November Numbers are in!

 

November 2016 Spending

A reminder that the “spending column” is November’s spending, and the comparison column is October’s spending. Click immediate previous link to get some insight on October. There aren’t a whole lot of changes.

I’m most pleased to see the food expense line continue to go down. No doubt this is due to cooking more often at home. Not to mention a holiday weekend with my family where I basically didn’t have to spend any money on food at all. There’s another one of those holidays coming up this month….

Travel

I booked a week long AirBNB stay in Omaha next May for the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Meeting! The hosts sound pretty cool. They said they have a list of restaurants for me to try and places to explore. To AirBNB hosts out there, this makes perfect sense. If you give your guests a list of suggestions that they can do with their time, maybe they spend less time in your home.

Auto

Auto expenses are up because AAA did it’s annual billing last month and auto insurance started billing. I believe I lumped the previous 6 months for auto insurance to hit a credit card bonus. I actually spent a little less on gas specifically in November vs. October.

Shopping

It’s unusual to see the shopping category this high. I bought a couple pairs of work pants, some hiking poles, a headlamp and some hiking shoes. And I want to say I went on like 6 or 7 hikes, so they are getting used. I’ll get some more hikes in late this month after my fitness boot camp session is over.

No Income Summary Until Further Notice.

I won’t be reporting any income for the next few months because my financials just have too much craziness going on right now. There are capital gain distributions coming from my mutual funds. I even exchanged 1 of my funds temporarily into the S&P 500 index to avoid a hefty 5% of NAV distribution. I also paid so much California estimated taxes this month that it made my savings rate go negative for the month. This is the first time that has happened since I started tracking my monthly income and spending with either Mint or LearnVest. I’ve done WAY more bank and brokerage bonus chasing this year, so it makes sense that I’d have higher tax liability. But I might have overpaid my state taxes. If that’s the case, I’ll be in a lower federal tax bracket next year so that should work out in my favor if I did for some reason over-pay. It all depends on if I do any more donations this year….

Speaking of Donations…

I donated somewhere around $400-$500 worth of extra clothes to Goodwill on Sunday morning. Three GIANT trash bags of clothes. Including 37 t-shirts! Mostly anything with a branded logo on it has departed my closet. Someone else can advertise brands for free. 😀 Exception being the local fitness boot camp because one of the girls gave it to me and I’d feel bad. I got quite the work out individually hauling those bags down my 3 flights of stairs. I feel like I still have way too much clothes too.

I’ve also considered donating all my living room furniture before year end if the Salvation Army or some other charity will come and do a 3rd story apartment truck pick up.  You can’t downsize into a Honda Civic when you own a 2 bedroom apartment worth of crap! It’s not like we ever really use the living room furniture.  But I might just leave it so that my sister can use it with whoever her new roommate is. If I thought I would be moving back to this area after the road trip, I would just put it in storage. The tax deduction is more valuable this year….sooo….we’ll see what happens on that front.

I’m still on the fence about establishing a Donor Advised Fund. The minimum is $5000. That would save me about $1,700 in federal and state income taxes for 2016. I have to believe that I’ll earn enough money over the next few years that I would probably donate $5k anyway, so frontloading it now really shouldn’t  be a big deal. But, yeah. Income stream shutting off for who knows how long and it’s not exactly good stewardship of a windfall to just spend it so that you don’t have to work for a little bit.

Yet, people who are less fortunate donate way more as a percentage of their income, so knowing me, I’ll probably just shame myself into going through with it. But that hasn’t happened yet. :-/