Income/Expenses For April 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 April 2013:

$5,067–Regular Paycheck
$233–Dividend Income
$245–Online Income/Bonus

Total Income: $5,545

Expenses from April 2013:

$486–Rent
$208–Health
$189–Student Loans
$174–Restaurants
$138–Groceries
$53–Internet
$43–Public Transportation
$40–Mobile Phone
$35–Pharmacy
$30–Gym
$13–Fast Food/Pizza/Takeout
$11–Fuel
$161–Everything Else

Total Expenses: $1,586

*The Everything Else category includes expenses I don’t have a regular budget for. This month, the category primarily consisted of the hotel room I rented ($136) for one night for my girlfriend’s birthday. I also spent $10 on a gift for my girlfriend’s son. The rest ($14) was for miscellaneous cleaning supplies for the apartment.

Overall, it was a fairly expensive month based on my historical spending level which is closer to about $1,300 or so. Looking forward, this spending level is going to be closer to a new normal for me as I now have health insurance and that will add $130 to my monthly expenditures. You can now see these costs reflected in the new budget category ‘Health’. The rest of the costs regarding this budget category this past month was a $78 visit to the dentist to get a check-up, cleaning and x-ray. I have one cavity and three teeth that I need to monitor. The expense to fill the cavity will be realized in May.

Food was a tad expensive, with total food costs coming in at $323. However, this is a tad misleading as I spent $119 in one night at a bar on St. Armand’s Circle for my girlfriend’s birthday. We had a few appetizers and a couple light meals. She had a few drinks as well and we were there for three hours. So, factoring out this one crazy night my food expenses were pretty light actually. My girlfriend is incredibly supportive of my journey toward financial independence, so I feel wonderful when I get a chance to take her out and show my appreciation.

The rest of my expenses were mostly held in check. My income, however, was wonderful. This was one of my best months in a while in terms of overall income, and my highest yet this year. It was a great month at work, and I had some solid sales which led to a fantastic commission check. I’m very grateful for that as my income thus far has been rather mediocre. I hope this is the beginning of a trend!

I managed to save 71.4% of my net income this month. Fantastic! Although my expenses were a little higher than usual due to some health costs, my higher income more than made up for that. Looking forward, I expect May to be a rather expensive month. I have to fill a cavity as I mentioned above, so my health costs will be high again. I also anticipate purchasing a ticket to fly home to Michigan to attend a reception for one of my sisters who recently got married. I had to purchase a pair of shoes, as the work shoes I’ve been wearing for the past year or so finally wore a hole through the sole. I’ll also have to rent a car because I have some family and friends visiting during the middle of the month.

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

75.7% – January
48.3% – February
57% – March
71.4% – April

I’m now at an average of 63.1% for the year so far. That’s above my goal so I’m very happy. I expect a dip in May, but the rest of the summer should be smooth sailing.

How are your budgets doing? Saving as much as you’d like?

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: RambergMediaImages

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Recently found your site. We are on a strikingly similar path. I absolutely love your resolve…love it! We are a bunch of frugal, dividend ninja’s taking our lives and our time back from the tight grasp of the school-work-die culture. Keep rolling DM.

    • says

      Anonymous,

      Wow. Thanks for stopping by and offering up all the encouragement. I really appreciate it!

      I’m with you on taking back our time. Who wants to study for 22 years so that we can get jobs, work for 40 years, then slink off into death when you are no longer needed? Yuck.

      Good luck on your journey towards independence and freedom!

      Best wishes.

  2. says

    Wow, nice job on the income this past month DM! Outside of your day job, your online income has been increasing pretty steadily over the past few months. I am assuming some of this is from the additional media exposure you’ve had recently.

    • says

      w2r,

      Thanks!

      The online income has hit a peak for April and May. I’m now back to normal (I’ve earned $50 through 10 days in May). I’ve been averaging about $150/mo for the last 3-4 months other than the temporary spike due to the additional exposure. It was much appreciated, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be lasting. That’s okay though because I don’t blog for the money.

