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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.
Welcome to the increasingly ridiculous monthly spending report for March 2021. We bought a house!! And since we bought a house, my usual spending and budgeting went out the window. You know, since I normally don’t need to buy a washer, dryer, fridge or dining room table set. But I did buy all those things in March and was even excited about it!
I’ll note, since I’m moving into the house with my partner, my spending reports aren’t going to show the full picture of my finances anymore as he will be covering his fair share of the expenses. And by fair share, I mean he’s already covered approximately 95% of the house expenses so I will be covering more of the bills in an attempt to equalize our contributions. By my reckoning, it should only take me 4 years and change to do so.
Keep on reading for my share of expenses in March 2021!
|Housing||My second to last rent payment.|
|Car payment||The usual payment.|
|Gas/Maintenance||A few tanks of gas.|
|Food||Slightly over budget again.|
|Phone||I love Google FI! No more phone payment holllaaa|
|Internet||My lifeline. Gotta have it.|
|Utilities||Just over budget. Not terrible.|
|Support||My usual monthly contribution for my sister.|
|Pet||Poop rocks and food for the kitty.|
|Blog||Slowly winnowing down paid services for the blog.|
|Entertainment||The usual subscriptions (Netflix, video games, YT Music) and games, plus my WaPo sub renewed.|
|Shopping||Some art, some books, and a plushie from my fav author|
|Fees||Stupid cards and their stupid late fees.|
|Hobbies||Yarn for a new sweater I will eventually knit.|
|House||Appliances do not come cheap.|
|Gifts/Donations||Supporting my favorite author on Patreon and other donations to those in need.|
Total spending for March 2021 was above average at $6,752. Y’all, furnishing a 2500+ sq ft house is EXPENSIVE. A reminder we actually spent more on the house than this but this is my portion of the expenses.
Gas and car expenses are gradually creeping up now that I am in my car to do more than get groceries once every few weeks.
Food was slightly higher than my set budget but that’s to be expected since I was busy packing up my kitchen and running back and forth to the new house.
I decided I’d also like to support local journalism and subscribed to the local newspaper. I was tired of constantly running into the firewall and figuring out how to get around it.
I’ve started supporting some friends and people doing awesome things out in the world each month in the form of reoccurring donations. I highly recommend it, if you’re able.
Other income: $1,438.92
A normal month of pay, plus the last round of stimulus checks and some money made online from selling stuff. I *barely* squeaked in under the limit for the stimulus checks and do not feel bad about taking it, since I turned around and spent it all on appliances and furniture for the house. Look at me go, stimulating the economy!
Unallocated Cash: $146.92
Total savings: $1,186.92
Handy dandy spreadsheet says my savings for the month was 15% for the month! Math is hard. This formula is apparently 401k + Unallocated Cash divided by my pre-tax income. It’s not great, but it’s better than nothing. Since I got a raise, the amount I’m putting in my 401k also went up. Honestly, this was a pretty good rate for all the spending I had to do on the house. Coulda been better but it could’ve been way worse, too.
Car (Mazda3): $9,425
Chase Sapphire Reserve: $3,708
My credit cards get paid off every month to zero but it does fluctuate from month to month. With the house, I’ve been putting more on it. Just that stage of life. The car loan is slowly going down. I’m going to get a decent amount back from taxes so I’ll probably throw more money at it.
According to this, my total net worth is $302,715. I crossed $300,000!! WAHOOO!!! Here’s to passing completely arbitrary milestones! According to several compound interest timelines, I am now halfway to a million. The first $100k is the hardest and then it only accelerates from there. Keep on growing for me, my little dollar army!
Thanks for reading! What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?