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 2011:
$50–Bonus and Spiffs
Total Income: $3,901
Expenses from May 2011:
$58–Fast Food and Pizza
Total Expenses: $2,498
*-The Everything Else category includes things I don’t have a regular budget for. In this case it was a ($139) trip to Target to buy a bicycle to ride to and from bus stops, a ($53) trip to Wal-Mart to buy a backpack, umbrella and other associated items to make it easier to ride a bike and a bus and a ($58) expense to renew my registration on my vehicle since I couldn’t sell it with an expired tag apparently.
As always, in the interest of full disclosure I like to display my income and expenses from every month for public view. This will catalogue my journey to financial independence and prove that it is possible to achieve early retirement on relatively modest means.
This month was certainly nothing to write home about. As you can clearly see, my expenses were much higher than normal due to paying off my car. A typical car payment for me was less than $290, but this month it was north of $900. That was due to my selling of my vehicle and paying off the difference between the offer and what my balance was. It feels good to have that albatross not hanging over my neck any longer. My expenses before this month were typically in the $1,600 range, but now that the car is gone I feel confident I can get them down to the $1,200 level reliably every month. That would be an incredible feat for me as my monthly budgets were more than twice that before I started this venture into frugal living.
One expense that should be noted is the mobile phone bill. I wrote an article a while back about how I use a VOIP cell phone over wifi connections. I have not had a regular cell phone in quite a while. I decided to sign up for a Mobile PCS unlimited talk, text and web plan for $40 per month which includes a flat fee with no monthly contract. That $40 monthly fee includes taxes and all regulatory fees. I consider it a pretty good deal. I may write an article in the near future about this, but basically I decided that having a regular and reliable cell phone was in my best interest now that I’m using public transportation. Emergencies or other circumstances can arise and I need to have a line of communication in case something happens. I canceled the VOIP service that was $9 per month. My mobile phone expense was high this month because I had to pay a month in advance, buy a phone ($30) and also pay the VOIP monthly service. Next month, and going forward, it’s going to be $40 for this expense.
I managed to save 35.9% of my net income this month, which was actually a huge victory considering I paid off my car and had high expenses in almost every category. Going forward, I expect this number to be closer to 65%. I think June’s numbers will be wonderful.
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 48.9% for the year. This is slightly behind my goal, but I am more than confident that I will meet and exceed a 50% average.
Thanks for reading.
Photo Credit: RambergMediaImages