It’s been 6 months of attempting to achieve FIRE as of March 2019. I’d like to say I’ve saved thousands of dollars, and made thousands more than pre-FIRE times. But I’m not there yet.
I CAN say my outlook and lifestyle has changed in a significant way. My awareness and focus on income, expenses, and growing the gap has increased by tenfold, at least. My time and effort on these two areas has dramatically increased from pre-FIRE times. I have more work to do, but I am happy with the direction I’m heading.
Stats for March
Here are some fun stats!
Saved: $325. This is measly, but I stopped contributing to our Emergency Fund to maximize payments to debt, Dave Ramsey style. I am looking forward to increasing savings once debt is paid!
Extra Income from Side Hustles: $0. Rough month. This was one of the things that drove my decision to have no internet month in April…the idea was to reduce distractions to increase focus on more important things like side hustles. I’m not happy with what I got done in April, so I may have to somehow create external accountability to get my butt in gear and make this happen.
Debt Repayment: $2120. Not too shabby. A bit extra was thrown on there from one of 2 income tax returns.
Expense report for March
Total March Spending: $6540. My general goal is under 6k going forward. We hit that in February for the first time ever…I knew March would be higher. (UPDATE: This is a LIE! I looked back through the monthly reports and we also got under 6k in November, 2018. Anyway, we need to do that more often!) It was worse than anticipated. This number was hurty to type. Hurty. It’s a word. No need to question it. On to the sordid details…
- Mortgage+Property Tax: $1398. Down slightly from cancelling my stupid mortgage insurance near the end of the month, which I should have done years ago.
- Child Care: $360
- Stupid Bank Fees: $11
- Home Insurance: $184. Up for renewal in May, and SURPRISE! The rate went up again. Currently shopping for a new insurance provider…
- Power: $256
- TV, Home Phone, Internet: $158
- Life insurance: $157
- Netflix: $13.99. How dare they raise my rate by 2 more dollars…lucky for them my child is addicted. Or is it me? Not sure.
- 2 Mobile Phones: $95
- Transportation: $1097. These car repairs are getting rather painful. However, we are still averaging less than a car payment per month. (note: this category also includes gas, insurance, parking, and other car-ownership costs)
- Charitable Donations: $10. Kinda sad. This increases a fair bit for April. Since April is nearly done I’m confident of this. 😀
- Groceries: $1300. This was a bad month, on top of that we ordered our CSA box for the summer, which piled an extra $250 onto an already bad month. April will be under 1k, fortunately. However, we still need to do more work to get to around an $800 average (my grocery budget dream).
- Gifts: $594. This was pretty horrific when I added it up. I knew we went crazy this month, but man, it was a hard pill to swallow. First, we had 2 family birthdays in the month that I overspent on in the area of gifts and takeout. Only one kids party on which we spent about $20. Then, all hell broke loose when we hosted a baby shower…there were decorations! A cake! A baby gift consisting of a number of items! Yummy Food! Oh, and I pre-bought stuff for the kiddo for Easter in April. Hubs and I talked, and we’re going to try to reduce the budget for the rest of the year / steal money from somewhere else to cover our losses. Lesson learned.
- Medical: $10.
- Dental: $66
- Health, Fitness, and Sports: $190. Extra this month for a new Fitbit (I lost mine) and M’s baseball fees.
- Education: $35
- Beauty Supplies: $30. This is a new category I just added. I’m debating if beauty supplies should be considered “fun money” or not. Thoughts? In this case, I needed to refresh some of my makeup, but is makeup a necessary thing? No…it’s just something that I’ve always bought. More thought needed around this.
- Home Maintenance, Improvements, supplies: $113
- Fun Money: $646. A bit high this month. This category includes allowances, Lotto tickets, dining out, family entertainment, and alcohol. Some of my allowance was saved but the rest of the fun money was actual spending within the month. Our “dining out” category has been creeping up slowly…it’s higher again in April. Time to nip that in the bud for May!!
There you have it! Stay tuned for the April report, coming soon to this blog. As always I appreciate your suggestions for improving my expenses 🙂 I have a list of “to dos” to better my situation. Just gotta get at it. Onward and upward, my FIRE friends!