Monthly Financial Snapshot: September 2019

Most of this month was spent visiting family and continuing to prepare for my move to Tokyo. My visa paperwork arrived mid-month, but I discovered that I needed to go to the consulate for my state of residence to get my visa, which necessitated a last-minute trip to Chicago. Fortunately, I was able to book flights using miles and I was able to stay with a friend for the week I spent there, so the trip ended up costing me less than $20 out of pocket (not including food and public transportation). So the last of my official paperwork has been completed prior to immigration, but there will be a lot more to deal with next month upon arriving.

I also made an effort this month to take advantage of the special offers available for my Amex cards. For those who don’t know, check your Amex app “Offers” section for all of your cards and add them to your account to get rebates on certain purchases. This month, I got $100 back from an electronics site, $30 back from office supply stores, $100 back from Marriott, and $5 back from a restaurant, for a total of $235 in statement credits. An easy way to maximize these is to buy gift cards at eligible merchants (for example, many office supply stores sell gift cards) since there is no requirement to buy a certain item to activate these offers. I used this method for almost all my offers this month, which results in discounts toward future purchases. Other banks have similar offers for their cards, so it’s worth checking them every few days for good offers.

Below is my spending for the month:

CategorySep-19Comments
Rent$0.00Nothing this month
Internet$0.00Nothing this month
Cell Phone$50.16Registration fee for Japan phone plan
Natural Gas$0.00Nothing this month
Electricity$0.00Nothing this month
Water$0.00Nothing this month
Groceries$20.74Below average this month
Car Insurance$0.00Sold my car, so no more insurance.
Transport$25.53Below average this month
Car Expenses$0.00Sold my car, so no more car expenses.
Health$134.9523andme test (now HSA reimbursable!)
Other$5.18Mail forwarding + laundry
Necessary$236.56Below average this month
Restaurants$199.03Restaurant meals with friends and family
Entertainment$0.00Nothing this month.
Shopping$270.65Gift cards, electronics
Travel/Parking$593.63Gift cards, airline fees, CC annual fee
Gifts/Donations$0.00Nothing this month.
Software/Games$15.17Domain name renewal
Business$0.00Nothing this month.
Other$0.00Nothing this month.
Discretionary$1,078.48About average this month
Total Expenses$1,315.04Below average this month
Gross Income$16,268.30Interest, dividends, sold car, cash balance pension
401(k) Match$0.00Nothing this month
Taxes$0.00Nothing this month
Net Income$16,268.30Above average
Savings$14,953.26Above average
Savings Rate91.92%Very high, due to one-time pension payout
Net Worth$317,736.77Hopefully won't drop below $300k again!

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

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