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.
August seems like it went by in the blink of an eye. I can’t believe summer is almost over! (Not that it really matters a whole lot as I spend most of the days working in a frigid office).
I spent most of August close to home except for one very memorable and enjoyable weekend in Chicago! I met up with friends from my Chautauqua trip. Chicago was a great place to meet as one couple lives there and it’s a good halfway (ish) point for me and our other friend. We explored downtown, got some Frango Mints, witnessed an amazing Cardinals win at Wrigley Field and had several delicious meals. We also got the opportunity to meet local Mustachians at a meetup Saturday night. It was a blast!
Other than that weekend, I read a lot of books, worked on my side hustle, finished up my summer softball league and enjoyed spending some time outdoors in the warm weather.
But I’ve segued far enough from the numbers. Without further ado, I present my spending (for better or for worse) for August 2016.
|Rent||Stilllll paying rent.|
|Utilities||I’d expect this month to be the highest of the year. It was HOT. Thankfully, I’ve been able to turn the AC off recently so next month’s bill will be lower.|
|Food||Very reasonably over budget for a month with travel in it.|
|Phone||So low. I love Project FI!|
|Auto||Parking charges sunk this category. Sigh. I biked to work for a few days to use less gas.|
|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||I got the privilege of paying to make my cat mad. It was time for shots! Good news is he will be rabies free for 3 years now! Woo!|
|Support||Monthly allotment to my sister.|
|Blog||I bought a new plugin for the blog.|
|Shopping||Clothes, some new sports equipment…|
|Travel||Train tickets and some spending cash.|
|Fees||Quarterly fees on my retirement account|
|Gifts||Starting to find good presents for Christmas!|
All told, my spending totaled $2616 for July. Look at me getting a handle on my spending! I’m quite pleased with the spending dropping this month. My total savings rate for August was 49.81%, or almost 50% on the nose! Woot!
Very normal month of income. Hopefully this will go up in a few months when I get my new job!
Roth IRA: $450
Total savings: $2,641.60
A very normal month for savings.
As of 1 September, my net worth sits at $105,442.73. The market continues to go up and I continue stashing away money. Life is good.
According to the Lab over on Mad Fientist’s site, my FI date is now 9 years and 7 months away, which means I’m now at March 2026 instead of February 2026. I’m sad this remained the same amount of time, but I think I need to save more or spend way less to get it moving again. Maybe this winter when I’m not traveling.
This month: $300
Income: $30 (!!!)
I actually sold some pieces this month! They’re being very well received and I have plans rolling to include them at a booth in a fall sale. Wish me luck!
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. They help offset the costs of bringing you new and exciting content!
Amber Masters says
Way to go!! Very impressive cut back on your spending. We are working hard at that too. Good luck selling in the fall sale!
You are doing great. Keep doing what you’re doing. March 2026 is still a pretty amazing FIRE date for someone in their 20’s. 😉
A few blog posts ago, I mentioned how it turned out that my savings rates were all over the place in the immediate past 12 months. From 8% to 76%. Sometimes life happens.
Also, it is very cool that you’re able to save as much as you do and still help out your sister.
Congrats on the side hustle success as well.
Thanks TJ! My sister is basically the only form of charity I do at the moment. It helps me feel involved with all the great things she does for other people 🙂
Is your intention to hit the 18.5k max on the 401k early or are you playing catchup as I think at that rate you are well on course to fill it up?
My intent is to fill it up on the last paycheck. My employer only matches what I put in, so if I max early I miss out on the match.
John G says
I think you’re a superstar and doing a great job. As someone who just hit $250k net worth at 28 I know how great it feels to hit milestones and see your net worth rise and rise. The only thing I think that’s worth altering is the mindset that the market going up is a good thing and a crash is awful. Remember, we are buying stocks at this stage of our lives, not selling. Let’s get excited when we get to buy something great for 30 or 40% off. Don’t we get excited when we go to the store and get those types of discounts? Why not with stocks? As stocks go up while we are buying we have to pay more for less.
It’s a weird mindset instinctively to have enjoying a market crash and seeing our investments plummet but we will look back when we start withdrawing money and be grateful for those crashes. They will be the period that afford us the best discounted purchases.
Thank John! I agree. It irritates me when my older traditional friends tell me I’ll crack and fold during a downturn. Yeah it’ll suck watching my net worth go down, but I’ll have the same amount of shares. Just gotta wait for their value to recover!