December 2019 in Review: Money + Life

The money part: 

A reminder to myself of why I’m doing a month in review post: 

  • Stay accountable. It is soOOOooOOOoo easy for me to be semi ok with my spending knowing there’s at least a couple thousand in my checking account, but I know I’m currently bleeding money and can’t reach my 100K goal unless I know where my money’s going
  • Track trends. I find trends the easiest to track, and the easiest to tackle. I can’t really control an unexpected $2,000 tax bill (true story) but I can re-evaluate trends. Am I eating out more? Spending more on clothes? Why?
  • See the progress. It’s easy to forget where you come from (jk, it was $0.00 and I remember it like yesterday!!) but seriously, it’s nice to be able to look back on progress, and progress is more important than an arbitrary goal anyway. 
December 2019November 2019
Net Worth Total$21,044.33$22,229.01

Caveat: I don’t include my 0% interest car loan in my net worth, because it’s now worth as much as I owe. I also have other assets and a joint account with my husband (but that’s our money and not my money). 

A breakdown of my most of my expenses

Car$910.91My car payment (I drive a brand new car I bought at 0% interest). This month I also made Mr. H’s car payment, since he’s on sabbatical. I want to write another time about how nutty it is that our car expenses are like, a gazillion dollars.
Last month this number was $249.23. This month, my coffee spend stayed the same thankfully ($125) but this also includes lunches on workcation plus the holidays with my family (I paid for a dinner out). This looks surprisingly good to me!
Healthcare$0$0!!! Because I managed to finally pay off a medical bill from, oh you know summer of 2018.
Personal Care$300Yikes, this is high. Includes my orangetheory membership, plus some salon expenses.
Clothing$517Last month: $189.34. YIKES. This reminds me that I need to return a $115 coat I bought that didn’t work out. This does include a winter coat that did work out, which should last a few years. This also includes $189.37 in gifts, and $69.37 for new matte black cutlery (service for 12!).
Home Improvement$460Apparently, I was in the mood to spend this month (see row above!), which is strange since December was the start of us switching to 1 income. I had already intended to make these purchases though and both have paid off (new mirror and new bedding).
Entertainment$64For whatever reason, personal capital has chosen to group parking expenses as Entertainment. I should probably just group this in with travel for next time.
Travel$254This is 1 week of food and lyfts and eating out on my workcation.
Groceries$185This is really high, and honestly, I can’t remember why I charged so many groceries on my card (typically, these expenses are split with the entire family).

How I feel

Last month, I wrote the following:

As the net worth number climbs, smaller decisions about where to spend money become so much easier and my goals have never been clearer. I also now see the big things I’d like to spend money on in the near future: nicer furniture, vacations, larger charitable contributions.

And wow, amazing how it took 1 month of reflection to act on it. The bulk of my spending ended up being for 1 week that Mr. H and I took while I worked out of a different office for work (vacation? check!). It was purely a last minute for fun decision, and we paid for the whole trip (ie not a work trip). It was so needed, and so fun, and honestly felt like such a long week. I also spent big $$$ on some furniture and house improvements which I’m always hesitant about since we’re in a rental with family, but so far no regrets!

One thing I’ve noticed: I don’t actually know how to do net worth stuff. I’m confused about how to take into account purchases made in December but aren’t due on our credit card bill for another 60 days at times. Huh. #newbie

For the first time in a while, net worth is down

This was expected, since we’re now living on one income. On the plus side, it’s forced us to make a lot of changes and adjustments, and we’ve switched to using cash/debit card to make most purchases. I actually much prefer this strategy, and I find it’s much easier for me to manage my money this way. Even with us on one income, we’re trying to make sure we stay within my salary (lower than Mr. H’s salary) and not dip into savings. While my savings rate is lower, I’m still contributing to my 401k and taxable accounts which is a win!

The life part: 

I also want to document some general life wins, because it’s easy to forget all the good things that happened: 

  • We spent a week in a different city while I worked from a different office! It was perfect and warm and glorious and our amazing apartment was seriously perfect, alhamdulillah. Definitely worth every penny. We also went to an amusement park!!!! It’s been a dream of mine to show Mr. H and I’m so glad I got to witness his awe.
  • I also spent a week with my family which was SO needed. Just us and a house with a pool we rented, plus sunsets and beaches. Alhamdulillah.
  • Things have been slower at work which was also a nice break since it’s been pretty nonstop as we prep for a big launch.
  • This was a really fulfilling month for me, and I think it’s because it felt so long and relaxing and I had the chance to take a lot of time away from regular life.

And that’s it! Until next time!

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