      Hope all is well for you and your weekend is off to a nice start!

      Best regards.

  3. SkyInvestor says

    DM,

    Great to see the breakdown you put here. I’ve been following your blog for over a month now but first time posting. I myself am very careful with my expenses in terms of everyday spending, but sometimes it feels good to just go out an not worry about each drink your ordering or whats the cheapest item on the menu. Being able to occasionally spend that money on important events (GF bday) or other activities is a great reward for the hard work we put in on an everyday basis.

    PS- have you considered using additional capital to wipe away whats left on your student loans? or is the interest rate low enough to warrant keeping it around?

    Best,
    SI

    • says

      SkyInvestor,

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment. Glad you like the content so far. :)

      Being able to splurge occasionally is definitely worth the sacrifices. We fully enjoyed a great weekend at a hotel and all the perks that came with it and had no stress about it because we’re in great shape financially. There might be other people out there that do things like this more often, but I do wonder if there is no stress involved because they might be stretched too thin? Makes you think.

      My student loan interest rate is exceedingly low (sub-3%) and it’s tax deductible so I keep it on the books for now. That may change in the future.

      Best wishes!

  4. says

    April was a great month for me. May will be rougher on savings. I’ve got to do some traveling to another state which is going to cost me money even though it’s on the cheap. It also looks like summer is here so I expect that my expenses will go up so that I can start traveling around the area.

    • says

      MFIJ,

      Glad to hear you had a great April!

      I hear you on May. May will probably be my worst month of the year by the way it’s shaping up so far. That’s okay though. I’m off to a nice start for the year and am looking good to exceed my goal of a 60% savings rate.

      Glad to hear you plan on enjoying summer! It doesn’t last as long as one would like so make the most of it!

      Best regards.

  5. Onassis says

    Wow, a paycheck about $5.000 – that is really amazing, Jason!!!
    You have almost $4.000 which you can invest in shares. Your portfolio will explode…
    I have the feeling, you are like a railroad engine and nobody can stop you! :-)

    My saving quote for april was negativ, because I have to bought heating oil (1.450 EUR) for the next 12 month.
    My average saving quote for 2013 is now 16,54%.

    Last week I had my birthday – and I have received a bit of a money gift. Therefore I think, the saving quote in may will be better! ;-)

    Best regards!

    Onassis

    • says

      Onassis,

      An average savings rate of 16.5% is pretty good! Well above our national average. Keep it up!

      I do hope you’re right about me being like a railroad. I feel like that right now, but things can always change. I’ll just take the blessings as they come. :)

      Take care!

  6. says

    DM,

    I just did the math and for the first four months of this year, I’ve saved 54.7% of my income. It’s not quite as much as you have, but I’m beating my goal of a 50% savings rate.

    Congratulations on the nice income in April! My next good month will come in July, when I get three paychecks. I’ll have an extra month’s worth of savings to invest, although I’m a bit scared of buying shares right now with the market being so high.

    Looking forward to our meetup in a little over a week. It’s going to be fun and the weather is looking hot but good. Yesterday was in the 40′s here in Minnesota so I could use a little heat.

    • says

      Kraig,

      40 degrees? In May? Yikes! I remember those days living up in Michigan. It’s been in the low 80′s and absolutely stunning here for the last two weeks. Hopefully this weather keeps up. You’ll never want to leave! :)

      Looking forward to our meetup! It’s going to be awesome to get together with someone as like-minded and driven as you. I think we have so much in common.

      Great job on your savings rate. 55% is fabulous and right about where I’ve landed for the last couple years. It’s tough, but I can see you’re dedicated to it. Keep it up!

      Best wishes.

  7. says

    I hadnt been to the dentist in years and had 17 cavities including 2 in my wisdom teeth. It cost me 1200 dollars to take care of everything. Lesson learned is to always monitor your health

    • says

      Mike,

      Sorry to hear about the dental troubles. I was lucky. I also hadn’t been to a dentist in years. I found a dentist about a mile away that just so happened to be running a new client special for $78, which netted a cleaning, x-ray and inspection. Of course they make their money when you come back for the fillings and all that, but I have to take care of my teeth so I have no choice.

