Income/Expenses For June 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 June 2011:

$3,990–Regular Paycheck
$179–Dividends
$100–Bonus and Spiffs

Total Income: $4,270

Expenses from June 2011:

$638–Rent
$200–Student Loans
$66–Groceries
$48–Restaurants
$54–Fast Food and Pizza
$7–Pharmacy
$40–Mobile Phone
$35–Internet
$22–Public Transportation
$13–Fuel
$3–Movies
$26–Everything Else*

Total Expenses: $1,155

*-The Everything Else category includes things I don’t have a regular budget for. In this case it was gifts for the previous month, including my sisters birthday and Mother’s/Father’s Day.

As always, in the interest of full disclosure I like to display my income and expenses from every month for public view. This will catalog my journey to financial independence and prove that it is possible to achieve early retirement on relatively modest means.

Well, I’ve had my best month ever. This budget was the culmination of a journey I started last year where I became determined to cut expenses anywhere I could. This budget shows the result of cutting out my car and riding my bike/bus to and from work. It shows how I have made cuts in food, cable and the cell phone. It isn’t easy to bring my expenses to below $1,200 for a full month, but the end result is very satisfying.

I’m pretty proud of this budget, overall, and really don’t know where I’d make many more cuts. My food costs were a little high this month as I’ve been a little less strict about food and generally just enjoying my meals more. The small increase in food costs results in an exponentially higher quality of life for me. The small movie tab was due to me taking my significant other out to see a movie, and paying for slight costs over and above the free movie tickets I used from Coke Rewards. We went to see The Hangover 2. Not bad. I also had a small fuel charge due to borrowing my parents car while I was visiting up in Michigan.

I managed to save 72.9% of my net income this month. I’m extremely proud of this figure, although I don’t know if I can keep it quite this high due to the fact that my income was a little high this month. I took a week off work to visit some family and participate in some training for work. Due to this, my commission check in July will be low, and I received a small sum of vacation pay in June. Therefore, June’s income is slightly inflated and July’s will be down quite a bit.

I hope these numbers are inspiring for any frugalists out there who are determined to keep a high savings rate and invest for their future. It’s challenging, but extremely rewarding.

My goal is to average a 50% savings rate of my net income, monthly. So far, I’ve hit rates of:

52.5%-January
54.4%-February
39.9%-March
61.8%-April
35.9%-May
72.9%-June

I am now at an average of 52.9% for the year. I’m ahead of my goal and am confident I will meet and exceed a 50% savings rate average for the year.

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: RambergMediaImages

Comments

  1. says

    Inq,

    I’m not sure on buying a house. I’ve gone back and forth on owning real estate. My primary goal is to retire as early as possible…and I’m not sure that the ongoing maintenance/expenses/taxes that come with a house (even one that’s paid off) will allow me the freedom I desire. On the other hand, it would be nice to have the increased net worth that real estate can provide. I’m torn on it. It’s a daily thought of mine. We will see.

    Take care and thanks for stopping by :).

  2. says

    thanks, may be it might take a little longer to retire then but you can build positive equity (assuming markets dont fall much). :).

  3. says

    Hey Mantra,

    Well done! Your food expenses are incredibly low. This is pretty embarrassing, but my wife and I spend about $1,400 a month on food for the two of us…not including eating out. Time to start our own garden, don’t you think?

  4. says

    Inq,

    True. Of course, real estate would be another asset to allocate into and diversify my risk. I’m not against owning, but I do like the freedom renting allows. We shall see.

  5. says

    Andrew Hallam,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I don’t necessarily think $1,400/mo on food is embarrassing. It’s all relative to your income, but you know that. If you net $1 mil/year and you’re spending $400k on expenses, you are still saving 60% of your net income…which would be fantastic. I don’t make a lot of money so I need to be pretty radical if I want to retire early.

    My food costs have actually been slowly, but intentionally, rising. I find that a slight boost in food quality/quantity has an immense impact on my quality of life. I still haven’t found a sweet spot, but $180/mo in all food costs is probably pretty close to it.

    Good luck if you decide to do a garden! :)

    Take care.

  6. says

    DM,

    Your expense report is insane, I love it. Like the other comment, I spend a lot on food. Not $1400, but maybe $350-400 on groceries and an equal amount on dining out. My mortgage is more than your entire expenses for June. That has to feel like freedom. My wife and I are desperately battling expenses, mainly credit cards. We almost have them eliminated. I will save $850 a month when we have our cards paid off. Less than 2 years to go on that. Keep up the great work…

    IP

  7. says

    IP,

    It does feel like freedom. I’m anxiously trying to limit/reduce expenses every month and increase dividends to reach the “crossover point” where passive income meets expenses. It’s a long journey.

    Good luck on the debt payoff! That will feel incredible to have that off your back.

    Take care!

  8. says

    Mantra,

    It goes without saying, but excellent job managing your expenses in June. Before you know it, you will have money piled up like cord wood.

    Best,
    Selling Theta

  9. says

    Selling Theta,

    Thanks a lot. I appreciate it.

    I hope to have money piled up high by 40 years old or sooner so I can escape this rat race!

    I look forward to seeing more of your analysis!

    Keep in touch.

  10. says

    This is very impressive. The food bill in particular is so low. I eat a pretty basic diet and still spend considerably more than that on food. And $638 in rent and no electricity bill is a pretty good bargain.

    I don’t consider myself to be frugal at all. Minimalist yes, but not particularly frugal. I do not keep track of my budget, but instead just use an approach of hardly buying anything since there are few material possessions that I want, but not particularly caring when it comes to a time that I do want to buy a thing or an experience. To me, freedom of money is not having to think about money too often (unless its in investing terms, in which case I’m interested). My expenses are around $1600/month, but rent is fairly high here, and I haven’t gone carless.

    Keep up the good work.

  11. says

    Monk,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    My frugality exists as my only known measure to ensure an early retirement on relatively modest income. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t be a particularly frugal person. I never claim to be an all-star investor and am fairly conservative. I try to hit the home runs on the budget. Just the same, if I made substantially more money my expenses would probably rise in tandem (to a degree).

    $1600/month is pretty fantastic if you have a car! I was right about $1600 when I still had the car and I was pretty fussy about most expenses. Although you may not be purposefully frugal, that’s a pretty fantastic expense line.

    Thanks for the well-wishes.

  12. Shean says

    Is your regular paycheck after or before tax??
    Since you live in US don´t u need Insurance ??

    My income is 2600€ and after taxes 1900€

    260€ petrol
    300€ parents since I live with them
    400€ saving account for house
    100€ for myself. Goodies such as chocolate and ice cream :)
    100€ for car maintenance, around 1000-1200 in year with vehicle tax.

  13. says

    Shean,

    Thanks for sharing the budget!

    Your income is along the same lines as mine. We share similar earnings, but it seems my taxes are lower than yours, as I would figure.

    You could save a lot of money by forgoing a vehicle. Of course, this isn’t possible in a lot of situations..as it is barely possible in my own.

    Keep up the great work!

  14. Shean says

    I calculated that I would save only 1000-1300 from my car maintenance because public transportation cost would be almost same than my petrol cost.

    Car is almost necessary when living in small country with long distances. Many works exist at bigger cities and thats why its necessary for me to have car. Can apply jobs thats outside small town.

    Plus it takes only 35 min with car. That other choise would be cycling to train station taking train and then taking bus :P. Saves my time.

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