Monthly Financial Snapshot: July 2017

This month was an interesting one because I spent about half of it away on work training. As a result, much of my normal expenses were reduced because the company was paying for my lodging and food. Well, technically I paid for it and I will be reimbursed sometime next month. No complaints from me because I still get to collect all the points and miles that come along with travel spending at no cost! Since I will get reimbursed, I don't include them in my spending reports because they are not representative of my normal expenses and including them would skew my averages and therefore my projections. On the other hand, not including them also skews my averages and projections in the other direction because some of that spending is money that I would have had to spend on myself anyway! Still, by not including the spending, the numbers are affected less because I wouldn't have spent nearly as much as I did if I had to pay out of pocket!

In other news, I applied for yet another card this month (the Chase British Airways card) because it is the last Chase card that I want which isn't subject to the 5/24 rule (as I discussed in my previous post about credit cards), and it currently is offering a pretty good sign-up bonus of 50k miles after spending $3k in the first 3 months, an additional 25k miles after spending a total of $10k in the first year, and an additional 25k miles after spending a total of $20k in the first year. So, assuming that I use this card for the majority of my expenses over the next year, I will earn 120k BA miles! Since I travel to Japan every year, that is enough for over 13 round-trip domestic flights in Japan at current redemption rates! Or, if I choose to redeem those miles in the US, I can get 6 round-trip tickets to visit family! It's tough to beat BA miles in terms of pure utility. I just hope that they don't change their award structure before I can use up all my miles!

Without further ado, here was my spending for the month:
Jul-17 Comments
Rent $765.00 $750 for rent + $15 Plastiq fees
Internet $55.92 Internet is kind of expensive. But strangely, my phone company dropped their price without me asking for it. No complaints!
Cell Phone $0.00 Zero thanks to MintSIM!
Natural Gas $20.08 Lower than normal, probably because I wasn't home for half the month.
Electricity $0.00 Nothing, due to quirk of billing calendar. Will pay on 8/1, so it will show up next month.
Water $38.18 Less than average this month, again because I was gone for half the month.
Groceries $109.07 Significantly below average, because I was gone for half the month.
Car Insurance $0.00 I pay every 6 months in April and October.
Gasoline $19.64 Gone for half the month = less driving = less gas
Car Expenses $0.00 Nothing to see here, move along
Health Insurance $13.34 Heavily subsidized, high-deductible plan through my work. Includes health and dental.
Other $0.00 Nothing to see here, move along
Necessary $1,021.23 About 17% less than average, because I was gone half the month.
Restaurants $27.00 Had 2 meals with a coworker.
Entertainment $31.99 Netflix, movie ticket, and subscription so I could watch my friend in the World Series of Poker
Shopping $30.00 Less than average this month.
Travel/Parking $18.85 Day trip to the city on weekend while I was at work training
Gifts/Donations $10.00 Donation to my favorite Youtube channel
Software/Games $0.00 Nothing to see here, move along
Business $23.21 Inventory
Other $100.00 Document fees for my personal project
Discretionary $241.05 Much lower than average, thanks to my company picking up restaurant bills and travel expenses while I was at training.
Total Expenses $1,262.28 Almost half of my average this month!
Gross Income $7,944.39 2 paychecks this month, business income, and ESPP earnings
401(k) Match $194.72 My company matches 3% of gross salary + profit-sharing from last year
Taxes $2,101.18 Federal + state income tax + payroll taxes. My state voted to increase income taxes this month, so this is slightly higher than it would have been.
Net Income $6,037.93 Below average, but only because the average has been skewed high due to recent overtime / annual bonus.
Savings $4,775.65 What I didn't spend this month. Currently about half going to my 401k.
Savings Rate 79.09% Savings / Net Income. Better than average this month.
Net Worth $163,782.71 Large increase (over $7k!) from last month, thanks to the rising market.
Projected time to FI (assuming 6% growth and 4% withdrawal rate): 6 years, 9 months!

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