Disclaimer: some links may be affiliate links. They help offset the cost of keeping this blog running!
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.
August was a quiet month for me. I spent some time further organizing my new living space, playing Harry Potter Wizards Unite with other local community members, and visiting with friends when they came into town. I finished one of my baby quilts and sent that off to a friend, which is a pretty cheap and engaging way for me to spend time at home. I get more skills and they get a quilt! It’s a win-win for everyone.
I also spent some time prepping for FinCon, which happened at the beginning of September and was a ton of fun. If you want to read that breakdown, check out the recap here if you haven’t already!
Check out below for my spending breakdown of August 2019!
|Housing||Ahh there’s the ridiculous housing cost|
|Utilities||A small, new build apartment with the windows open most of the month.|
|Food||I was way under budget!!|
|Phone||I love Google FI!|
|Auto||Gas and car insurance premiums.|
|Internet||Gotta have that fast interweb access.|
|Pet||Bartholomew is spoiled rotten and needed a new water fountain when his died.|
|Blog||I bought a ticket to go to the Financial Freedom Summit!|
|Entertainment||A movie, some music, some mobile game spending|
|Shopping||A few more pieces of clothing and other householdy things|
|Fees||A stupid toll fee and other misc fees from accounts|
|Travel||My flight to Camp FI SW!|
|Hobbies||I’m picking up counted cross stitch again|
|Gifts||Queso for a friend going through a breakup and a bday present for someone else|
|Health||I went to a climbing gym and picked up some other stuff for working out.|
I am so proud of my expenses for August! I feel like I crushed it! Life in the Washington, DC metro area is expensive, but there are ways to mitigate that. There are so many free things to do around here, it’s crazy.
So crazy, in fact, that I only spent $3,838 during the month! It’s been a while since my spending was this low (for DC) so I’m pretty happy. I’m particularly thrilled over that food budget. Turns out beans and rice really are cheap and filling!
Other income: $283.58
I sold some stuff on Etsy and people sent me money via PayPal for some other stuff. I’m glad these reports are so detailed! ha!
Total savings: $1,611.34
Every time I get stressed out over how much I’m not saving anymore, I just remember I’m still coming out positive every month and that’s really what matters. My savings rate for August 2019 was 33.76%! Way better than I thought it would be. Funny how I’m almost more proud of a 33% rate in a HCOL area than I was of a 70% in a LCOL area.….
According to this, my total net worth is $203,371. July was a banner month for market growth, while August was.…. not. I’m down about $4,000 from where I was in July, but that is a‑ok.
Most of my net worth is tied up in retirement accounts. If all goes well, I won’t be needing that money for many decades to come so I’m not worried about these minor fluctuations when I look at the long term view. If you’re a Millennial like me, just keep sticking to the plan. Everything will work itself out in the end!
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?
Hey, every month is an accomplishment!!! That’s awesome. Any progress on the job?
Awesome work. I like the details, definitely seems like something to be accountable for. From one millennial to another, how do I get connected with the FIRE community? I feel like I need someone to bounce my thoughts off of.
Gwen [Fiery Millennials] says
Find a local FIRE group on Facebook for your area (ChooseFi or Mustachian) to meet people in your area. You can also join broader FIRE groups on Facebook that a lot of people join. I’ve had the best luck with Twitter!