Money Update – November 2017

Every month I’ll post an update on my finances from the last month, with a focus on increasing income, spending less, and maintaining a high savings rate.  You can see previous updates here.

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Results – November 2017

2017 Savings Rate:  54%

Yep, still there.  While my monthly savings rate has fluctuated (something I’ll talk about at the end of this year), my average for 2017 has stayed boringly consistent.  In April I hit 55%, and it’s changed by 2% at the most since then.  I’m taking this to mean:

  • I have a really good grip on my spending and expenses after tracking/budgeting for 2+ years
  • My income is fairly consistent – some months I have extra income but the vast majority of my earnings are still coming from my job.

I’m also thinking there’s a Sequence of Savings factor.  The first quarter is a big one for me – I usually have a 3 paycheck month, a quarterly bonus, a tax refund, and no big events/expenses.  Even while my monthly SR fluctuated up to 15%, the yearly has been steady since the end of April (it dropped from March as April was a pretty tame month income-wise).  I’m planning an article for the end of this year where I’ll talk more about what I’ve learned after a year of tracking my savings rate.

Summary

October was another month of average paychecks (no bonuses or extras) and a little side income.  My big spending this month was on my girlfriend’s birthday (her 30th, so it was a big deal).  Other expenses were minimal – my half of the groceries was around $200, much better than the $300+ I had a couple months ago.  While we’ve not been as diligent about eating as healthy as we could be, some of the habits from our food challenge did stick.

Goal Progress – $25k Net Worth

Starting in September I decided to set a stretch goal of having a $25k Net Worth by the end of this year.  In order to meet that goal, I’d have to work mostly on increasing my income.  To track my progress I created a graph, with the idea being that I needed to have 25% of progress each month.  Here’s where I stand halfway through:

The Results:

I doubled my progress from last month (I was at 17%) but am still 16% under the halfway mark – aka, I’m behind.  In order to catch up, I’ll need to make more progress in November than I have in the last 2 months combined.

Here’s what I did last month:

  • Got paid for selling stuff in September
  • Launched a new blog project – will post more on this later
  • Worked a pretty good amount of overtime which I should see on November’s first paycheck
  • Continued my ridealong as Mr. Market keeps chugging upwards

The Plan For November (and forward)

In October I mostly focused on launching my blog project and taking advantage of overtime opportunities at work.  Needless to say that didn’t leave time for much else in the way of side hustles.

For November, I’m planning on a still-decent amount of overtime, a quarterly bonus, a bank bonus hitting my account, and being able to cash out some credit card rewards.  I’m also experimenting with some task apps (Field Agent, Mobee, Gigwalk) to earn some extra money.  I’m also in the process of reverifying my status as a Lyft driver (it’s been a couple years) – I used to be able to clear about $200 (after all expenses/taxes) driving a Saturday night – doing that a couple times a month would be a big boost, and I don’t find it to be stressful “work” so I don’t think it would be too much to take on.

In December, I’ll get quarterly dividends and most likely any payouts from credit card rewards I earn this month.  I’ll also continue to take overtime at work as long as I can – even 5-10 hours a week.  Last month was a particularly stressful one at work and it definitely affected my productivity outside of work – the next few weeks (I can’t look much further ahead than that in the food industry) should be smoother.  I’m planning on getting a lot done.


Thanks for reading!

If you’re interested, I use You Need A Budget for monthly budgeting.  For tracking Net Worth, I recommend Personal Capital (automatic) or NetWorthShare.com (manual).

I calculate my savings rate as follows:

401k contributions + employer match + debt payments + other savings  / Take home pay + 401k contributions

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