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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.
First off, I apologize for this going out so late. I realize I’m really the only one that is holding myself to any sort of schedule with these posts, but I still like to get them out closer to the beginning of the month.
I think everyone will agree on grace for me being late as I spent a good chunk of November wrapping things up at one job, sorting and packing all my stuff, driving across the country and then unpacking all my stuff as I prepped for my new job.
I was incredibly fortunate to have a number of helping hands during the packing-moving-driving stages of this move. My best friend roadtripped out to DC from the Midwest, my sister flew in from St Louis, and her friend joined us from Europe for a week of exploring America via moving truck. There were a few more moving expenses this time around as the distance was greater and the timeline shortened by quite a bit.
I also mis-understood my lease agreement for my apartment in Northern Virginia. I thought the lease said it was a 2 month fee to break the lease and that was it. What it actually was, was a 2 month breakage fee AND I’m still on the hook for rent during that 60 day written notice period, which effectively doubled the fee and ate up most of my relo money. READ OVER YOUR LEASES!
So TL;DR my expenses for November and December are super crazy and I hope to never have this happen ever again.
|Utilities||I expect utilities to stay under that $200 limit.|
|Food||Higher than normal with moving my kitchen and buying food for moving helpers!|
|Phone||I love Google FI! Now with a new unlimited plan.|
|Auto||So much gas purchased for Levi and the moving truck.…|
|Internet||Gotta have that fast interweb access.|
|Pet||Food and poop rocks for the kitty|
|Blog||I need to audit these expenses.|
|Entertainment||Various expenses for experiences with friends!|
|Shopping||Some more clothes, some stuff for the apartment like furniture and furnishings!|
|Miscellaneous||A bunch more random things that didn’t fit into the other categories.|
|Travel||This is where I put a lot of moving expenses.|
So, this was a lot, but honestly not as much as I was expecting. November clocked in at a total of $9,222. Ouch. I did not have that much money on hand to spend, so the vast majority of that is chillin on my credit card. I am fortunate to be getting relocation money in my first paycheck (December 31st) so I will shortly have the means to pay most of it off. If not, I would be transferring as much as I could back to my zero-interest credit card and paying it off there.
In the grand scheme of things, one or two interest charges from the card will be a tiny blip in the radar. Credit cards can be a great tool when used responsibly. I’m not worried about carrying a high balance like this because I know it will be gone in short order. Interest charges can and do sink people financially all the time when used irresponsibly. Make good choices, my friends!
Other income: $15.47
This is why I’m not necessarily super stressed about spending a ton — I also earned a lot! Now, in an ideal world, I’d be able to bank all that extra money but this is the real world. It’s amazing what a difference an extra paycheck can make in your finances! Sadly, my year of extra paychecks is coming to an end. My new job is back to paying me twice a month no matter where or when the days fall. I’m just grateful I get paychecks again!
Total savings: $992.49
I’ve given up on trying to explain my savings rate formula. Mostly because I don’t have one — I get my numbers from my handy dandy spreadsheet that someone else created. Said handy dandy spreadsheet says my savings rate was .27% this month which is.…. not bad considering all the moving expenses.
According to this, my total net worth is $225,243, which is a brand new record for me (again!). Keep in mind these numbers were taken at the beginning of the month and look a bit different now. I got a bit of a bump from going through my stack of mail and finding an HSA I didn’t know I had. Apparently my last company didn’t just put money in the old one, so now I get to figure out how to track down that extra thousand dollars.
This is usually the section where I see how much time I have left until early retirement, but I’m not focusing on that kind of goal anymore. Instead, I’ll say I had a good month! Mental health is more important to me right now than saving as much money as I possibly can. Whatever your goal, I hope you made good strides towards it like I did!
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?