Sorry this is so late this month! I'm currently typing this up with a steaming cup of Earl Grey tea next to me as I sit next to a window and look out over the picturesque English countryside. I can't wait to share all the wonderful experiences I've had on this trip with you. But first- a look back at my finances from September 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.
September was probably one of the most fun months I've had this year. I took trips to Portland, ME; Dallas, TX/Oklahoma City, OK; and San Diego, CA. I only spent one weekend at home this month! I visited friends from the Chautauqua in their homes and also made tons of new connections at FinCon. Usually over a glass of hard cider 🙂
It was definitely a busy month as I attempted to do all my normal activities, work, and travel. I'd say I did a pretty decent job at all three, but I am definitely looking forward to being home for awhile (wherever my new home may be if I move) and dealing with all the challenges as I move into this next phase of life.
But I've segued far enough from the numbers. Without further ado, I present my spending (for better or for worse) for September 2016.
|Rent||Stilllll paying rent. One of the last “low” months due to my lease ending soon.|
|Utilities||Higher than I'd like but trending down for the rest of the year.|
|Food||Very reasonably over budget for a month with travel in it.|
|Phone||So low. I love Project FI!|
|Auto||Super low this month as I mostly didn't drive or took Ubers.|
|Internet||Same price as always.|
|Insurance||Health insurance is paid directly from my paycheck, and the others are an average from my 6 month payment.|
|Pet||Normal spending. Some wet food and a bag of kitty litter.|
|Support||Monthly allotment to my sister.|
|Blog||Ticket to FinCon17 in Dallas and a deposit for some graphic design work I'm having done.|
|Shopping||Last minute stuffs while not at home.|
|Travel||Should actually only be closer to $1k. Some expenses are for October. I also bought my Camp Mustache SE ticket.|
|Fees||$450 for my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Ouch.|
|Gifts||Starting to find good presents for Christmas!|
All told, my spending totaled $4,029.56 for September. Ouch. However, I consider it money well spent as the biggest chunk was on travel. My normal spending categories remained reasonable. I have no doubt I will now get the 100k UR point sign up bonus for my CSR. I'm looking forward to settling in for the winter and seeing my savings rate go back up, as it was a paltry 16.6% this month.
A bit higher and lower than normal. A friend paid me for my old trumpet and I got reimbursed $300 for travel, but I got lower pay from my day job since I bought 5 extra days of vacation.
Roth IRA: $450
Total savings: $2,641.60
A very normal month for savings.
As of 1 October, my net worth sits at $104,100.32. I paid more towards my rent to get the credit card bonus this month and paid the fee. I wish this had gone up, but it will bounce back to the normal trajectory soon.
According to the Lab over on Mad Fientist's site, my FI date is now 9 years and 10 months away, which means I'm now at July 2026 instead of March 2026. This is definitely moving in the wrong direction, but again, it will bounce forward a few months when I resume not spending so much money.
This month: $300
I promise I will write a post soon that will show all and answer every question you have. But not now. Now I need to get ready to go to afternoon tea! (Clotted cream gluten-free scone anyone?)
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?
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