Happy May, friends! With the addition of my monthly rental line items, I am changing the monthly report format. Please note I also have some affiliate links in the posts now, as they help offset the costs to keep this blog running. Let me know how you like the changes in the comments!
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.
April was a much calmer month all around than March. No new major expenses or surprises popped up on the house or in life, although I didn’t appreciate the inconvenience of two of my tires giving out in the same week. Fortunately I have a healthy cash cushion even after buying the house so I was able to absorb that cost without too much angst.
The theme of the month was Meetups! I absolutely love going to different group meetings and making connections with a new group of people. I met up with the local real estate investors club, a planning meeting for a new Makerspace (hopefully coming soon. I need space to work on projects!!), practice for my new softball team, and last but certainly not least, an FI meetup in Minneapolis!
— Gwen (@FieryMillennial) April 30, 2017
I especially love going to FI meetups. This is what, my 5th or 6th group meetup? I can tell you, they never get old. Chatter flew across the group as topics like investing talk, birth stories, travel tips, and favorite concerts/bands got discussed. Even though I’d just met everyone in the group that day, they already felt like old friends. (Amanda from Centsibly Rich doesn’t count because we carpooled, shared a hotel room, and she used to be my neighbor.) The group included Wealth Well Done, Physician on FIRE, Bible Money Matters, the Grounded Engineer, Gecko Vision, Apathy Ends and the No Nonsense Landlord. It seemed like we had just about every facet of finance covered that night. It also seemed like we hit every brewery in town but I was assured there were plenty more to explore for the next meetup.
Without further ado, I present my April 2017 expenses.
|Rent||First payment isn’t due until May!|
|Utilities||First bill in May. It’s going to be a bit higher than my last place|
|Food||Below budget!!!! Amazing!|
|Phone||So low. I love Project FI!|
|Auto||Gas and fixins on the car. 4 new tires and labor isn’t cheap. But so, so worth it.|
|Internet||Internet will start in May as well.|
|Insurance||Health insurance is paid directly from my paycheck.|
|Pet||Stocked up in March, no need for more in April.|
|Support||I support my sister with her missions!|
|Blog||Monthly fees for support and email.|
|Fees||Fees are dumb.|
|Travel||Last payment for Ecuador, hotel in Minneapolis, and a Lyft ride.|
|House||Lawnmower, rake, gloves and other assorted house supplies.|
All told, my spending totaled $3050.26 for March! Slightly higher than normal, but I’m still working on finding my new normal with the house. Forking over $500 on new tires really killed any hope I had at getting in at a ‘reasonable’ number. Still, $3,050 isn’t bad and I could have easily spent far more.
Rental income: $1,100
Tax refund: $1,019
April was a fun month of income due to my tax refund and my VERY FIRST RENT CHECKS! They were especially welcome this month with the unexpected expenses.
Roth IRA: $450
Total savings: $4,733.50
What a great savings month! I love it when I don’t actually spend all the cash that comes into my pocket. The 401k deposit jumped up a little with my raise last month, so now I will hit the max earlier in the year. Probably makes about 1 day total difference but hey, every day counts!
According to the Lab over on Mad Fientist’s site, my FI date is now 7 years and 7 months away, which means I’m at November 2024! I’m stoked to have gotten over the ’25 hurdle that was stymieing the last few months.
My total net worth jumped to $151,331 this month thanks to a strong market, lower spending than last month, and including home equity. I broke the $150k barrier! I believe I am still on track to hit $200k net worth by the end of the year, but we shall see!
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?