End of September Update

Another month gone! Progress, progress, progress (mostly.)

It was a reasonably successful month; I’m ending it about where I’d hoped I would be in terms of spending, but I didn’t get there quite in the way I expected to. Also, the markets took a tumble towards the end of the month, which is kind of depressing in terms of my net worth numbers, but I don’t have any control over that, so not much to do but shrug and keep on keepin’ on.

Here’s my expected/actual budget numbers for the month:

Some notes:
1. The food budget there is ridiculous. What happened: my roommate and I bought a share in a meat CSA, for $140 each. We get five months’ worth of local, ethically raised meat (chicken, beef, and pork.) It’s a little expensive, but she wanted to do it and I thought I could afford it. So there was that. But then I also went overboard on buying coffees and snacks this month; in October, one of my goals is to meal-plan better so that I have afternoon snacks to bring with me to work rather than caving and buying stuff at work.

2. But that was mitigated by the fact that two major expenses I was expecting to materialize, didn’t. I’d been saving up for a big utility bill (I need to pay the entire summer’s electric bill) and it turns out I didn’t need to — I had $200 budgeted for it and only needed $80. Then, I had $90 in the budget because I was expecting to need to pay a final phone bill on my old plan, and maybe also pay for the first month on my new plan. But it turned out that I was paying ahead on my phone plan (who knew?), and I won’t have to pay for the new one til next month. So, great.

3. I moved most of the savings from #2 into “slush” where it ended up covering even more food (see above), entertainment, and charity expenses.

4. Medical: That’s the dentist’s bill for a cavity I had filled, plus a couple of co-pays for doctor’s visits and prescriptions.

5. Travel: I took a weekend trip to Chicago at the end of the month. I was able to cover some expenses out of slush, but didn’t have quite enough, so I’m withdrawing a little from my travel account to cover the rest.

6. I also almost had to blow both my travel and e-funds right at the end of the month even though I’ve only just gotten them started! My closest friend had a family emergency that I nearly flew out for, but that ended up not happening. And I dropped my ipad and cracked the glass, making it unusable. However, I have a small freelance check coming in early next month that will cover the ipad repair, so even though I’d rather be putting that money in my IRA, I guess it’s good that I don’t have slow down my credit card repayment.

Like I said, the markets dropped a bunch — I lost pretty close to $200 in my retirement accounts, which kept me much further from my net worth target than I wanted to be. But c’est la vie. I still made decent progress, and barring a total October-1929-style event, I should be on track to hit $10K in net worth in November, and to pay off the last of my credit card debt in December.

How’d y’all do in September?

7 thoughts on “End of September Update

  1. Evelyn says:

    Wow, good for you! I love seeing these kinds of updates with real numbers. It motivates and inspires me to do better. I love your slush account – very smart idea. I can’t wait to hear how you do in October!!

    1. Thanks! I’m glad it’s inspirational. I find others’ updates very inspirational myself.

      And yeah, I thought I’d do better with a “slush” line rather than trying to predict what I’d need for random small expenses throughout the month. I may end up changing that some as time goes on but for now it’s working for me.

  2. Debt Hater says:

    Looks like it was a pretty good month for you 🙂 Even with that big up front cost of the meat, you still only came out just over budget. A few adjustments and you’ll be good to go. I always bring a bunch of snacks with my lunch and I’m eating throughout the day, don’t think I’d be able to make it through with just a lunch!

    I think my retirement accounts went down a bit with the market as well, but I try not to pay attention to them at the moment and only check them every so often. I do think I may be approaching a $0 net worth soon though…

    1. It was a decent month! But yeah, I’m a major snacker and sometimes I plan ahead better than others….

      Congrats on approaching $0. Getting into positive territory was an awesome moment for me.

  3. debt debs says:

    So great that your credit card debt will be done in December! I lost at least $5K when the markets took a dive, it’s not the first time and it’s not the last. You just need to weather the storm and they rebound, sometimes faster than others.

    1. Oh, yeah, I know not to panic or anything — it’s only mildly depressing. I’ve got about 30 years to go til retirement, there’s time 🙂

      And I can’t WAIT to have that debt done with. My income is small enough that even paying a few hundred a month towards it is just killing my cash flow.

  4. You did well for this month! Aside from the things you can’t control, where else do you think you could improve upon? It must feel good to know that you can finally eliminate that credit card debt at the end of the year. With that out of the way, you could proudly say that you’ve weathered the storm. Take care!

    Stanley Erickson @ Indianapolis Bankruptcy Legal Services

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