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Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Adult Goals: November 2018

After the financial whirlwind of October, it was nice to settle down to some more balanced spending in November. The sun came out and we caught a brief glimpse of summer before being hit with some yo-yo storms and heavy rains.

Thankfully the sun triggered a 'spring cleaning' reflex in me, and for a time I felt like a proper adult, kicking goals and cleaning dust.

Adulting

The November goal was to organise things. While I can confirm that absolutely nothing was alphabetised, so many things were tidied and thrown out. A hoard of moths moved into my pantry which inspired a clean out and a rearrange where I found three different packages of cocoa powder, as well as multiple packets of sugars and flours. While the moths were infuriating, my cupboard is much more streamlined now.

Not only that but I pulled every, single, damn, tupperware container out of the cupboard and matched lids with bases. It's tidy and beautiful. It was not a fun time, but the results are amazing.

November Adulting: Success

For December, I planned to do yoga. And I think I'll stick to yoga. I've been taking better care of my body for the last few weeks, and getting some regular yoga in will be the real icing on the cake.

Savings

Five months down, one month to go, and I can absolutely guarantee I won't meet this goal.



A few days in November sat above the goal line, which was great. Unfortunately it didn't last, those big drops show my mortgage and credit card payments.

Thankfully November was back to normal spending levels after the craziness that was October. A couple of bills were due, and I bought a couple of things I'd been saving for, but nothing overwhelming happened.

This experiment has shown that I'm not great at saving money. I find 'don't spend' to be a very unexciting goal. It doesn't give me a thrill or a challenge, and as such falls quickly to a brainless auto-pilot mode. Contrast that with the Year of Investing where I increased my investment accounts by almost $40,000 in a year. Each week I was investing a bit more into my accounts to take advantage of Dollar Value Averaging. It kept me on track, and engaged. It was fun. Saving cash is... not fun.

My projected total at the end of 2019 will be a cash saving of just under $4,000 in six months, which is only two-thirds of my goal of saving $6,000 in six months. While it's disappointing, it's not a show stopper. I may only end up saving $4,000 in cash in this time, I'm on track to have collectively saved, invested and paid down mortgage debt by over $20,000 (wow!!).

Expenses

For the sake of curiosity, here's what I spent in November, which includes the save-to-spend amounts.

CategorySpentBudgeted12 Month Average
Home$1,310.25$1,312.50$1,327.77 (down $25.95)
So technically the water and electricity bill were due, but since I paid a big amount towards the household bills a few months ago to meet the minimum spend on a card, Mr. FIRE has been paying the bills since then to balance out how much we've each put in. Therefore my average is coming down quite nicely.
Investment Property$792.16$1,166.671,307.54 (up 7.66)
A mortgage only month. Very nice after last months massive bills. 
Personal Bills$126.60$126.67$143.79 (down $1.69)
New lower phone bill! Woo!
Groceries$284.29$180.00$205.80 (up $5.32)
This number is actually a lie. At the start of the month I bought a $100 Coles gift card for $95. It's valid for three years and seemed like an easy way to save 5%. The very next day I got an offer saying I would receive 5% cashback on all spends on my Coles credit card for a month. So I packed the gift card away for later. Unfortunately it blew up how much I spent this month.
Pets$93.08$35.00$47.48 (up $5.71)
I made a lot of sales this month - $20 worth of Chicken eggs, and $6 worth of quail eggs. I then turned around and spent all that plus more on Black Friday to buy my cat a much needed (and very awesome) cat tree. And then I fed everyone - who knew food was so expensive!
Roller Derby$171.49$185.00$228.04 (down $4.59)
Most of this cost was for camp, and then some money put aside for safety gear. All reasonable spending :)
Travelling$110$108.33$39.17 (up $9.17)
Next year I'm hoping to go to Canada! I figured I better start putting money aside.
Comfort Food$66.20$40$66.28
Hello, and welcome to a new category called "how much money do you waste on tasty food?". The answer is too damn much.
Other$410.20$180.00$260.17 (down $50.91)
Well, despite spending a lot more than budgeted, I spent a lot less than last November and brought my average way down! I also moved comfort food out of this category and into it's own for better control. Apart from buying a Playstation 4 (which I had been saving for, and got during a Black Friday sale), this month spend was reasonably controlled - I restocked the wine rack at a significant discount and went to the dentist. Otherwise, not much was spent.
Total$3,364.27$3,300.83$3,626.02 (up $10.99)
It is so nice to be back at normal spends after October. Still sitting above the desired spend, and above the desired average, but on a whole we're doing pretty okay.
Buckle up for the festive season! I already have 5 events to attend, and even with my no gifts policy I still have a couple of gifts that will sneak in.

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