Monthly FIRE (Financial Independence) Report – February 2020

Welcome to another installment of the monthly FIRE (Financial Independence) report! This report details activities in my 17th month on my journey to Financial Independence.

Highlights

Saved: $1558. Things are getting better here…gotta keep upping the savings rate!

Extra Income from Side Hustles: $75. Not a great month. This was all facebook sales.

Debt Repayment:  Mortgage Principal: $613.

Expenses:

Category $ Relevant Notes of Notey-ness
Mortgage Interest 476 Blech.
Mortgage Principal 613 This is a bit higher than last month because I was inspired to increase my mortgage payments after listening to this episode of Explore FI Canada. Hope to do it again this year!! Special thanks to Maria from Handful of Thoughts for the great ideas in this interview.
Interest Charges & Bank Fees 5 It’s going down. Let’s get it to zero in March!
Property Tax 250 Taxes. Harumph.
Childcare 344
Parking 115
Auto Insurance 92
Life Insurance 156
Electric 111 Usually my cost is $230 per month, however I had a credit that carried over into February. Thank you, Heat Pumps!
Internet 118 This is for Fibre Op internet. I could probably get this lower if I switched providers, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it. Gotta investigate.
Netflix 14
Mobile Phones 61 The dramatic decrease is a direct product of the 2 of us switching to Public Mobile. Hurrah! To switch, use my referral code NR2OR4. Just order a sim card today if you own your own phone. You won’t regret it!
Water & Sewer 0 Due every 3 months.
Groceries, Toiletries, Supplies 1059 We have a good month. Then, we have a bad month. I spent extra grocery money on Valentine’s day weekend for a girls weekend (even though I bought more extravagant things, I counted it in the grocery budget). Anyway. Need to put in that effort I said I was going to.
Fuel 355 This is creeping up. It went up since last month. This includes 2-3 road trips for family visits.
Medical, Eyecare, Prescriptions, Vitamins 110 We had some expenses that weren’t fully covered by insurance this month.
Health & Fitness, Sports 19 WW membership. I’ve lost 9 pounds. Boo-yah! Totally worth $19 per month. Click here if you would like to use my referral link to join WW.  Let me know if you do join so we can be Connect buddies!
Haircuts 106 Everyone got a haircut. At least it’s a lot less since I stopped colouring my hair and started embracing the grey. Now I must challenge myself to cut the family’s hair. Rumour has it there are tutorials on Youtube
Heat (Wood & Propane) 30 Kindling. We’ve also burned almost all our wood this year. It be cold.
Vacations 3570 Oh yeah, baby. We know where our priorities are! This includes a summer beach weekend prepayment, Valentine’s weekend expense, and flights to France. Looking forward to it!
Auto Repair, Maintenance, Registration & License Renewals 404 Ok, this is amazing because it includes a set of 4 tires AND alloy rims that we got on kijiji for $300. Frugal Win! We don’t need the rims, so we should be able to recoup some cost by selling them.
Gifts & Holiday Expenses 173 Current and future birthday gifts, a Valentine’s Day care package for my boys, since I ABANDONED them on Valentine’s Day for a weekend with my girlfriends. This is called, “Guilt Spending”.
Clothing 49 More clothes for M. He really needed a rain suit. And something else. lol. Probably not, but whatever. Gotta get back to thrifting more often!
Annual Memberships & Subscriptions 28 MLB Audio. Hubs claims to need this when he mows the lawn. And, hopefully at other times too. Anyway, at least it’s cheaper than paying someone to mow the lawn…
UNKNOWN expense 28 Hubs purchases that I didn’t verify.
Allowance – I 189 We were both a bit over budget this month, but not bad.
Allowance – T 167
Dining Out – Family 182 A large jump from last month. Probably need to nip this in the bud STAT. Mostly this is my fault, because I told Hubs one exhausting day that I wanted to “be served” which meant dinner for 3 in a restaurant. Being served *was* really nice though.
Entertainment – Family 0 We entertained ourselves for free this month. Hurray! Read: we were too busy to do anything fun.
Lotto Tickets 17 Stardate Feb 2020. Hub’s office pool has STILL produced no winnings. When do we bail?
Alcohol 21
Business Transactions -96 This includes a work expense reimbursement AND a purchase of 2 board games to be re-sold on EBay! Hubs is quite into board games, and found some good deals. My $1000 challenge inspired him to experiment with buying and selling for a profit. We shall see how he does with it.
Total Expenses $8,766
view of river from cottage winter
View from our cottage on Valentine’s Weekend. The hot tub on the deck really made it!

In Conclusion

If it weren’t for the France flights (3k), this would have been a fantastic month in terms of spending. As you may be aware, our goal is to spend an average of 5k per month when FI/REd. We expect expenses to be lower then (less transportation costs, no mortgage, etc).

I’d like to see us spend no more than an average of 6k per month in the non-FIRE state, but I think after a year+ of data, I’m coming to realize this is unrealistic without significant lifestyle changes. There is a large ebb and flow in expenses month-to-month and year-to-year. We’ll need to keep in mind the large ones that throw off the balance such as a new-to-us car, new deck at some point, and vacations, which inevitably bump up the average monthly spend.   More analysis required here!

Well that’s it for February. I hope you enjoyed this Monthly FIRE report! How much is your average monthly spend? What do you expect it to be in retirement? I’m interested to hear what others are predicting in the comments below. Happy FI/RE-ING!

 

2 Replies to “Monthly FIRE (Financial Independence) Report – February 2020”

  1. Thanks for all the detail you put into this. I LOVE that you increased your mortgage payment. Every little bit helps and very increase goes directly to your principal, saving you on interest.

    Even though some months your expenses are high and some are low, it’s worth looking at an annual average.

    Keep up the good work, all those small changes are making a difference.

    1. Thanks for your comment Maria! And your interview was super inspiring! After writing this post I looked at my average for the past 17 months. It’s definitely higher than I would like however there are things I can do to trim more. And hopefully some supplemental income will help too.

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