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March 2019 Spending

My March 2019 Spending came out to $4,078. I expected it to be an expensive month since I paid for my airline tickets and accomodations in España. Excited to go so hopefully my next blog post and podcast episode will be from Santiago de Compostela.


March 2019 Spending

I was asking myself the other day why I post my spending. My best answer is that it keeps me accountable. I have benefited so much from reading other people’s financial journeys – the details and possibilities were eye-opening. Not that it’s all about money but, much like our health, financial decisions have major impact on our lives.

Some call it financial independence. Others, financial freedom. It’s financial self-reliance.

My spending has evolved from $15,000-18,000/month down to under $5,000. My average spending from 2015 until now hovers around $4,200/month. The goal is to keep bringing this average down while preserving my quality of life.


Entertainment – $2,475

I decided to group all elective spending into one category – ‘entertainment’. This includes:

  • coffee
  • socializing with friends
  • travel
  • dining out

In fact, I have drastically cut my coffee consumption at cafes. I still tip well but do more of my work from home or from the library. I buy organic whole beans and grind them up at home and have cut back to only 2 cups of coffee.

My alcohol consumption has gone down to pretty much zero. Just a couple of years ago I really didn’t have any issues with alcohol. Recently, my rebound anxiety and fatigue from alcohol no longer makes it enjoyable. I don’t buy any wine for home. I had 2 drinks with friends a few weeks ago and though I enjoyed the social setting, I didn’t enjoy the buzz.

My travel spending came out to $2,000. This included my airline tickets from LAX to MAD, $1,250. And $750 for my first month rent for the AirBnb in Spain. I have my non-lucrative visa from Spain and hope to renew it there on this trip.

Business – $683

My business spending is holding fairly steady. I spent $683 on the following items:

I can write most of this money off against my income but spending it means that there is less money in my pocket. I’m not sure what other drama I’ll be facing with the medical boards, so I need to increase my cash reserves.

Groceries – $540

This category keeps going up and down. I get lazy and buy pre-prepared meals, which really is no different from dining out. For a single dude $540/month is a lot. I eat well but don’t do any meal planning which might be why my spending creeps up.


Tracking Spending

The advantage of tracking my spending is that it helps me plan for my retirement planning. For now I have some income coming in. But I recently lost my major income source which was Oscar Telemedicine. Tracking my spending allows me to plan ahead.

Retirement Income

The retirement math is rather simple once you know what your spending will be. You might have passive or active income sources such as:

  • index funds
  • real estate
  • private equity investments
  • debt investing
  • cash reserves
  • pension
  • social security

If I want to live off of $4,078 in retirement I would need to have $1,200,000 invested. The actual investment amount depends on the rate of return of the investment. Real estate might have a ROR of 6% but it might require a little more hand-holding. Index funds might have a lower ROR of 4% but should be fairly hands-off.


Looking Ahead – April

I’ll be living in Spain for the next few months. My visa renewal shouldn’t cost too much – hopefully around $200. My flat will cost me $700/month in rent. I shouldn’t have any utilities and don’t anticipate a lot of transportation spending.

Business spending will be about the same. My income will be a little lower as well. I’ll post the details of my spending next month – stay tuned.

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