Spend Report – August 2018

Spending Report August 2018

This entire year has been rough when it comes to spending. There has just been a spend bug in my body the entire year. A lot of it is stuff I actually use – or services that make my life better. But as I want to FI, I need to find the areas that spark joy and truly do make my life better for the expense. One of these things has been fake lashes. I love them, but fuck they’re expensive. I go to a great woman, and I technically need a fill next week, but I honestly don’t know if I’m going to go. I should, but it’s so, so, so incredibly expensive. Ugh. And I’ve been into eye makeup more, and the lashes do kind of get in the way…¬† I probably won’t go.

Anyways, what you came here for:

My August Spend Report

A Brief Note on My Expenses: I live with my boyfriend who charges me $550 in rent for rent/utilities/groceries. Recently, I’ve been into credit card churning and have been paying for groceries, Netflix, and Hulu rather than giving him $550 a month. I reconcile this monthly and carry forward any remaining negative balance. Some groceries I do pay for myself and don’t bill him (like if it’s part of a Target run).

I break my categories into Category1 and Category2, Category2 is a sub-category of Category1. I try to get as detailed as possible in my Excel budgeting model. If I go to Target, I break out every item. If I go to the grocery store and only buy groceries- I lump it all together, but if I buy household items, they get categorized accordingly.

Below is my August 2018 Spending, This is a Pivot Table in Excel. I’ve purposefully broken out Category2 for Certain Categories

August 2018

In Review

This was a heavy spending month. I spent more than I have left over after I invest and save cash. $3,064 is definitely a lot of spend. Thankfully, most of that increase were due to unforeseen expenses (or foreseen, since I did have savings for them.

A few specifics:

  • Annual There were a lot of gifts this month!
    • My boyfriend’s birthday is next month. I bought him a very expensive, very nice kitchen knife.
    • My mom needed a new purse so I bought her one.
    • Our friend’s baby turned 1!
  • Personal Care I spend a lot of money on myself. Mainly on beauty.
    • High End Make Up stands out, Sephora had a 20% off sale so I got the < a href=”https://amzn.to/2LLRVLk”&gt; Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer</a> . I also made a stop at Ulta because I needed more eyebrow pencils.
    • Skin Care Stands out as well. Turns out I’m a sucker for everything Drunk Elephant. But in reality, I needed to refill my Vitamin C and buy a full sized Glycolic Acid . I had the mini, it was time to upgrade!
    • I also decided to purchase a meal plan from the fitness trainer I’ve been working with.
  • Transportation Car repairs
    • This month I needed my oil changed. It also came with $800 in car repairs. A cracked radiator, something wrong with the gas fumes leaving the car (I reported it). It adds up. But I love my mechanic! and the 2003 Hyundai Sonata chugs along.
    • This also came with ~$30 in Uber rides since I didn’t have a car for 3 days.
  • <strong> Household</strong> New furniture!
    • Although I’m not paying for it, my boyfriend bought a new coffee table and rug this month. We’re adulting pretty hard and this is definitely an abnormal expense.
  • <strong> Business</strong> Buying Domains and Ads
    • I started my venture into earning money online! Read that post here (if no link, it isn’t written yet ūüôā )

<h4> All of the Unusual Expenses added up to 40% of my monthly spend </h4>

August 2018 Unusual


<h3> Lessons and Spend for Next Month </h3>

September should calm down a little bit. Maybe. I’m anticipating getting my hair done, which will be anywhere from $200 – $600, depending on if I choose to get extensions or not. I’ve always wanted to try them and can fit them into my budget. I may or may not get lashes (eeek, what to do). I also plan on throwing a huuuge 25th Halloween themed birthday party. So shopping for that will definitely add up as well.

I should have fewer business expenses, although I plan to build up my Poshmark and upgrade this Website to WordPress business, which is another $200.

I have a feeling the rest of the year is going to be expensive. But as long as I keep contributing to my Brokerage, Roth, and Cash savings without skipping a deposit, I’ll be okay.


