About Last Month (July Savings Rate)

July is my happiest month of the year, nothing can spoil it for me. So, migraine, wisdom tooth and house hunting issues aside, I still think July treated me well.

(A quick note for new readers: I’m trying to save 50% of my monthly net pay this year, and hopefully for many more years after, and I started this goal in February. Unlike other bloggers, I’m not putting away all of my savings for retirement but I’m allocating them between investing and planned spending. I wrote about this in detail here.)

July-savings-rate

JULY SAVINGS RATE

After all the bills are settled (and after all unplanned spending), I saved 50% of my take home pay in July. My spreadsheet says I saved this much because I hardly spent any money on food (both groceries and eating out) and shopping. This result seems good on paper, but the story behind it it isn’t that great.

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That Day I Realised I Turned Into a PF Snob

I think many, if not all of us, in this community have experienced some sort of scrutiny or judgment when other people find out about our financial ways. While my family is very supportive of my choice to adopt this lifestyle, I still get the occasional “why don’t you buy this or that, you can afford it” especially from my mum. I haven’t had someone say something insulting to my face, but we have relatives who would always try to make us feel financially inadequate because we rent, drive used cars and don’t own a lot of things.

But this post isn’t really about how other people outside this community see us, but about how we see them. I don’t know if it’s true for everyone, but I think most of us are used to being questioned, to shocking people, to be on the receiving end of “Are you crazy?” or “Are you okay, do you need money?”, because we don’t like spending carelessly. I’ve read a few tweets about this, and probably posts too. But I haven’t come across one with roles reversed – a person outside this community, ranting about being judged by someone who is passionate about personal finance – probably because 1) they don’t blog and 2) we don’t do it anyway. Don’t we really?

pf-snob

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About Last Month (June Savings Rate)

It has been a very cold and often wet past month and while we were hit with higher utility bills, our general spending dropped as we have been choosing our warm and cozy couch over the outdoors. Ideally, this means our June spending should be comparable with previous months’s numbers, but no, we – mostly I – ended up spending a fair bit of monies last month.

(A quick note for new readers: I’m trying to save 50% of my monthly net pay this year, and hopefully for many more years after, and I started this goal in February. Unlike other bloggers, I’m not putting away all of my savings for retirement investing (or debt repayment) but I’m allocating them between investing and planned spending. Investing will be for ETF shares purchases while planned spending will be for: house deposit, fun and travel, education, and charity. You can read more about my goal in detail here.)

May-savings-rate

JUNE SAVINGS RATE

June was the month of unplanned spending, but in the end, I still managed to keep 37% of my net pay, thanks to automatic savings. I literally had loose bills and coins and an unusually low balance in my transaction account by month end. I had an internal monologue with myself that involved the words really, seriously, funny and it’s okay. I was honestly okay with it though. I guess I wasn’t used to seeing my transaction account with such low balance, but I knew exactly where my money went and they were all legit expenses, so I was able to let go quickly.

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Financial Sanity Fund

When I started this blog last year, I had three financial goals for 2015: 1) to save $10,000 for a house deposit fund, 2) to invest $10,000 in shares and 3) to increase my net worth to $50,000. I did well with 1 and 3 but tanked on 2 because I was a noob investor and was too scared to invest regularly.

I was too focused on achieving my goals that I hardly wanted to spend money. My stress levels towards the end of the year went up (because, money + family issues), that I even refused to make a December update because I honestly had enough of it.

WHAT WENT WRONG?

Balance, specifically the lack thereof. That’s where I failed. I made a plan of saving money and increasing wealth without considering other aspects of my life such as studies, special occasions, travel, fun, etc. I committed to put all my extra money (net pay minus monthly expenses) to my financial goals. There was no other fund for extra spending. Spending guilt eventually developed. I was saving money and was on track to achieve my financial goals but I was also gradually feeling burnt out. Saving was no longer fun and instead of looking forward to it, I dreaded it and wished from then on that I could reach my financial goal sooner so I could move on and start spending my money again.

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STARTING FRESH

Our trip to Tasmania at the end of last year was an eye-opener for me. I realised how much I value travel and how much it helps me regroup, especially during stressful times. I knew right then that I want it to be a part of my financial map in 2016 and that I need it to be a part of it so I could keep my sanity. I spent a huge chunk of January evaluating how 2015 went for me, financially and otherwise and used the result of my reflections to write how I want my 2016 to be.

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About Last Month (May Savings Rate)

May, May, May. We had the last days of warm-ish weather last month and although winter only started a few days ago, it’s not holding back in making its presence known. This update is a few days late because I have been away for a week and I have been busy catching up with the things I left after I got back. As always, I’m excited to see how I handled my finances the previous month and to share some of my numbers with you guys.

(A quick note for new readers: I’m trying to save 50% of my monthly net pay this year, and hopefully for many more years after, and I started this goal in February. Unlike other bloggers, I’m not putting away all of my savings for retirement investing (or debt repayment) but I’m allocating them between investing and planned spending. Investing will be for ETF shares purchases while planned spending will be for: house deposit, fun and travel, education, and charity. You can read more about my goal in detail here.)

May-savings-rate

MAY SAVINGS RATE

I figured I can only do the ‘suspense’ thing so many times, so from this update I’m writing my savings rate before the saving and spending highlights. I like structure anyway, it will also make it writing monthly updates quicker. For May, I was able to put away 48% of my net pay for investing and planned savings, a few points lower than April’s rate.

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