August and September 2016 Update


August 30th, 2016 – Pup #1 celebrates his “Adopt-aversary” with a nap, while his younger bro tries to be the cutest little guy of all time!

Man today was the first day I’ve logged into the blog here in a looong time. In August and September, my firm is pretty much smack dab in the middle of our busy season. As a result, my days pretty much looked like Sleep, Bus, Work, Work, Work, Work, Uber, Sleep, Repeat. There’s not a lot of time to spend money, which helps when you’re trying to save up!  There’s also not much time to write, which is why I’m so delayed with my updates, and why I’ve put the blog on the back burner. Hopefully now that we are past our September 15th deadline, I’ll be able to get back to focusing on my money and blog goals! Check out my update for both August and September below:


 Budget  August September
Original Savings         700        700 700
 Rent         900        900   900
 Electricity         120          40 42
 Gas           35            4 6
 Cable         120          27 32
 Car Insurance         125        122 122
 Gas & Fuel           85          96 14
 Other Auto           155          147 145
 Entertainment           50          74 21
 Groceries         130          153 112
 Restaurants         110        63 145
 Misc Expenses           75          45 170
 Pets         175         280 100
 Shopping           50          45 44
 Additional Savings         550          684 828
     3,380     3,380 3,380



Original Savings

Budget August September
700 700 700

I like to break my savings down into 2 categories, Original and Additional.  In this bucket, my Original savings, contains the amounts that I would have saved before I started this blog. I like tracking it separately so that I know how much progress I’m making each month that I would not have been making before I started tracking my spending. This bucket contains what used to be an auto transfer of $245 a month to my 401(k) and $455 a month to my IRA, for a total of $700.



Budget August September
900 900 900

Fixed expense, don’t anticipate much movement in the rent price, but should it change, the budget will update accordingly.



Utility Budget August September
Electricity 120 40 42
Gas 35 4 6
Cable 120 27 32

This is one of the budget items I’m anticipating will have a large variance from budget to actual every month. The three reasons why though are good ones! Check out my March and April 2016 Update for more information.


Car Insurance

Budget August September
125 122 122

Doesn’t typically change from month to month. There’s a lot of advantages to being 24 that can help me keep my expenses low, but unfortunately when it comes to car insurance, being 24 sucks! I’ve tried plugging my info and desired coverage levels into every insurance provider I can think of, and this was the lowest I could find! Most other providers were somewhere around 150-210. I guess they really don’t want to insure young people!


Gas (Auto)

Budget August September
85 96 14

In August, I filled up my car twice and my girlfriends once. If you recall, I didn’t fill up my car at all during July, so I was over due! I’ve been taking the bus to work, but in August I was stationed at a client site for a week, so I was driving to their offices instead of taking the bus downtown.

In September, my girlfriend and I split one tank of gas. We’ve gotten pretty good with the bus and Uber so we’re not driving that often at all. August was probably the highest month I’ll have, but then September was probably the cheapest month I’m going to have for gas, so it kind of evens out.


Other Auto

Budget August September
155 147 145

Came in a little under budget here, but it’s still taking me a little while to get used to seeing such a large number in this line item. Most of this is Ubers back home after work. Like I said above, August and September are both right in the heart of busy season for me, so I’m staying at the office really late. I don’t want to take public transportation back home late at night, so I take Ubers. Now that 9/15 has passed though I can start taking the bus home!

Check out the full breakdown for my auto expenses below:

Uber Home after Work (12 times in Aug, 17 times in Sept) 102 145
Car wash 25 N/A



Budget August September
50 74 21

Spent a little more in August than I budgeted for, but it’s going to be worth it in November and December!  I bought tickets for a Dan + Shay (one of my girlfriends favorites) concert in November and an Old Dominion (one of my favorites) concert in December. They are both playing in a small venue in downtown LA, so the prices weren’t too bad. My total for both concerts? $59! That’s the kind of prices I like to see! The other two expenses are Netflix and a movie from Playstation network (Me Before You, my girlfriend read the book and wanted to check out the movie… seems like a recurring theme from last month!)

September was a little bit more normal, all we spent this month was Netflix, and 2 movies from Playstation Network (Neighbors 2, and How to be Single. Both of them are comedies, and lived up to their genre. We enjoyed each of them!)



