Happy new year! It’s a brand new year but we all know that in the PF blogging world, the new year starts with a December 2017 goals update. Yes?
In case you forgot (after all that holiday fun) or if this is your first time visiting, in 2017, we decided to track our progress on our 1) one paycheck project; 2) investing habit; 3) health and fitness; and 4) other fun stuff. This is our last goals update for the year that was. Finally!
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.
December is meant to be an expensive month but because we use our credit card for most of our purchases (paid in full every month, don’t you worry), we didn’t see the spike in our cash outflows yet. We still spent below my net pay in December – we had a 3-month streak!
Our biggest spending category for December were Groceries and Shopping. We normally spend between $350 to $480 on groceries but last month, we spent around $630. It was a huge jump but it was expected as we hosted a few dinners and had a few friends over for the Christmas break.
The shopping expenses were, obviously, for Christmas gifts. We decided not to spend a lot this year, as we have been generous throughout the year. We set a limit to our gifts spending and I also knitted small goods for gifts.
We were able to squeeze in two purchases on top of our Vanguard contributions in December. We added two new holdings to our portfolio, two companies that we have been eyeing for a while. We only have one more stock in our watchlist that we’re certain we want to get and we’ll probably make a purchase towards the end of the month.
We’re pretty happy with our portfolio and with how our investing habit is going. We have established our investing goal for next year but I’ll write more about that in the next post.
HEALTH AND FITNESS
I have to be honest, December was the month when we completely gave up on working out. Zero workout done. Nada. If working out was saving, last month was the month when we would spent most of our savings. Seriously.
We also blew our mostly-plant-based diet towards the 4th week of the month, because, guests. Also because we went on a holiday for a week. I don’t think I’ve had that much meat since we decided to watch what we eat. I haven’t had meat for both lunch and dinner every single day for ages. We consumed so much meat that by January 1st, my body already started rejecting it.
Of course we gained weight after all that. And yes, our fridge is now filled with healthier food and I started working out, too. (He said he’ll get back into the exercise, too. Not sure when though.) Hopefully we both get back in shape soon. *fingers crossed*
Christmas break is always a fun time for us. We travel during this time of the year – either to home or to a place we’ve never been to before. Since I only recently went overseas a few months before Christmas and we spent the previous holiday at his country, we opted for domestic travel this year. We went to Adelaide!
I think I’ve mentioned it in this blog a few times that we took a serious interest in wines this year. Shiraz is our drink of choice and to be honest, that was the main reason why we chose Adelaide. We know too little about wines at this stage, but we know for sure that the Barossa Valley Shiraz is our favourite drink of all. We were not disappointed. We did tasting in 13 wineries. Thirteen! In three days! We did get what we wanted out of that trip.
We also splurged a bit. We did taste the Grange. It was expensive, but we had to. #noregrets
It wasn’t the most frugal trip but it was definitely a lot cheaper than overseas travel. It also helped that we had enough money allocated for it. We also received a fair bit of Christmas money from my grandma and aunts, which all went towards our holiday expenses.
Our December results gave us a good ending to 2017. Sure, we went off track with our health and fitness goals but that was in exchange of good, fun time with each other and friends whom we haven’t seen in a while. The extra unwanted pounds we gained came with great conversations and good memories. It was a good trade-off.
How was your December? How was your break? Did you feel like it was too short, like we did?