Income/Expenses for March 2011

Each month I will post my income/expenses for the previous month. I track every dollar in and out, so what you see is exactly what I earned and spent (rounded to the nearest dollar).

Income from March 2011:

$3,349–Regular Paycheck
$88–Dividends
$50–Bonus and Spiffs

Total Income: $3,488

Expenses from March 2011:

$635–Rent
$287–Car Payment
$180–Student Loans
$80–Auto Insurance
$95–Fuel
$72–Groceries
$42–Fast Food and Pizza
$35–Internet
$39–Pharmacy
$9–Mobile Phone
$619–Everything Else*

Total Expenses: $2,097

*The Everything Else category includes things I don’t have a regular budget for. In this case it was a battery for my car that went dead ($49),  taxes owed to the IRS due to capital gains and dividends received in 2010 ($358), a visit to the doctor and subsequent medications ($224), a gift for my father’s birthday ($16) and a website fee to Google ($10).

I managed to save 39.9% of my  net income, which is a disappointment. To be honest, I’m a little embarrassed to post this budget. I had a lot of things all converge on me at once, and a lot of the expenses truly couldn’t be helped. I’m freakishly frugal at times, but you have to pay the IRS taxes due. I can’t do anything about that. If anything, the high tax bill is just a reminder of how much money I made in the market last year. I also came down with a serious bacterial infection and had a high fever and it wasn’t getting any better with herbal medicine and dietary measures. I had to visit a doctor and get serious medication to get rid of that. It was my first visit to a doctor in probably 5 years, but when you are sick…you have to go. My car battery died right before I got sick, so I had to replace the battery in order to start my car and get to work. I still haven’t managed to get rid of the car, but with every month that goes by my plan starts to become clearer.

I did have a couple budget victories this month, namely food. I managed to get my total food expenses all the way down to $114. This is more of an absolute figure, and not something I’m going to shoot for on a regular basis. I didn’t go out to eat at all, which is a nice money-saving tactic. However, eating peanut butter sandwiches and ramen noodles most of the time does get a little weary. I basically wanted to see how low I could get this figure, and this is probably the absolute lowest I’ll ever get it; any lower and the money I save will be exponentially replaced with a loss in overall life satisfaction. The other victory was of course the income. I hit an all-time high in income and it definitely broke my previous record for a month’s worth of net income. Coinciding my all-time high in income with an outrageously expensive month is not what I had in mind, but life is funny that way.

As I posted before, my rent will be reduced once my lease ends this summer. I hope to reduce this amount by 30% or more.

My goal is to average a 50% savings rate of my net income, monthly. I hit a rate of 52.5% in January, 54.4% in February and 39.9% in March. I have averaged 48.9% over the year so far. I am slightly below my goal but am extremely confident I will be back on pace in April and the rest of the year. Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading.

Comments

  1. says

    That’s is an amazing savings rate, and you should be proud. At that rate, with proper investments, you’ll be living off dividends in the next 10-15 years! Or even better, supplement your income with dividends, and then be free to choose a job that you want, rather than a paycheck you need!

  2. says

    Thanks Pig! The plan is to be able to live on them within 12 years, so we’ll see how it goes. Although my idea of “retirement” may just be to work part-time or part of the year. I don’t particularly enjoy my type of work, so as soon as I don’t need the paycheck anymore I’ll look for more creative outlets of my time which may or may not pay me. My goal is a 50% average savings rate this year, but I may increase that by 5% per year and see how I do!

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