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Before we get to the juicy details of last month’s expenditures and adventures, I want to take a second to ask for a few things. Next week is Fiery Millennials’ 3rd blogiversary! For the blogiversary post, I would like to do an AMA, or Ask Me Anything. Please, submit a question in the comments below or shoot me an email at gwen [at] fierymillennials dot com. If you’ve had a burning question to ask me lately, now is the time!
Secondly, I’d like to ask for feedback. This I would prefer to get in an email or private message via some social media account. What am I doing well? What posts/subjects do you like the best? What doesn’t tickle your fancy? What irritates you about me/this blog? I want to make this the best blog possible and I don’t know what is going well unless you, my wonderful readers, tell me what you’re thinking!
Now that we’ve got all that stuff out of the way.….….. on to our regularly scheduled post 🙂
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.
Wow. February is gone and good riddance! It was not my favorite month in recent memory. A lot of stressful things got dumped on my plate at once and it’s really quite a miracle I haven’t pulled my hair out. A small sampling of things going on:
-100 hours of work in 2 weeks as VERY IMPORTANT MEETINGS were happening
‑Finding a tenant to take over my unit, kicking out the newest tenant, and prepping that unit to rent out again
‑The soffit and gutter fell off one side of the house
‑My mother was in a bad car accident and is now looking at a hospital stay of months as she fights to recover to full health
‑Managing this blog
‑Managing the podcast
‑Spinning up our Mastermind group
‑The market fluctuating between bad and not great
So yeah.….. I’m very glad to see February in my rearview mirror and I’m happy my spending wasn’t any higher in this short month.
Check out below for my total spending in February.
|Mortgage||Not including principal, which is accounted elsewhere on my spreadsheet. A bit of good news, my payment will go down next month!|
|Utilities||Super cold + leaky old house = high utility bills|
|Food||What is meal planning?|
|Phone||Actually have a credit this month thanks to awesome Project FI! A combo of referrals and credits 🙂|
|Auto||Lots of gas to see my long-distance boyfriend 😍|
|Internet||The new normal internet bill.|
|Insurance||Health insurance is paid directly from my paycheck.|
|Pet||The normal litter and food costs.|
|Support||Monthly support for my sister.|
|Blog||Extra high this month thanks to a years’ worth of hosting fees.|
|Entertainment||MLB.tv subscription & one Black Panther ticket. SO GOOD.|
|Misc||A book, a board game, and some other random stuff|
|Gifts||Flowers for my Mom and a gift for my man 🙂|
|House||House inspection fee. Best money I’ve ever spent!|
Sigh. Expenses were back up this month. Utilities really cramped my style with a high water bill and very high house utility bill. Keeping a big ol house with very little insulation (if any at all) gets pricey quick when temps drop below freezing and/or zero for days on end. I also had higher side hustle costs and didn’t watch food as closely as I could have. Long, stressful work days are the worst. Expenses clocked in at $4,741 for February. I’m just glad they weren’t worse!
Rental income: $600
Affiliate income: $15
Federal refund: $1,471
I am soaking up these last few highly compensated months. This month is even better than normal thanks to the return of my money from Uncle Sam and my first real affiliate income! This is the start of something great 🙂
Total savings: $3,707
Despite higher expenses, I still managed to put away a hefty amount of cash this month. My savings rate for February came in at a respectable 45% which makes me happy. I thought it would be lower than that for sure.
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 2 months away, which is April 2023! However, since I am quitting my W2 job 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 month at $208,888, a loss of 1.00% and $3k. Given how February started in the markets, I think a loss of only 1% is pretty darn good. Plus, I picked up some more shares in my 401(k) than I otherwise would have so that’s good. I don’t plan on touching that money for a long time so grow money, grow!
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?