Evaluating One Bad Month’s Numbers

I am going to be honest, July was a brutal month when I look at my spending and my resulting savings rate.  Twice per month I automatically transfer $250 to our savings account.  This helps to make sure that no matter what I am putting some money away.  At the end of the month I will transfer any additional money over into savings.  Well when the end of July rolled around I had no money left to transfer.  My heart sank a little as I looked at my dismal savings rate of only 26%.  Last year I saved an average of 42% of my take home pay and yet here I was saving only 26% of a much higher amount.  WTH?  Has lifestyle inflation really gotten the better of me?

When I got my promotion last fall initially thought I would be save almost 100% of of my raise which would amount to a nice little sum of money by the years end.  Yet it appears that lifestyle inflation has hit me a little as I am not saving as much as I should/could be.

Continue reading “Evaluating One Bad Month’s Numbers”

2016 Savings Review

I will admit that I get excited about this post and, and more specifically the data it contains, every year.  This is the one time where I really get to look at all of our information, jointly as a couple, rather than just my income and savings.  As Mr. SFF and I keep separate checking accounts and credit cards so I don’t see the whole picture until I make him sit down and give me all of his data.   I try to get an update mid-year just to see now we are tracking but it is year end numbers that I like to see.  Yes, I know how much he has saved as he moves money periodically to the joint checking and then I move the money to our investment accounts, but I don’t how much he has made and if this is a large percentage of his take home income or not.  Since all of our benefits and 401(k) savings comes out of my paycheck Mr. SFF’s savings makes the biggest impact on our overall savings goal. Continue reading “2016 Savings Review”

Mid-Year Savings Update

The SFF household has been busy so this post is slightly delayed but we finally had a chance to sit down and review our total income/expense numbers for the first half of the year.  I have been anxiously awaiting this info as we keep our individual income and expense money separate so I was a little in the dark as to how we were doing as a couple.  But I am happy to report that we have increased our savings rate from last year!

In 2015 we saved 28% of our joint net income.  This was a little lower than I had wanted but we have both made an effort to decrease our spending even more and Mr. SFF has been transferring money to our joint accounts more consistently resulting in a higher savings rate.  Based on my calculations we have saved approximately 46% of our net income so far this year.  Woohoo!  I am pretty psyched about this as it is a drastic increase from last year and we both still have buffers of extra money in our individual accounts which is not included in this number. Continue reading “Mid-Year Savings Update”

First Quarter Savings Update

Last fall I stopped doing monthly savings updates as I found it was common to have one month completely thrown off by a car repair or some larger expense and then followed by a good month.  Over the course of three months though things seem to even out pretty well.

The first quarter this year was a very good example of this as I started the year out with a car repair.  It is amazing how much a $250 repair will throw off all of my numbers.  But following this up with a couple of good months and I was back on track. Continue reading “First Quarter Savings Update”

A Year In Review – 2015

Yup, I am just going to start off admitting that I had started to draft this post a couple of days ago but after finally having a chance to sit down with my husband last night I realized that I had to start over.  Why might you ask?  Because I made some assumptions about our total expenditures that were off and had a very eye opening moment when I came to some expenses, namely groceries.

I will start by saying that this experience has been great and although we have not even been on this FI journey for a full year yet I am so thankful we started down this road.  Our finances are obviously in a better place but I am also happier as we are working towards this goal together, making process, and I can actually see light at the end of the tunnel.  All of this is helping me get through the daily monotony of the rat race.  Do we still have years before we are fully financially independent?  Yes, but we are making process towards the goal and continuing to learn more along the way. Continue reading “A Year In Review – 2015”

Monthly Savings Update – September

With the end goal of Financial Independence constantly on my mind I was able to keep my expenses over the past month in check.  I am saving a little bit of money just because the cost of gas has gone down.  As my little Honda Fit is fairly fuel efficient my fuel costs are never that much but I am now able to fill my tank for less than $20.  Not bad if you ask me!

Our 7th wedding anniversary happened the last week in September.  We actually have not have time to celebrate together as our schedules have been so crazy over the past week but we decided not to buy each other gifts.  It’s funny to look back and compare to how different our lives were only 2 years ago before this journey to FI started.   Continue reading “Monthly Savings Update – September”

Monthly Savings Update – August

The end of August always means that summer is unfortunately coming to a close but on the bright side of things at least my savings was dramatically increased this month.  I knew that my numbers would look a little better as my friend was paying me back for her share of our AirBNB rental but also a bunch of my other costs were down resulting in my best month of savings yet.  Woohoo!

Constantly being aware of what money is going out, and using this blog to keep myself accountable, has Continue reading “Monthly Savings Update – August”

Monthly Savings Update – July

Summer is in full swing, and apparently so is my spending.  OK, to be fair I had one really large expense that threw everything off plus we had a vacation in there but I was unfortunately not able to meet my 40% savings goal (again) this month.

The large expense I had was one of my life insurance policies annual premium was due.  As this is an annual premium I have yet to figure out how to budget for it and account for it here.  I ended up moving some money over from my savings to help cover the cost of it but I did not log this transfer on my budget spreadsheet.  So I am actually showing a negative net number on my balance sheet Continue reading “Monthly Savings Update – July”

Monthly Savings Update – June

As expected, June was also a difficult month when it came to my savings goal.  I kept things in check where possible but there were some larger expected expenses that added up and affected my total savings.  After looking at my target budget numbers again I think that it may be hard to keep my savings rate around 40%.  I am still going to keep this as my goal but am coming to realize that it might be a stretch.

Many of my regular expenses actually came in under my target budget but there were a few larger expenses that threw things off.  As mentioned in my previous post we attended a wedding at the end of the month.  Although Mr. SFF paid for part of these expenses it did affect my numbers as well.  We also attended a baby shower so the total we spent on gifts for the month was much higher than my target numbers.

I also booked lodging for my August Spartan Race in Ottawa through AirBNB Continue reading “Monthly Savings Update – June”

Monthly Update – May

As I suspected, May turned out to be a difficult month.  From the start of the month my expenses were higher.  I had a car repair which I expected but nonetheless, still hurt.  But unfortunately that was only one of many large non-regular expenses for the month.

For Mother’s Day we hosted a brunch for 10 at our house with both of our moms, our siblings and their spouses, and one cousin who was visiting from out of town.  Thankfully brunch is less expensive than hosting a dinner but I still spent over $100 on food.  Add in the cost of gifts and cards and Continue reading “Monthly Update – May”