January 2020 in Review: Money + Life

The money part: 

Whew. This one was a spendy month. I’m still trying to get a hang of living on one income, and because we have a decent cushion, I’m less inclined to really adjust our spending to what it should be. Lifestyle inflation is real, y’all. 

I’m totally 100% comfortable adjusting my personal spending level to meet what’s within my means, but I have a much harder time asking others to do the same. For many, money is emotional and sometimes people conflate going out on a date and spending money, or saying yes to new clothes/shoes/physical things as an affirmation of love. It can be so deeply ingrained it can really make me question my own resolve: am I too frugal? do I make everything about money? Does my pursuit of financial independence negatively impact my relationships in a way that may be reversible?

When money and decisions are emotional for one person and a transaction for the other, it doesn’t actually matter who is “right” at all. I may be “right” when 

When it comes to money, I’m definitely team skip-the-lunch and buy a plane ticket instead, so its been harder for me to keep my eyes off the bigger ticket things I still want. January was a month of paying off the December work cation I took and also included a weekend trip with my siblings.

There were mistakes made this month too, which required digging deep into my emergency fund. I incorrectly booked a return flight and realized it well after the flight had taken off. In the end, I ended up buying a last minute flight back home, and we all know how much those cost. There were smaller mistakes as well, and I’ll dig into that too. 

Before I get to the details…

Turns out, I’ve been calculating net worth all wrong. Its honestly a big part of why I waited so long to publish this month’s overview. I thought I would do it right and research how to correctly track my income and expenses. Well, life ain’t that easy, and I decided imperfect is better than nothing, and I’ll improve even more next month. For now, I changed up a few things, so my net worth will seem lower, but my growing investments is the best indicator that things are still looking good.

January 2020November 2019
Net Worth Total$19,737.50$21,044.33

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.
Last month this number was $325. This seems to be a pretty standard ballpark range so I’m happy with this, especially since this includes a couple of sushi dinners and lobster roll. I will say, I’m not sure why my coffee spend was so low, because I bought coffee almost every day. May need to check which account Starbucks is pulling refill $$ from.
Personal Care$200I went to Drybar and while it was worth it, I really want to invest in that 2 in 1 hairbrush and blow dryer thing for sure. This includes gym membership
Clothing$207Last month: $517 so YES to this number. This includes $100 birthday gift.
Home Improvement$0Since I spent a ton in December, spending was at 0 for this month
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$1258Ahhh yes. The obscenely high Travel expenses where I totally blew the budget. This includes a flight, hotel, emergency flight #2, and food for a weekend. I will say, it was worth it, and SO NICE to be able to easily afford the extra $600 flight.
Groceries$24An improvement from last month, looks like I learned my lesson.

How I feel

As I mentioned above, 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. I’m working on it and will keep improving for my February review

Investments are still climbing

Our net worth is lower than it has been a long while, but the investments are still growing, which makes me pretty happy. It just means we’re dipping into our cash on hand to pay for expenses, but still contributing to 401(k) and taxable accounts.

The life part: 

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

  • I took a weekend trip with my siblings! It was far more money than I initially expected, but it was so worth it. I also got a ton of steps in which was amazing.
  • I got promoted at work!!! I almost couldn’t believe it. I’ve been working towards this promotion for a while, but I thought it may be later this year. I found out during my performance review at the end of January, and it came with a nice 9% raise and title bump.
  • We went on a day trip with Mr. H’s friends! It was cold but also very fun.
  • We used a gift card to go to a steakhouse and it was honestly just excellent. It was also a great way for us to celebrate a birthday guilt free, since the dinner had already been paid for.

And that’s it! Until next time!

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