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).
$200–Bonus and Spiffs
Total Income: $3,990
Expenses from October 2011:
$21–Fast Food and Pizza
Total Expenses: $1,106
*The Everything Else category includes things I don’t have a regular budget for. In this case, it was gifts. My mother and one of my sisters both share a birthday in October. I spent ($50) on an Amazon gift card for my mom and ($25) on a gift card to American Eagle, a clothing retailer, for my sister. I also bought two cards and stamps ($3). My girlfriend and I also celebrated our 2-year anniversary together. I purchased ($21) a camisole she liked and some flowers ($6).
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 was much of the same. Although these reports may come across as boring and repetitive, these budgets are the result of focused work and extremely frugal living. I’m most proud of these budgets out of everything I’m doing to attain early retirement and financial independence.
Income was great. Anytime I can earn almost $4,000 in net income in one month I feel blessed. I had a great month at work and everything went very smoothly for me. I tend to work 50+ hours per week and feel appropriately compensated for my time and skills. My total income total from this month was only $5 different from what I earned last month, which was very interesting.
Expenses were as expected. I really tried to get my expenses below the $1,100 mark, but once again I failed at that. All in all, I’m pretty proud of where everything landed. The restaurant expense was due to a nice dinner out with my significant other as we celebrated two years together. The internet expense was lower than last month, as this included only one full month and will likely be my expense total going forward. The food expenses were lower than last month, and total food expenses landed at $168, which is right under what I target.
Rent came in at $452, which is my half of our $900 rent on our 2-bedroom apartment. I pay online, and it unfortunately comes with a $2 processing fee. This expense is fairly low and I don’t see rent ever going much lower than this. My public transportation costs were higher than normal. This is due to our bus system raising fares from $0.75 per one-way ride to $1.25 per one-way ride.
One note to consider is that my expenses will likely be rising over the next couple months. I have to purchase a plane ticket to fly home to Michigan for Christmas and I’ll also have some small expenses for gifts for the holiday season. One of my sisters has a birthday in January, so there will be a small expense for that as well.
I managed to save 72.2% of my net income this month, which is fantastic. I don’t think I can improve a whole lot on this number and am very satisfied with that mark.
My goal is to average a 50% savings rate of my net income, monthly. So far, I’ve hit rates of:
I am now at an average of 57.3% 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