Income/Expenses For May 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 May 2013:

$5,010–Regular Paycheck
$150–Dividend Income
$637–Online Income/Bonus

Total Income: 5,798

Expenses from May 2013:

$485–Rent
$325–Health
$189–Student Loans
$129–Groceries
$103–Restaurants
$91–Fast Food/Pizza/Takeout
$75–Internet
$47–Pharmacy
$40–Mobile Phone
$32–Public Transportation
$30–Gym
$24–Fuel
$2–Movies
$500–Everything Else*

Total Expenses: $2,076

*The Everything Else category includes expenses I don’t have a regular budget for. This month the main expense was $448 to account for the costs related to the purchase of my time machine. This accounts for all expenses after I included the costs of the purchase price, sales tax, title transfer fees and registration. This amount is net of the profit I received from the sale of my first two scooters. I also had to purchase a new pair of shoes for work at $26, as I actually wore the last pair down to the point where a hole was in one of the shoes. I also purchased a Mother’s Day gift for my aunt ($26).

Income this month was fantastic. This is the highest I’ve seen all year! This is partly due to the fact that I was paid $457 from Google AdSense for earnings from the month of April (Google is always one month behind). That spike in online income was due to the some of the mainstream media coverage Dividend Mantra received, so I’m very grateful for that. This blog takes an incredible amount of time to run in the fashion I deem appropriate, so I’m very glad when I can earn a decent income from the time I spend on it.

Expenses were higher than normal, mostly due to the aforementioned costs related to the scooter I recently purchased. Otherwise, my other expenses were mostly kept in check. Fuel was a little high this month. I had to put some fuel into a rental car I received from work for a work-related function that was out of town.

Food was again high. I hope to contain this category as we head into the summer months. There always seems to be a reason it’s higher than I’d like. This month I went out to eat a lot more than normal as my oldest sister visited me and I also went out to eat a couple times with Kraig from Young Cheap Living. We all had a great time, so the extra expenses were worth it.

My internet expense was higher than normal. Comcast decided to up my internet fees, so you can be assured I’ve already called them and had that lowered. I’m now on a $36.99/mo (plus taxes and fees) plan for the next six months, so going forward it’ll be even cheaper than it was before. Plus, I’ll get a credit on next month’s bill. Sweet!

The health expense category was again high because I had a tooth filling this month ($195). I have three other potential issues with my teeth, but only one cavity that had to be taken care of immediately. I’ll have to address the other three teeth at some point down the road. The rest of that expense category was my newly minted health care insurance.

I managed to save 64.2% of my net income this month, which is actually quite wonderful considering that this was a very expensive month for me compared to my historical average expenditure levels. I hope to get my expenses down a bit over the summer and heading into the fall. The only big expense I have looming is a plane ticket that I have to purchase to visit my family in late July for my sister’s wedding reception. Other than that, I hope it’s smooth sailing.

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
64.2% – May

I’m now at an average of 63.3% for the year so far. That’s above my goal, and we’re already through tax season and a big purchase. I’m very confident that I’m going to exceed my goal. 

How are your budgets doing? Any unexpected expenses, or is everything going as planned?

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: RambergMediaImages

Comments

  1. says

    Looks like another solid month — good job! Congrats on the AdSense income — it’s nice to see that the extra exposure is paying off for you. I also have Comcast for internet and noticed the higher fee (grumble). It didn’t occur to me to call them up and try to get it lowered. However, I’ll be contacting them soon anyway about transferring my service when I move, so I can bring it up at that point. Maybe I should also buy their stock and get partial repayment in dividends. :)

    • says

      DGM,

      Thanks! Appreciate the support.

      Yeah, I seen that big jump in my bill and decided to take action. To be honest, internet is one of those services that has great value to me and I’d be alright paying $75/mo for it. It’s worth it. But if I can get it for less, I’ll take it for less.

      Having investments in companies like Coca-Cola or Wal-Mart does make it easier when it’s time to pay for products or use their services!

      Best regards.

    • says

      Investing Early,

      Thanks!

      I definitely thought it was time to give a call and see what I could do with a $75 internet bill. Looks like it was worth the 15 minutes. :)

      Best wishes!

  2. Spoonman says

    Well done, DM. Sustaining that kind of savings rate is no easy feat.

    But boy, that is one nice check from Google. I thought that part of your income was on the way down after enjoying a nice spike from publicity, but it looks like the website is still rocking. That’s excellent news all around because it means that more people are getting educated about dividend growth investing and FI.

    Good job!

    • says

      Spoonman,

      That AdSense revenue is a bit misleading. As I mentioned, they pay a month after the income is actually earned. So that big check was from views/clicks back in April and I’m just now reporting it in June. My earnings from the actual month of May were about $185 (my historical norm). That check will hit my account later this month. So things are back to normal as it seems. I don’t blog for the money, but it is nice to properly remunerated for the exorbitant time I spend on it.

      And I do hope you’re right about this blog reaching a wider audience than ever before. I’m here to inspire others while at the same time learning from those wiser than I. It’s a wonderful community and I’m just proud to be a part of it.

