We are excited to start a new series called “Financial Check-In”. In this series, I will report on how my finances have been allocated throughout the quarter (3 months) and how I plan to adjust in the future quarter.
For the sake of simplicity, all finances discussed in this series will be post-payroll amounts, meaning only my take-home pay exclusive of taxes, 401K, and other benefits. Being debt-free, I am able to easily apply Big Picture Budgeting to my finances to stay flexible and vigilant with my finances.
Also, Liann and I decided it’s best to track my spending over hers since I am considered “The Spender” in our marriage.
The first quarter is always different than the other quarters of the year for me. This is because I am typically paying off expenses from the holiday season and paying annual bills. In addition, the beginning of the year is when Liann and I set our annual financial goals and are exceedingly money conscious.
For Q1 2019, I planned to save aggressively to get a jump start on my annual financial goals. Liann and I also did not plan to travel as much this quarter, so this left the travel budget light.
Looking at the above chart, you can see that being debt-free has its advantages with keeping fixed monthly bills low at only 10% of my finances. This is actually higher than usual because there were some annual bills that needed to be paid. It’s likely that Travel will grow next quarter while Bills decrease. Merchandise was also high this quarter, as this was mostly all of the Christmas presents for family, even though we keep Christmas light.
There doesn’t seem to be anything alarming with my finances for Q1, but I will need to keep an eye on the Merchandise and Restaurants categories. I will probably maintain my aggressive saving for another quarter because Liann and I have a good amount of Travel planned for the 2nd half of this year.