It’s reporting time in the personal finance blog space and here’s our November 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.
We spent a bit below my net pay in November (we had $100 surplus). We finally have a positive streak since we started this project. Oh, what a feeling! If only the streak can last longer than 2 months! I highly doubt this because it’s December (already!?) and based on history and records, December has always been my most expensive month. I’m not very hopeful there.
Our largest expense categories last month were Restaurants and Gifts. We went out for dinner a few times with friends we haven’t seen in a while. We’re still doing a bit of catching up with friends until now and we expect this to go on until January next year. We aren’t very sociable people, we do prefer staying in or doing our own thing, but we feel guilty every now and then for not showing our faces to our friends.
We’re investing noobs and we don’t conceal that. It’s part of the reason why I don’t share our portfolio. Part of being a noob is being risk-averse. We didn’t invest as much as we did last month because we think the share prices are at their highest, at least for the shares we want to buy. Is that bad?
In November, we made our regular contributions to our Vanguard retail fund and kept the rest of our investing money. We had more to invest but decided to hold off with the cash and buy a bigger chunk of another share in December. So far, we’ve hit our portfolio value goal this year (it’s not massive). Unless the market crashes, anything we invest in shares this year will now be extra.
HEALTH AND FITNESS
I started working out more regularly in November. I have to admit, I do feel a lot better when I’m more active. If you’re interested, I usually do this trainer’s quick workouts. I only do 10 minutes at most each day and I find that to be enough exercise for me for a day. I also started practicing yoga in the mornings. Nothing fancy, mostly morning stretches.
My boyfriend on the other hand, started going fishing. While fishing isn’t really a workout, at least it makes him more active.
We are still taking plant-based lunches at least 4/5 days during the week. My boyfriend gave up on Meatless Monday, so I made a compromise and we’re doing Meatless-Lunch-Mondays and Fish-Dinner-Mondays. Sometimes this extends to Tuesdays, depending on the leftovers.
I stopped doing my other usual fun stuff and concentrated on making Christmas gifts instead. So far, I’ve made two. Hahaha! I unravel a lot of my yarn work when I’m not happy. But since it’s only a few days before gift-giving day, I should start going easy on myself.
Nothing to report here other than that. The weather in Melbourne hasn’t been that lovely – extremely hot on weekdays, rain on weekends. We couldn’t do anything we wanted. I’m just grateful I didn’t have migraine (at all!) during that heatwave.
Overall, November was a good month for us. It wasn’t particularly noteworthy, and it felt slow at times, but we can’t complain. We do need slow and steady moments sometimes. Especially if the following month is December. December! I can’t believe we’re in the last stretch of the year. Can you?
How did your November go?