      Take care!

  3. Anonymous says

    Great work!

    We were at 71% this month and 70% avarage for the year. In the begining of June we made the last payment on our morgage so we are now debt free which will further boost the savings rate:-)

    / Freedom

    • says

      Freedom,

      Wow! You’re killing it!! That’s amazing.

      You’ll definitely be boosting that savings rate now that you slayed the mortgage dragon. Congratulations.

      Keep up the great work!

      Best wishes.

    • says

      MFIJ,

      Thanks for the support! I appreciate it. :)

      Yeah, the big AdSense month definitely helped. That basically offset the scooter expenses, so it worked out great!

      Hope you’re doing well with your budget as well!

      Take care.

    • says

      The Swede,

      Fantastic video! I got about halfway through it. I’m going to finish it later tonight after the gym. Great, great stuff. That repetition and lack of meaning is definitely one of the big reasons I’m chasing after financial independence!!

      Thanks so much for sharing!

      Best regards.

  4. says

    DM,

    Congrats on another solid month! 64.2% of you after-tax earnings is great. And even better when compared to the average American who’s around 3%, so you beat them by 21 times. I’m not earning much from Adsense but every bit helps since I keep the blog up to date anyways. It won’t be too much longer until you see that 1 million mark for page views. Outstanding!

    • says

      Pursuit,

      Thanks! I had a pretty strong month after considering the higher than usual expenses. Luckily, income was also higher than normal.

      Thanks for the support. It’s amazing that I’m nearing 1 million views. It’s crazy. I just hope that I can continue to provide value to readers. :)

      Best wishes!

  5. Anonymous says

    DM – great job as always.
    I have a question tho- i think i have read before on your blog that you make around 50,000 a year. This is about $4166 gross a month, how do you manage to end up with around $5100 net for the month?
    Just curious :)

    • says

      Anonymous,

      Great question there.

      First, I’m on pace to hit about $57k gross from my day job. My income, however, is 100% commission based, as I’ve discussed before. That’s why it’s so inconsistent. This month was very high. But, take a look back in March and you’ll see I only hit $3,333. February was $2,256 (after accounting for taxes on dividend/1099 income). Typically my higher paying months are Oct-Apr, as I live in a very seasonal area and a lot of residents are snowbirds. They typically leave around Easter and return around Labor Day. So I anticipate my summer earnings being slightly to significantly lower. They were much lower last summer, which was one of the reasons I had such a low savings rate during the summer months (the other being I wasn’t really budgeting anymore as I took a break from the blog).

      I hope that helps!

      Take care.

  6. Anonymous says

    I have the same question as above poster :) I make close to 95,000 and after taxes, I live in cali :( my net is right around 5200..Maybe it’s time for me to move to florida!

    • Travis says

      I used to live in California. I know a lot of Californians that think their salaries are good, but when you compare them to the cost of living, they are really quite low.

      For example, a senior software engineer in San Francisco can make around $110k/yr at Yahoo and other tech companies. A senior software engineer in Provo, UT working at Adobe or Novell makes about $100k/yr. Even though it is $10k/yr less, it actually adds up to a LOT more when adjusted for cost of living. Earning $110k/yr in San Francisco is like earning a measly $53,231/yr in Provo. To match that $100k/yr in Provo would require someone in SF to earn $206,646/yr. (I’m pulling those salaries off job openings currently available on GlassDoor.)

      Say you are making that $95,000/yr and live in San Diego, which is my old neck of the woods. Where I live now, that’s like someone making $64,438/yr when adjusted for cost of living. I’m using the BestPlaces CoL calculator, which seems to be pretty accurate from my experience.

      If you could make that same amount and move to a lower cost of living area — which is pretty much anywhere other than the northeast — you’ll be giving yourself a pretty dang good “raise” even though you aren’t earning any extra. It mainly boils down to your career field. If you are in IT, engineering, healthcare, etc., then you can most likely move somewhere else with a much lower cost of living and have a similar salary.

    • Anonymous says

      Travis, good point.
      But my curiosity was from the fact that the net is greater than gross income earned :) No matter what COL area you live in, the net has to be less than the gross income :)

    • says

      Travis,

      Great points there.

      Even better is to commit geographical arbitrage where you earn your money in a high COL area and save as much as possible to reach early retirement in a short period of time, and the move to a low COL area. The low salaries in the low COL area won’t affect you once you’re retired because you won’t need a job.

      I moved to Florida for a couple of these reasons. There is no state income tax and it’s much easier to take public transportation and ride a scooter when the weather is beautiful 95% of the time.

      One potentially lucrative way to go would be to work/live in a high COL area like NYC and then move to Thailand or somewhere once you have enough to have a high quality of life in the low COL location. I’ve talked about this before.

      Best regards!

    • Travis says

      Hi Jason,

      It’s possible to do that, but it’s more difficult to achieve than it seems. You would need a job that pays exceptionally higher wages in the high COL area so living expenses don’t eat away your extra earnings. It is certainly possible though. For example, my dad worked construction all his life. He was able to work on multimillion dollar houses in the San Diego area that paid him very well for doing finish work. He easily made 2-3x more working in California than he could make in other states, which is why I grew up there. Even though the cost of living was maybe 30% or 40% higher than neighboring states, making 100% or 200% more was still worth it.

