Each month I will post an update on my finances to both give you, the reader, some insight into my situation and to give me markers of my progress on my financial journey. My updates consist of two parts:
- Financial Progress Table – Tracks joint net worth progress.
- Spending Table – Compares monthly spending to an average (for us) budget, keeping us accountable for additional expenses. I will also include my personal discretionary budget as well; I will not include my spouse’s discretionary spending, which I do not see.
Each net worth goal in the Financial Progress table is broken down into undisclosed units of money. Our goal is to hit “Financial Equilibrium.” This means, more or less, FIRE at roughly 4% withdrawal rate.
We’ve created a joint budget which represents the average amount we can expect to spend each month. This is average amount we need to comfortably live in case of a job loss, emergency, etc. I expect to frequently mostly keep in line with our budget when amortized over the year, even though amounts may vary from month to month.
For privacy reasons, there are two things I do not include in our joint spending updates: our monthly mortgage and charitable donations (pegged at 10% of our net income).
Here is my own personal discretionary spending for the month. I try to spend $450 or less each month for my “fun money” since that’s the allowance that’s apportioned to me and my husband.
Tons of backlogged copays and political donations increased spending. Finished stocking up on food supply– mostly a bunch of tinned olive oil which we burn right through, enough for the year. Also ate out a lot due to stress and the feeling that this may be my last chance to live it up for a few months.
Coronavirus wiped out a good chunk of our investments. I ended up dropping around 60% of our equity allocation the Friday before the terrible week, but loss some waiting for Vanguard to submit transactions on Monday, so baked in that day’s losses. Also invested in some alternatives which ended up not being buffeted against the market fluctuations, so took a loss on those before pulling out.
Personally, I’m pretty honed in on work. It’s bringing out the competitive parts of me that I find kind of loathsome, but I’m not mired in idle anxiety, which is good I guess.
How were your finances in February?