Monthly Status Report: September 2017

I’m typ­ing this from the lush and beau­ti­ful Ecuado­ri­an Chau­tauqua! All this trav­el has been throw­ing my sched­ule of but bet­ter late than nev­er I guess… I can’t wait to share every­thing I’ve learned this week with you! Beun dia!

Dis­claimer: some links may be affil­i­ate links. They help off­set the cost of keep­ing this blog run­ning!

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.


Sep­tem­ber was anoth­er crazy month. Long sto­ry short, my cat went miss­ing and I spent the vast major­i­ty of the sec­ond half of the month try­ing to get him back. I’m over the moon I even­tu­al­ly suc­ceed­ed! If you noticed a weird gap of no posts here on the blog, that would be why.

I also trav­eled for work in Sep­tem­ber which is unusu­al and awe­some. I am not a sea­soned busi­ness trav­el­er by any means so it was a new adjust­ment for me. Jug­gling all of my respon­si­bil­i­ties did not go so well but you live and you learn.

I still man­aged to spend a fair amount of mon­ey this month between work­ing on the house (still/never end­ing) and prep­ping for upcom­ing trav­el in Octo­ber.

Check out below for my total spend­ing in Sep­tem­ber!


Mort­gageNot includ­ing prin­ci­pal, which is account­ed else­where on my spread­sheet. Actu­al pay­ment is $705.43 a month!
Util­i­tiesStan­dard elec­tric and gas bill for my unit and the house.
FoodI came way under bud­get!!! Most­ly due to being gone on busi­ness the last week 🙂
PhoneHigh­er than my nor­mal Project FI bill due to my home inter­net being out for a week.
AutoGas, new tail light, and new spark plugs.
Inter­netThe new nor­mal inter­net bill.
Insur­anceHealth insur­ance is paid direct­ly from my pay­check.
PetWith him gone for two weeks I didn’t need food or lit­ter 🙁
Sup­portMonth­ly sup­port for my sis­ter.
BlogFees are a bit high­er this month due to bump­ing my ser­vice to a new lev­el.
Shop­pingLots of misc stuff and I mean a lot. New secu­ri­ty sys­tem for the house and more!
Enter­tain­mentI went to see a movie (Kings­men 2 was dope!).
Trav­elSec­ond and last deposit for my Fin­Con AirBnB
GiftsA friend of mine got mar­ried!
HousePay­ment for more stuff done on the house, locks, and about a hun­dred oth­er lit­tle stu­pid things I need­ed to do.

My spend­ing was a bit high­er than usu­al this month with non-house spend­ing com­ing in at $4121. That’s def­i­nite­ly high­er than I like but it was on worth­while stuff (and some of it I will get reim­bursed for!). Hous­ing costs were “low” this month at $1560. I am real­ly look­ing for­ward to these costs mel­low­ing out. It can hap­pen annnyyy day now. My total sav­ings rate for Sep­tem­ber came in at 21% which isn’t too shab­by con­sid­er­ing all the expens­es.


Pay­checks: $3,194.07
Rental income: $600

Total: $3,794.07

No mon­ey com­ing in from the vacant unit. Sad pan­da con­tin­ues.


401k: $2,171.24
Roth IRA: ——
Cash: $0

Total sav­ings: $2,392.06

Still haven’t set this up. I’m real­ly slack­ing.

Net Worth


Accord­ing to the Lab over on Mad Fientist’s site, my FI date is now exact­ly 7 years away, which means I’m at Sep­tem­ber 2024!

My total net worth shot up this month to $176,328! My 401k is real­ly start­ing to pick up steam in this favor­able mar­ket, of which I am a huge fan!

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

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21 thoughts on “Monthly Status Report: September 2017

  1. I am jel­ly about your low prop­er­ty tax­es. Mine are almost $6K a year (yikes), but of course the prop­er­ty is worth more so it’s not all bad.

