Monthly FIRE Financial Independence Report – September 2020

You’re probably thinking, “T!! Do you realize it is November and you are just now posting September’s Monthly Financial Independence Report?”

Well yes I do. Better late than never, I say.

Fact is, September was SO depressing financially that I just decided not to post it. You know how we humans like to avoid things that we don’t really want to face? Well I do, and I didn’t want to face the reality that September was a complete shitshow financially speaking.

Shitshow  /ˈʃɪt.ʃoʊ/ : The month of September, 2020 in T’s path to FI/RE.

As you may recall, if you’ve been reading my blog on the regular, I challenged myself and my family to only spend a very specific amount of money on specific things in September for the Saving September challenge. Here’s a summary of what happened that really was not part of the plan, in order of least painful to most painful:

    1. I forgot to budget for school-mandated supplies. DUH. $45. On a side note, the teacher does all the shopping, and everyone gets the same stuff. I LOVE THIS! I don’t have to think about it, I just hand over my cash and run.
    2. Hubs booked the chimney sweep, not remembering about the Saving September challenge. $205.
    3. I got sent back to work in the office, vs. working from home. This resulted in extra fuel costs, and the need to have 2 working vehicles….(foreshadowing)
    4. My laptop hard drive died. Got it replaced, along with some data recovery, thermal paste, fresh Windows install, and interior cleaning. It’s like new! $199.
    5. MY FRICKIN’ ROOF LEAKED! Cost to repair: $3400. I was so mad, I wrote a blog post about it.
    6. Our old clunker, a 2006 Honda CR-V, was due for inspection. We knew there was work to be done. We budgeted $2600 for repairs & body work. The plan was to fix ‘er up to get that inspection sticker, and sell it in the spring. Well, estimated cost of repair was far more than planned. We decided to bite the bullet and buy a new car 7 months early.   New car: $13,000+tax and fees – Grand total $16k.


The only bright light in this story is that: WE STILL HAVE NO CONSUMER DEBT. That’s right, we paid cash for that vehicle from our proverbial pockets. Which is perhaps our biggest financial accomplishment ever. WOOHOOOOOOO! Also we had the money for the roof repairs as we had been saving via our home maintenance sinking fund. If all this had happened pre-YNAB and pre-Financial Independence movement, we would not be standing so proud today. For that I am thankful.

Now that we have all that nasty stuff over with, here’s the hard numbers for the “Saving September” challenge.


$733. A small improvement over August. I plan to increase my % of income saved after December to give this a bump. Unfortunately, all my sinking funds were drained when we bought a car 7 months early, so I’m going to build those back up before increasing savings rate.

Extra Income from Side Hustles:

$77. This is quite low because I didn’t really have time to do any side-hustling. Too much shitshow. Will try to do better.


This is the horror show of the report. I can safely say October was better 😉

Category Planned Actual Relevant Notes of Notey-ness
Mortgage Interest 472 472
Mortgage Principal 645 645
Property Tax 276 276
Interest Charges & Bank Fees 4 11 You know they charge $7.50 for bank drafts now? pfffffft.
Childcare 320 320
Parking 115 115
Auto Insurance 64 64
Life Insurance 156 156
Electric 230 230
Internet 125 125
Netflix 14 14
Home Insurance 0 0
Mobile Phones (2) 76 108 Accidentally bought an extra credit. Will be applied next month.
Home Phone 0 0
Water & Sewer 0 0
Groceries, Toiletries, Supplies 900 1049
Fuel 150 255 Went back to working in the office. BOOO.
Medical, Eyecare, Prescriptions,Vitamins 200 27 2 things factored in here. Hubs did not buy glasses, and we got reimbursed for a medical expense, so our net was $27.
Health & Fitness, Sports 0 0
Giving (Charitable Donations) 20 0 I didn’t give anything this month which is weird. Possible I missed it. Anyway we made up by giving extra in October…this is a loosey goosey category with no real goal attached to it. I would like to increase the goal to a more substantial amount, and have a plan for who we give to on the regular.
Haircuts 65 41
Heat (Wood & Propane) 0 0
Vacations 250 234
Auto Repair, Maintenance, Registration & License Renewals 2500 484
Home Improvement, Services, Supplies & Maintenance 50 3670 lol
Gifts & Holiday Expenses 300 275
Clothing 0 18
New Car 0 16049 triple-lol
Tech repair & replacement 0 200
Annual Memberships & Subscriptions 0 9 Amazon Primeeeee. I love it. Debated waiting till October but since the month was already way over budget…
Education, School Supplies 0 48
UNKNOWN expense 0 0
Allowance – M 0 0
Allowance – I 190 204
Allowance – T 30 30
Dining Out – Family 40 158 Soooo I gave Hubs a budget of $40, but then when the shitshow happened, both he and I decided we needed to eat out more. Imagine test driving cars with a hungry (and therefore cranky) 6 year old for the duration of supper hour, if you will.
Entertainment – Family 0 0
Lotto Tickets 28 27
Alcohol 0 0
Business Transactions 0 0
Total Expenses $7,220 $25,314

A difference of: $18,194.

WELL there you have it. I won’t be doing any more “saving” challenges anytime soon. I am pretty sure it jinxed us. Maybe next I’ll try a “Spend all the Money Challenge!” which will result in an extremely frugal month. Really though, what is one to think?

Hope you and yours are doing well. As always thank you for stopping by! I think my next post will be about my new car, as it’s pretty and exciting in some ways. Toodles!

2 Replies to “Monthly FIRE Financial Independence Report – September 2020”

  1. It’s excellent that you had a plan in place to deal with all the additional costs. So many people miss the point that just starting the journey to FIRE and using YNAB, prepares you for these circumstances. Just think how devastating an extra $18,000 in spending would be for many Canadian families.

    I think it’s also worth noting that we all need to build these kind of expensive months into our FIRE plans. It’s fine to just say you need $40 or $50K a year to live off. But you need to have a plan in place for the big items.

    1. I agree 100%. We have factored in monthly savings for home repairs, new automobiles, dental (ex my mom recently got tooth implants at age 70…let’s just say those are not cheap!!), and other expected big ticket items. I have a feeling that may be why my FIRE number is higher than most that I’ve seen. Thanks for pointing out the good in the bad month.

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