November 2017: The Month-End Financial Review

November Financial Review

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 my progress year-to-date below!

Now that December has begun, it is time to put November 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.

November Financial Review

Financial Review

November Monthly Expenses – By Percentage

I’m going to put a place marker in here for expenses. Starting January 2018, I’m starting a money challenge that I am sharing with everyone. This will help keep me on track for a large purchase I am planning. Also, it will hopefully motivate any readers out there that are looking to start off the new year on a clean slate!

I will be updating this section with the budgeted and actual expenses that are part of my goal to save for the year. 

To give you an idea, the majority of 2017, I was spending roughly $2,500 (including health insurance) monthly, closer to $3,000/month including amortization of quarterly, bi-annual, and annual expenses. I am going to try to scale this back to ~$2,300/month all in.

In prior months, I shared my monthly expenses by percentage. After some time, I felt as though it wasn’t really helpful. Especially for the folks that want to gain insight into how my household managed to save an excess of funds.

Stay tuned for more on this!

Next up…

Monthly Change in Investment Value

Next, let’s take a look at the change in investment balances throughout the period ended 11/30/2017.

The change month over month was $12,167.04, which brings the current year increase in investment value to $69,883.30. 

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 9-to-5 work.

Nov. 17 growth

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.

Related article: 5 Tools To Manage Your Financial Health

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 $2,684.54 was added to a small pension that is currently not available to be invested.

This brings the total contributions to $6,184.54 as of 11/30/2017.

This is the lowest yearly contribution balance to date in likely the last 8-10 years. 

Contributions vs. growth

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 well OVER 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 wasn’t working for most of the past year. I landed a new position in November 2017, which I will expand on in future articles.

Related article: Hitting The Next 100k In Net Worth

Until Next Month

That’s a small peek into my November financial tracking and analysis. Stay tuned for the money challenge coming soon to the blog. Additionally, the total change-in-value for my retirement accounts will be released in early January 2018 – just one month away!

Interested in tracking your finances like me?  

Check out my resources page for more information on what I use!

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 November 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


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