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 net worth progress.
- Spending Table – Compares monthly spending to an average (for me) “bare bones” budget, keeping me accountable for additional expenses.
For now, monthly updates include only my personal net worth and spending. As my fiancé and I combine our finances, updates will shift to cover going values instead.
Each net worth goal in the Financial Progress table is broken down into undisclosed units of money. My current goal is to reach “Financial Freedom.” By the time I reach this goal I will have:
- A retirement account that can support us when my fiancé hits 65
- Two college savings funds funded for four years of in-state public university tuition, room, and board
- An emergency fund for six or more months of living expenses
- Sufficient liquidity for my fiancé and/or I to make a career change with one to two years’ runway
- A mortgage less than two times my gross salary without bonuses
Once “Financial Freedom” is achieved, the focus will then working be towards “Financial Equilibrium”, where the income from investments covers all our ongoing expenses.
I’ve created a “bare bones” budget which represents the average minimum amount I can expect to spend each month. This is the minimum amount I need to comfortably live in case of a job loss, emergency, etc. I expect to frequently go over my “bare bones” budget in a number of categories (here’s looking at you, “Groceries & Dining), but I want to remain accountable to myself when I do so.
For privacy reasons, there are two things I do not include in my spending updates: my monthly mortgage and charitable donations (pegged at 10% of my net income).
I finally ended up finding a suit that fits. In the process I also re-hauled my entire wardrobe. Whoops? I still have one or two pieces on my list, and I have some repairs and tailoring to get done. More posts to come on all that.
Other than clothes and food (i.e. “the usual”) the only one-off big ticket item was for our weekend vacation out to the Berkshires. Fiancé paid for gas and drove (so much time in a car…) so I covered the AirBnb, museum tickets, and food. We visited MASS MoCA since fiance is a big James Turrell fan and they put a new exhibition up of his this year. So good! There was lots of interesting, thought-provoking art there, but among my favorites was this sculpture by Louise Bourgeois.
Part of my spendy-ness this month is probably because stress levels are high. Between work stress and fiance’s current unemployment situation I’m feeling a bit anxious. Unfortunately, his field seems to be undergoing some financial troubles with a lot of employers triggering hiring freezes. Ultimately, I know he’ll make it through. It’s just a question of when.
How were your finances in October?