      If you are in a specialized field, you need to go where the work is most appreciated. However, like my previous example above showed, it is very possible that the higher COL area might more than offset your higher earnings. In that case, you will have an easier time reaching financial independence in the lower COL area.

    • says

      Travis,

      I agree that it’s situational. For instance, it would be almost impossible for myself to make enough money in San Diego (for example) at my current position to make the higher living costs worth it. There is a bit of a cap on what someone doing what I do can make. It all depends on what you do and what possibilities for income exist.

      I’ve found that this area offers an attractive spread between income and expenses, and I think that’s somewhat reflected in my budget reports.

      Best wishes!

  7. Onassis says

    Jason, again an unbelivable income! Great work!

    In may I have saved 52,5% of my income. The average saving quote in 2013 is now up to 21,35%.
    I hope, I can push it to an average of 30-35% for 2013!

    Onassis

    • says

      Onassis,

      Great month there! A 52.5% savings rate is really wonderful. I hope you can hit that 35% mark for the year. That would translate to some strong excess capital to invest with!

      Best of luck to you!!

      Take care.

  8. says

    DM,

    Awesome month! Wow, Google AdSense is really paying off and giving you quite a boost in side income. Congrats on that!

    I was finally able to start renting out the property, so was able to achieve 80% savings for the first time this year. Pretty thrilled with that.

    Glad to see you are on target and beating your target of 60%. Keep it up!

    • says

      FI Fighter,

      Hey, thanks for stopping by!

      Glad to see the real estate working out so well for you. It’s a high risk/high reward play and it’s obviously kicking some major ass for you. I’m really happy for you! I hope it continues to do so well.

      Congrats on that high savings rate! That’s fantastic. I have yet to breach the 80% mark. I’ve hit 79% or so before, but 80% is so difficult! I need to make more money! :)

      Keep up the great work.

      Best wishes!

    • says

      Mark,

      Thanks for the kind words! I certainly hope you’re right about those projections. Last I looked, I was on pace for about 38 years old or so, with no margin of safety. Working until 40 gives me a comfortable cushion. However, these 52-hour workweeks are killing me and I don’t even know if I can make it until 38! I’d like to be done in a year. :)

      You’re doing fantastic over there as well, and killing that money-sucking mortgage. Keep it up!!

      Best regards.

  9. says

    Very cool, DM! I was just thinking I should look at putting some ads up on my site. I think I’m the only site I read that doesn’t have a single ad on it and I feel like a chump! If you don’t mind sharing, could I ask how many unique users you had in April (the month that drove the large check)?

    • says

      Pretired Nick,

      I’m afraid to tell you I’m not very good at the some of the back-end work that comes with running a website. I really just focus on the content and try to earn a solid monthly income and see where it goes.

      I don’t know how many unique visitors I had, but I had around 95,000 pageviews. I’m not sure if that helps or not, but that’s about as much as I know about it.

      Hopefully that helps. :)

      Best wishes!

  10. says

    The online income is going to be a very nice X Factor for you Jason. Just keep it up and watch it grow. You’ll be AMAZED at how much money you can start making online after a couple years. If $2K/month is your goal, you are going to get there probably within the next 24 months if you keep it up and retire earlier. It’s part of the reason why so many of us in the Yakezie Network have quit our jobs. Trust me and good luck!

    Sam

    • says

      Sam,

      I certainly hope you’re right about that! I would love to make a solid monthly income from Dividend Mantra. I spend a lot of time on the blog, and realizing some of that effort in the form of even just $1k/mo would be absolutely fantastic! $2k would be unreal.

      I’m just focusing on the content and hopefully I’m inspiring others out there. That’s where most of the reward is at right now, which is really wonderful.

      Stay in touch!

      Take care.

  11. says

    You have to love the hourly rate you can earn with a simple call to the cable and phone companies.

    Even in a month with a lot of unexpected expenses, you still managed to save over 60%. Very impressive! So much for that common excuse :-D

    • says

      Jeremy,

      Sorry I didn’t respond to your comment earlier!

      I wasn’t particularly motivated to call Comcast and negotiate my internet expenses because I felt I was paying a fair rate for my service and my savings rate was already high enough. But when they jacked it up that much over one month I felt compelled to call and correct that.

      Thanks for the continued support! I do appreciate it. This month was not as productive (in terms of savings) as I would have liked, but it still worked out pretty good.

      Enjoy your travels through Guatemala! Keep a close eye on those shoes. :)

      Best wishes.

    • says

      Evan,

      Thanks! I’m blessed to be able to keep expenses low and maintain a pretty strong savings rate. Things seem to be going smooth so far in 2013. I’m doing my best to stay focused and keep my eye on the prize. :)

      The movie expense this month was two Redbox rentals. My sister was in town and we ended up grabbing a couple movies. We don’t have cable television. We use an amplified antenna for free over-the-air TV service.

      Take care!

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