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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.
Congratulations, we made it through 2020! Woohoo!
December was a pretty quiet month with me being unable to travel to family. Christmas was a pretty quiet affair as I chatted with family and stuffed myself silly on Chinese food. Despite spending more on Christmas presents than many years in the past, I still had a pretty chill month, budget wise.
Check out my spending for the last month of 2020 below!
|Housing||The usual LCOL rent payment|
|Car payment||For my sweet 2015 Mazda3!|
|Gas/Maintenance||Zip Zero Zilch|
|Food||Not super high but also over budget|
|Phone||I love Google FI! No more phone payment holllaaa|
|Internet||My lifeline. Gotta have it.|
|Utilities||The utility bill creeps higher as the temps fall.|
|Support||My monthly support to my sister, plus her Christmas pressie.|
|Pet||Poop rocks and a toy for the fuzz.|
|Blog||The usual fees.|
|Entertainment||The usual subscriptions (Netflix, video games, YT Music) and games.|
|Shopping||Mostly new clothes for me.|
|Fees||Yearly credit card fee.|
|Gifts||More presents for birthdays and Christmas.|
Total spending for December 2020 was wonderfully low at $3,613.77. I’m thankful to end the year on a relatively low note.
I really like not paying a whole lot for gas and car maintenance. I’m getting used to this “never going anywhere” kind of life. Eventually, that will change but for now, I enjoy getting an extra $200 back in my budget. Food was surprisingly low this month even though I loaded up on charcuterie plate goodies. Work was exceedingly kind and gave everyone two $25 vouchers for food at the local grocery stores (not Aldi, though. Sad panda). My manager also gave me a gift card to a local restaurant group, so I’m looking forward to using that when the weather is nicer and after we’re all vaccinated.
Other income: $0
A standard month of income with not much else happening.
Unallocated Cash: $1,642.89
Total savings: $2,719.47
Handy dandy spreadsheet says my savings for the month was 43% for the month! Math is hard. This formula is apparently 401k + Unallocated Cash divided by my pre-tax income. I think this will work out to be almost exactly an average month for me based on the rest of the months in 2020. I’ll take average. Average is boring and good when it comes to finances.
Car (Mazda3): $9,996
Chase Sapphire Reserve: $904
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 $284,033. Last month I was up $25,000 and this month I’m up $14,000! This market is on steroids. Definitely not complaining, but I’m also scratching my head trying to figure this thing out. I’m in for the long haul but this is a wild ride.
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?
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