ll be able to stay in my current city 🙁

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