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🗓 Monthly Snapshot: April 2021

How well did I track against my goals this month?

I plan to write a post at the end of each month that tracks my health and progress towards goals. These cover the following main categories:

  1. FI (Financial Independence) Contributions

  2. Monthly Discretionary Spending Budget

  3. Monthly Flows Breakdown

  4. Self-Care

Check out my annual goals for 2021 and a detailed overview of how I think about my monthly tracking in my January 2021 Monthly Snapshot. Alright, let's dig in!

1. FI Contributions

Here is how I did at the end of April:

  • Roth IRA: Completed YTD goal --> 100% Complete! I maxed out my 2021 Roth IRA contribution limit in February 2021.

  • Pre-Tax 401k: YTD goal: On-Track --> Pre-tax is Complete! Recent news and speculation over future changes in the tax code has made me reconsider the Roth 401k, especially since my taxable brokerage account will grow over the years and represent a sizeable chunk of my portfolio at retirement. Therefore, I will add a Roth 401k goal to track progress towards the remaining $10.6K available to contribute this year.

  • After-Tax 401k: YTD goal: On-Track. I frontloaded my after-tax contributions and devoted nearly all of my 3 paychecks in April towards maxing this bucket out.

  • Emergency Fund: ⛔️ YTD goal: Delayed. My Emergency Fund decreased this month since I used some for living money and home renos.

  • FI Investment:YTD goal: On-Track. I decided to decouple my taxable brokerage account goals and secondary loan goals. I contributed an additional $5K towards my secondary loan this month, and do not plan to contribute further.

Overall, my April 2021 FI Contribution goals were ✅ On-Track (4/5 goals). Roughly, my expected completion goals are After-Tax 401k (May), Roth 401K (end of June), Emergency Fund (September), Taxable Brokerage Account (November).

2. Monthly Discretionary Spending

At the outset of the year, my annual goal allowed for $20K in discretionary spending, split about equally between food and other spending. On a monthly basis, this allows for $1666.67/month of total discretionary spending, which I have rounded down to $1600/month to make it easier to track. In my Discretionary Spending chart below, I perform an easy sum of what my credit card company categorized as food/groceries, and then dump the remainder of my credit card transactions into the "Spending" bucket. This is where I get my "Unadjusted" number from, since it is the raw transaction totals coming from my credit card. From there, I deduct out reimbursements, shared expenses, and alternative spending categories to get my "Actual" number for the month. Finally, the "Budgeted" category is simply what I allowed myself for the month.

Here's how I did in April:

  • Food: ⛔️ Above Monthly Spending Target. I overspent on food and groceries by about $100. I'm fine with it.

  • Spending: ⛔️ Above Monthly Spending Target. Going forward, I plan to keep my secondary property shared expenses embedded into this number, but adjusted for $391 of purchases that will be reimbursed by a third party. A few large expenses this month included some gifts, a vacuum robot, and cell phone booster.

Overall, my April 2021 Discretionary Spending goals were ⚠️ Off-Track (0/2 goals).

3. Monthly Flows Breakdown

This section breaks down all the money coming out of my checking account for the month. It may not match up all the way with money in any of the previous sections, since I sometimes pay the entire previous month's credit card bill and/or pre-pay my credit card to reduce the ultimate monthly balance.

Overall, my March 2021 Monthly Flow was ✅ On-Track.

4. Self-Care

My self-care seems to have pocket of optimism but no resilient and sustainable plan. This past month, I tried committing to exercising 3x/week, and in practice made it 3x/week one week and 2x/week most other weeks. I practiced letting things fail at work and closing my laptop at 6p to do something else in the evening, which was nice for a couple weeks. I am concerned that I am on the road to burnout, and will seek to address this head on.

Overall, my April 2021 Self-Care 🤥 Needs Improvement.


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