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.
Really good month for us money-wise. Former company’s stock jumped up in their latest 409a, so I’m going to continue using their latest FMV numbers in tracking my net worth, but at a 15% discount to account for LTCG when inevitably I liquidate. We also donated almost five figures in December, so that was a moderate drag on our growth (but I’m certainly not complaining).
On spending, went wayyyyy overboard on the food delivery (I get really lazy during the winter). Will be doing a no-eating out January to try and reset things. I also totally spaced that I didn’t have automatic payments on my personal card so I got hit with a late fee and interest. Womp, womp. I’ve set those up so that shouldn’t be an issue again, but I’m annoyed at myself that it happened at all.
In 2020, we’ll be front-loading our pre-tax retirement contributions plus doing some post-tax contributions since my employer allows for a mega backdoor roth. I think we can cut our spending by 10%-ish with a few simple changes (renegotiating insurance, taking advantage of employer benefits for reimbursements, less international travel, etc.), so we’ll probably be doing that. Also babies. 2020 is the year of the baby. I can feel it in my bones.
How were your finances in December?