Ever since we decided that the path for us is out of the rat race and into an early retirement of our choosing, the Mr. and I have been keeping an eye on our finances and scaling down our spending. Neither one of us were complete clowns, but we certainly weren’t looking out for our future selves at anywhere near the level we want/need to be.
So in comes the budget. Budgets don’t work for everyone and in the future it may not be necessary for us but for now it is the way we are buckling down and meeting the tough goals we’ve set for ourselves. Read more about how we budget here.
We are labeling December the month of rental woes.
Why? While we love our renters (they are the best) we don’t love everything that goes wrong. This month leaky faucets and the microwave going caput right before Christmas. We were out of town so out comes the cell-phone and credit card to buy a new one and schedule an install… and it still hasn’t happened yet. Can’t find good help these days…. O well.
On to the numbers!
- Fixed Costs (Mortgages, HOA, Loans) $2550/ $2550
- Utilities & Other Necessities (electricity, gas, water, cars, fuel, etc.) $1072/$851 Did I mention the new microwave and install?
- Groceries $334/ $350 Getting the hang of this gluten-free thing! Gotta love visiting the folks. They love to treat us to food!
- Fun (Travel, Mr.’s fun money, Mrs.’s fun money, Mr.’s camera fund, gifts, restaurants) $1025/ $1051. We managed to stay under even with all the festivities and gift giving. Not too shabby.
- Additional Income: $520 Payment for the Ridge along with our normal random assortment of checks, interest and other sundries that came in this month. Unexpected money is a plus! We reinvest all our dividends, etc. so those don’t get counted in this roundup.
Another great month on the books.
Now, let’s take a look at the money-shot numbers.
Total December 2015 income: $12,827
Total December 2015 expenses: $4,979
This means our total December 2015 Take Home Savings Rate came in at: 61%. This is a lot lower then its been but for December not bad.
And our December 2015 Total Savings Rate: 69% (includes maxing out our 401ks).
Our net worth: $718,647. Let’s see this number grow!
We’re doing great! Just gotta keep on keeping on.
Another adventure awaits!
— Groceries: $331.92–
Fruits and Veggies: $190.57
Canned Goods: $56.73
Vegan ‘Meat’: $6.45
Meat, Seafood and Dairy: $17.76
Dry Goods: $22.96
Minus 15 cents from our bag credits. Gotta love a little extra savings 😉
— Year End Numbers–
- Fixed Costs (Mortgages, HOA, Loans) $37987/ $30,668 A little high because of the refi.
- Utilities & Other Necessities (electricity, gas, water, cars, fuel, etc.) $10,036/$10,272
- Groceries $3,983/ $4,200
- Fun (Travel, Mr.’s fun money, Mrs.’s fun money, Mr.’s camera fund, gifts, restaurants) $12,992/ $12,854. We managed to stay under even with all the festivities and gift giving. Not too shabby.
- Total Spent $64,999
- Total Saved (401ks+Savings) $126,303
- Total Savings Rate 66% Not quite the 70% we were aiming for when we look at the final numbers but still we’re happy with it.
Steve is a 38-year-old early retiree who writes about the intersection of happiness and financial independence. Steve is a regular contributor to MarketWatch, CNBC, and The Ladders. He lives full-time in his 30′ Airstream Classic and travels the country with his wife Courtney and two rescued dogs.