Budget November 2015 ~ Too Many Gifts!

Published December 1, 2015   Posted in Budgets

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 November the month of too many gifts.
Why? Because not only do we have 4 family members birthdays in November we also bought the majority of our Christmas presents! Yay! Luckily we planned for this month of gifts and we stayed right on budget in our Fun Money category (even with our yearly Pie Party this month as well).

On to the numbers!

  • Fixed Costs (Mortgages, HOA, Loans) $2550/ $2550 
  • Utilities & Other Necessities (electricity, gas, water, cars, fuel, etc.) $625/$851 Average month and no big payments.
  • Groceries $311/ $350 Getting the hang of this gluten-free thing! The costs for the Pie Party food were put under our Fun account so this is just our actual grocery expenses for the month. Meanwhile visiting family helps with this….
  • Fun (Travel, Mr.’s fun money, Mrs.’s fun money, Mr.’s camera fund, gifts, restaurants)     $862/ $1051. Yay under budget on fun money!
  • Additional Income: $619 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. This month we also held a Holiday Yard sale to make a little extra cash off of all the stuff we’re been downsizing. Nice!

Another great month on the books.

Now, let’s take a look at the money-shot numbers.

Total November 2015 income: $14,742 (Steve’s quarterly bonus)

Total November 2015 expenses: $4,347

This means our total November 2015 Take Home Savings Rate came in at: 70.5%. 

And our November 2015 Total Savings Rate: 73% (includes maxing out our 401ks).

Our net worth: $724,436. Let’s see this number grow!

Our Personal Capital net worth graph for the month

November net worth graph from Personal Capital

Note: That huge spike in the graph above was due to a retirement account that Steve lost track of when we combined our finances into Personal Capital.

We’re doing great! Just gotta keep on keeping on.

Another adventure awaits!

— Groceries: $311.24–

Fruits and Veggies: $190.57

Canned Goods: $113.71 (some Pie Party here)

Vegan ‘Meat’: $9.03

Meat, Seafood and Dairy: $30.96 (mostly for pie party)

Dry Goods: $67.62 (more pie party)

Minus 65 cents from our bag credits. Gotta love a little extra savings 😉

Also subtract $100 (which we put into our fun money expenses since Pie Party is not normal grocery spending).

We track our net worth using Personal Capital


27 responses to “Budget November 2015 ~ Too Many Gifts!”

  1. Looks like a great month. What a spike! Got to love found money or in this case remembered money. 🙂

  2. I’m still jealous of this “found” retirement account. 🙂 Well done this month (and the pie party sounds fun!)

    • Steve says:

      And the sad part is I only found it because the company happened to send me a letter about it in the mail. Otherwise, it would still be “lost”!

      All I need to do is find another account with around $100k in it and we’ll be all set!

  3. Wow, thats an enormous savings rate! Good for you 😀

  4. Hannah says:

    Nice job on the income side of things, and 73% savings is no laughing matter either. Can you remind me of whether or not you include your home/rental in your net worth?

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Hannah! Yes, we do include both our primary residence as well as our rental property in our net worth. Hopefully, both will be sold by around summer of next year.

  5. Rich Rabbit says:

    Hey hey! That is still a great job. This was the most I was ever able to lower my expenses. For some reason I couldn’t seem to break 27% expenses. So instead of trying really hard to lower expenses, I reversed course and focused on producing more income. Cheers!

  6. Strong showing Steve, way to go! Now what’s this about a pie party? That sounds like it should be a future post!

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Freedom40. Yeah, the Pie Party is an annual thing now, and basically means we have a house full of delicious pies for a nice (and we get a ton of leftovers for a week). May not be the healthiest thing in the world, but it sure is tasty! 🙂

  7. How about we split the next “Lost” account you find?

    You guys are doing great.



    • Steve says:

      Ha! Yup, I always love finding “lost” money, though I’d much rather not lose it in the first place! Appreciate the kind words. Keep rocking over there, Dominic!

  8. John says:

    What is your combined (for both of you) retirement number?

    • Steve says:

      Hi John – sorry, I guess I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking. Are you asking how much we hope to have in investments by the time that we retire? If so, it’s around $750k, but we’ll have more than that I believe once we finally call it quits at the end of 2016.

      • John says:

        Thanks Steve. I was not sure if $750K was for 1 person or $750K for 2 people. If it is for 2 people then I’m definitely curious on how much spending is planned on each category (even with RV lifestyle). Might be a blog post topic if you don’t have one already

        • Steve says:

          Hi John – the $750,000 mark is for two people, and we plan on living on around $30,000 a year with a conservative 5 to 6% estimated rate of return. Though we could live on quite a bit less, we feel that $30k is the right number for us going into this new lifestyle. But as always, we’re flexible and will adjust as conditions require.

          We don’t have a post specifically regarding our anticipated post-retirement budget, but we probably should. 🙂

  9. Mrs SSC says:

    I’m so jealous of your grocery bill 😉 Great job on the savings rate – I love my savings rate when bonuses come in (cause they are yearly!) December is a tough present month for us – 3 birthdays and Christmas, but I got all that shopping done in November, and it wasn’t too horrid. I just love buying presents. I do make a few, but I know this is my weakness. I over bought for one friend, and instead of giving her extra gifts, I returned some! I am so proud of myself!

  10. Banking your annual bonuses is a great way to feather the nest! We’ve done this year-in-year-out and it’s made a huge difference.

    • Steve says:

      So true, MrFireStation – I used to consider bonuses “free money” in the past, but not any more. We consider it part of our salaries and save that money like we would regular income. You’re right, the difference truly is huge.

  11. Linda says:

    Awesome savings rate. I am a new follower and LOVE your blogs! I am adopting some of your tips on budgeting and tracking. I am curious, how did you come up with your FUN budget every month? I would like to adopt that as well 🙂

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Linda. Are you asking how we came up with the amount for our fun money every month? It was a lot of trial and error. We picked a small amount to begin with and made an honest determination whether or not that amount was doable. It was pretty low originally, but since we’ve now included alcohol, gifts and restaurants in with our fun money, we get to much more easily pick and choose how we spend that every month. Start small, then increase *if you must*. The key is being honest with yourself about how much you truly NEED.

      Thanks for reading!

  12. Nice job on moving everything forward Steve.

    It’s great to see the transparency on your budget and in particular, the balance you strike between living frugally and.. well.. living a little 😉

    We’re buckling down and getting our costs in order after a couple of years of being a bit (actually, very) slack. We have our fixed costs down to a total of £1,100. (~$1,662). Quite low, but then we don’t have a mortgage. It also includes a healthy grocery budget (we like to buy good quality food) and baby stuff (we have a 5 month old).

    Of course, we have our own spending on top of that, which we’re also getting tougher on, but it’ll take a bit of adjustment. My budget is £900 (~$1,360) (fun, running my car, phone etc.) and my partner probably £500 (~$750) (fun). So probably puts us at about £2,500 (~$3,780) overall.

    Writing it out for this reply has made me realise we can cut quicker. We’re nearly as high as your budget, and we don’t have a mortgage! We can cut on food and our own spending which we’ll do for dec.

    Hopefully we’ll be in good shape for Jan / Feb and it will feel normal!

  13. Awesome month. Gotta love finding money. And bonuses too.

  14. Nice job! I was wondering what that extra net worth bump was on your side widget.

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