Church of FI – Self-made millionaire and September expense reports

The average time it takes to become a self-made millionaire is 32 years . By the time I retire in 2021 with a net worth of over 1 million dollars, I will have put in 16 years at my current job, half the time.

In my twenties, I had other jobs, of course, like house demolition labor, swim coach, college instructor and waitress. However, none paid more than $12,000 per year and every cent was spent on surviving. Essentially, there were no savings from this early era of my life. Luckily, there was no debt either.

In 2005 when I started my “career” as a geologist, complete with livable salary and benefits, I started saving.

I started pretty simple. I contributed up to my employer’s match in my 401k and to a Roth IRA. The rest ended up in a simple savings account or was spent.

In retrospect I could have done a lot better, but this solid foundation put me in a decent financial spot when I discovered FIRE and accelerated my savings.

Net worth in 2015 = $332,896

Net worth in October 2017 = $788,200

That is an increase of $455, 304!

This gain is due in part to an increase in property value and stock market gains, but it is mostly attributed to a high savings rate. Mine is nearly 70%!

We would never have attained such a high savings rate unless we had decreased our household spending.

Decreasing your expenses is the first line of defense!

I cut my expenses in half in 2015! It was pain-free.

I track my expenses religiously. I review each line item and try to figure out what can be reduced or negotiated for a lower rate.

The large line items like housing, food and transportation are seriously addressed; the largest cuts can happen here. But, we have also negotiated lower monthly rates for our phones, internet and car insurance, saving us hundreds of dollars per year. As of today, our daily spend rate is hovering around $113. Ultimately, I would like our daily spend rate to be between $95 to $100.

Each month I review other blogs expense reports. Sometimes I get great ideas from them on how to reduce expenses even further without it being too painful.


Expense Reports

I found more blogs this month that publish their monthly expenses thanks to Rockstar Finance . Some combine their net worth and expense reports. I like to compare my spending to these reports and try to improve where I can. Here is the lowdown on September’s expenses (published in October).


The Jolly Ledger

Root of Good

Northern Expenditure

Bayalis is the Answer

Retire by 40


Mr. Tako Escapes

Financially Alert

Dividends Down Under (Savings Update)

Frugal Momster

Fiery Millennials

Trail to FI

I Retired Young


Chronicles of a Father with Cents

Done by Forty

Gen Y Finance Guy

Enough time to (New*)

Not Your Average Millennials (New*)

The FIREstarter (New*)

The Three Year Experiment (New*)

All Church of FI articles are archived under Featured Links on the Church of FI page!

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5 Responses to Church of FI – Self-made millionaire and September expense reports

  1. in two years, that networth growth is HUGE! I am getting giddy again ;).

    • says:

      I can hardly believe it myself!I get giddy too, but it also makes me impatient. It’s all but inevitable now!

  2. Thanks for the repost! People can read our spending levels and feel better about their own! 🙂 That’s a pretty impressive net worth gain. Minding the gap and saving the different really does work!

    • says:

      It was great to come across your site! Thanks for publishing your expenses, it’s helpful for everyone.

  3. Cheers for the mention TJL! 🙂

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