Income/Expenses For August 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 August 2011:

$2,973–Regular Paycheck
$60–Dividends
$141–Bonus and Spiffs

Total Income: $3,175

Expenses from August 2011:

$633–Rent
$160–Student Loans
$69–Groceries
$21–Restaurants
$70–Fast Food and Pizza
$39–Pharmacy
$40–Mobile Phone
$35–Public Transportation
$61–Everything Else*

Total Expenses: $1,131

*-The Everything Else category includes things I don’t have a regular budget for. In this case, it was moving expenses. I paid a friend of a friend $50 plus dinner to help me move. He mainly helped with big objects like the couch, washer/dryer and a couple beds and couches. Me and my significant other split the moving costs. She also paid him $50 plus gas.

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.

This month had a lot of the same as the past couple months. Income and expenses were pretty well in line. I had a minor victory with the moving costs. We originally hired a moving company due to the fact that we no longer own a car. In a blessing in disguise, our moving company canceled the night before the move was scheduled. This left us scrambling, but we found a friend of a friend that happened to have a van and needed a few extra bucks.This worked perfectly, as the moving company that we had hired were quoting $300 for the job. Of course, this extra cost came with the benefit of us not having to help at all. I’m glad to have spent a lot less and do my fair share of the moving. I saved money and got a good work out in. It’s a win-win!

You will notice I did not post any internet expenses this month. That is because Comcast is transferring my account to the new address and billing was not available this month. My bill next month will likely be higher due to this.

This will be my last month with rent as high as this. My recent move will be extremely beneficial to my monthly expenses as the new rent expense is $450/month plus water. These costs will be fully realized in October.

Food costs were pretty conservative. I view anything less than $180/month in total food costs as a victory. If I were able to give up my Saturday night pizza runs, I’d be in really great shape!

I am considering joining a gym, which will  have a negative impact on my bottom line financially, but improve my physical well-being. The apartment complex that I now live in lacks any type of true fitness center. The “fitness center”, if you can call it that, currently consists of one universal machine, two exercise bikes, one elliptical, a 20 year-old bench and an old-school barbell with about 60 lbs. in total weights. I have been using it, and I’m surprised I’m even able to get a modest work-out in…but I can be pretty creative with my background in fitness. We’ll see what happens with this. I’m disappointed that I may have to join a gym after moving, as I’m not truly saving as much money as the rent reduction would imply if additional costs are necessary in the form of a gym membership.

I managed to save 64.3% of my net income this month, which is very nice. I hope I can improve on this number in the future, and would like this number to trend closer to 70% going forward.

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
50.0%-July
64.3%-August

I am now at an average of 54% 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.

How are your budgets doing?

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: RambergMediaImages

Comments

  1. Westphalian says

    Saving 64.3% of your income means a lot of money left to invest. Great job!
    I saved about 60% of my last month’s income as well.

    Keep it up!

  2. says

    You’re on a roll DM! Keep up the great work!

    Have you thought about exercising from home? I use various workout programs (P90X, Insanity, etc.) and they provide great results.

  3. Anonymous says

    Bowflex makes a weird looking dumbell, also golds gym makes a cheaper version. You can get a pretty basic, but intense workout with dumbells. I started working out with weights in 1972 also raced mountain bikes & boxed a little. I’m still sitting in 100% cash as the markets are to dangerous right now, timing modle still has me out so I’m sleeping easy right now. May move 15% into a bond fund as they are still trending up.

  4. says

    Westphalian,

    Wow, you hit the 60% mark last month? That’s really terrific. I definitely have a lot of respect, because I know how hard it is. I only wish I made a little more money, because my percentage would be easily over 70%. Keep up the great work!

  5. says

    Henry,

    Thanks! I’m really trying my best. I know that every month I post these numbers I’m really proud because I did my absolute best. I give 100% on the savings end.

    I have considered that. The problem with such things is that I live on the second floor in a small apartment. If I start jumping around I’ll have some angry neighbors very quickly. Also…my living room is very small.

    I do have a large gym RIGHT NEXT DOOR to my apartment, which is really nice. I used a visitor pass today to check it out. I’m intrigued! We’ll see.

  6. says

    Anonymous,

    I know which dumbbell you speak of. It’s fairly expensive, if I remember correctly. The last time I looked into it, it was like $300. I agree that dumbbells can give you a fantastic workout. I’m a former competitive bodybuilder, and dumbbells were always a cornerstone of all workouts.

    I understand where you’re coming from on the investment standpoint. It’s difficult to put your money to work in this environment. I guess I have a lot of “guts” to keep investing month after month, even in the current climate. We’ll see how well those decisions serve me down the road.

    Take care!

  7. says

    DM,

    Like I’ve said in the past, that’s an impressive savings rate. Mine is currently in the 25% range. I keep telling myself I’m doing good because I’m still crushing the national average savings rate, but I could still do better.

    I’m curious. Where are your utility expenses? Specifically your power, cable and internet? My expenses are insane to the point of embarrassing.

    I applaud you on your openness. It takes some guts to display your finances publicly. I know a 70% savings rate is just around the corner for you. As your dividend income rises, so will your savings rate. That’s the beauty of dividends!

    Cheers,

    Income Pirate

  8. says

    Pirate,

    Thanks for the encouragement. 25% is a pretty strong savings rate, nothing wrong with that! You have to keep in mind that I don’t have children or a house. That can certainly affect things.

    I pay about $25 a month in water, it’s factored into my rent totals. I usually have around $40 in internet charges. This is the only month you won’t see that due to the aforementioned move. My girlfriend and I made an arrangement when we first decided to move in together..she pays the electric bill and I would pay cable/internet. Since canceling the cable the new deal is that I always pay when we go out. You’ll notice this in the restaurant tabulations. For instance, next month will have a large restaurant budget due to going out for sushi. In the end, it’s split fairly evenly. Our electric bill is usually around $70. We live in a small 2-br apartment.

    I’m looking forward to a rising savings rate with rising dividend income.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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