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Financial Freedom Update: March 2017

Welcome to my financial freedom report for March 2017. This is where I go back over the numbers from the past month and see how things went. I realize that what you focus on expands. So I am making a point to introduce a few new parts of my financial update. They are

Net worth

Expenses

Financial Freedom Factor

Savings Rate

Let’s get started and see what happened this month.

Changes in Total Net Worth

 

(As I mentioned in the inaugural net worth update. When it comes to monthly reports I’m going a different route than a lot of others. Instead of going through the nitty-gritty of every detail on my net worth statement. I’m taking a macro view so we don’t get bogged down by the details.)

 

Increase:

%

of Earned Income For The Month

 

The growth in our net worth this month really came from saving and investing our money. We have benefitted from the stock market and it’s helping grow our net worth.

This site is also turning a profit every month so that helps. It’s not huge but it’s amazing what a year can do with consistent work. If you are interested in starting your own blog I highly recommend it. You can read up on it here. 

Expenses for March

 

This month was a good spending month. We were below our target monthly expenses and it really helped out. We have also decided to start saving for a few new items that will eventually come up so it’s been nice to have a break in the expenses.

In case you are wondering how we manage our money, we have a money system that we use for all of our monthly budgeting needs. You should totally sign up for, because it’s free, and it changed my life, and others too. 

 

Compare March Spending to March of Last Year

 

One of the great things about tracking your finances for years with Personal Capital or Mint, is that you can go back and see how you did from one year to another.

This month was amazing, we managed to cut our expenses by nearly half year over year. Largely because there were a few bigger expenses this time last year. But still it feels good to konw that  we are on the right track.

My big realization is that if we are going to change our spending habits, we are going to have to change a lot of our behaviours towards spending. So far the small changes are working, we have a long way to go but I’m certain we can get there.

 

Financial Freedom Report (Total Expenses / Passive Income)

This is the most important part of my financial plan. My net worth can go up and down, or stay flat. I don’t care. What concerns me more is my financial freedom factor.

This is when you take your expenses for the month and divide it by the income you are earning passively such as income through investments, real estate and business systems.

The idea of this number is that once it equals 1, you are financially free. Anything larger than 1 requires that you either increase your income or reduce your expenses. If the number is below 1, then you are doing even better, because you are taking in more income than you spent in the month.

 

Based on this month my Freedom Factor is:

 

This is my best month since I started tracking this number. It’s because of two things:

1- March is a good month for dividends that I am holding in our portfolios and…

2- We didn’t spend a lot of money this past month. March is crazy with kid activities so we didn’t go out a lot or do much of anything besides shuttling the kids around to their different activities. It’s a boring month, but boring is often good for the bank accounts

It’s a boring month, but boring is often good for the bank accounts.

Something New: Savings Goal

 

One thing we have been discussing is how much money we want to save for retirement. Our goal is to get to early retirement as quick as possible.

Right now it’s looking like a 10 year goal but with effort we hope to get there quicker. To do this we are trying to save one of our salaries every month for retirement.

This month we didn’t manage to do it. While spending was down we didn’t put as much into savings as we could have. Mostly because there are a few big expenses coming up and we wanted to make sure we have enough cash on hand should they come up.

One Last Thing

If you would rather track your net worth with software Personal Capital or Mint.com are good choices. Both are completely free. 

If you are wanting to track your net worth either one is a good place to start. Personally, I absolutely love being able to see my net worth every day as it’s a huge motivator to keep making smart financial decisions.

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If you are needing a primer on net worth, you should sign up for our newsletter and get the Net Worth Template I have used for 10 years. It’s absolutely free, plus I’ll throw in some other goodies too.

Have you calculated your net worth for March? I’d love to hear how your month went, post a comment below.

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