Monthly Status Report: September 2016

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.


RentStilllll paying rent. One of the last “low” months due to my lease ending soon.
UtilitiesHigher than I'd like but trending down for the rest of the year.
FoodVery reasonably over budget for a month with travel in it.
PhoneSo low. I love Project FI!
AutoSuper low this month as I mostly didn't drive or took Ubers.
InternetSame price as always.
InsuranceHealth insurance is paid directly from my paycheck, and the others are an average from my 6 month payment.
PetNormal spending. Some wet food and a bag of kitty litter.
SupportMonthly allotment to my sister.
BlogTicket to FinCon17 in Dallas and a deposit for some graphic design work I'm having done.
ShoppingLast minute stuffs while not at home.
TravelShould 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.
GiftsStarting 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.


Gross: $5,501.70

Adjusted: $2,817.84

Taxes: $1,180.32

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.


401k: $2,091.60

Roth IRA: $450

HSA: $100.00

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.

Side Hustle

This month: $300

Total: $1375

Income: $0

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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19 thoughts on “Monthly Status Report: September 2016

  1. My September was very similar in terms of the dollar amount spent and the effect that it had on my FI progress in the Lab….the September spending post will actually be going up on Monday. The “funny” part is that were it not for various side hustling (bank and brokerage bonus chasing), I’m pretty sure I would have had a negative savings rate for the month.
    TJ recently posted…State of the Blog Update After 1 MonthMy Profile

  2. Nice savings Gwen! Always nice to see some pet expenditure in an expenses report; cute 🙂

    I hope you’re having a great time in England and enjoying the tea and scones! What is your adjusted income? I don’t understand that (maybe because I’m Australian).

    Nice month! Good luck for the next one.

    Dividends Down Under recently posted…Helping family with finances?My Profile

  3. Great job! I’m sure you have addressed this previously, but I’m curious about the money for your sister. Is she in school?

  4. That’s sweet you support your sister!!! Charity and family help all in one. I hope the changes in your job work out. I have to say that in some ways I really regret not spending more when I was younger on travel, pets, etc. But I’m also glad now that I’ve saved. Probably more glad than I can express as I too hate the world of work.

    I have to say that in my forties I spend less than you on a monthly basis!! And I think I’m a spendthrift! I guess it depends how much you are saving. Have you considered putting your savings rate in your monthly post also?

    • It’s at the bottom of every Monthly Spending Report! This month was a measly 16% as I spent a lot. Otherwise, I’ve been averaging about 43% for the year.

    • September was probably my favorite month out of the year so far. I loved getting to meet so many new people and seeing so many new places!

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