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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.
September. It uh.… sure was something.
September saw my beloved Levi bite the dust and get replaced. What a trip that is on my budget. Honestly, not sure how best to put that in the budget going forward but I can’t keep putting this off forever! Especially as the end of October looms ominously in the distance.
I feel like I didn’t do a whole lot in September other than think about and eat food. I also said farewell to my food co-op. Too many weird veggies were meeting untimely deaths in my fridge. The weather is getting cooler and the days shorter. I can’t say that I am a fan. I’m cold-blooded so it’s nearly time for me to hibernate under my usual 3 layers of clothes and blankets. Brrrrrr!
Enough reminiscing! Time to get to the main event. I know all you voyeurs just want to see the budget laid out. Behold — September 2020.
|Housing||The usual LCOL rent payment|
|Food||So much food. I might’ve went overboard getting food for me and my bf to eat.|
|Utilities||Air conditioning. Still a thing in St Louis in September.|
|Phone||I love Google FI! This month is my last phone payment.|
|Auto||A tank of gas for the new car and some stuff for the old car.|
|Internet||Gotta have that fast interweb access|
|Pet||No new poop rocks or cat food needed this month.|
|Blog||My Dropbox renewed.|
|Entertainment||Streaming subscriptions (YT Music, Mario Kart, Netflix).|
|Fees||My stupid credit card yearly fees hit ($450 for CSR, $99 for CSP)|
|Misc||Supporting local businesses|
|Gifts||Starting to do my seasonal shopping for gifts|
Total spending for September 2020 was $3,243. This doesn’t include anything to do with the new car transaction because it’s complicated. I will include the debt going forward in the sections below, though. Mint simplifies things a bit too much sometimes.
Some things to note.… My phone bill will go down $30 starting next month as I have now officially paid off my phone. 2 years ago when I needed a new phone, I didn’t have the $700 on hand to buy it outright so I took advantage of Google’s 0% financing. Now that my phone is paid off, it’s time to think about getting a new one! Hah, just kidding. But I will be putting some money aside for a new one before I need it so I don’t have to have a phone payment anymore. I also bought a few fun clothing and home improvement items this month. I watched The Home Edit’s show on Netflix and was inspired to organize my new coffee station so it didn’t look a cupboard threw up all over my cart. So neat and organized now!
A pretty responsible month, all told!
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: $1,520.53
Total savings: $2,597.21
Handy dandy spreadsheet says my savings for the month was 48%. Math is hard. This formula is apparently 401k + Unallocated Cash divided by my pre-tax income.
Car (Mazda3): TBD
Chase Sapphire Reserve: $2,408
Chase United: $0
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. I’ll pay $410 a month and whatever extra money comes my way. That should pay it off about a year early. The last time I had a car payment was when I was 18 and now I remember how nice it is to not have a car payment. Full accounting of the car to come next month!
According to this, my total net worth is $251,662! It did go down about $15k from August but I’m still above that $250k line (for now!). You might also notice I knocked down the value of Levi to $500 and included another pension line. Now that my pension fund from my current employer actually has some money in it, I’ve decided to start including it. I think I’ll probably update that once or twice a year as getting the number from my benefits site is kind of a pain.
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?
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