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.
Oh March.… what an absolutely insane month. My responsibilities are picking up at work. The stress of getting all my paperwork in order for the house. Buying the house. Moving into the house. Figuring out what to do with all my stuff and figuring out how everything works in the new place. Hanging out with my friends. I had a LOT going on in March.
Unsurprisingly, my spending went not only out the window, but flew out of it as though there was a fire. As much as I tried to keep my spending down, it still crept up on me. I have faith, though, that this will be just one small blip in my overall journey and won’t be anything to stress over in a few years. Right now though, I have a LOT more gray hair than I did.
Without further ado, I present my March 2017 expenses.
|Rent||Last month of paying for housing out of my own pocket!|
|Utilities||No utilities! It’s all included in the rent.|
|Phone||So low. I love Project FI!|
|Auto||One year of auto insurance, prepaid when I switched companies.|
|Internet||No internet charges for awhile 😀 also included in the rent.|
|Insurance||Health insurance is paid directly from my paycheck.|
|Pet||More food and litter for the floof.|
|Support||I support my sister with her missions!|
|Blog||Next year’s hosting fee, plus new monthly charges for support and plugins.|
|Entertainment||Mlb.tv subscription. BASEBALL IS BACK!!|
|Fees||Fees are dumb.|
|Misc||Moving charges, doctor visit, kitchen island.… misc stuff.|
|Travel||Flight for FinCon! Paid for with miles 😀|
|Hobbies||One weekend quilt retreat with my momma!|
|House||Yeah.…. down payment.… that hurt.|
All told, my spending totaled $9,488.50 for March! That is more than I’ve spent in the past few months COMBINED. It hurt to get that money pulled out of my account, not going to lie. But, the cool thing is, I wrote a check for $5k and now have $8k in equity in the house since I had a bunch of credits and closing fees paid for. So it’s not like the money just disappeared on a shopping spree or anything. But hey I have a roof over my head and I’m not the one paying down the mortgage! Woot woot!
Adjusted: $3,119.58 (after taxes, deductions and other withholdings are taken out)
A normal month in income. It’s slightly more than it was thanks to my 1.11% raise that went into effect at the beginning of the month! It’s not much but I’ll take it. April will be a fun month for income with the first rent payments coming in and my tax refund.
Roth IRA: $450
Total savings: $2,859.95
Absolutely zero dollars were saved in cash this month, because I spent it all on housing stuff. My savings rate this month was a whopping -70.75%. Yes that’s right, folks, negative savings. But, like I said, since I put it into the house I’m not really spending it.
According to the Lab over on Mad Fientist’s site, my FI date is now 7 years and 11 months away, which means I’ve stayed at February 2025. I’m not exactly sure how Brandon runs the calculations over there, but something seems a bit off. I would have expected it to take a huge jump backwards like my spreadsheet date did but I’ll take it? (My spreadsheet went from 7 ish years to 25 ish years. $70k of debt takes a toll on the ol FI timeline.)
My total net worth slid to $137,901.00 this month. I’m not worried about it going down (was bound to happen at some point) as I will be making up the lost ground quickly with the rental income. Fluctuations are normal!
This month: $0
No more expenses for the near future as my shop has moved from a workshop to boxes.
Note: this will be the last month for this format. Next month I will be changing things up with the addition of my rental income and related expenses. Stay tuned! Also, this post now contains affiliate links so I can offset keeping the lights on around here 🙂
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?