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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.
The first month of 2018 has come and gone already! It’s so hard to believe, although I am more than ready. It was one COLD month. I got to escape for a bit to Florida for Camp FI: Southeast and even that wasn’t super warm. The air didn’t hurt my face while I was there, though, so I guess I did win in the long run. I also got to hang out with some really rad people!
Speaking of winning in the long run, I’m gearing up to quit my job. Pretty much everyone at work knows now though occasionally I find someone who doesn’t know. Lots of people are sad I’m leaving. I am not one of those people although I’m sure I’ll have to fight off sadness and tears when I throw a big party after my last day at work.
I’ve been pretty good with my spending this month. Nothing major happened and I was pretty good about controlling the fun stuff.
Check out below for my total spending in December!
|Mortgage||Not including principal, which is accounted elsewhere on my spreadsheet. Actual payment is $705.43 a month!|
|Utilities||Super cold + leaky old house = high utility bills|
|Food||Meal planning fail.|
|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||The usual costs to running the blog.|
|Fees||Quarterly 401(k) fee|
|Misc||Doctor bill and laundry|
|Travel||Camp Fi costs|
|House||Earnest money and some grounds work|
I am loving the new lower expenses. They feel just as good as they used to! Actually, they might even feel better now that I remember what crazy expenses feels like. Total spending for January was $2,599. I didn’t meet my “budgeted spending amount” thanks to high utility bills. It was really cold this month and I’m pretty sure this old pile of wood doesn’t have any insulation in it at all. Wait till you see next month’s bill… ouch! However, high spending on utilities was offset at least a little by low phone costs. A combination of credits and referral monies from Project Fi
Rental income: $1,250
I am soaking up these last few highly compensated months. I will make money when I quit my job, but I’m not kidding myself and telling myself I’ll earn replacement money right out of the gate. I can sure hustle my butt off though!
Total savings: $5,086
I feel a bit like Smaug, hoarding all the cash I can get before I quit. I’ve lowered my 401(k) to the match (6% but really 10%) and I’m not putting any money into any account but my bank account. No HSA, no Roth IRA, and definitely no Traditional IRA. I need this money to be readily on hand to help cover costs of transitioning to solopreneur. My employer did put an annual contribution of $750 in since I have a high deductible health plan, so just know next month will be a real zero in the HSA ledger.
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 3 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 year at $211,195, a gain of 5.76% and $11k! Given how February has started in the markets, I probably won’t be seeing gains like this for a while. But then again.…. what do I know about what the market is going to do? Stay steady friends!
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?