      Monitoring one’s health is of the utmost importance. I couldn’t agree more!

      Take care.

  8. says

    Awesome job in April! Saving money can help a lot, but raising that income will help more, so good work on that. My budget was decent last month. We went over in a few places and under in a few more. We ended up saving a few hundred more than we thought we would, but there is always room for improvement.

    • says

      Jake,

      Great job saving more than you thought you would. That’s awesome! Hopefully you can keep that up. :)

      I wish I could raise my income substantially, but it’s just not in the cards if I continue doing what I’m currently doing (working at a dealership). I could go back to school and complete my degree and do something else, but that would delay my journey significantly. I’d much rather not work at all then find something I might enjoy marginally more or make more money at. That’s just me.

      Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate the support!

      Best regards.

    • says

      G.B.,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I appreciate the kind words of support. I’m truly glad that you found some inspiration here. That’s one of the primary reasons this blog exists.

      Keep in touch.

      Best wishes!

  9. says

    DM,

    Try using Crescent PRO Health tooth paste 3 x a day min, and floss every other day, or when you feel things between your teeth that annoy you. (It really is a new tech novel for adding every preventable thing in one tooth paste! And works!)

    $4 x 2 toothpaste + $1 floss / year saves you tremendous Pain, cavity costs, and limited Time!

    • says

      FYC,

      I brush twice a day every day and I also floss. I actually believe that some dental troubles are somewhat genetic. I’ve known people that take great care of their teeth and still have troubles, and I’ve known people that don’t really care and have good teeth. Just like many other health issues, I believe genetics plays a part here (how large of a part can be argued endlessly).

      However, it also comes down to cause and effect. I’ll continue brushing and flossing and hoping for the best. 1 cavity and 3 potential other issues isn’t too bad considering I hadn’t been to a dentist in a few years.

      Best regards.

  10. says

    Great to see that even with the additional spending, you still killed your savings rate. I know it’s going to suck not having that extra $130 per month to invest, but as you mentioned in your other post, it would suck even more to have some illness wipe out all of your hard work.

    • says

      Pursuit,

      You echo my thoughts exactly. It will suck not to have that $130/mo to invest as I know exactly what that could be in 10 years’ time after compounding does its magic. Unfortunate, but necessary to have that hedging/protection in place. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. The downside is limited to $130/mo (until rates rise), but the upside is my entire portfolio. Obviously a no-brainer.

      Thanks for the support! I’m not hitting savings rates like you, but I’m doing relatively well based on my income level.

      Best wishes!

  11. Spoonman says

    71.4% is fantastic! It’s amazing that you can do that even in tough month. Your frugal muscles are well defined!

    I hope one day to get my expenses to the same level as yours. Right now I’m stuck with a large mortgage (50% of that goes to the principal, but still) so it’s difficult to achieve 70% savings rate. I did a calculation last year, the money we throw into our taxable accounts adds up to about 55% of our take-home pay. One day I’ll have to sit down and see how much money we save out of our gross (this would include retirement accounts, taxable accounts, and principal payments).

    In the meantime, I’ll live vicariously through you ;-).

    • says

      Spoonman,

      Thanks so much! The higher income definitely helped as this was a rather expensive month for me. I guess for some people spending $1,600 would be ridiculously low, but for me that’s a lot of money to spend in only one month.

      You won’t be living vicariously through me for long. You’re going to reach FI way before me and then at that point I’ll be living vicariously through you!

      Saving 55% of your net income is very, very good. That’s right about where I’ve landed for the last couple years. I get months where I’ll hit 70% or so and then I see other months where I’m only at 40%. Just the ups and downs of life. Staying consistent is where I’m trying to be, but my income varies a lot even while my expenses generally do not.

      Keep up the great work!

      Best wishes.

    • says

      Anonymous,

      Onassis was mainly correct. For the most part, this is net income.

