Well Hello there! It’s about time I got around to doing this, it being late-March. Heavens, things are busy. Can’t drop the ball on the monthly reports though – analysis of spending is something we NEEEED to keep doing so we can be aware and make course corrections.
As you may recall from last month’s monthly financial independence report, we had the best month ever since we started aiming for FI. This month we did not do that. It wasn’t terrible, but I had a big medical expense that drove up spending by a whopping $2100. Next month will not have this kind of expense I hope! Anyway, on with the show.
Monthly Report for February
Savings of T
$1066. This is coming very close to my goal of $1200 per month minimum! That said, I did try to squeeze every dime of extra cash out of the budget to get more in before the 2020 tax deadline to maximize my return. I guess I could just try to do that every month going forward…
Extra Income Beyond my Day Job
$229. $180 on an eBay sale, $49 from UserTesting.
T’s Family Expenses
|Category||Feb-21||Relevant Notes of Notey-ness|
|Mortgage Interest||120||New mortgage kicked in, however we missed 2 of the weekly payments due to clerical issues with paperwork. D’OH! Still, it is a relief to be paying much less interest now!|
|Mortgage Principal||456||As discussed, missed 2 payments.|
|Property Tax ($3600 Annually – May 2021)||0|
|Home Insurance ($2100 Annually – May 2021)||0|
|Home Maintenance, Repairs, Renos||101||Sooo I hired a home organizer. It’s $80 for 1 month of group classes and one on one help virtually. Not that FI-oriented, but I consider her an investment in my mental health.|
|Heat (Wood & Propane – supplements electric heat)||11||Kindling for the wood stove|
|Mobile Phones (2 Phones on Public Mobile)||83||Public Mobile is da bomb! Use my referral code to sign up after your order your SIM. You will get a $10 credit! T’s referral code is NR2OR4.|
|Electric ($247 Equalized)||247||This will be our electric bill for the rest of the year. We are on equalized billing with the power company. We use more to heat our homes in the winter due to colder temps. Some ways we could reduce this number would be to install solar, minimize dryer use, possibly buy our own water heater vs rent? I should do some math on that. We’ve already optimized insulation and installed ductless split heat pumps, which are helping quite a bit.|
|Internet, Home phone, TV||99|
|Water (Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct)||0|
|Fuel for 2 cars||176||Down a bit from last month.|
|Car Repairs, Maintenance, Registrations, Licenses||0||This catergory has been happily quiet for months since we bought a new car. But SHHHHH let’s not talk about that too much, k?|
|Parking for Hubs||79||Started the new cheaper parking spot this month. Hurray!|
|Auto Insurance for 2 cars||100|
|Dining Out / Takeout – Family||147||Ok so, after not dining out AT ALL in January, we went a bit wild. Still not terrible.|
|Health (Prescriptions, Vitamins, Dental, Eye care, other medical costs)||2200||I have an Acoustic Neuroma that makes me kind of deaf in one ear. It’s basically a very small benign brain tumor that hangs out on my auditory nerve, causing problems. As a result I finally decided to invest in a hearing aid after Hubs said I needed one. I guess he’s tired of repeating himself. I get that. Anyway, they aren’t cheap. So far, I’m not loving it, but Hubs thinks I’m doing better with hearing things so there’s that.|
|Fitness, Sports||42||Skates & Stuff|
|Life Insurance for 2 adults||156||If one of us pops off early, the other could go FI.|
|Memberships & Subscriptions||143||So this month I had 4 subscriptions come out – Prime, YNAB, Disney+ and Netflix. Since paying these, I have cancelled Prime and I’m just on the verge of cancelling Disney +. We seem to use Netflix lots. And I’m just not ready to cancel YNAB as I’m convinced it saves me hundreds per year. Maybe next year…|
|School supplies, Education||0|
|Pet Fund||159||Cat tree + food. OK my justification of a cat tree is that it’s saving me from buying furniture. What, you didn’t know I have a kitteh? Click here for a cute pic. 😀|
|Gifts & Holidays||97||One Kid’s birthday + some Valentines sent to family that I haven’t been able to visit <3|
|UNKNOWN||72||Cash that magically disappeared from my wallet. Let’s just say I suck at tracking cash transactions! I need to get rid of it.|
|Allowances||300||What we call our “fun money”. Personal items, hobbies, etc.|
|Entertainment – Family||27||new sled for M! Sliding is our new COVID-friendly group activity. With Masks, and social distancing.|
|Alcohol||14||A bottle of red. Because life needs to be slightly more bearable.|
Well, that’s the story for Feb, 2021. If it were not for the crazy hearing aid cost, this would have been an excellent month. Hopefully we can follow suit in months to come! That said we do have some big yearly expenses coming up in May (property tax, home insurance) that will bring the numbers up again.
I have learned through analysis that I have a habit of underestimating the average monthly spending to include big ticket items like cars, roofs, and annual fees on things. So, I’m not going to stress out month-to-month. Instead I’m just going to focus on constant optimization. For example, this month, cancelling Disney Plus. Next month, calling the internet provider. In May, checking for better home insurance. Just keeping on top of these things will help us optimize as best possible. Thanks for stopping by!
4 Replies to “Monthly Financial Independence Report – Feb 2021”
Hey T, that’s a bummer to have to shell out for such a huge medical expense. I hope the heating aid eventually makes life easier for you. I know they take some getting used to. 🙁
You probably know this already, but I’m always surprised that many people don’t, but you can claim the hearing aid (along with other qualified medical expenses) on your tax return. One big one that most people miss is your paycheque deductions for your workplace plan (I think it may be Box 85 on your T4)?
Yes I claim all my medical expenses down to the penny, haha! Including paycheque deductions. It’s not a ton but I’ll take it. So I will include this in 2021 income tax filing. Thanks for the reminder. I am starting to get used to it but it’s not perfect technology despite me purchasing a “good brand”. Anyway, c’est la vie!
Hey T, I read your interview over at ESBFI. Fascinating stuff. Too bad about the medical expense. But it’s nice you were able to save over $1,000 still. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for stopping by!