September Expenses: Travelling is Pricey

Since people seemed to like my last monthly expenses update, I’ve decided to keep this going at least for a little while. So let’s get right to it! Here’s my balance sheet for September:

What went well

The first two thirds of the sheet are pretty standard regular expenses. I’m going to post about Running in the very near future, and charitable donations hopefully sometime in the next few weeks. Now that I’m on my sweet phone plan, I expect the phone category to be zero until I need to replace my phone once it stops working. Perhaps the biggest win this month was the near absence of the Miscellaneous category though. I feel like this is where many people’s finances are made or broken1Is that how you say that?. This month was kind of a near miss though, because I almost made a kind of large purchase that just got pushed back for now.

What went just OK

Manged to get my grocery bill down a little from last month, but that was completely offset by an increase in eating out. The other related big spending category was travel. I seem to be in a period of life where I’m travelling kind of a lot. Pretty much all of this travelling is to go to races (like the one in Minnesota this month!) and to see people I love. I expect this category will settle down a bit sometime soon, but for now I’m willing to spend money for those two reasons. Unfortunately travelling is often associated with some other unnecessary expenses like eating out and this month’s ridiculous car costs. Oh well, I’ll just have to try to get better!

The night before the race. We ran around this lake twice and another lake twice. I’m not sure why I subject myself to this kind of torture. At least I ran reasonably well!

The most important part

You know what this is: savings rate! This month my savings rate was 31.6%, a nice improvement from last month. Maybe sometime between now and the end of grad school I can hit 50% for a month. Remember that savings rate is the only thing that determines time to financial independence!

Some stats in a table

Ok, let’s take a look at the past two months together. Here are some stats we can nerd out over:

Categories  September  August  Rolling Average 
Savings rate  31.6%  25.4%  28.5% 
Time to Financial Independence2Based on this. Assumes a starting net worth of $0, so actual numbers are a little better than what’s shown.  26.8 years  31.6 years  29.2 years 
Monthly Expenses  $1592.92  $1765.76  $1679.34 
$ Required to be Financially Independent3Multiply the above by 300 $477,876  $529,728  $503,802 

October preview

This month seemed like it was starting off really well. Then I realized I accidentally made a somewhat costly mistake that I had to pay for. Then I purposely made a much, much costlier mistake4Maybe, there’s still some hope that this will end up being a good thing! that I plan on posting about soon. So stay tuned!

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