September was our lowest spending month in 2019. And we needed that to balance out the set backs we had in June and July. Overall, it was a low-key month in terms of spending, so this should be a short post!
It appears that our net-worth jumped by 71K in the last 3 months, but not because of anything we did! Please read on.
I use Personal Capital to keep track of my finances. Given how many different cards we use to manage our household finances, I find that this is the best free online tool available to help me keep track.
On to the numbers!
Top 3 Spending Categories (Housing, Transportation, Food)
The top 3 represented ~41% of all spending this month. We went over the budget in the food category, but we are still on track on a long term basis.
Transportation is usually the wild card because anticipating repairs is so difficult. Because of this, we built a nice cushion in our plans. This month we were lucky to get away with only gas expense. And as an additional bonus, my wife has been working from home while she gets ready to give birth. Since her commute is normally longer than mine and includes a $4 toll each way, not having these expenses was a huge help.
We budget 5% of our spending towards the “Other” category and this month we exceeded that many times over and here is why.
We decided to throw a “baby sprinkle” to celebrate the expected arrival of our second child. This was a major expenses that we did not budget for when had our planning meeting back in June.
We also paid for a flight for my mother-in-law to come visit and help us out with the new baby. I initially intended to use Southwest points for this transaction, but we decided to pay for the flight outright in order to help us meet the minimum spending requirement for a credit card bonus.
And lastly, we had a few healthcare expenses. These are refundable via our HSA plan, but we rather pay for these expenses out of pocket and save our receipts for later use.
Progress Toward Financial Independence
Despite the low spend month, we did not move the needle toward our FIRE goals this month.
OUR NET WORTH INCREASED BY 71K
I blindly accept zillow’s values for our properties for the purpose of tracking our net-worth. Over the last quarter, Zillow decided that our rental property values have increased by ~50K. Wowzer! There is really no catalyst for this and Zillow will likely revise this by the time the next quarter comes around.
Our retirement accounts also increased by ~11K based on a combination of scheduled contributions and market appreciation.
Lastly, our liabilities decreased by ~10K through regular payments of our debts.
Cheers to another good month! With the exception of a potential birthday party for our soon to be 3yr old (an expense with did not budget for), October should also be another helpful month.
Is there anything I can address better in future posts? How do you track your finances?