We spent $3,277 in March. It was nice to having a quiet spending month. We went on one trip in March and spent a little getting prepared for a summer vacation. Work has really been dominating my time lately, which re-energized my frugal desires.
Our March spending really illustrates the value of living in a small house and driving small used cars.
Travel – $1,383: we took a quick weekend trip to visit family. It was a kind of last minute and flights were expensive. I’m very grateful for our good jobs and ample savings, one-off expenses can be a pain, but they don’t really affecting our lives – something we take for granted.
Entertainment – $720: blew this category out the water. My hobby spending ballooned thanks to an annual membership fee paid in March. Event spending was also high because of a local family shindig. This will be the most spent on entertainment all year.
Food – $610: another strong month for grocery spending! This category includes household items like paper towels, cleaning supplies and toiletries.
Home – $206: this is the kind of month I dreamed of when we paid off our house. Work prevented me from getting out and enjoying the spring weather, but at least our utility bills benefited.
Other Services – $133: Ack! We went over our cell data limit, but once every few years is nothing to get worked up about. Our cable and DirectTV Now were prepaid for March so we’re artificially low this month.
Vehicle – $108: crushed it. If we didn’t have our dumb jobs to commute to it’d be nada.
Waiting to be Zapped – $0: I wanted to refrain from spending anything on the site for a month. Success.
Our projected 2018 spend dropped compared to last month. A decrease in Travel and Merchandise are the primary drivers. I’d like to see our total spend come in under $60k for the year, we’ll need a few more strong months to hit that mark.
March was as good as it gets for savings. Five Fridays means 5 paychecks and making more money sure makes it easier to save.
I’ve updated our year-to-date savings rate at quarter end. We really needed the big month because our savings had been pretty dismal. We use 50% as a benchmark and March helped us get back in the ballpark.
We’re fortunate to have steady jobs and low fixed expenses. We’re using the good times to bank our current excess for future use. The key isn’t in assigning an arbitrary target (50%), instead the focus is keeping our lifestyle at a comfortable level and saving what we don’t currently need.
It’s important not to live fancier just because you can afford to – find a lifestyle you’re content with and use any surplus to earn financial independence. Future you will love you for it.
Our net worth crept up $5,221 in March, which is better than last month – our first monthly decline.
If you would like to track your net worth you can sign up for a free Personal Capital account by clicking here.
Our portfolio balance is down for the second consecutive month! Our investments dropped $2,429 in March, but thanks to a huge January we’re still up $10,399 for the year.
We contributed $5,985 to our investment accounts in March and our employers kicked in $1,289 in match.
We had market losses of $9,703 causing our total portfolio balance to be down for the month. The stock market overall fell slightly less than 2% while our investments dropped a little more than 2%. My intention is to have a passive portfolio that mirrors the broader markets so under-performance is not ideal. The miss is caused by owning more of my company stock than I really should.
It’s a little disheartening to see our balance drop in a month we contributed $7,274 to our investments. It’s important to remember it’s a positive though – we’re buying stocks on sale.
Overall a very solid month for us financially. I felt like our spending normalized and have high hopes we can make April a great month.
On a personal level, work has been wearing me down. Going through the personal financial statement exercises above really help keep things in perspective. My wife and I are very fortunate: we’re healthy, live in a paid-off house, and have high-earning jobs. We’re coupling this good fortune with good financial sense and hoping one day it will all pay off.
Here’s to hoping.