    Side note: You pay the prin­ci­pal on the mort­gage out of prin­ci­ple 🙂

  2. Speak­ing of trav­el­ing, are you plan­ning on going to the MMM Camp in Vir­ginia next April?

    My bud­dy Matt and I just bought our tick­ets this past week­end and we are pumped!!!

  3. Glad to hear you got your cat back! I remem­ber once when I was a kid our cat jumped on the back of a deliv­ery truck at my par­ents farm and took a trip. We were pret­ty upset until the dri­ver called us a few days lat­er to let us know our cat was fine, it was hang­ing out in their ware­house 3–4hrs away and he would bring it back the fol­low­ing week. Quite the adven­ture.

    Looks like you still has a pret­ty healthy sav­ings rate even with the extra expens­es. Our spend­ing has been a bit off the hook late­ly, at least it feels that way, I received an invi­ta­tion to go to the Colum­bia ‘employ­ee only’ store and bought some water­proof hik­ing boots for bik­ing this win­ter. That was $120 I didn’t plan for. But the boots retail for $230+ so it’s not all bad, plus they’ll keep my toes warm & dry when the tem­per­a­ture dips below zero.
    Owen @ PlanEasy recent­ly post­ed…DYK? Your Mar­gin­al Effec­tive Tax Rate Could Be 60–70%!My Profile

  4. Good job on every­thing… but what did we learn? Favor­able mar­ket isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly good when you’re buy­ing… it’s good once you’ve bought. HAHA

  5. Nice job keep­ing your reg­u­lar liv­ing expens­es low. I see the work trip helped on the food front haha. The house will soon cost far less than what it brings in with all the work you’ve done on it! Can’t wait to hear about this year’s Chau­tauqua when you get back.

    Also, very glad that you found your cat! I’d be com­plete­ly dis­traught if one of our furba­bies went miss­ing.

  6. Keep up the great work! Hap­py to hear you got your kit­ty back. We had pan­ic fits when ours went miss­ing overnight years back. Also, you’re an angel for help­ing out your fam­i­ly. It’ll all come back to you down the road.

    • I’m so grate­ful every time I get to snug­gle him now. I love that fur­ball!

      Ecuador was flip­pin fan­tas­tic! It was warm ish and lush ish.… depend­ing on where we were at the time.

  7. I think I’m miss­ing some­thing. If your expens­es are more than $4,000 and your income is less than $4,000, how do you have a 21% sav­ings rate?

      • Do you mean that you want to express your sav­ings rate as a per­cent­age of your total income, instead of as a per­cent­age of your after-tax income? That sounds rea­son­able, but I still don’t see how you can have a sav­ings rate if there are no sav­ings.
        For exam­ple, if your total income is $5,000, but your after tax income is $4,000 and you spend $4,500, you haven’t saved $500.

        • My total month­ly income was just over $7k so take that for how you will. I’m cal­cu­lat­ing things out in a con­sis­tent way each month so I’m not sure the nuts and bolts of how real­ly mat­ter too much.

          • Sor­ry, I final­ly under­stand what’s going on. The items in the sub­head­ing of sav­ings $2,171.24 in your 401K and $220.82 HSA — that was deduct­ed from your pay­check? So your pay­check was actu­al­ly $3,194.07 plus those two items? No need to reply, I knew I was miss­ing some piece of infor­ma­tion and now I’m up to speed. Sor­ry for has­sling you.

  8. How did you get so much in your 401k and IRA at your age? Did you live rent free for a while? That’s almost 22k a year if you start­ed work­ing at 20 years old.

    • I put $13k in my 401k the first year, and the max every year after that. I also get a gen­er­ous employ­er match as well. My IRA start­ed with a bonus I received in the mil­i­tary and I’ve added to it since. Most­ly, though, I’ve ben­e­fit­ted great­ly from a ridicu­lous­ly amaz­ing bull mar­ket while doing all those things.

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