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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 was a spendy month! Which makes sense when you consider FinCon was in town. Lots of extra car-sharing rides, scooter rides around the Mall, extra meals out, drinks.… It all adds up at the end of the month but I regret nothing. I had a ton of fun! I also paid for a few meals out during the rest of the month. Guys can’t pay for all the dates all the time!
Fortunately, playing the Harry Potter Wizards Unite game is fairly low cost. I’ve been good about not spending real money on the game and it’s cheap entertainment to meet up with people for fortress battles.
Check out below for my spending breakdown of September 2019!
|Housing||DC housing is stupid expensive to live on your own|
|Utilities||I expect utilities to stay under that $200 limit.|
|Food||Over budget, as to be expected with FinCon in there|
|Phone||I love Google FI!|
|Auto||Gas, topping off my Metro card, and some minor repairs to my car.|
|Internet||Gotta have that fast interweb access.|
|Pet||Food and poop rocks for the kitty|
|Blog||My Dropbox subscription renewed and other usual fees for the blog.|
|Entertainment||Some music, some mobile game spending.…|
|Shopping||More clothes and some tailor fees to help them fit better!|
|Fees||Mostly my Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee >:[|
|Travel||Some car-sharing rides and my share of the FinCon Friend House|
I only spent $600 more than August, so I’m pretty content with everything that went on and my spending. September’s total was $4,533. Much, much, much higher than I’m used to but I guess this is my new normal now.
Other income: $1,438
This is pre-tax income, so I wonder if I should share the level of money I made post-tax, because that might make a bit more sense. (I got some questions on the last post.) Other income included gifts, friends sending me money for their share of things, and side hustles like Etsy.
Total savings: $1,611.34
I started with all the money that came in this month as income. I then took out all the spending, taxes, and savings contributions to end up with the cash amount. My handy dandy spreadsheet says I saved 35.5% this month which feels great!
According to this, my total net worth is $208,416. July was up, August was down, September was up. Over the last three months, I’m up roughly $1k, even though I gained nearly $5k the last 4 weeks. Can you imagine how stressed out I’d be if I checked my accounts more than just at the beginning of the month? I’d be a mess! It’s in my best interest to put in my contributions and let ’em ride.…
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?
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