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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 combination thereof) works best for you and your needs is the best one for you, since everyone and their budgets are different.
From unusually warm temperatures to unusually COLD temperatures. What a difference a few short weeks makes! I feel like I spent 90% of my time in December under a blanket. I hope to never see ‑30 F windchill on my weather app again, but I feel like that’s not very realistic given my plans to move north to Minnesota.
Speaking of Minnesota, I had a wonderful time spending the end of the month there. I familiarized myself more with the area and got to spend a lot of time with my boyfriend’s family over the holidays. Thankfully spending time doesn’t cost much of anything! My rental expenses also finally came in at a reasonable number, so my total expenses were drastically lower than most of 2017, to be honest. I consider December’s spending to be in the ‘normal’ range. If there is such a thing as a normal level in spending.
Check out below for my total spending in December!
|Not including principal, which is accounted elsewhere on my spreadsheet. Actual payment is $705.43 a month!
|Super cold + leaky old house = high utility bills
|Slightly higher due to holiday meal contributions.
|Actually have a credit this month thanks to awesome Project FI! A combo of referrals and credits 🙂
|Gas and an oil change
|The new normal internet bill.
|Health insurance is paid directly from my paycheck.
|The normal litter and food costs.
|Monthly support for my sister.
|Renewal fees, new equipment, and podcast fees.
|Annual credit card fee
|Doctor bill and laundry
|Christmas presents 🙂
|New filters and some gift cards for my tenants!
New lower expenses are here! WOO! I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. Total spending this month was $3,241 which is amazing! My expenses have been dropping like a stone and I am a big fan. I hope to see this continue in the future!
Rental income: $1,850
Hello big beautiful bonus paycheck! December 2017 income wasn’t as high as 2016 due to no moving reimbursements, but I am still incredibly happy with the money I did get. I also got rent from both tenants and a deposit from the new tenant. Life is good.
Total savings: $17,726.48
Lots of extra money coming in means lots of money staying in my pocket! (for now). I’m very happy I maxed out my 401k in 2017. I will not be doing that in 2018 as I need all the cash I can get right now for the move and sustaining myself while I work on building income.
If I were going to keep on my current trajectory, my FI date according to the Lab over on Mad Fientist’s site would be 5 years and 5 months away, which is May 2023! However, since I plan to quit in March, I will no longer be using this as any sort of useful benchmark. I plan to continue inputting my numbers until then, though.
My total net worth ended the year at $199,696, a gain of almost $75k for the year and $11k for the month. If you’d like to know more about my 2017 year in review, you can check out my last post for all the awesome details.
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?