      My dividend income, however, is gross as the tax bite doesn’t hit until I do my taxes in the spring. Also, some of my bonus income (specifically the online income) is gross as I reconcile my 1099 income at tax time.

      These reports are still accurate on a net basis because I include my taxes as a reduction of net in the spring.

      Best regards.

    • says

      Middle Class Metamorphosis,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Glad to have you as a reader and I’m really happy you’ve found some inspiration here!

      Good luck tackling those student loans. I know how crippling they can be. I’m still slaying that dragon myself and we’ll continue to fight the good fight together!

      Take care.

  12. Anonymous says

    Great savings rate! We hit just over 60% this month and are at 70% so far in the year. We will have a few very good months this year and a few challenging, rigth now my forecast for the year shows 69% for the full year I hope to find additional income or some additional cost cutting to get that to 70….

    This month we will pay of the last of our morgage and will be debt free, also this is the first year in history for us that our financial cost is lower than our financial income (interest and dividends).

    • says

      Anonymous,

      Wow! Congrats to you on such a phenomenal savings rate. That’s really fantastic. Getting close to a 70% rate for the entire year would be superb. I find it difficult to hit a savings rate that high simply due to irregular expenses like airfare to visit family, gifts and the occasional dentist/doctor visit. Budgeting just usual, recurring expenses I could probably average near 70% or more.

      Keep up the great work! And enjoy living mortgage-free. That’s awesome! Sounds like financial independence is right around the corner for you.

      Best wishes.

  13. Anonymous says

    Great to hear that some people are saving today. We got a late start because of not finishing grad school until age 27 and not entering the market until age 40. Ever since marriage over 40 years ago, we’ve put one paycheck in savings and one in checking and we still do that. Roughly speaking, our current breakdown is 36% of income goes to spending, 26% taxes, and 39% savings. We’re in great financial shape now in our early 60s, with Net W just south of 4mil, and it all happened because of just a few main things: 1) deciding at age 21 to save about half of our income each month, 2) eventually entering equities instead of relying on CDs, and 3) staying married to someone who is as much of a tight-wad (divorce is usually stupid financially anyway), and 4) absolute pooling of resources (never considered it her money vs. his money even if one spouse was unemployed; kept seeing it as we’re in this together) And oh, yes, 5) minimizing breeding (expensive).
    So, why am I writing this note to you? A question: How do you find good stocks to buy these days at Dow 15k? I’m still buying, but am less and less excited about it. A comment: If you are truly an aerobic saver long-term, you might end up like us, still saving and afraid to retire (not very bullish on the economy long-term). We feel that we must see a substantial increase in income at retirement because of fears of inflation. It works O.K., because we still like our jobs. But at some point we’re gonna bite the bullet and retire. Doing it at 40 leaves you perhaps 40-50 years that your money has to last. We’re afraid of having it last 15-25 years. All I’m saying is that you may find that saving tons of money is something you may have a hard time giving up. But that’s not so bad either. Any thoughts ya wanna share about the future? Best wishes to you and your girlfriend.

    • says

      Anonymous,

      Great job with the savings rate over such a long period of time. Having a net worth near $4 million is fantastic. You’ve reached the top of a very tall wealth pyramid and you’re sitting much better than about 99% of the global population. Enjoy the view!

      I actually just wrote an article answering your question about buying stocks in the face of such an elevated market. It’s the newest article on the site. Let me know what you think.

      As far as being afraid to retire I just don’t think I share that fear. Life is really short. You can’t take wealth with you and with $4 million you could spend $100,000 a year and never run out of capital. Unless your expenses are just really, really high I don’t see how you could be fearful about retiring with millions in the bank. I plan on retiring with about $500k or so which should be producing near $20k in passive income via dividends. I’ll be young enough to have the energy to likely pursue income producing opportunities as they come up. The likelihood of me retiring from my career at 40 and never making a W-2 dollar again are inherently low.

      For me, there’s just so little time in one’s life. I think the odds of me regretting not spending more time in the office on my deathbed are much lower than regretting all the adventures I missed out on by being fearful of taking a leap of faith.

      Best wishes!

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