I’ve reached my third month of recording my income, expenses and net worth. This month I noticed that my spending was so-so. I neither blew my budget, nor turned into a super frugal saving machine.
In a way, I guess this is how things are supposed to be. I’m starting to turn sensible spending behaviours into a way of life. It’s not a sacrifice, it’s just how I spend my money!
And despite not feeling overly satisfied about my spending habits this month, I was still able to grow my net worth more than previous months.
Things just seem to be falling into place, let’s see how that happened…
Why do I post Net Worth Reports?
It’s very scary opening up my wallet and showing the world how much money I have. It forces me to consider some very confronting questions like “have I made the right decisions in life?” and “am I strong enough to show the world my failures?”.
But overall I think that there is value in documenting my journey to early retirement. Not only can people try to emulate my successes but — perhaps more importantly — they can avoid my failures
So here’s a full view of my income and expenses, and net worth, for September 2018. If you want to check out my other Net Worth Reports, you can check them out here.
What happened this month?
This month I spent quite a bit of time travelling for work.
I’m in two minds about work travel. One the one hand, it can be fun to walk around and get lost in a new city. I was able to see some really interesting places that Sydney just doesn’t have.
That being said, I wouldn’t really want to do it all the time. It forces you out of routine, which means eating bad food, sleeping poorly, and skipping the gym — and being late posting your monthly Net Worth Report (sorry!).
So without further ado, here’s a breakdown of my income, expenses and net worth for September…
September was quite an unmemorable month. My spending was neither outrageous nor super frugal, it was so-so.
As I look through my spending behaviour, it’s dawned on me that I’m spending way too much on groceries. I only buy for 1.5 people and I’m spending over $160 per week!
And although I only had four mortgage payments this month (instead of five), I had to pay a pretty hefty tax bill. Apparently my new employer miscalculated my tax and didn’t withhold enough money, so I owed the tax man about $1,000. Not fun.
So overall I saved about $3,000 in September, which is about 32% of my income. Not quite my goal of saving 50% of my income but also not too bad!
As I mentioned last month, my mortgage is so ridiculously expensive that it’s hard to get my savings rate up. But I’ll keep trying!
This month I transferred $5,000 from my bank account into my investment account. As usual, I purchased a mix of Vanguard Australian Shares Index Fund (VAS) and Vanguard International Shares Index Fund Hedged (VGAD).
At the same time, my superannuation balance grew quite significantly due to my employer contribution being transferred in and some return on the underlying investments.
After all is said and done, my net worth grew by $6,048 (+1.8%) in the month of September. This was broadly in line with August (+1.6%) and July (+1.3%).
Consistency feels good!
This month’s key insight
The last three months of tracking and reporting my income, expenses and net worth has helped me stumble on this month’s key insight:
It’s the little things that count.
Even small amounts of over-spending — such as my grocery bills — end up costing quite a bit of money.
But fortunately, changing those small behaviours is actually quite easy. I doubt that I’d notice spending $30 less per week on my grocery bills.
I just need to put that tub of Connoisseur ice cream down. And the packets of hand-cut chips. And maybe the gourmet chocolate too.
Anyway, until next month, keep up the good work!
All the best,