Finances My Finances Spending Reports

Foxxy Female Finance Fridays (FFFF) – Designer on a Dime

FFFF Poshmark

Helllooo! I hope everyone had a great week! This Friday I’m going to focus on how to get designer items for pennies on the many, many dollars they cost new (and some used).

While you can find many awesome finds at Goodwill and sicount stores, if you look really, really hard and often- I’ve found the best place to buy new-to-me items is Poshmark

Poshmark is the Best Platform to Buy Used

While yes, this is me pushing to buy from my Poshmark store and use my referral code, MeredithFoxx, when you sign up, I do genuinely love Poshmark.

I’m not going to lie, if I want the experience of going to the store, oogling over all the leather and chrome, and being serviced like a Queen- I’ll buy new. If there’s something that would break my heart in two if it was used- I’ll buy new. But for many accessories or even expensive clothing, I’ll buy used.

Prime examples of buying used, designer sunglasses. Okay, so one, all designer sunglasses are made in essentially the same factory. Sorry, but there’s no difference between the $20 Target glasses and the $650¬†Balenciaga pair, except the label on the glasses- and the price you ultimately pay. However, I will pay $100 for designer glasses when the original price is $450. They’re an accessory and chances are I’m wearing a $10 shirt. I personally like to focus on shoes, bags, and other accessories because I can use them every day.

I’m also not about to drop $125 on a pair of Lulu Lemon leggings, no matter how cute they are. But I will spend $50 on a slightly used pair.

You get the idea, bougie on a budget is Poshmark.

Oh! On Luxury goods, Poshmark will guarantee authenticity as well. So no worries there!

The Other Perk of Poshmark

The other perk of Poshmark is that you can sell your stuff too! When you sign up use my code MFoxx21. Selling your stuff not only de-clutters your space, but also puts cash in your pocket.¬† It’s really easy to sell on and super fun to meet other sellers!

Do you sell on Poshmark? Or Tradesy? What’s your experience been so far?

Extra Income Female Fridays

August 2018 Multiple Income Stream (MIS) Report


MIS August 2018


My main financial goal- besides killing it at my 9-5 job, is to create multiple streams of income. Multiple… semi-passive streams of income. I already have money invested, but I need <em> more</em> coming in the door to meet my¬†goals faster. I also need a hobby. Or, hobbies. And a great hobby is one that you can make some money doing. A great hobby is also something that produces rather than consumes.

I’ve decided on making money online as my best side hustle options. It’s relatively low cost to get into and is kind of like a puzzle. Everyone says making money online is so <em> easy</em>. You can make <strong> $10,000</strong> a month online through Affiliate marketing and niche sites!!!

The thing is, I believe them. I believe it can be done and I want to make that type of side income. Just like <a href=”https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/”&gt; Pat Flynn </a> over at Smart Passive Income, I want ridiculous earnings.

But I want my earnings to be meaningful. I want to help people and I want to see other people be successful.

<h2> My Attempt in Month One </h2>

This month, August 2018 I bought this domain and another. I’ve wanted to start a finance blog for a while and I’m finally doing it! My other site is dedicated to <a href=”https://expertsecrets.com/?cf_affiliate_id=1267291&affiliate_id=1267291″&gt; Clickfunnels</a> . I read through <a href=”https://expertsecrets.com/?cf_affiliate_id=1267291&affiliate_id=1267291″&gt; Expert Secrets</a> which is a Free book (just pay shipping and absolutely believe everything Russel talks about. I’m aiming to purchase a Clickfunnels account later this year to try my¬†hand at marketing.

In conjunction to the ClickFunnel’s website, I did a Facebook Ad Campaign. I was fairly impressed with the ease of setting it up. While the campaign itself was disappointing, you can read about it here, I definitely learned something and took value away from the process.


