Welcome to another edition of Financial Friday. A series of weekly posts where we share some of financial gold with you on our personal finances, savings, and investing. Once again, these are just things we have done ourselves and might not work for you, but it doesn’t hurt to try a new way to pan for your own financial gold!
This month, we are changing things up. Based on some feedback and a great book that I read, we will not be providing the exact numbers of our “net worth” anymore.
While we… actually just Mr. PFG… wants to show transparency, we believe that the net worth we were presenting was both not final (since we didn’t present our investments) or valuable to our readers.
When I first set out to write a blog about our financials and life lessons, I wanted to share relevant information with the readers. Does anybody really care that our net worth went up a percentage one month versus another? Probably not and why do people need to know our net worth anyways? We don’t need people to feel pity for us or for them to judge us for what we post.
Rather than highlight this “invasive” information, what we will do in these monthly recaps is talk about our debt repayments and our average spending. We will no longer give a dollar amount (except for the total amount we spent each month) but a percentage to highlight what we did month over month.
As things arise in our lives, we expect this blog to continue to evolve. Currently the majority of readers are our friends and family, so any feedback or suggestions will be greatly appreciated so that we can change the blog to interest our readers.
And Now the Monthly Recap
In March 2014, we changed the date of our main credit card to be in line with the first of the month. As Mr. PFG is only paid at the end of the month, we believe this will help us budget and track our money more appropriately.
This month did see some unexpected expenses arise with a problem with our furnace and some dental work for two family members. This brings us to our new financial endeavor which is to set up an emergency fund. While we are not sure initially how we will fund this, we are currently looking at opportunities for “side hustles” where we can make additional money. This additional money will be used for two purposes with a percentage going towards an emergency fund and the rest going towards debt repayment.
If you know of any part-time opportunities or writing opportunities, please let us know.
Besides the unexpected expenses with the furnace and dental work (note: these expenses actually won’t show up until the April credit card statement), this month was overall good on the spending front.
Below are the percentages we spent on each category with a note if needed. In March 2014, we spent around $3,700.
- 34% – mortgage
- 16% – auto related (gas and lease payment)
- 13% – groceries, dining out
- 11% – preschool; this was abnormal as we had to pay registration for next year this month
- 9% – utilities (includes garbage, internet, cell phones)
- 6% – shopping note: this category will be split up more accurately in the future to show a breakdown of kids items (diapers, formula, etc.)
- 6% – student loan repayment
- 5% – miscellaneous
Starting next month, we will give a comparison on how these change and the percentage change each month.
Please note: while our mortgage payment is higher than what is recommended, we have cut our overall expenses down a lot and by cutting expenses elsewhere, the percentage spent on our house went up.
With the new reporting, we want to be clear that when we talk about debt that we are being up from with what our “true debt” is. Like most Americans, we have a mortgage and student loans. In our past reports, we have listed credit card debt but this was never debt since we pay off the balance each month. For our purposes moving forward, we will only talk about debt as our student loans and mortgage.
In March 2014, the payments for both of these areas remained steady. We paid off 0.15% of our mortgage and 0.44% of our student loans. Not a great reduction but all that we can afford currently.
How was your March 2014? Did you have any unexpected expenses? Did you make extra income?