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 current goal is to reach “Financial Freedom.” By the time we reach this goal we will have:
- A retirement account that can support us when my husband 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 husband and/or I to make a career change with one to two years’ runway
- A mortgage less than two times our combined gross salaries without bonuses or equity.
Once “Financial Freedom” is achieved, the focus will then working be towards “Financial Equilibrium”, where the income from investments covers all our ongoing expenses.
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 of November. I try to spend $600 or less each month for my “fun money” since that’s the allowance that’s apportioned to me and my husband.
Some of these numbers are still in flux since we’re not quite done combining everything. But we’re getting close. I can feel it.
October and November I really took a good at our joint finances (in part because we started putting an estate plan together) and boy howdy we spend a lot for the two of us. Yikes. Like, I knew this, but I didn’t really internalize it until I went through my husband’s auto insurance statements. Auto premiums in this city are bonkers.
The other big annoying thing for us is health care. Apparently, contrary to what I thought, my husband’s open enrollment period is exactly six months from my company’s open enrollment period. But we want him on our insurance long-term because of his recurring specialist sessions, which are covered on my insurance but not his. I’m super afraid that him being on two insurance is going to lead to a coordination of benefits nightmare in the meantime where we pay out the nose covering both deductibles before getting anything covered. Had we known his insurance would leave such a gap for his specialist sessions before or right after we had gotten married, we could have switched him over then. But we didn’t find out until two months after our nupitals. So. Whatever.
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate health insurance in the US? It’s a really dumb and unintuitive system.
In any case, that means we’re going to be paying on the order of $500/month just for his medical care for six months, then that should go down to $300/month for him when his insurance switches over. Assuming all goes well, which, who knows! Medical billing is an endless nightmare!
Edit: adding my husband to my insurance maybcount as a qualifying event? Which is good is true, because then we won’t have to have him double-covered. Stay tuned as I continue to be flabbergasted by the rigamaroles of insurance. Wheeee.
Anyway, here are the minor steps we have taken / will take to hopefully chip away at these recurring numbers in the long term:
- Switch husband to my insurance (saving $200/month)
- Find cheaper auto insurance (unknown savings)
- Trade in my Google Fi for Mint Mobile (saving ~$40/month)
- Cancel Amazon Prime which I mostly used to watch Tokyo Girl (saving ~$13/month)
- Set up system to enforce submitting work reimbursements (~75/month, though won’t reduce line item in monthly reporting)
Things that will probably increase our spending:
- Putting an estate plan into place
- Getting life, disability, and umbrella insurance
We’re also not going to do any more clothes shopping on the joint account (husband really needed more basics for work so we got him a couple things at Uniqlo, but going forward we’ll both be using our discretionary account for those items).
As for my personal spending this month: food. What else is new?
Notable things that happened in October and November include:
- Got married!
- Surprise $10k raise at work
- Went to my first cooking class with Little Sis
How were your finances in November?