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.
In hindsight, February 2019 was a lot of fun! I felt like I was super stressed most of the month, but looking back it wasn’t so bad. I took an unexpected trip out to San Francisco, so some of my spending is a little higher than I thought. I did have a fantastic time in California for a few days, even if I ended up not getting the job. I don’t mind not getting the job as that means I get to really settle in here in DC and explore everything the area has to offer when it’s not cold, rainy and/or gross. Biking, volleyball, hopefully some softball and Frisbee golf are all calling my name!
Check out below for my total spending in February 2019.
|Housing||Zero line item, thanks to the generosity of a wonderful couple!|
|Food||Significantly higher than normal thanks to the trip to SF. It’s a gluten-free person’s paradise!|
|Phone||Thanks to Project FI opening up their referral program again, I had credits to offset my bill.|
|Auto||No car expenses, but I did top up my Metro card several times.|
|Insurance||Health insurance is paid directly from my paycheck plus a trip to the pharmacy for some meds.|
|Pet||Got some more food and litter for the Fuzz.|
|Shopping||Some new clothes and new furnishings for my new place!|
|Blog||Blog and podcasting expenses — another year of hosting has been purchased #year4|
|Fees||Stupid speeding ticket. Thanks DC. >:(|
|Travel||A plane ticket to hang out with friends and a rideshare or two.|
|Gifts||My friend is having a baby!|
My time at my friends’ house in Virginia is coming to an end. I’ll miss staying with them, but I’m ready to get my own place again too. My awesome-tastic friend Erin from Reaching for FI had a room in her place open up when her roommate unexpectedly moved out in the middle of their lease. Her loss! I’m pretty excited to move to DC proper and explore the area. It looks like I’ll really enjoy it and I’m hoping I won’t need to drive my car very much. (The check engine light came on a few days ago so I need to take it in the shop and get that fixed. I don’t have a friend with a garage full of tools to fix my car this time. Sad panda.) I’m mulling over just getting rid of the car entirely. It seems rather expensive to keep it what with DC registration fees, plate fees, parking fees and insurance if I’m just going to use the car a few times a month. I’m going to keep an eye on the expenses and see what works out better in the long run.
I’m pretty excited about March. I bought a plane ticket to hang out with my friends at home in Chicago! While I’m there, I’ll grab my stuff from my friend’s house and drive the box truck back to DC. It’s probably not the best use of my time or money, but it just worked out that way. I have a feeling some things will be staying behind as they will not be needed in DC.
My expenses held pretty steady from last year if you take out the deposit for the apartment. $1050/mo is a STEAL in DC, so I don’t mind paying it. As much, anyways. My spending totaled $3,753 for February. We’ll see how they go in the next few months as I settle in to my new place, start cooking again, and start doing other exciting things like joining a gym!
Other income: $249.84
My paychecks from work were a little light this month thanks to the short month and the unpaid day off I was forced to take when snow blanketed the DMV area. Hopefully they’ll go back above $6k every other month.…. the woes of a government contractor. Sigh. Other income consisted of my reimbursement from expenses incurred while interviewing and 3 Etsy sales. WOO! I’m up to 5 patterns sold now, so I got that going for me, which is nice.
Total savings: $1,911.70
At this point, with the move looming over me, I’m happy I didn’t spend more than I brought in!
According to this, my total net worth is $193,636. I find that interesting as that’s a full $10k drop from last month, even though I only dropped my car valuation by $2k. Oh well, it just means I get to hit that $200,000 net worth marker all over again 🙂
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?