My household expenses for March 2017
March didn’t have any major expenses except for traveling to Arizona which was last-minute, costing me much more than I anticipated.
I have been a lot less careful when it comes to spending, thankfully I am no longer in the wealth accumulation phase and can ease up on the frugality.
I would say I am in the wealth perpetuation phase, mixed in with planning, trying to figure out the next steps in my person/business life.
Let’s talk about spending for a second, a horse I have been clubbing for eons. It’s important to look at this $6,389 and ask myself:
- “is this in line with my goals?”
- “is this getting me closer to where I want to be?”
- “how close was I to my overall spending goals?”
- “how sustainable is this spending?
- “how much would I need to invest in the market in order to generate this kind of income without working?”
Let me answer some of these questions as it pertains to me.
Yes, this spending is in line with my life goals.
I don’t have a specific entrepreneurial/business plan so my spending isn’t getting me closer/further away from such a goal. I reached my financial security stage, which was my biggest financial goal.
This spending isn’t sustainable if I were to break it down. However, my goals are to generate this and much more than this in the long-run in order to satisfy my philanthropic desires.
I would need to have around $2,100,000 invested in my current, conservative portfolio to generate this kind of income, month after month.
I am trying to get myself to be better about gifts/donations. It’s a mindset which I need to develop, a habit just like any other. I definitely comprehend the importance of doing it – but damn, it’s hard parting with my money!! I spent $3,000 and I’m hoping to continue this which means I need to generate more income.
My traveling/vacationing is starting to get a little out of hand. I’m a weirdo, I don’t really enjoy seeing new places all that much, at least not for a few days at a time. I would much rather travel for long periods of time, staying in one place for several months/years. I can definitely cut back on this. I spent $1,343 on flights/hotels/food to go to AZ.
I’m becoming a billiard addict, shooting pool a few times a week with my buddy Tim. I’m as consistent as a politician but after 4 drinks, my game improves drastically. So yea, pool and alcohol and shitty bar food = $854 in entertainment expenses (slightly embarrassing).
The other categories are fairly self-explanatory. My groceries are good, my eating out is mostly coffee and binging (work in progress) and I am tipping as much as I am spending. I believe in tipping aggressively, have been doing so for almost a year and pretty happy with that choice.
Expenses in the future
In this part of the post, I want to talk about how I am planning on future expenses.
Donations in the future
I need to research this, I’m considering setting up my own non-profit so that I can donate my money to whatever cause I want. I know, it’s better to work with organizations which are already established but I’m not ready for that.
If anyone has any good resources on establishing a 501c in order to direct donations, please contact me or post in the comments below for everyone.
Looking ahead to April 2017
I need to have a good plan for the next month so that I don’t go spending based on my mood. After all, money is a very emotional commodity, it’s important to have a good plan for it.
I don’t have any trips planned. I have no major expenses this month but I am planning on donating more this month.
I will need to increase my income in order to keep spending on my gifts/donations category. I will talk about this in another post.
Number of transactions
I am noticing that the number of transactions I am reconciling on YNAB is increasing. This tells me that I am a bit less discerning with spending.
It’s fine, I am certainly trying to loosen the frugality strings but not to the point that it’s going to hurt me financially. Or even worse, to the point that I will fall back into the cycle of spending too much and working more to cover it.
I like the idea of trying to focus on donations/gifts. By doing that I have a reason to spend less. Let’s see how I do in April.
Net worth changes
I have around $10,000 in my checking at all times. It makes me feel secure. I don’t count this towards my net worth – it’s money that I might spend on blow and hookers or invest in something.
My Keogh account is holding steady at around $103,000. I have a Vanguard Target Fund there just because it’s the best option out of everything.
- Vanguard Target Fund 2060
I have my old 401k and 403b from Kaiser which I haven’t transferred out of that particular brokerage house yet. The fees are really low and they offer me good options. Also, I may want to go back to Kaiser at some point, it’s easier to keep it there. I have around $104,000 in those accounts as well.
- Vanguard US Total Stock Index Fund
- Vanguard Small Cap US Index Fund
My traditional IRA holds around $140,000 which are invested in US and International index funds. There are some bonds here as well.
- Vanguard Total Bond Market Fund
- Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund
- Vanguard Total US Stock Index Fund
I have a private brokerage account as well. Here, I hold taxable investments which has the advantage of being more liquid than retirement accounts. The balance here is around $120,000. There is a good bit of cash in this and my goal is to increase this holding.
- Vanguard Emerging Market Stock Index Fund
- Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund
- Vanguard Money Market
- Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund
- Vanguard Total Stock US Market Index Fund
I have a Roth IRA which I use for real estate investments. Here, I have mostly REITs. If the investment grows to something more significant in the future, I’ll consider investing in individual real estate directly in my IRA. Yes, that’s possible. The balance is around $20,000.
- Vanguard REIT Index Fund
I have a cash balance plan worth around $45,000. This grows at a set 4% every year, regardless of how the economy does which could be a good or bad thing. I am not sure if I can move this to an IRA, I’ll have to research that.
- Fixed 4% return
Finally, my real estate. Do I count this? Do I not count it? Don’t know. It’s paid off so I am counting it and I am happy to leave it at any moment. I bought it for $142,000 and now it’s worth at least $175,000 though I am seeing similar studios go as high as $205,000.