November 2015 – Spending and monthly summary

Here’s my wet worth update and summary for November 2015 – this post follows on from my November income summary.

My Score for November

Living Expenses $ 3,850
Security Ratio 9.9 %
Expenses 52.9 %
Investments 30.3 %
Savings 16.7 %
Retirement 0
Wet Worth $ 91,387
Work Freedom Day 8-Nov-15

Living Expenses

This is my fixed monthly budget for living expenses and it includes both essential (e.g. groceries, mortgage, insurance), and non-essential (e.g. music, travel) purchases. $3,850 is the amount from my current Budget 3.5.

I spent a total of $3,225.54 in November which means I underspent my budget by $624.46.

Security Ratio

This is the percentage of my monthly living expenses budget that my dividend income would pay for this month.

This month’s ratio of 9.9% means that my dividend income paid just under 10% of my living expenses this month; this is a more typical level for the first two months in a quarter. Last month I earned $343 in dividend income; this month was $382.

Living Expenses %

The percentage of net income that’s spent on living expenses. Lower numbers are better here.

This month’s 52.9% continues on a more normal level along with last month’s 53.1%. November’s result actually beats all other second months of the quarter this year: February was the year’s worst at 57.3%, May was 53.7% and August was 53.8%, so it’s good to see a decline over time showing my progress.

Any change in this number is caused by a change in either income or budget; since my budget is constant that means my overall income was lower this month, although the results from July onwards are improved by a lower budget compared to the first six months of the year.

The chart above shows the trend in my Living Expenses % since the start of 2014. For the first part of 2014 I was paying two mortgages. In June 2014, I introduced Budget 1.0 after selling my first house and I made some minor tweaks in Budget 2.0 from October onwards. In January I started Budget 3.0 which I updated to Budget 3.5 in July.

This month’s result is actually a little worse than last year’s so that’s worth an extra look. November 2014’s result of 52.5% was based on a higher income amount as it included some transfers from savings and stock sales. On a dividend income basis, this year was better at $382 vs $338.

Savings %

The percentage of net income spent on savings.

I put aside $530 every month for mid and long term goals (any large expense or purchase due a year or more in the future), as well as $547 for my car payment and added an extra $100 into my Emergency Fund plus $39 into my Cash buffer. This month, the savings amount was $1,216.25 or 16.7% of my month’s income.

Investment %

The percentage of net income that I invest.

Any spare money left over after savings, retirement and living expenses are paid goes into my current income portfolio. This month it was 30.3% of my income.

I’ve written about my portfolio income and gains in November in a separate post, so I won’t repeat all of that here again.

Retirement %

This would represent the percentage of any post-tax contributions from net income towards my retirement accounts, but I don’t have any plans to do so at the moment. You can read about my retirement account asset allocation here if you’re having trouble sleeping. It’s a simple low-cost index investing strategy using 401k and IRA accounts.

Wet Worth $

My liquid assets minus all debt (excluding retirement and assets).

My Wet Worth increased $4,948.97 in November to $91,387. There’s a more detailed breakdown of this amount further below.

Work Freedom Day

The day in the year that my dividend income could pay for the rest of the year’s expenses.

Based on my current projections my Work Freedom Day remains at 8 November 2015.

Wet Worth detail

I’m showing my Wet Worth in this post – this is the cost of my liquid assets minus debt, I exclude assets and retirement accounts from this number. I prefer this over Net Worth since the equity in large assets (house, car) and retirement funds is hard to get at and not always predictable. I find this is a more honest view of where I’m at on my journey.

There’s a small increase this month. The change in Wet Worth is caused by

Cash +$969 Cash for living expenses increased this month. I was under-budget in spending and on top of that, I added a one-off amount to pay for some immigration fees which weren’t in my original budget which will be paid next month.
Debt $935 Debt decreased this month mostly from lower credit card charges. Our mortgage principal continues to drop about $375 a month which helps too.
Savings $2,230 I gained $2,230 in my Savings accounts this month. Although my cash account and investments increased, I also reconciled the investments in my Health Savings Account; the website is terrible so I was putting it off but I’m glad I did it as I was missing $1,300 in the estimated value I had been using.
Emergency Fund $133 My Emergency Fund consists of cash, a stock fund (VTSMX) and a short term bond fund (VBIRX). I added $100 to the stock fund in my Emergency Fund, but ultimately any increase is dependent on the investment values.
Portfolio $682 My overall income portfolio increased in value this month. See my earlier post for details.
Total $4,949 Total change in Wet Worth.

November 2015 Summary

So a solid month all things considered and I’m looking forward to wrapping up the year as the December results are looking great so far.


Quote of the Day

Big doors swing on little hinges.

4 thoughts on “November 2015 – Spending and monthly summary”

    1. Hi Youngdividend,

      I calculate it using after-tax income from my paycheck. Dividend amounts are technically pre-tax I suppose but I use the amounts posted in my brokerage account.

      I do max out my 401k in addition to the taxable investments I make but I don’t include the 401k contributions or any 401k / Roth assets in any of my calculations. Using after-tax numbers helps keep things more real for me as it represents my actual cash-flow.

      Have a Happy Christmas and best wishes for a healthy & wealthy New Year!


    1. Hi DFG,
      Thanks, it was a good month. I’m looking forward to reading your budget and you’ve just reminded me that I need to review my individual saving categories too.
      Best wishes,

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