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Monthly Financial Snapshot: October 2018

Well, October was an interesting month.

The markets panicked a bit this month, dropping about 7.4% in the US and 8.5% internationally. The headlines tell me that this was the biggest monthly drop in 7 years. But honestly, I wasn't paying that much attention while it was happening. These things happen from time to time, and it's part of the deal with owning stocks: higher risk in exchange for the potential of higher returns. If this didn't happen every so often (ie, stocks were less risky), then prices would be higher, which would cause future returns to drop. While it may be disheartening to watch one's net worth drop so quickly, it's important to remember that in the long run none of this will matter that much. I remember that in late summer 2015 there were similar drops in the market, and again in early 2016, and it took until summer of 2016 for the market to recover to its prior level. At the time, it may have appeared discouraging, but since that time the market has returned 25% (not including dividends)! To conclude, I can only quote the great Warren Buffet: "try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful."

That being said, here's my spending for the month.

Rent$768.75$750 for rent, paid via Plastiq
Internet$55.92Internet is kind of expensive.
Cell Phone$130.00Switched to prepaid data-only T-mobile plan for $10 / month. Paid for a year up-front
Natural Gas$21.06Little below average.
Electricity$82.24Double payment for this month.
Water$33.11Slightly below average
Groceries$146.60About average for the month.
Car Insurance$247.83I pay every 6 months in April and October.
Gasoline$75.13Gas prices have gone up a bit
Car Expenses$21.17Bought new engine and cabin filters for the car.
Health$38.34Heavily subsidized, high-deductible health plans through my work. Includes health and dental. Gym membership.
Other$0.00Nothing this month.
Necessary$1,620.15Above average, due to phone and car insurance.
Restaurants$84.01Above average for the month. Went out a few times with friends and got food on lazy weekends.
Entertainment$5.99Saw First Man.
Shopping$15.83Below average for the month.
Travel/Parking$803.36Weeklong California road trip.
Gifts/Donations$0.00Nothing for this month.
Software/Games$0.00Nothing for this month.
Business$849.19More inventory.
Other $0.00Nothing for this month.
Discretionary$1,758.38Above average, mostly due to travel.
Total Expenses$3,378.53Above average
Gross Income$8,196.02Below average
401(k) Match$207.74My company matches 3% of gross salary
Taxes$1,169.54Paycheck withholding
Net Income$7,234.22About average
Savings$3,855.69Below average
Savings Rate53.30%Below average, but still ok
Net Worth$238,745.10Back to July levels thanks to market losses in October. At least stocks are a better deal going forward.

Projected time to FI (assuming 6% growth and 4% withdrawal rate): 6 years, 10 months.