Budget August September
130 153 60

Nothing too out of the ordinary here for August. The grocery bill was slightly higher due to buying shampoo, soap, toilet paper, paper towels ect. Usually that stuff we buy in bulk and it lasts us few months. I don’t really want to break them out separately, even though they are not food.  Even though I was in busy season and working 6 days a week, I still was able to meal prep up for the week all the way through August. Once we got into September I wasn’t able to meal prep. As a result, my grocery bill was lower, but I spent more on restaurants.



Budget August September
110 63 120

During busy season my firm will pay for meals you eat in the office if you are working more than 10 hours in a day. Since that’s pretty much every day, I was getting dinner for free every night.  Since I wasn’t really eating dinner at home, and I was meal prepping lunches for the week, my restaurant expenses was pretty low in August.  In September, I was still getting dinner for free, but I was no longer meal prepping my lunches. This caused my restaurant expense to jump a little bit.


Misc Expenses

Budget August September
75 45 170

I typically don’t like a “catch-all” budget like Miscellaneous, since its easy to just shove things there and not worry about them. So even though I have this line item, I’m going to list out each transaction to help hold myself accountable:

July – the $45 came in 2 transactions. The first – $25, was for dry cleaning. The second, $20 was for a fantasy football buy in with my friends from college. It’s not a lot of money, and it’s a great way for all of us to keep in touch.

August – $50 – Fantasy football buy ins for a work league. Around the office fantasy football is a major topic of discussion, so I joined 2 leagues to build some comradery with my coworkers. $20 – Donation to a niece’s school fundraiser. $33 – we had a maid come to the house to get a good clean in. We do this a few times a year. $67 – Fee to join a rec basketball league with some friends from work. We play once a week throughout September, October, November. It’s another good way to get to know coworkers, and to get some exercise too!



Budget August September
175 280 100


Just when we don’t have an expensive dog month (July), we turn around the next month (August) and have a big one! The majority of this ($263) was for boarding the dogs during our vacation in July. We didn’t pay the bill until August, so it hits the August expenses. The rest ($17) was just for treats for the dogs. In September, we had a teeth cleaning consultation for one dog ($75) and had to buy food and some treats ($25). We found out that buying the dog food on Amazon was about 30-40% cheaper than it is trying to by literally the same brand in the store. That should help save us some money going forward!

A little exciting side note about the dogs – the end of August marked the 1 year “adopt-aversary” for one of the dogs! It’s crazy to think he’s been living with us for a year now!



Budget August September
50 45 44

August – As you already know, we bought season tickets for the Rams this year.  They hosted a family day where you could get autographs from the players, so I bought a football ($22) to try and get signed by Todd Gurley. Didn’t succeed, but maybe I’ll have better luck in the future. The other things I bought were 3 squeegees ($23), one for each of the bathrooms in our condo. The glass shower doors were getting gross, so I cleaned them off and we’ve been using the squeegees now to keep them clean!

September – I only bought one thing in September – Madden 17! Its pretty much the only video game I play. I love building a team and trying to take them to the Super Bowl. It’s cool now to play as the Rams since their home stadium is the Coliseum, where I spent many Saturdays in college watching USC. I bought it on Amazon for $15 cheaper than it would have been if I bought it in the store. Amazon is starting to save us so much money!


Additional Savings

Budget August September
550 683 828

My initial goal was to save $550 a month more than I had previously been saving. For August though, I set a goal of having my highest savings percentage to date. In March I hit 44%, so that’s what I wanted to do in August. I fell short, at 41%, but that is the second highest I’ve been all year. I’m starting to see the progress in my bank accounts, as I hit a new net worth all-time high in August, which felt really good.  Since I didn’t hit my goal of an all time high savings rate in August, I carried it forward, and made it my goal in September.

In September I hit that goal! I put away 45%, to hit my highest saving rate of all time. It feels AWESOME to crush goals like that, even if they take a little longer than I had wanted. In October, our firm gives out raises, so I’m hoping that after I get my raise for this year I’ll be able to hit a 50% savings rate. In fact, I’m going to make that a goal from October 2016 through September 2017!

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