It’s reporting time in the personal finance blog space and here’s our September 2017 update. This year we are tracking our progress on our 1) one paycheck project; 2) investing habit; 3) health and fitness; and 4) other fun stuff.
LIVING ON ONE PAYCHECK
Last March, we agreed to try live on one paycheck in order to improve our finances as a couple. We are trying to limit our monthly spending to my net pay, which is the lower pay, so we can save more than 50% of our total take home pay every month.
After achieving this goal in August, we unfortunately went over in September. It’s a bit of a downer, but the upside is we still managed to save 50% of our combined net pay.
Our notable expense categories last month were:
- Entertainment. Jack Johnson is finally coming back to Australia! I waited sooo long for this tour and I wasn’t going to miss it.
- Gifts. We bought gifts for friends and for my family back home (I’m going soon), as well as for my manager, who retired mid-September.
Nothing as significant as last August, but we stuck with our plan and have made regular contributions to our Vanguard account. We also allocated some money for shares but we didn’t buy any. We’re thinking of putting more money into our Ratesetter account, but we’ll probably look more into this after I return from my holiday.
HEALTH AND FITNESS
September is probably the worst month for our fitness goals because we didn’t go regularly to the gym during this time. I take the blame for this one – I was, admittedly, the lazy one. Whenever I work out, whether it’s in a gym or on my own, I go through a phase of wanting to take a break. And I do take a break, without guilt, because I’m afraid that if I don’t, I’ll stop enjoying working out. I don’t want that. And because it’s easy to be influenced by your gym buddy, my boyfriend also decided to take a break. Meh.
Our “more vegetables” diet, on the other hand, was successful. Meatless Mondays are becoming a habit and salad lunches are becoming more regular. We now have meat (red & white) towards the end of the week (usually from Thursday night) as opposed to having them from Monday to Sunday. This has been great for both of us: my boyfriend consumes less red meat and I eat more vegetables.
I’ve been a bit busy lately – reading more on investments, planning my trip, shopping for gifts, doing chores – and I didn’t have much time to do fun stuff on the side. While I didn’t have much time for my hobbies, I did have more time for friends. We’ve had friends come over every weekend of September for dinner, something we haven’t done often in the past. For some reason, our friends really like hanging out our place, so much so that we don’t even prepare anything ourselves. They bring/cook all the food!
We got a bit sidetracked in September and didn’t get the results we’ve hoped for, but we acknowledge that speed bumps are normal in any journey. Maybe we’ll continue to travel slow or maybe we’ll pick up our speed right away. It doesn’t really matter for now, as long as we remain consistent.
How was September for you? Did you travel full speed or did you slow down, too?