For June’s report, I decided to not only report our expenses, but also review our net worth in relation to our progress towards financial independence. I discussed calculating how much you would need to become financially independent in my post “Planning for Retirement? 3 Questions Everyone Needs to be Asking.” Something I haven’t mentioned yet is that we are a one-income family that plans to retire by age 43. That gives us about 10 years to reach financial independence through aggressive savings and investments. I hope that these monthly financial reports will give you the ability to follow our progress towards our financial goals, and hopefully help you to reach yours.
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As I mentioned in our report last month, we are in the process of moving 3,888 miles away. We spent the entire month of June living in a hotel. Our lodging costs for the month were close to what our mortgage typically is, so we only experienced a slight increase.
Since we are staying in a hotel, we did not have our usual internet bill. We did have a final electric and gas bill from our house. This category also includes our $46.66 cell phone bill for 3 smartphones, and our Netflix and Hulu subscriptions. If you are interested in lowering your cell phone and cable bill, check out “10 Ways You’re Wasting Money.”
Our gas expenses were much lower this month due to my husband no longer commuting in his Prius. We are within walking distance to his work, which has really saved on gas. This category also includes our car insurance, and an oil change for both vehicles.
We are still coming in a little high in our food budget. This is largely because we are living in a hotel, and what I’m able to cook is very limited. We do have a small kitchen, but I don’t have a lot of my ingredients or appliances (like my slow cooker) to cook a lot of the meals that I normally would. We have bought a lot of prepared meals from Sam’s Club, which is still a lot cheaper than dining out, but also has us spending more than usual on groceries.
Our personal expenses were very high this month. The majority of the expenses in this category were blog-related. Knowing that we would be on the road for a month, I decided to purchase a basic laptop to keep up with the blog. I wouldn’t have access to my desktop, and I wanted to be able to stay connected. Since we have decided to home school again this year, I knew that purchasing a laptop was inevitable, so it made the purchase a little more justifiable. I also switched the blog over to self-hosting with Bluehost. If you are considering starting a blog, and are considering monetizing it in the future, just go self-hosted. I quickly found that I was very limited after only a month. I’m probably the least tech-savvy person out there, and I’ve managed to figure it out.
Our medical expenses this month included a bill from our pediatric dentist from the filling that my son had last month. There were some fees that our dental insurance didn’t cover. We also had to take our dogs to the vet to get health certificates since we will be traveling through Canada, and we purchased flea and tick prevention.
This category included dental floss, a sewing kit, a hair dryer, body wash, shampoo, and getting my shirt hemmed. I would have hemmed it myself, but our movers packed my sewing machine, so I had no choice but to pay someone to do it for me.
We bought our 4 day Universal Orlando tickets which were mostly paid for by our credit card rewards, discussed in R2R Heads to Universal Studios Orlando. We also went to the movies, and went bowling. Although the kids were able to bowl 2 free games, we did have to rent shoes.
This category included Amazon gift cards we purchased for our dear old dads for Father’s Day.
We came in a little low this month at 33%. Our goal is to save between 35%-40% of our take-home pay. Unfortunately, we did not meet that goal this month, but no worries, we will try harder next month.
I track our assets and liabilities through Personal Capital. This is the best FREE money management tool I have used. It allows you to view and monitor all of your accounts from one location, instead of having to log in to each individual account. It also provides great visual aids. Tracking your finances is the best way to measure your financial health, which should guide you in most of your financial decisions. If you haven’t signed up, check them out. It’s completely free, and it saves me a lot of time.
Considering that we had a negative net worth just 3 years ago, I’m happy to report that we are 31% closer to reaching financial independence. It’s really motivating to come from a negative net worth, and then really see your frugal habits, and aggressive saving really pay off. As we continue to invest more, we expect stocks to hold the largest percentage in our portfolio. We are aiming towards a retirement portfolio closer to 60/30/10 with stocks/RE/cash by the time that we retire at 43. Check back next month to see how much closer we are to FI.