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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! We made it to November 2020. Everybody take a deep breath, lower your shoulders, and unclench your jaw. Stare at something over 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
October was a decent month for me personally. I am now an Official Old as I celebrated my 30th birthday in the middle of the month. My boyfriend and I celebrated with many of my favorite foods and a Legend of Korra marathon. My best friend came in for a socially-distanced weekend that saw us run a bunch of errands and take a stroll through the vibrant colors of the Missouri Botanical Garden. The errands involved Costco which always hits my budget hard. Covid makes it hard to linger so I got out relatively light this time (especially as I found a 2 pack of gluten-free bread for $.97! I wish I had more freezer space as I would’ve snatched more up. The usual price is $9!)
I also managed to get in a quick visit with my family. The hardest part about the pandemic for me has been the social isolation from my friends and family so October went a long way towards healing those wounds. My friends and family combined to get me thoughtful gifts like new crayons, coloring pages, socks, and sweets. I also bought myself a few gifts like the Adidas x Crayola shoe collab. They were too amazing for me to pass up 🙂
The rest of the month was fairly uneventful. More comments on my October 2020 spending below!
|Housing||The usual LCOL rent payment|
|Car payment||The first of many. *cries*|
|Gas/Maintenance||A little bit of gas, a little bit of extra car insurance.|
|Food||Soooo much food. I had a few meals delivered, tried a new food prep place and Costco.|
|Phone||I love Google FI! This month is my last phone payment. For real this time.|
|Internet||My lifeline. Gotta have it.|
|Utilities||I turned the heat on. 2020 sucks enough without being miserably cold, too.|
|Support||My monthly support to my sister.|
|Pet||Stocked up on canned wet food for the floofs!|
|Blog||The usual fees.|
|Entertainment||The usual subscriptions (Netflix, video games, YT Music)|
|Shopping||A little high as I bought some decorations for fall and new shoes.|
|Misc||I went to the dentist.|
|Gifts||More presents for birthdays and Christmas.|
Total spending for October 2020 was stupid high at $5,126. I absolutely love the new car and not having to worry about it breaking down on me, but I forgot how much I dislike having a car payment. I need to mentally adjust to having all that money spent, as I don’t think I’m there yet. October I still spent like I didn’t have a car payment and that needs some tweaking.
Apparently, I’m incapable of reading my phone bill. October was the last month of my phone payment, not September. Looking at that bill was sad but come November the bill will go down. Huzzah!
Food was crazy high this month. I’ve been experimenting with different food options this year. First I joined a CSA and cooked the food for myself. There was a lot of food waste, so I stopped that. Next, I paid a gluten-free chef in my neighborhood for a few meals and sides each week, but it was expensive and I was still eating the same two meals a week so I stopped that. Now I am trying a place that preps all the meals for you and all you have to do is cook it. I really like this option as there is zero work involved for me other than sliding it in the oven. No time prepping, and no dirty dishes beyond my plate! I also stocked up on the basics at Costco like their gluten-free pizzas, seltzer, almond flour, and protein bars.
I also went to the dentist this month for the first time in a really long time. I had braces as a teen, but my wisdom teeth came in and pushed my teeth out of alignment. This office offers Invisalign and had a good deal going on, so I signed up. $1,500 is the amount I put down as a downpayment and put the rest on Care Credit. 12 months at 0% interest works better for me than paying it all right now or putting it on my credit card. They removed my permanent retainer on my lower teeth (that I’ve had for half my life now!!) and I already feel better about my teeth.
Other income: 0
The usual monthly salary (after tax this time). A fairly boring month income-wise. No special sales, no tax refunds. Can’t have that every month!
Unallocated Cash: $194
Total savings: $1,270.68
Handy dandy spreadsheet says my savings for the month was 19%. Math is hard. This formula is apparently 401k + Unallocated Cash divided by my pre-tax income. Not so much unallocated cash this month 🙁
Car (Mazda3): $12,701
Chase Sapphire Reserve: $3,226
My credit cards get paid off every month to zero. The car will not get paid off to zero at the end of the month. As much as I dislike having the debt, it is fun to watch the number go down each month. My bonus this year will take a good chunk out of the remaining loan. It’s nice to see I already have equity in the car, in case something were to happen to it. But as I intend to keep this car for many years, it doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things.
According to this, my total net worth is $244,895. My net worth is trending down again, but then again so is the general stock market which makes up the vast majority of my net worth. Since I’m taking the long view on the market, I’m not overly worried about temporary dips.
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?
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