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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 everyone! We survived the year of January!
It seems like most of the internet agrees that January was a month that just.…. lasted forever. While I am very grateful for a lot of the events that occurred, I was equally happy to see the month go.
I’m still working on settling in at home and work. I’d say settling into St. Louis is easier than settling in at work. I have gotten to explore more of the city and I love basically everything about it (as I stick the safe areas in daylight). Work continues to be a challenge. I say taking this job is probably the best decision I’ve made in the last two years. I am very happy with my new job and have no plans to leave any time soon. It’s so strange to be in a place I like going to each day, where I feel useful and like my presence makes a difference. I knew after day 2 at both of my last jobs they weren’t for me. Day 2 of this job had me like, omg I am so excited to be here and can’t wait to learn more! Some days might be a struggle to absorb everything I need to learn, but I much prefer that to struggling to fill my time every day.
Finances wise, things calmed down big time. I paid the last bit on my apartment in DC, so housing will go back down to sane levels. I also joined a CSA and have been enjoying lots of tasty locally produced food!
Check out below for all the details of my spending in January!
|Housing||One last payment to the old place. Good riddance!|
|Utilities||Not bad considering I live in a beautiful historical apartment with “charm”.|
|Food||Restocking my kitchen and the CSA startup fee!|
|Phone||I love Google FI! Now with a new unlimited plan (and paying off my phone).|
|Auto||Gas, a new head double DIM head unit and a small repair.|
|Internet||Gotta have that fast interweb access.|
|Pet||The usual food and poop rocks.|
|Blog||Audit complete and changes made.|
|Entertainment||YouTube music subscription that I use every day.|
|Shopping||New work shoes, and house stuff (mostly kitchen supplies).|
|Miscellaneous||Mostly the costs of therapy. #soworthit|
|Travel||A few car share rides. Don’t drink and drive!|
|Gifts||A political donation and a gift.|
Yeesh there’s something sobering about adding up all of your spending in a month. Probably why I’ve been putting it off for a few weeks…
Total spending for January 2020 came in just shy of 5 G’s at $4,976.35. I’m not super happy with this spending, but there are 3 silver linings to this. One, I’ve never been happier so it’s all worth it. Two, I shaved over $3,000 off the previous month’s spending totals, so that’s a good trend line. Three, I can pretty much guarantee spending will continue to go down now that I’m done with all the old apartment crap in Virginia.
Other income: $130.04
It’s really nice to know what an “average” month of income looks like. I say “average” because there is a lot of things I can charge directly to my account at work, like food, parking and even a gym membership. Hopefully I’ll stop buying so much coffee and food from work and my paychecks will be higher in the future!
Unallocated Cash: $0
Total savings: $1,076.72
Handy dandy spreadsheet says my savings for the month was 21%. I guess that’s right on a surface level, but most of the extra cash went to paying off my credit cards.
Chase Sapphire Reserve: $2,986.56
Chase United: $0
Looks like I was a bit overenthusiastic furnishing my apartment. My relocation money paid off most of the cards. I should have this cleared out by the end of March.
According to this, my total net worth is $229,547. I suspect this will be the last month I’ll see my net worth go up for a while. But, I have plenty of time before I think about retiring and using my investments, so I’m content to sit back, continue to dollar cost average my bi-weekly 401k contributions into the market, go to the Winchester, have a pint, and let this whole thing blow over.
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?