Monthly Expense Report, January 2016

I wanted to get this January update out before the middle of February rolled around, so I wouldn’t miss the beginning of the calendar year. What you will find below is my complete monthly expense report which I sorted from biggest to smallest, counting every cent spent. Well, maybe not exactly every cent as I did round to the nearest multiple of $5 for readability.

Also, this is only my spending and no one else in the household. Most items are fairly split, so don’t think I am riding someone’s coattails behind the scenes. Forward, to the expenses!

Category Costs Comments, etc.
Student loans $4450 I decided to take a chunk of my savings and pay down this fairly low interest loan.What was once a 6-figure beast is now under 5-digits!!!
Housing $900 My portion of our monthly payment
Entertainment $165 Cost of pizza and beer when I basically invited myself to a friend’s house for a football game + web hosting for this very site (oh yeah!)
Debt $135 Payment on a 0% home improvement loan. About 16 months left and certainly a future post.
Utilities $115 Quarterly sewer/water bill. Gas+Electric will not show up on these reports because I don’t pay those bills.
Auto $110 Two tanks of gas + insurance
Foods $110 Groceries from various stores, mostly lunch supplies and some produce supplies for dinner.
Internet $70 A little high, but necessary to have reliable service when working from home.
Mobile $50 I can only get coverage from Verizon at the office, but use a prepaid plan on my used phone.
Personal $20 Hair was getting unruly and I got a fancy not-at-home haircut. Includes cash tip!
Medical $5 Visit to the hospital for an appointment and they only have garage parking. Need to take care of yourself!
Total $6125 Much higher than my average $2000, but I think paying down principal is really a form of savings. 🙂

Overall, I think January came in about average for my monthly expense report. No surprise spending, no big projects to pay off or auto maintenance to perform. I did make an emotional decision on my student loan payment, but it certainly feels good to see that number dwindling down! It’s been a long time coming and you most certainly will read more about it in the future.

The Entertainment category certainly weighed heavier on the bottom line this month. Usually I will have it right around $0, but let loose a little this month. Hopefully starting up this website can be seen as entertainment… right?

I pulled this monthly expense report data easily from the You Need A Budget software, which has really helped me turn my finances around. I am currently using what is now the old version, YNAB4, but have tried the new YNAB as well. Sticking with YNAB4 until it breaks unless they improve the new version. If you can snag YNAB4 on sale I would absolutely recommend it. Find out more about YNAB and a few other tools I use on my Resources page.

And finally…

Net Worth Update

I went back and forth about showing my real net worth, but at this point remain uncomfortable doing so and wonder the actual advantage in sharing it publicly. One of the reasons I am sharing this at all is because I do enjoy seeing other peoples’ numbers in their blogs. Maybe sharing in this way is a little boring, but it will have to do until I convince myself otherwise.

The orange line is my goal, the green/yellow shaded area is my actual net worth and the percentage shows month-over-month performance.

Thanks to some heavy front loading efforts I managed to increase my net worth despite a 5% drop in the markets. Progress won’t always look this good as the numbers get larger, but I will take the big percentage jumps while they last! Also the front loading is avoiding a lot of taxes early on that will eventually be paid. Overall I am feeling great about my start to the year!

3 Replies to “Monthly Expense Report, January 2016”

  1. Hey, Zen! thanks for sharing this! It will be great to see how your expense change over time. I know once I started tracking, I became so much more aware – especially if seemingly minor every day purchases (coffee, snacks, etc).

    1. Maybe there will be progress… but I have been on a fairly static budget for the last 10 months. Which means I should probably shake things up!

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