Monthly report: November 2012

Monthly report: November

Tomatoes in the garden during November

It’s been a big month.

In many ways, it has been a poor month financially. Spending is up, savings are down but there have been several positives to come out of the rubble. The month has included many gifts purchased for Christmas and there have been several functions for work that are expensive (and compulsory). November is one of the most expensive months for me.

It has been a great month for the blog with readership growing strongly, subscriptions taking off and more followers on twitter. I have done two guest posts over at Monster Piggy Bank and Frugal Rules. Go check them out!

Financial summary

  • Saving rate: 53.50% of net income (-10.04%)
  • James’ spending: 25.5% of his income (+6.5%)
  • Theoretical investment income^: 13.17% of money spent this month (+0.17%)
  • Mortgage reduced by: 3.21% (-1.49%)
  • Net worth: 3.43 years of living expenses*  (+2.3 months)
  • Years until financial independence**: 14.26 years (+5 years)

*Target living expenses, not actual – target is about 25% of current net income
**If we saved this much each month
^Is our net worth x 0.07%/12, to give a monthly return assuming our whole net worth was in an index fund returning 7% a year.

I’m still pretty happy with my savings rate, and a lot of things went well but just not quite as well as last month. The time until financial independence is a bit deceptive because it assumes that spending will continue forever at the rate it did this month. When I have a few more months of data, I’ll base it on a rolling average of the last six months.

 Overall financial picture

November report: Click to enlarge

Black = Net income
Red = Expenses
Green = Theoretical investment income

The beauty of this overview, is that when the expense line is regularly eclipsed by the investment income line, it means I will have reached financial independence. It’s great fun to watch the two bottom lines coming closer together.

November’s blog stats

  • Blog visits: 920 (+686%)
  • Page visits: 4,571 (+578%)
  • Twitter followers: 171 (+50%)
  • RSS Subscribers: 57 (1,425%)
  • Alexa rank: 333,852
  • Revenue: $1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Goals for December

I’m going to try to be more accountable with my goals. I’m going to set them monthly and work out whether I achieved them the following month.

  1. Do a guest post per week
  2. Post three times a week
  3. Keep my personal spending rate below 25%


Overall a bit of a down month financially, but the blog is going well. Plus, with the $1 in revenue I’m officially in the money.

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Monthly report: November 2012 — 37 Comments

  1. Hey James, really like this post – especially the financial summary bit. I’ll start doing a monthly summary myself, but you’re way ahead of me… :)
    Also, congrats on your first $ and good blog stats!


    • Thanks Chris. It feels really good to be paid even a dollar to do something that is so enjoyable and keeps me on track.

      If you think keeping these stats would help you should! It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at, it will help anyone

  2. Wow…first time I’ve caught one of these monthly reports. Living on 50% of your income is quite impressive. What types of things are you invested in to generate your investment income?

    • At the moment it’s a theoretical number based on networth and average sharemarket returns. I’ll be opening a vanguard index fund account soon and the number will change to my actual passive investment returns.

  3. I love how you post how many years you have until Financial Independence! That is a great way to keep your goal in front of you so that you know what to strive for. I might just have to figure that out what that would look like for my wife and I!

  4. Yeah, I am really, really, impressed with your savings rate. As your income rises so will that savings rate. Congrats on your first buck! Is it gonna go in a frame or in the bank? Ha ha…

  5. I am so jealous that you can grow tomatoes in November. Living in Canada the snow gets in the way…lol. Congrats on the stats. I think you are doing well. My site took a while to grow so don’t get discouraged. Good luck with the guest posts. Feel free to submit one or two for my site.

    • Thanks Miss T – I’ll definitely take you up on the offer. I’m not too worried about the pace of growth or anything, even though I’m tracking it. I’m just enjoying going along at my own pace. It’s pretty fun when you get into the swing of it.

  6. I could have sworn I left a comment on this post already, but I don’t see it. :( Anyways, I wanted to say that it’s awesome that you have tomatoes in November, and nice graph!

    • For some reason, your original reply and this one were caught by my spam filter! I’m not sure why that happened. Tomatoes in November is made possible by the southern hemisphere – they are looking really good at the moment. Almost every plant has two or three marble-sized tomatoes. Very exciting.

    • Thanks Jennifer – I had a similar experience recently although it was to pay me to have a post on my site with a link to theirs. The site looked dodgy and I didn’t want to do it. It would have increased my awesome take for the month by ten, but you’ve got to have standards!

  7. Thanks for guest posting this week James.

    I find tracking my progress really helps me to stay motivated. Sometimes you feel like your blog hasn’t progressed at all and then you look back at the last month and realise that things are ticking along nicely.

  8. Congrats on the $1. Don’t know why, but that first few bucks feel really good even if it figures out to be 1/10000000 of a dollar per hour spend in work. I will be out of town toward the end of the month and would be eternally grateful for a guest post if you have time. I’ll return the favor, promise.

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