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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.
November was spent enjoying time with family, wrapping up various expenses for the year, and reveling in the unusually warm weather. I definitely enjoyed a brief respite from the cold. Where I live, the air has a tendency to hurt my face in the winter when I breathe outside.…. which is, you know, any time I need to leave my comfy apartment.
November was also focused on family. My eldest sister is in town so we got to spend some quality time together, which normally includes playing awesome games like Pro Pinball: The Web and CTR: Crash Team Racing. I wish both games would get a remake for PS4 as our family’s PS2 is starting to show its age. I also got the chance to spend more time with my boyfriend’s family and really enjoyed getting to know his sisters and family better.
I don’t know what it says about me that I’d rather spend time playing games made in 1995 over newer games, but I can say that my personal spending was lower this month because we did stay in.
Check out below for my total spending in November!
|Mortgage||Not including principal, which is accounted elsewhere on my spreadsheet. Actual payment is $705.43 a month!|
|Utilities||My house bill is back with a vengeance as winter descends.|
|Food||Slightly higher due to holiday meal contributions.|
|Phone||Slightly over due to travels but at least I’m with Project FI and didn’t have to pay $500 over!|
|Auto||Gas, parking, and rideshare costs.|
|Internet||The new normal internet bill.|
|Insurance||Health insurance is paid directly from my paycheck.|
|Pet||More kennel fees from the end of October.|
|Support||Monthly support for my sister.|
|Blog||Renewal fees, new equipment, and podcast fees.|
|Entertainment||A date with my boyfriend, and a movie!|
|Fees||Tolls in the Chicagoland area #excessive|
|Travel||Hotel and other travel expenses|
|House||The last of the renovation expenses!!|
Non-house spending went up big time to $4,531. I had a lot of expenses for the blog, podcast, and life in general. Add in the final renovation costs for the empty unit and my final monthly expenses for November are $5,587. I’m really glad that’s coming to an end because my cash reserves are far lower than I like and am accustomed to.
Rental income: $600
Getting a new tenant in soon which will help me get more $ 😀
Total savings: $2,392.06
The new normal for me now with the move coming up.
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 6 years and 9 months away, which is August 2024! However, since I plan to quit 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 shot up this month to $188,772. In light of the current political happenings, such growth makes me incredibly nervous. I’m starting to view this growth as less of a good thing and more of a, what is the market doing??? Still, I can’t complain with an extra $7k in my pocket this month so, thanks Mr. Market.
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?