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Monthly Financial Snapshot: August 2017

You can also track my all-time progress on the aptly-named Current Progress page.

Not a whole lot particularly stands out this month in my spending. The only real thing of note is the somewhat higher travel spending. This was partly due to taking a weekend trip to Minneapolis for the GoCurryCracker FI meetup. I spent about $100 on the roundtrip flight and used points for hotels rooms, so the trip itself was fairly cheap. While I'm traveling, I also include any restaurant spending in the travel because I consider restaurants to be part of the trip, and because I rarely eat at restaurants when not traveling, I want to track them separately. So the whole trip ended up costing only about $183.42 (but who's counting?).

If that's the case, then what explains the rest of the travel spending? The answer is that I also include all extra costs associated with earning points or cash for future travel. So, $95 of it is my annual fee on my new BA card. In addition, Chase had a promotion in August where you could receive 10 Chase points per dollar spent on for purchases up to $250 when using Chase Pay to checkout. Naturally, I took advantage of the promotion to purchase Visa Gift Cards, which are almost as good as cash. Because of this, I only counted the activation fees for the cards, which was $10.82. I also purchased a discounted $50 gift card for $40, which I will definitely use on my next trip to Japan. Finally, I came across a deal with an Irish newspaper which offered 18,000 BA miles for buying a year's digital subscription for 160 euros. At current exchange rates, that came out to 1.05 cents per mile, so of course I bought it. I value BA miles conservatively at about 1.7 cents each, so I expect to profit about $117 from that transaction once I spend those points. Unfortunately, as of yesterday that offer has been cut down to 9,000 BA miles, so it is not nearly as lucrative. Just goes to show how if you see a good deal, you need to grab it before it is gone.

Anyway, here's my spending for the month:

Rent$768.75$750 for rent + $18.75 Plastiq fees
Internet$55.92Internet is kind of expensive.
Cell Phone$0.00Zero thanks to MintSIM!
Natural Gas$17.93Lower than normal, probably because I didn't cook much this month. Also used less hot water.
Electricity$59.61Double billed this month. Both months about average.
Water$35.04Less than average this month, because I was gone for half of last month.
Groceries$120.07Below average this month. Have been eating more plants and less meat, so cost went down a bit.
Car Insurance$0.00I pay every 6 months in April and October.
Did a weekend trip to Minneapolis, so had an extra 150 miles of driving. Also, started going to the gym, so that effectively increases my commute by about 40%.
Car Expenses$0.00Nothing to see here, move along
Health$97.44Heavily subsidized, high-deductible health plans through my work. Includes health and dental. Also joined a gym, so this includes sign up fees.
Other$0.00Nothing to see here, move along
Necessary$1,238.20Overall about average.
Restaurants$15.63Had 2 meals with a coworker and a coffee.
Shopping$198.82About average. Got some workout clothes and a gym bag.
Weekend trip to Minneapolis for a FI meetup! Includes plane ticket, parking, food, and public transport. Also includes an annual fee of my newest card, as well as some mile/point purchases.
Gifts/Donations$21.95Donation to my favorite Youtube channel plus a gift
Software/Games$4.24Bought a podcast app for my iPad, thinking that I would use it at the gym.
Other$0.00Nothing to see here, move along
Discretionary$779.07Bit lower than average, despite my weekend trip.
Total Expenses$2,017.27A bit lower than average overall.
Gross Income$10,062.003 paychecks this month and business income
401(k) Match$292.08My company matches 3% of gross salary
Taxes$2,679.64Federal + state income tax + payroll taxes.
Net Income$7,674.44A bit above average. As expected due to a 3 paycheck month.
Savings$5,657.17What I didn't spend this month. Currently about half going to my 401k.
Savings Rate73.71%Savings / Net Income. Better than average this month.
Net Worth$170,781.05Broke $170k on the last day of the month!

Projected time to FI (assuming 6% growth and 4% withdrawal rate): 6 years, 7 months!


  1. I've been following your blog for a while now, and am always really motivated and inspired when you post your monthly net worth updates, so thank you!

    Would you ever consider posting your "balance sheet" items, detailing the breakdown of where your assets/liabilities are? No pressure of course. Either way, thanks again, and looking forward to next month!


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