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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 a combination thereof) works best for you and your needs is the best one for you, since everyone and their budgets are different.
Now that it is almost April, I figured it’s a great time to get February’s monthly status report out. A good chunk of February was spent pouring over real estate sites, debating the pros and cons of the 3 houses for sale in our area. I’m exaggerating but only slightly. We looked at many houses, put in a few offers and finally got an offer accepted. This means my favorite category of spending is back in the budget: House. Can’t wait to spend all the monies at home improvement stores again! It snowed, the KC Chiefs lost the Super Bowl, my mom retired, we went through a super ridiculous cold snap and then the weather finally started warming up. I got to put my sunroof to use and I love it.
Feast your eyes on my February 2021 spending below!
|Housing||The usual LCOL rent payment|
|Car payment||I prepaid it and I didn’t catch the lack of autopay. Meh.|
|Gas/Maintenance||A few tanks of gas|
|Phone||I love Google FI! No more phone payment holllaaa|
|Internet||My lifeline. Gotta have it.|
|Utilities||Just over budget. Not terrible.|
|Support||I missed this one too — but I doubled it in March.|
|Pet||No poop rocks or food needed this month.|
|Blog||I renewed the blog for another year!|
|Entertainment||The usual subscriptions (Netflix, video games, YT Music) and games, plus my WaPo sub renewed.|
|Shopping||My PJ’s gave out and I got a planner|
|Fees||Quarterly maintenance fees|
|Travel||My Scott’s Cheap Flights sub renewed.|
|House||Inspections are expensive, but not as expensive as not getting one!|
|Gifts/Donations||Supporting my favorite author on Patreon and other donations to those in need.|
Total spending for February 2021 was about average at $4,074. I vowed to do a low to no spend month and partially succeeded. If I hadn’t had that inspection, I would’ve spent $2,694 which is actually amazingly incredible. So I am glad the low spend month worked otherwise I would’ve had that high home inspection payment on top of my usual spending. No thanks!
In the middle of the month, I didn’t see my car payment happen. I paid off a big chunk with my bonus, so my lender was going to let me catch up. I manually paid it in January and didn’t in February, so a little bit of that bonus payment is eroded now. Ah well.
I came in under budget in food for the second month in a row. My partner sent over an Amazon Prime delivery to offset all the extra money I spend on food when he comes over, which was very helpful. It all evens out in the end.
The name of the game was renewals for February. I renewed the blog hosting and domain, my Scott’s Cheap Flights subscription renewed and my subscription to The Washington Post renewed. I read far more articles than their firewall allows and want to support good journalism. I also eventually want to fly again in 2021. There are some great deals to be had for the upcoming months!
I’ve started supporting some friends and people doing awesome things out in the world each month in the form of reoccurring donations. I highly recommend it, if you’re able.
Other income: 0
A standard month of income. Nothing special here!
Unallocated Cash: $1,321
Total savings: $2,326
Handy dandy spreadsheet says my savings for the month was 37% for the month! Math is hard. This formula is apparently 401k + Unallocated Cash divided by my pre-tax income. It’s not great, but it’s better than nothing. Since I got a raise, the amount I’m putting in my 401k also went up.
Car (Mazda3): $9,703
Chase Sapphire Reserve: $2,401
My credit cards get paid off every month to zero. I don’t necessarily mind the money aspect of having the car loan, but the logistical side of things is annoying. The car loan is now under $10k! If all goes well, I’ll be able to pay it off entirely in 2021. The rate is good but it’s just annoying to have hanging around. Moving money between financial institutions is cumbersome and the credit union keeps calling me to get things like the title sent to them. Much simpler to pay in cash for a car.
According to this, my total net worth is $287,239. Slowly going up. Seems like the closer you get to a big milestone, the slower your net worth goes up. Let’s go $300k!! We can do it!
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?