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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.
While January went by at the speed of molasses, February was in and out in what seemed like a blink of an eye.
Because I’ve been slacking, I write this post from the viewpoint of a very crazy March. In hindsight, February was such a normal month. My neighborhood had their regular association meeting. I got new glasses. My boyfriend and I made our relationship official after Valentine’s Day. I had a day off to enjoy doing nothing on Presidents’ Day. The Nerdy 30’s Women’s Meetup group attended Harry Potter Trivia night (my team finished in 4th place for points, but 1st place for our team name which was Sweating Like a Horcrux in Church). I recorded a guest episode for a friend’s podcast. A normal, simple life. I was unprepared for the month to follow, but I’m happy I captured the details of what a normal month looks like.
Check out below for all the details of my spending in February!
|Housing||New and improved lower rent payment. I love LCOL areas!|
|Utilities||The weather got ever so slightly warmer, and utility bills went down slightly.|
|Food||Several date nights and a CSA account refill.|
|Phone||I love Google FI! Now with a new unlimited plan (and paying off my phone).|
|Auto||Woah! My 6 month auto insurance payment hit this month.|
|Internet||Gotta have that fast interweb access.|
|Pet||I stocked up on food.|
|Blog||I renewed my website host for another year.|
|Entertainment||Subscriptions and concert tickets.|
|Shopping||Miscellaneous stuff for the house.|
|Miscellaneous||Cash out for various cash only events.|
|Travel||A year subscription to Scott’s Cheap Flights|
|Health||Some medical supplies and my therapist cost.|
The trend line of my monthly spending continues to go down! I spent $3,895 over the course of February. No surprise as it was a short month and I was finally done with all my expenses from the East Coast. I spent more on food than I thought, but I got some really good dates out of it so I don’t mind. Money well spent! I forgot that my car insurance would hit in February, or else I would’ve spent about $600 less. Gotta be a legal to drive!
I bought concert tickets to see Rascal Flatts with my sister in July. Here’s to hoping we can go! The deal was I buy the tickets, and she’ll worry about getting us there and feeding me before the show. A good deal for both of us country fans! I also bought a subscription to Scott’s Cheap Flights in preparation for my trip to France at the end of May. However, I decided I wasn’t going to go, and I don’t see myself flying anywhere for a long while now. So this $50 is kind of a waste, but in the grand scheme of things $50 is not much so I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I do recommend it if you’re looking to fly in the future — you can get some good deals!
Other income: $508.68
My paycheck included an extra $50 wellness perk as I completed a webinar. Check and see if your employer offers something similar! I also got my $500 deposit back from my old apartment complex and had a few Etsy sales.
Unallocated Cash: $450
Total savings: $1,526.68
Handy dandy spreadsheet says my savings for the month was 42%. I need to look at the formula again, because I’m not entirely sure that’s correct. I guess it depends on whether or not you go off gross or adjusted pay and what all counts as savings.
Chase Sapphire Reserve: $1,534
Chase United: $0
I didn’t get it all paid off in February but the last of it is easy enough to pay off.
According to this, my total net worth is $212,464. I’m down about $16,000 or 10% from the peak, and the damage will only get worse from here. It’s important to note these are unrealized losses. You only lose when you sell. The value of my shares might be down, but I’m in this for the long run so I have no intention of realizing these losses any point soon.
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?