I plan on using FB Ad manager again, if that’s how you found this website then cool! Welcome, and I hope you enjoy ūüôā

<h2> In Summary </h2>

While this month has overall been negative, $300 for one domain, $96 for another, and $40 in FB Ads, I am not giving up on Affiliate marketing. Or, this blog (duh!). This is my main outlet right now and I love it. As of this entry, I only have about 6 other blog posts. But I hope this develops into an archive I can look back at and reference, and hopefully  other people can too!


Are you into Affiliate Marketing? How much per day are you earning?

Extra Income

I’m Holding on to Too Much Cash – Will I Regret it?

Too Much Cash


I’ve reached the point with my finances where I have options. While I can’t have everything, I can have anything if I set my mind to it. And while I lean to be more conservative with my spending habits, I do love nice things. I always have. Even while I was growing up in a house-poor household with maxed out credit cards, I wanted a Louis Vuitton. Now, I had no idea how money worked, and the important difference between saving and investing.

Where My Savings/Investments Go

Currently, I contribute $1,211/ every two weeks (or 26 times a year) to my brokerage/Roth and $500 to my HYSA. Meaning every paycheck I’m saving almost 30% as cash. This doesn’t include money I fully intend to spend, like for the holidays, my cat, or a vacation.

Right now, cash is sitting at 21% of my NW. With my current rate of contribution, cash will ultimately reach 24.4% of my NW before decreasing- assuming I don’t spend any of it.

But that’s just it, I do plan on spending this money. Just not at Sephora. hah.

Big Life Events

I call this my “Big Life Events” Fund. The general rule of thumb is if an event is >5 years away, don’t put it in the stock market. And, while I don’t plan on buying a house in less than 5 years, I do if the market retracts. And if the market goes down and my savings for a house is in the market, well, there goes my savings until the market recovers.

I want to be prepared for if/when the market takes a nose dive.

I also want to be prepared for:

  • An Emergency (duh, some of this money is my emergency fund)
  • My annual max out of pocket
  • A new-to-me car in ~2 years
  • A potential down payment on a house
  • Replacing my laptop (even though I’m kind of saving elsewhere)
  • A pet emergency
  • I have really bad teeth, over my life I’ll need ~$40k in dental work
  • A Loss of job
  • Taking time off of work if I burn out
  • etc.

For me, there is no Plan B if I lose my job. There is no safety net other than the one I create to catch me if I fall.¬† I was very poor once upon a time, but I won’t let it happen again.

What Cash Makes me Lose Out On

I save $13,000 in cash a year (if everything go according to plan [it doesn’t]). On this $13,000 I make 1.085% currently.

Over a decade, if I were to invest it I would come out with $192,000 at 7% return. By saving it, I would come out with $144,000, or a difference of $52,000.

$52,000 is a lot to lose out on over a decade. $52,000 could be one year earlier of committing to FIRE.

But one year earlier doesn’t compensate for a cash security net right now. Perhaps once I get to a certain number and have a more reliable care I’ll invest more of it. But for now, I’ll stay a little cash rich.

How much cash do you hold on to?

Finances financial independence My Finances

August 2018 – My Road to Financial Independence

My Road to Financial Independence 201808


This is the introductory post to my journey to Financial Independence. I’ll probably do these quarterly or even semi-annually, with a large one done every January for a true annual check-up.

My current goal is to fatFIRE between 45 and 50 with $3.5Million in invested assets. This does not include any equity in property or cash. With this fatFIRE amount, I’ll be able to take 3+ international vacations a year, buy whatever I want, and maintain a very fun and social lifestyle. This amount would also mean I no longer have a mortgage or am very close to paying the house off. I assume if I have a partner at this time, they’ll have their own assets or will continue to work.

This number can always change, and who knows, once I’m fully FI I may not want to Retire Early. But this is my goal for now.

My Road Map to My Current Status

September 2014

-$25k Networth

May 2015

-$16k Networth

January 2016

$0 Networth!

