Income/Expenses For January 2013

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 January 2013:

$4,155–Regular Paycheck
$592–Bonus and Spiffs

Total Income: $4,905

Expenses from January 2013:

$189–Student Loans
$93–Fast Food and Pizza
$61–Public Transportation
$40–Mobile Phone
$21–Everything Else*

Total Expenses: $1,190

*The Everything Else category includes expenses I don’t have a regular budget for. In this case it was a birthday present and card for my youngest sister. She turned 22!

Income was slightly below last month, but expenses were almost the same down to the penny. It’s amazing that with enough persistence and diligence one can be so consistent with expenditures. 

The reason my Bonus income was so high is due to the fact that I received a $500 Christmas bonus from work. I record income and expenses as they hit my accounts, so even though I actually received the check at the end of December 2012, the money didn’t actually get deposited until early January. This was due to me being out of town for the holidays. Dividends were slightly below my forward-looking average, as my dividend income is still a bit volatile on a monthly basis due to the fact that I’m still building my portfolio, and many of the companies I’m invested in pay on a March-June-September-December schedule. My regular income was very nice, but was artificially inflated as I decided to cash out a couple days of vacation pay I had left. My anniversary at work crosses over every February and I didn’t have anywhere to go, so I simply took a couple days as cash.

Food was down quite a bit over December’s total. I spent $243 on all food-related expenses. That’s really not bad, as that is not only food for me, but I also take my girlfriend and I out for lunch or dinner at least a couple times a month. If I can stay somewhere around this level for food every month I’d be very happy, however I do know February is going to be much higher due to a very expensive Valentine’s Day dinner.

January was a great month in terms of expenses. I didn’t get too crazy with anything and there weren’t any unexpected bumps in the road. It was a very smooth month, and it’s a great start to 2013!

I managed to save 75.7% of my net income this month. Not one of my highest months ever, but still very, very strong and I’m really proud of that. Hopefully this month sets a precedent for the rest of the year!

My goal is to average a 60% savings rate of my net income, monthly. So far, I’ve hit rates of:

75.7% – January 

I’m sitting above the average so far, and I look forward to sticking to my guns and crossing that 60% savings mark this year.  I don’t anticipate any large expenses for at least the next few months. I may travel back to Michigan in a few months, but other than that everything should go smooth. I do know February is going to be high due to Valentine’s Day and April has a couple of birthdays as my father and girlfriend both share that month.

How are your budgets going?

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: RambergMediaImages


  1. Anonymous says

    Great job, we hit 68% this month and that is close to what we budget for the full year. My objective for this year is that we will get above 70% but it will be hard with a third kid on the way in June.

    Regards – Oskar

    • says


      Awesome job there. Saving that much of your income while raising a family is certainly admirable. Keep it up!

      I don’t plan on ever having children, but know if I did it would make it more difficult to keep doing what I’m doing. Of course, at that point my goals and life would be much different.

      Best regards!

    • Anonymous says

      Well if you do have kids some day at that point you will probably also have your house paid off and significant investment making it possible to contiue saving loads of money:-) That is how we have it…

  2. says

    Good work again this month, DM. January is a welcome break from the spending of the holidays in November/December and V-Day in February. Enjoy your fancy dinner. I know my wife and I will probably eat some shellfish or something else festive.

    • says

      Headed Home,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Yeah, January is definitely a nice break from the spending that I know will be present in February. If I can end up above 60% for the month of February, I’ll be happy.

      Enjoy the shellfish! I love seafood and wish I ate more. Especially sushi! :)

      Best wishes.

    • says


      Thanks for the kind words.

      You touch on an interesting phenomenon. I have found that I like saving even more as my savings continue to build. I suppose it’s easy to spend your money when you’ve got no money in the bank. I guess you just take an attitude of “what difference will it make?” Of course when you have lots of money in the bank you actually know the answer to that question: “Quite a bit!”

      Best wishes.

    • says


      Wow, that’s really kind of you. I appreciate it!

      I don’t know how old your son is, but it took me a while to come around. I didn’t start this journey to early retirement/financial independence until I turned 28 years old. Before that I was financially clueless.

      Take care!

    • says


      Thanks so much! I know that you’ve already “been there and done that”, so to speak…so coming from you that means a lot.

      Keep up the great work over on your side. You’re doing so much to educate and inspire people. Keep fighting the good fight!

      Best wishes.

    • says


      It’s definitely nice to spend less in fuel for the month than most of my co-workers spend on lunch for one day.

