If you are new here, this is my month-end financial update giving you a high-level view of my expenses and value increases. Check out last month’s progress for more information or continue on for October’s numbers.
Now that November has begun, it is time to put October in the books. Think of it like having a small business. There are the day-to-day operations, but there is likely a designated time to review the financials. This time is used to determine if financial objectives are being met. It’s hardly different for a regular person. If one tracks their finances, it will make a world of difference.
It normally takes me a few days into the next month in order to gather the data I need. Once I retrieve the data, I document the information in a spreadsheet for tracking and analysis purposes.
When I started this blog, I wanted to give the reader a view into my life in terms of my journey to financial independence and early retirement (FIRE). I concluded this should include a view into my finances.
At this point, a short time into blogging about personal finance, I decided that I would release financial details as I felt comfortable.
As of right now, I have decided to give the reader a partial view into the financial tracking and analysis that I do on a monthly basis. As time goes on, I may add more data in terms of real-time balances and specificity in areas that may be of interest. For October, I have provided a view into the percentage of monthly expenses and the change in balances within my investment accounts.
October Monthly Expenses – By Percentage
My monthly expenses vary slightly month-to-month. As you can tell from the pie chart below, a large part of my household expenses are the mortgage (20%), groceries (28%), and health insurance (12%). The miscellaneous (11%) section has been slightly higher due to blogging and non-typical expenses.
My mortgage payment does not include property taxes and property insurance. I don’t utilize an escrow account. I have several set times throughout the year that I pay those expenses.
The groceries included a 5-week credit cycle, so it was considerably higher than the mortgage this month.
Health insurance is such a pain to have to pay, but I have an article coming up about why I don’t go without it. Lucky me, health insurance went up again for plan year 2018, so unless I find a job, I have to reduce elsewhere. “Elsewhere” will likely be the groceries, due to it being the only discretionary expense that has some room for improvement.
Retail went from 16% last month to 4% this month. This category will continue to be at least ~4% until the end of 2018 because I am making payments using a credit card promotional rate. You will learn here that I am not afraid of using a credit card, and have used them strategically to save/earn money. As for the retail purchase, earlier in the summer I had to get a new laptop because I spilled coffee all over my old one. Currently, I am using my old computer to hold my coffee cup…
The miscellaneous section (11%) includes various expenses that are not paid month-to-month. For example – taxes, donations, and other variable costs. In October, the major expense was related to the blog. With the upgrades, I optimized a few areas with the use of plug-ins. Also, in an effort to make the extra money worthwhile, I upgraded to a premium theme. My original theme was very textbook. This new theme fits my aesthetic and presents the visuals so much better! Do you like it? Feel free to leave me your feedback!
All balances are on a credit card rolling period. As such, the inclusions are October expenses to be paid in November.
Monthly Change in Investment Value
Next, let’s take a look at the change in investment balances throughout the period ended 10/31/2017.
The change month over month was $8,282.91, which brings the current year increase in investment value to $57,716.26. I have my view of the balances split between traditional and early retirement accounts. Currently, this is tentative, as I am still determining how I want to structure the outflow of funds during early retirement. I still have time to consider the options prior to completely retiring from 8-to-5 work.
Keep in mind, other than one account, all my investments are in the market working for me. There is no guarantee that the sum of the change in balances for the year will hold true come December. I will release the end-of-year change at the beginning of January 2018.
Contributions + Growth Breakdown
To date for 2017, I contributed fresh capital of $3,500 to IRA #1 and #2. I normally max these IRA’s out at $5,500/for each account. This year due to the loss in income, I am waiting until the beginning of the year to contribute fully to plan year 2017.
Also, an additional $2,437.40 was added to a small pension that is currently not available to be invested. This brings the total contributions to $5,937.40 as of 10/31/2017. This is the lowest yearly contribution balance to date in likely the last 8-10 years.
You can determine that without significant contributions, my household investment accounts have grown well beyond my contributions for 2017. Right now, the change in value is in line with the contributions made in prior years. Those contributions were approximately $40k-$50k/year “all in” while I was working. “All in” includes employer contributions as well.
If you are new here, I am currently looking for a job, and hope to land something new soon. In which case, I will start contributing my earnings to the accounts viewed above and continue the progression towards financial independence + freedom from a 9-to-5 job.
Hitting A Milestone
My household hit a milestone in October. I will release an article in the near future to catch you up to speed. Sign up for email updates below if you are interested in learning more about it! No spam!
Until Next Month
That’s a small peek into my October financial tracking and analysis. I hope this provides some insight into where my money is going in terms of monthly expenses and a high-level view of the accounts and balance changes behind my investments.
Please note: The stock market can be highly volatile, with past results not being an indicator of future results.
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How did October fare for you? Are you on track to hit any financial milestones with 3 months left in the year? I hope to hear from you – please comment below!
Original photo credit: Pixabay