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Monthly Financial Snapshot: August 2018

Had a lot of work commitments the first week of September, so apologies for the late post.

August was a lot of fun, in part due to two FI community meetups I attended in Minnesota as well as one in the Chicago area. As simple as it is to live a FI-compatible lifestyle once you have the basics down, it's still fun to meet others who are pursuing a similar goal. The Minnesota meetup / CampFI were highlights for me, as they allowed me to meet a lot of my FI blogger heroes face-to-face, which is a pretty rare opportunity. Plus, I got to meet a bunch of other really interesting and friendly people (at all three meetups) whose internet presence may not be nearly as strong. It's really refreshing to be able to spend hours talking about money saving tips, travel hacking, side hustles, and other efficiencies that speed up the path to FI.

Slight tangent here: one of the things that kind of annoys me about the FIRE community is that there seems to be a lot of groupthink that everyone should start a personal website (usually blogging about FI-related things), podcast, online course, or other products as a side business. It's great for those who enjoy writing or website administration as a hobby, but I don't think that it can be a viable business for the vast majority of people who get into blogging. Even if they are talented content creators, there is way too much chance involved to say that all the hard work to make the content will be financially rewarded. In my case, I have zero expectation that this site will ever make money, and at this time I don't intend to ever attempt to monetize it. I maintain it because it is an easy place for me to document my progress for those who are curious to see what my financial life is like, and it's very low-effort and low-cost (hosting is free and a domain costs like $15 / year). All this isn't to say that people shouldn't try if they are interested, but I think people should have more realistic expectations. </tangent>

Anyway, here's where my money went this month:

Rent$762.50$750 for rent, paid via Plastiq
Internet$55.92Internet is kind of expensive.
Cell Phone$0.00Already paid for 1 year of service through MintSIM. = $15.51 / month!
Natural Gas$21.15Average
Electricity$73.95Above average. 2 months of bills came due this month.
Water$33.11Slightly below average
Groceries$109.59Below average, due to travel
Car Insurance$0.00I pay every 6 months in April and October.
Gasoline$93.03Above average, due to travel
Car Expenses$0.00Nothing this month.
Health$63.34Heavily subsidized, high-deductible health plans through my work. Includes health and dental. One-time fee for new gym membership.
Other$0.00Nothing this month.
Necessary$1,212.59Slightly below average
Restaurants$115.25Above average. Went to beer festival and dinner with a friend.
Entertainment$0.00Nothing this month.
Shopping$0.00Nothing this month.
Travel/Parking$872.43Travel for FI meetups / camps, plus upcoming travel later this year.
Gifts/Donations$0.00Nothing this month.
Software/Games$51.11Pre-ordered Smash Ultimate.
Business$163.95More inventory.
Other$0.00Nothing this month.
Discretionary$1,202.74Slightly below average for this month.
Total Expenses$2,415.33About average.
Gross Income$10,460.91Three paychecks this month.
401(k) Match$311.61My company matches 3% of gross salary
Taxes$1,148.78Paycheck withholding
Net Income$9,623.74Above average.
Savings$7,208.41Above average.
Savings Rate74.90%Above average.
Net Worth$245,401.34NW continues to rise. Hope to cross $250k very soon!

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