I’m going to preface this post by saying that September was a much better month than August. I went to the state fair (Food! And more food!), accepted a new (internal) position with my employer, and met up with friends for lunch and a visit to the Foshay observation deck. October is looking to be a great month too. Why? It’s my birthday! More to come on that later 🙂
On to the numbers…
Financial independence is really important to me and it’s currently my main financial goal. Like I mentioned in my August post, I’ve decided to increase my budget to allow for monthly spending of $1,667. This is still very reasonable, coming in at $20,000/year.
I’m sharing my monthly expenses to illustrate that it’s not difficult to have a great life while spending far less than the household average. I’m fully aware that I’m able to do this because my mortgage is paid off and I don’t have a car loan or credit card debt. It was a long journey to get here and now I’m reaping the benefits.
Although I use Mint and Personal Capital to keep an eye on all my accounts, I use Excel to track my expenses. I’ve found that this works best for me, since I can easily compare months and see a running total for the year for each category.
In early 2017 I’ll post my total spending in specific categories. In the meantime, if you have questions regarding how much I spend on groceries, my cell phone, etc., feel free to drop a note in the comments and I’ll happily provide those details.
Here are my September expenses:
I spent $443 on fixed costs (e.g. association fee, utilities, insurance, etc.). No surprises here. It was exactly what I was expecting, as fixed costs tend to be.
I spent $1,007 on variable costs (e.g. food, gas, house supplies, gifts/donations, etc.). I had a few expenses pop up: clothes for my interview, Amazon Prime renewal, and a furnace tune up. I also switched my cats to canned food. While I got a deal on my first order, the cost will be about $80 every four weeks going forward. Two cats on a wet food diet is not cheap!
Total spending for the month was $1,450. So far this year I’ve spent $15,139, with an average of $1,682/month, which has slightly exceeded my goal of monthly spending of $1,667 or less. All in all, a very reasonable month considering the few extra expenses.
Coming up in October, I’ll have an update on my diabetic cat and I’m celebrating my birthday month with various posts regarding how I feel about turning the big 4-0.
How did your September go? Any challenges?