A new year brings a new month, and a new month brings another update to the Margin Studies Wall Chart and net worth report series!

The Wall Chart is borrowed directly from Your Money or Your Life, which is one of the cornerstone books of the FIRE movement. By consistently keeping track of all of your money coming in and out, you can start to make better decisions as to how you spend your life energy.

I use the YNAB software for all of my budgeting, and I LOVE it. I’m currently resisting the urge to tell all of my friends. I’m sure an official review of the software will happen in the coming months.

December’s Wall Chart Report:

This month I come back down to earth a little. But I expected this. A couple things entered into the equation here.

One. I’m no longer paying myself my self employment taxes

When I first started using YNAB to track my budget, I had this brilliant idea to combine my business budget onto the same worksheet as my personal budget, but after I spent some time reading Profit First.

The business finance system laid out in the book involves opening up different bank accounts, and distributing your income a couple times a month into the different accounts.

I loved the book and implemented the system right away, but it was going to make my budgeting VERY messy. So I split up my business and personal budgets, and because I’ll be paying my taxes from my business, I’m not paying myself that extra amount.

Two. My old business is officially shut down.

As of this summer, I transitioned into a single owner LLC, and me and a business partner decided to close up our existing business. As of last week, i’ve received my last disbursement from that business. So i’m no longer collecting two job’s worth of income 🙂

Three. Seasonal depression is a thing.

The amount of gray that we’ve lived through in Michigan the last two months is ridiculous. I’m attempting to fight this by getting to the gym 5 days a week, and cutting out fast food. I know it will work… I’ve lost a good amount of weight in the past, and a lot of it has crept back, but I feel pretty determined to start making better and better decisions. FI is about the aggregation of marginal gains, right? Well, health is too.

Four. Spending was up. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

My house insurance bill came, so that was a bigger expense that I had been saving for. I also had some Christmas Gifts to purchase, as well as the seemingly endless opportunities to meet friends for beers or coffee or dinner. It was a rough month for my entertainment budget.

The numbers:

Income: $5,390.60

Spending: $3,460.17

Margin: $1,940.43

I mean… I still saved some… I’ve also decided to start putting in the 4% calculation, the calculation when, once that number reaches my expenses number, we can say I’m officially financially independent.
We’re aiming for up and to the right. so we’re still winning.

Net Worth as of 1/1/2019 : $76,997.86

This number is an increase of $1,127.07 over what I had calculated in last months’ Wall Chart / Net Worth Report. Given that we saw a big shift in the stock market over the last month, I was pleased to still end up ahead. I plan on creating a Goals post later this week, as it’s a very new years kind of thing to do. I think this is the year where my net worth reaches beyond 100k! I know other net worth trackers around the internet tend to go into how each account fluctuates to reach that number. Is that something that interests you guys? I could see it being helpful!

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