      Although I’m not sure how long I can keep it up. I live in an optimal part of the city for using the bus and scooter. If I were to ever move (something I think about sometimes, especially if I were to buy a house or condo) then the bus would probably very difficult or impossible and the scooter would also be very difficult. I hand picked the location I’m in now for its location and ease of living without a car. It’s one of the few places in the entire city like this.

      I do know that going mostly car-free over the last couple years has been one of the best financial decisions I’ve ever made. You don’t really realize what a wallet drain a car is until you’re free of it.

      Take care!

    • says

      Why would you move? Sonds like you have a great set up. I know when I move I will be looking fir some place closer to work to reduce fuel costs. Take care. I know whatever you decide will be well thought out

    • says


      A move would only come if I were to buy a condo or a home. It’s something I go back and forth on. I really enjoy renting because I know it’s cheaper and it allows me to be somewhat capable of being geographically independent.

      However, I sometimes think it would be nice to have a spot that I can “settle” into. It’s a bit of a tug-of-war that goes on in my head. It’s all driven by emotions, because I believe that I’m financially better off renting.

      There was a house for sale about 2 miles away from my work that was going for $80k recently. Not bad, but again how long will I be working at my current job? What sense would owning a house near that particular employer make then? None. So…there’s that.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      No doubt that my decisions are well thought out. I live in my own head and sometimes I spend way too much time there! :)

      Best wishes.

    • says

      I have this same debate with myself. I hate paying rent and would love to have my own place for emotional as well as financial reasons, but I like the flexibility of renting. I know that that I would be able to do a studio apt and be just fine. That is what I plan on doing when my current lease is up.

  3. says

    i think the best way to eat healthy and save money is really to understand what works and how it helps you.

    If you optimize the amount you need to workout, you save money that way.

    you understand processed food is going to cause more harm (compounding problems) you would stop that.

    if you understand having a challenge and working out with a pull up regime that kills, you can save much money by not having a gym member ship.

    • says


      Great points there.

      I would agree that eating right may be more expensive in the short-term, but more beneficial in terms of health (and therefore, potentially cheaper) in the long-run. Decreasing health costs by eating better is a great idea. I just happen to really like bad food, and it’s not really just an economic decision to eat cheaply. :)

      Best wishes!

    • says


      My girlfriend pays the electricity. I pay for the internet. It works out pretty close, and like I mentioned above I almost always pay when we go out.

      I don’t have any insurance. I don’t have a car, so no need for car insurance. I don’t own a home, so no need for home insurance. I plan on getting health insurance later this year so that I’m not fined.

      Best regards!

  4. Anonymous says

    Dear Mantra

    You say that you workout regularly and want to stay extremely fit. Yet you spent $93 in fast food and Pizza! Isn’t that counter productive?

    Please cut those out. Processed food is incredibly bad for you but you already know that. Even at ideal weight you might be clogging your arteries.

    Love your strategy and wish you the best! We retired 2 months ago at the ago of 44 from Wall Street stressed out jobs. No regrets and loving it.

    • says


      Thanks for stopping by, and equally thanks for looking out for me. It’s much appreciated.

      To be honest, the “fast food” category is actually rarely truly fast food in the traditional sense. I don’t own a car, so “drive thru” has been off the menu for quite a while. Rather, that category includes anything that isn’t made at home and also isn’t at a traditional sit-down restaurant. For instance, we live right across the street from a mall and eat take-out maybe once a month or so. That goes under the “Fast Food and Pizza” category.

      In addition, I do take-out pizza at least once a month. I feed myself along with my girlfriend and her child with this budget a lot of the time.

      Congratulations on retiring so early in life. That’s truly amazing, and exactly what I’m trying to accomplish. You are in rarefied company. Enjoy it!!!! :)

      Best wishes!

  5. Ken says


    Sat down with my wife last night and poured through our expenses. Actually pulled up your blog with her at the table to compare our bloated expenses to your streamlined approach. But it looks like your expenses are just your own and not necessarily “household” expenses. Do you have any idea what you are spending in total every month between the entire family? Or has that been posted somewhere else on this blog? Just wanted to do a fair comparison and look hard at where we can cut!

    • says


      Great job deciding to sit down and tackle expenses together. Communication and being open-minded is key to conversations like that.

      I do not post my girlfriend’s budget on my blog, because, frankly, she doesn’t want the world to know and it doesn’t really matter to what I’m trying to do. She makes her own money and spends her own money. We only share rent, utilities and the occasional food.

      I can tell you she spends slightly less than I do. She doesn’t have student loans to contend with, and spends less in food and transportation (she’s also car-free). However, she has a child, so that brings some other expenses up.

      I hope that helps! Best of luck with trying to cut expenses.

      Take care!

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