  • $4,500 in a 401(k)
  • $4,500 in student loans left

March 2016

  • Debt Free!
  • Salary increase to $70k, still contributing 10% to 401(k)

January 2017

  • $18k Networth
  • Emergency fund funded!

January 2018

  • $50k Networth

August 2018

  • $93k Networth
    • $18k Cash Savings
    • ¬†$7k Checking/Savings that will be used eventually
    • $68k Invested in RothIRA, 401(k), HSA, and brokerage
    • $2K in Crypto, going to HODL this
    • Currently have 2k on my credit card (this gets paid monthly)

Current and Future Goals

I turn 25 this October and my goal by January 2019 is to be worth >$100k. Right now I’m on track to be there, I just need to be careful with holiday spending. I’m also throwing a large birthday party in October and I’ll need to monitor those costs.

My current job does not have a 401(k) and maxes my HSA for me. So I have no pre-tax savings on my income.¬† Of my take home pay, I invest 47% and save 19% for a total savings of 66%. I do save other monies, but it’s all earmarked to be spent (i.e. I save money to travel, but don’t include it in the 19% savings above). The cash savings above is for various things, a new car, getting my teeth done, maybe a boob job, maybe for a one-day wedding, a house down payment, etc.¬† This is also my emergency fund (although that is currently fully funded).

If I want to buy myself something nice and “save” for it, that money also come from elsewhere, not from my cash savings.

In 2019 my goal is to invest $45k and save $6,000 cash.¬† Ideally, if the markets stay stable my net worth at the end of 2019 will be slightly over $150k. But the faster my NW grows, the better. I’d love to push for $200k. I also don’t make “Net worth” goals in the short term, the market crashing is out of¬† my control. Most of the money from my 2019 goal can come from my main income. But, I strive to diversify my income as well. Follow those pursuits in my Extra Income category!

financial independence My Finances

Financial Independence – What it Means to Me

Financial Independence What it Means to Me

Financial Independence has Changed my Life

We all dream of the day we can retire. When we’re in our 60’s and can sit around, binge Netflix, travel, spend time with family, and most importantly- do whatever the fuck we want when we want.

This is years away, it seems like a lifetime away, and to be frank, it kind of is. You prepare for adulthood for 22 years, work for 40, and relax for, maybe 20 if you’re lucky while your body slowly shuts down.

That’s no life I want to live.

But I also don’t want to be the stupid twenty something, going into debt and blowing through cash now in order to experience everything right now and face the consequences later.

There is a middle ground, and it’s called Finance Independence / Retire Early or FIRE. Fire is the financial concept that you can have your cake and eat it, too. You can have the live you want and live it for 40+ years rather than maybe 20.

So, What is Financial Independence?

Financial Independence isn’t ‘Fuck You’ money. While it can be used as that in dire circumstances, Financial Independence is a nest egg that you have built and invested to live the rest of your life on. Now how do you do that?

Take your future expenses and multiply them by 25. That is how much you need to have invested (some people say a mix of saved/invested, but I’m conservative, so invested) in order to be Financially Independent.

So, if you need $30,000 a year to survive, you would take $30,000 x 25 = $780,000 to be Financially Independent. Note the $30,000 is the pre-tax amount you would withdraw, and from many accounts would have to pay taxes on it.

There’s a lot that goes into that $30,000 or cost of living number. This is why it is critical to track your spending and anticipate future spending (kids, kids college, moving, relatives moving in, illness, etc.).

I want to be Financially Independent so I can choose how to live out the rest of my life and spend my days. It also adds a huge security to one’s life.

<h2> What is Retire Early </h2>

It’s exactly what you think it is! Retire before 65, or more and more so, before 67. Many people who FIRE try to do so in their late thirties to late forties. But anyone retiring before 65 by choice should be celebrated as retired early.


I’m not quite sure if I’ll retire early once I’m at a comfortable level of Financial Independence. It’ll depend on where I am at in life, how many kids I have/want, how much I love my job, etc.


