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.
What a magical month! I spent the first two weeks of October gallivanting about Western Europe and having a blast. Since so much of my spending can be directly attributed to my vacation, all of it done on vacation will get put under that category and not under food or transportation. It seems like just yesterday I was packing my bags and now it’s the beginning of November.…… crazy talk!
I’ve segued far enough from the numbers. Without further ado, I present my spending (for better or for worse) for October 2016.
|Rent||Last month of rent at this price. It goes up 60% when my lease is up Nov. 7th.|
|Utilities||Going down! Woot woot!|
|Food||Technically under 😀|
|Phone||So low. I love Project FI!|
|Auto||A few tanks of gas and one headlight. Replacing the headlight only took 5 minutes this time! #girlpower|
|Internet||Same price as always.|
|Insurance||Health insurance is paid directly from my paycheck, and the others are an average from my 6 month payment.|
|Pet||Eeks. Everything came due at once- wet food, dry food, and cat litter. I also had to buy a replacement scratch post.|
|Support||Support for my eldest sister as she travels the world doing good things.|
|Blog||The other half of the payment for my AWESOME NEW LOGO 🙂|
|Vacation||Yep. That’s high. Ouch. But super worth it.|
All told, my spending totaled $3472.31 for October. Ouch. However, I consider it money well spent as the biggest chunk was on travel. My normal spending categories were actually under budget since I was gone the first two weeks! I made a couple of silly errors that resulted in me having to buy silly things like a new cat scratch post since I left it at my parent’s house. My headlight also went out only 18 months after I replaced it the last time. I was extra careful not to touch the bulb this time. All in all, an amazing month of life and a ‘meh’ month for finances. Despite spending so much money this month, my savings rate went up to 31.4%. That is below my average for the year, so I will be doing a “No Spend November” to boost that average. I mapped out all my expected expenses for November and I’m not going to spend over $2500. (Provided I stay in my current place and I don’t move for the new job. If I move, I will have all sorts of moving related expenses and any budget goes out the window.)
Adjusted: $2,817.84 (after taxes, deductions and other withholdings are taken out)
A bit lower than normal since I didn’t have any side income and I am paying for my extra days of vacation.
Roth IRA: $450
Total savings: $2,641.60
A normal month of savings DESPITE the fact I took a two week vacation. Saving is a priority to me and I will save the same amount even when I’m busy doing other things.
As of 1 November, my “cash stash” sits at $105,394.88. I wish this had moved further up, but lots of travel means a big credit card bill at the end of the month.
According to the Lab over on Mad Fientist’s site, my FI date is now 9 years and 8 months away, which means I’m now at June 2026 instead of March 2026. I hope my bonus coming in December helps propel me back into my trajectory I was on before Sep/Oct. Still, 9 years left in the workforce isn’t bad!
This month: $150
Look for my post on my side hustle/hobby soon 🙂
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?