November Budget Review
Monthly Review: November 2018
We finally got out of the hotel and into a real house! Yep that’s the biggest news this month but we also had a lot of visitors and a great trip down to Austin, Texas. Spending was slightly higher than normal but that was mostly due to buying Christmas presents.
For many people that strive for financial independence view Christmas as an over indulgence but in our family it’s the one time a year where people get things beyond what they need. It’s special to us and we take a lot of pride in finding each other meaningful presents so I am not sorry or ashamed that I spent over $800 on presents.
I also went to a Randy Rodgers concert, bought some flights, rental car, threw a house party, and got lots of free food at the airport of course. Now read on for all the details.
Nothing to see here but standard income. No extra per diem or work trip pay this month.
I know, I know. It’s a high month for me but I had two low ones back to back so it all evens out. Other than Christmas though, I actually did pretty good on so let’s break that down.
Going Out: $108.64
We were down in Texas for a week but did pretty good on eating and drinking out. We were mostly out at Leslie’s family deer camp so it was all potluck style with great food at no cost. We bought drinks to take out there ($39) and went out to eat once at a local dive ($20).
Beyond that we hit up a domino’s right before closing to get prepped for a 5 a.m. flight ($8.55). The rest was some drinks for the house party and going over a little on my free airport balance.
Speaking of airport food, I was able to get me and my mom $58 worth of food when she landed to come visit me in Boston. The priority pass is a beautiful thing. If you follow me on twitter (@saving_sherpa) you’ll be able to follow along and hear about the hundreds of dollars of free food I get every month at airports through this perk that I get free with both my Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express Platinum. You can see an example of a free spread below.
That wasn’t the only spread though. Me and Leslie had to stock up on food before starting our travels. The trick we’ve found is ordering things on the menu that allow for the most amount of entrees and that travel well such as sandwiches or lean proteins. Salads and nachos aren’t your friend if you’re taking the food with you.
Moving back into a house also meant leaving behind free hotel food so we had to return back to the grocery stores. I was happy I was able to keep it at my normal levels because it can be tempting to stock up with everything when you’re starting from scratch.
The weird part about our house is that it doesn’t have a normal kitchen. I cook almost all my meals so I could see how this has a potential for problems but we’re making it work. Even though I don’t have a standard oven or stove top I make things work with a portable stove eye, instant pot, sous vide, and a toaster oven.
If you’re not familiar with a sous vide, it’s a form of cooking where you heat and circulate water and the food is cooked inside of vacuum sealed bags. It hands down cooks meat better than any other method you’ve ever had. Steaks, pork chops, fish, literally any meat comes out perfect. I built a little contraption to hold the sous vide machine and keep the water from evaporating. I got the cooler for free and made the custom fit with a dremal.
Rent is now $837.50 per person in our new place but we absolutely love it and it includes all utilities. Depending on where you live, this may seem really expensive but it’s a great deal for Arlington, Massachusetts. Add in insurance, moviepass, some training, cell phone, and internet to round it out.
The purchases that’ll show up this month are tickets to go see Randy Rogers, flights, tickets to Chris young and a few Ubers.
Beyond those purchases we had an awesome trip down to Austin for thanksgiving. Stuffing our faces for a week and being as far away from a traffic jam as possible was just what the soul needed. While we flew into Austin we spend our time a couple hours north in rural hill country. Of course we had a couple impromptu photo shoots.
Even though it wasn’t really a trip, I put any kind of events in the travel category and that includes this amazing cooking class that was sponsored by the Air Force base that only cost us $15!
As I mentioned above, we go a little bigger for Christmas than some families. But this covered pretty much the whole family plus random expenses for a house party and $63 worth of clothes.
I started taking the bus a lot more to work so the gas bill is down this month. The bus is a 5 minute walk down the street and takes me about an hour each way. That adds an hour to my daily commute but it gives me time to work on stuff like the podcast or the blog even though I’m always behind on this.
Big Picture: Net Worth Increase $5,541 to $291,150
Well we had a slight uptick in the market but it was mostly flat. The market brought in $514 and the cash did the rest. The big $300k milestone is so close so I’m hoping it happens before my 29th birthday (March 2019).