September Financial Update

SeptExpWe spent $4,731 in September which is a little high for us. I think we just got a little sloppy in some of our non-descript categories like Food, Entertainment, and Other Services.

Travel – $1,705: we had two trips in September and went a little nuts while on them. We also booked 2 flights for an international vacation we have planned next year; the flights were booked using miles, but we still had to pay taxes on them. Points Game spending was the annual fee on  two of our credit cards. This was more than offset by the $1,080 we didn’t pay on flights in September by using miles for both our trips.

Food – $779: We dined out a lot more than usual while at home. We celebrated a few milestones with friends so we had a little fancier diet than usual. As a reminder Groceries includes all spending at the grocery store, not just food items.

Entertainment – $565: about twice what it normally is. We enjoyed some great weather this month 🙂

Home – $396: we bought some organizational items for a closet re-do as well as supplies for our yard and garden. It never gets old seeing how little we spend on our home since paying off our mortgage.

Other Services – $394: ouch! Our Cable/Internet is always ridiculous, but it’s especially high this month because we renewed our security and Microsoft Office contracts for the laptop. Our Cell Phone is normally $90, but we went over on data which never happens, not sure what we did…

Merchandise – $355: a little under our norm for this category, nothing crazy going on.

Vehicle – $248: right in line with our average. Spent $82 renewing our AAA membership which I categorize as Insurance. Luckily we haven’t used it often, but has been worth every penny the times we’ve needed road side assistance.

Waiting To Be Zapped – $289: a new category for this month! I launched this blog in September and have thus far enjoyed working on it. Check out my separate monthly update on how Waiting To Be Zapped has been performing thus far.

Annualized Spending

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I like to update an annual estimate of our expenses after every month (much like a company would do). This helps me to get a good picture of how our spending is trending. It’s a little more analytical than just pro-rating YTD expenses – I adjust for past expenses that are one-offs and future costs (e.g. property taxes) that I haven’t paid yet. Our projected annual total ticked slightly up after September, suggesting we had a high spending month on our repeat transactions.

Now let’s take a look at our Net Worth:

First is an excel file that I update every month. For this I keep our home value equal to our purchase price. I like this look because it has our history since I first started tracking our net worth in 2011.

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Second I have a chart from Personal Capital showing our Net Worth growth for the year. Our total is higher on this because it uses Zillow values for our house. I’ve also included the chart for just the month of September. 2017 has been a great year for the markets!

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According to Personal Capital our Net Worth has grown $137,100 in 2017. This is driven by a large increase in the Zillow value of our house and an after-tax savings rate of about 50%. For the month of September our Net Worth climbed $13,710. I just realized as I was typing that it is exactly 10% of our growth for the year.

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Last up is the Personal Capital chart of just our portfolio growth. This is the most useful information as it shows money we’ll actually access in the future (unlike home equity). The full-year chart has a cliff-dive in April. This is because we liquidated some of our after-tax investments to pay off our mortgage. It’s the best.

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The September chart shows an increase in our portfolio of $13,373!

$9,108 of that came from contributions and $4,265 from market growth. Hurrah!

Of the $9,108 in contributions, $7,631 came from us and $1,477 from employer match.

Income & Savings Rate

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As I’ve mentioned before, all of our income comes from our jobs (we have no side hustles). My wife and I both have professional jobs and have been medium successful at them leading to very nice salaries. We don’t particularly care for these jobs though, so we’re trying to take advantage of the surplus they create by saving. This way if we ever get zapped we will have the financial flexibility to leave our careers. A 50% savings rate is sort of our unofficial goal, and we hit it in September 🙂

Well there you have it. That’s a snapshot of our September financial activity as well as a look at the types of schedules I’m updating every month to track our money.

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