Probably because growing up it meant school starting again, but for whatever reason, September always means the end of summer to me, even though technically it is still summer for a few weeks. And with the end of summer comes a new focus to get organized and productive for the remaining 4 months of the year. Hopefully that will also lead in to a focus on reducing spending because the summer months are typically very “spendy” and this summer was no exception.
I’ve mentioned already that we have spent quite a bit of money on the new addition to our family. I’m sure we could find cheaper ways to get the training and care that we are getting, but I am supporting a friend’s business with a lot of it, so I am happy to do it.
Anyway, the goal remains the same: to keep our monthly spending below the average of last year, which was $7700 per month. This includes our mortgage, utilities and normal monthly costs, but didn’t count special spending that we saved up for (planned spending as I call it). Although, I guess we could argue that buying a dog is special spending… Oh well, I didn’t classify it as that. Anyway, this month we came in at $10,000. No comment…
The unusual big expense was in the pets category, but that is no surprise. If I were to take that away and replace it with our typical monthly pets costs, we would have come out right on the monthly average from last year. So, “woohoo” for that, but with the new pet comes new expenses, and they aren’t about to magically disappear now, so we have to expect that going forward.
Last year, August was our wedding month, so most of the big expenses came from our planned spending for that. So, if I compare just the regular expenses, August 2015 was down at only $7200. One thing that I can be happy about so far is that despite having some spendy months, our monthly average is still coming in the same as last years’ average of $7700. Hopefully we can keep it there.
And now for a quick recap of my finance-related goals for 2016:
Goal #3 – Emergency Fund
Not much progress on this one this month. We are sitting at $7500 (up $500 from last month). $2500 to go.
Goal #4 – Save for Planned Spending
I didn’t feel like we made much of an increase to any of our savings this month… but we did lots of spending!
I’m finding it quite difficult to keep track of these planned spending items since they aren’t exactly happening in the order I had them in originally, and so the savings accounts are constantly in an in-between state, instead of showing the total of how much we have saved… or spent…
For travel, we have probably just $1500 left to save, but we have a couple new smaller travel trips that have been added to the calendar this fall. We will attempt to cash float those while keeping these savings for the bigger trips.
For the reno fund, we have probably $2500 left to save, but some plans have changed, and so we might be doing more things out of order… like things that we weren’t thinking of doing until next year or after… I should probably do a home-reno post like Jordann at My-Alternate-Life.
Goal #5 – Net Worth & Retirement Savings
Hmmm… what to say about this… There wasn’t much change from last month, just down slightly. So we still have some work to do to balance things out, but we are still on par for the overall net worth total that I had as a goal for the year.
Goal #6 – Mortgage Renewal & Account Consolidation
I received my credit reports that I mentioned sending off for in my last financial update, so I have gone over them briefly with nothing seeming out of place. I have to get my husband to send in his requests still… And then there is the rest of the “to-do” list… Like I said, September is a month where I tend to get my focus back and can buckle down to get things done. The deadline for the mortgage renewal is looming now, so I better get on it!
How did your August go financially? Do you find September a good time to re-focus?
2 thoughts on “September 2016 Financial Update”
Congrats again on the puppy! It’s interesting that you don’t include planned spending. We do in our personal tracking but I do notice that when we have a big spending month things look a little out of wack. It mostly looks out of wack because we are spending more than we make that month. That came up recently when we were finishing our basement. The renos are starting again so we will likely see that again soon. Thanks for sharing your goals. You are doing a great job.
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Yeah, the original reasoning for not including my planned spending in that total was because I was trying to see if we could get our regular expenses down to see how low we can get and make early retirement more realistic. I realize, however, that in retirement, there would still be those special expenses… So maybe it’s not the most realistic thing… Everything, planned spending included, is recorded in YNAB, so I can pull out all the information if I wanted/needed to…