Monthly Financial Update: November 2019

In December, when reviewing my finances for 2018, I mentioned my desire to look at them on a monthly basis in 2019. Justin and I spent a little too much in 2018 and let our finances get the best of us. Maybe by looking at our finances monthly (and let you guys/gals keep me in check), we will do better this year.

That's the goal anyway.

Here's month #11:


Last Year:
• We spent more on gifts and donations, fees & charges
• We spent less on food & dining, shopping (lots of clothes), travel (plane tickets), auto & transport, bills & utilities, and personal care.

In October
• We spent more on food & dining, auto & transport, personal care, and fees & charges
• We spent less on shopping, travel (plane tickets to Paris), bills & utilities, and gifts & donations (Christmas gifts, niece's birthday gift).

Where We Spent Our Money:

Top 10 Merchants:
1. British Air (flights to France)
2. Costco (car battery, gifts)
3. Kroger (trying Indian food)
4. Electricity
5. Everlane (clothes for Justin)
6. Advance Auto
7. Belk (most will be returned, clothes for me)
8. USPS (gifts to friends)
9. St. Cecilia (restaurant)
10. Free People (clothes for me)

Top 10 Categories:
1. Food & Dining
2. Shopping (clothes)
3. Travel (flights)
4. Auto & Transport
5. Bills & Utilities
6. Gifts & Donations
7. Financial (life insurance)
8. Fees & Charges

Gas & Fuel – just at
✗ Groceries – over
✗ Restaurants – over
Hair Appointments – under
✗ Everything Else – over

Net Income:



credit cards

How Did I Do On My Financial Goals for October?

Continue to reduce food spending in either restaurant or grocery category.

Go ahead and book a rental car for summer travel. I think I have general dates and can do so without it being an issue.

Ship Christmas gifts.
Buy a few more Christmas gifts. It would be great to be halfway done. BUT watch spending.

* Loan Payoff Date 12/1/22
* Emergency Funds: $16,717
• 401K $48,325.60
• Credit Scores: 739 (Justin), 799, 802 (me)

Overview of the Biggest Impacts This Month:
1. Buying wine.
2. Buying clothes.
3. Replacing brakes on the car and battery on the truck
4. Buying gifts.
5. Shipping gifts.

What went wrong this month?
1. Car repairs.
2. Waiting until the last minute to buy gifts (i.e. a month before Christmas instead of spreading it out throughout the year.)
3. Lots of food purchased which is both good and bad. Fun that we got to try new cuisines, bad in that we spent extra. Also, did we need wine? Probably not.
4. Shopping for clothes. Probably would have been better to not.
5. I feel like our spending is creeping up. :(

What went right this month?
1. Making returns.
2. Getting a lower price for a flight to Paris
3. Not spending more than we made.
4. Not spending extra on gas.
5. I made extra by staying overnight with kids.

Financial plans/goals for December?
1. Finish Christmas shopping. Try to stick to budget.
2. Watch prices on clothes and try to get price adjustments where possible.
3. Try not to spend too much on food.
4. Do at least one thing to prepare for summer travel to Scotland, whether that's book another hotel or do price comparisons for something I know we are interested in doing.
5. Analyze my year-long spending. What went wrong? What went right? Did it help going over my finances monthly? What can I do different/better next year?

One of the things I've learned from doing my monthly financial update is that I tend to spend more when I'm stressed. I also spend more when I'm trying new foods. Like, I can't try a new dish at home during the same month I travel, because then expenses would truly get out of hand. I really have to just focus on one thing at a time. And being an adult? That's hard. Vehicles need repairs. Having new clothing makes it easier to pick something out to wear in the morning before work. Eating out is expensive, but when you are stressed, it's a solution that can make your life easier.

Overall, my general feeling is just that I need to take life, and finances, one step at a time.

Financial Resolution Goals 2019

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