But, Financial Independence gives me options and freedom- and that’s what I want most. The freedom to wake up at 8am, or 9am, or 4am. The freedom to have brunch at 11am on a Wednesday or sip mimosas in a hot tub on a Tuesday morning. Life is about choices, and this is my financial choice.

financial independence

Foxxy Female Finance Fridays (FFFF) – Drugstore Dupes for High End Loves

I’m a bougie bitch. I love nice things, but I also love having a secure future and saving money. It’s a constant battle, it really is. I’ve been Sephora Rouge the past 2 years and I’m going to maintain it through 2019 (Only $97 more dollars!). Their Surprise VIB sales is going on right now and I have¬† basket sitting at $308 even after the 20% discount. I mean, half of it is refills and I constantly tell myself I’ll find a cheaper option, but I don’t.

I want my makeup to feel luxurious.  I want the packaging to be heavy. I want an experience. Doing my makeup is one of my favorite hobbies, I value the time I spend in front of my vanity, sipping a La Croix or a mixed drink and watching Netflix or Youtube videos.

I like having products I can use in the morning to get ready fast and are forgiving, to have products that last all night (and then some). I love playing with new products.

But, ya girl is still on a budget, and while I budget way too much for makeup, I still love the drugstore. If it works, it works.

My Top 5 Drugstore Dupes for High End Makeup

1. Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips for Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick

Physician’s Formula is a brand I always forget about, but they have so many gems. Their shimmer strips are actually some of the first makeup I ever bought when I was 21. I wanted to try the Bobbi Brown shimmer brick but on my previous budget there was no way I could afford a $48 anything. The Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips for $10.58 were much more affordable and did the job. I still use them too! (Though, they have probably expired…)

2. Swap Tarte’s Exposed for Milani’s Romantic Rose

Milani is the Queen of the drugstore. Their products are all killer, especially their lip liners, their lipsticks, and blushes. Sadly, my < ahref=”https://amzn.to/2P4QVEa”&gt; Romantic Rose died while we were on vacation in Cabo. It is the perfect dupe for Tarte’s Exposed .¬† I love Tarte Blushes, but I often don’t find a lot of blushes to be worth the price. Romantic Rose will definitely be a repurchase for me.

3. What’s Better Than Sex? Paradise. Lash Paradise.

Too Face’s famous racey named mascara, Better Than Sex, has many dupes. And for $24 I can totally see why. For all the high end makeup I’ve bought, I’ve actually never bought high end mascara. I guess $80 skincare calls my name more than $30 mascara. But really, l’Oreal’s Lash Paradise for $8 is the best mascara out there. I’ve repurchased it over 5 times.

4. Literally any Matte Lipstick, swap it with ColourPop!

I cannot say enough good things about Colourpop, their liquid matte listick is a dupe for so many shades of other brands. I think the high end brand it even beats out (most of the time!) is Smashbox’s liquid matte shades. I love Smashbox’s matte liquid lip range, and they stay on for >24 hours. But if you’re on a budget and don’t want to spend¬† over $20 for a lipstick or want a ton of colors, Colourpop’s $6.50 per lipstick is the way to go.

5. Swap Hoola for Butter

I made the swap recently, saying goodbye to my $27 Hoola Bronzer and hello to Physician Formula’s Butter Bronzer for $6. I am SHOOK. this bronzer is AMAZING. It is smooooth and blends so well. It looks natural, like Hoola and is not orange at all. The packaging is a little bulky and broke when I traveled recently. But for a $21 savings, I’ll let it pass.

In Summary

There are a plethora of dupes out there! I find that mascara, bronzer, and highlighter are all easy to find at the drugstore for amazing quality and better prices. Foundation at the drugstore can be hit or miss, although Maybelline’s Dream Satin foundation is amazing.

As far as picking between high end and drugstore. I am a treat yo’self within reason type of girl. Also, the beauty of Sephora is that you can return everything! So if it doesn’t meet your $40 expectations, return it!

Female Fridays Finances