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.

Category Oct-18 Comments
Rent $768.75 $750 for rent, paid via Plastiq
Internet $55.92 Internet is kind of expensive.
Cell Phone $130.00 Switched to prepaid data-only T-mobile plan for $10 / month. Paid for a year up-front
Natural Gas $21.06 Little below average.
Electricity $82.24 Double payment for this month.
Water $33.11 Slightly below average
Groceries $146.60 About average for the month.
Car Insurance $247.83 I pay every 6 months in April and October.
Gasoline $75.13 Gas prices have gone up a bit
Car Expenses $21.17 Bought new engine and cabin filters for the car.
Health $38.34 Heavily subsidized, high-deductible health plans through my work. Includes health and dental. Gym membership.
Other $0.00 Nothing this month.
Necessary $1,620.15 Above average, due to phone and car insurance.
Restaurants $84.01 Above average for the month. Went out a few times with friends and got food on lazy weekends.
Entertainment $5.99 Saw First Man.
Shopping $15.83 Below average for the month.
Travel/Parking $803.36 Weeklong California road trip.
Gifts/Donations $0.00 Nothing for this month.
Software/Games $0.00 Nothing for this month.
Business $849.19 More inventory.
Other $0.00 Nothing for this month.
Discretionary $1,758.38 Above average, mostly due to travel.
Total Expenses $3,378.53 Above average
Gross Income $8,196.02 Below average
401(k) Match $207.74 My company matches 3% of gross salary
Taxes $1,169.54 Paycheck withholding
Net Income $7,234.22 About average
Savings $3,855.69 Below average
Savings Rate 53.30% Below average, but still ok
Net Worth $238,745.10 Back 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.

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