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).
$954–Bonus and Spiffs
Total Income: $4,677
Expenses from January 2012:
$40–Fast Food and Pizza
Total Expenses: $3,260
*The Everything Else category includes expenses I don’t have a regular budget for. In this case it was largely comprised of the $1,900 I recently paid for a used 1999 Chrysler Sebring for transportation. This category also includes the costs for taxes and registration/license for the used vehicle, and also a repair bill as I had to fix a small coolant leak and change the oil. That repair bill was $92. These are obviously unusual expenses, especially for someone who hasn’t owned a car in nine months.
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.
The income was much higher than usual. This is mostly due to the inflated “Bonus and Spiffs” category. I included cash I received from my very generous and loving parents for Christmas in this category. I also received my first Google Adsense payment in a few months in January, and that was also reflected here. I also received a fairly large spiff at work due to a bonus program we were running for the month of December. Thanks to my loyal readers for the Adsense revenue! On top of all that, I also received my rewards check from my Chase Freedom credit card I opened a few months back. That was free money, baby.
Expenses were obviously much higher than normal due to the vehicle expenses. If you take out the one-time costs of buying a car and paying for registration, I would have been in the $1,100 range, which is more my norm. And, that includes gas and insurance on the car. So, overall I’m very happy with all other expenses. Food was very in-line with my expectations, and everything else was pretty normal. I’ve found this budget to be very efficient, but also allows me a pretty high quality of life. My expenses going forward are likely going to be a little more than they have been over the last few months due to the fact that I now have vehicle expenses. I’m ok with that, and having a vehicle has been nice. I enjoyed my time being without a car, but not having to lug a week’s worth of groceries for a mile is a welcome change!
I managed to save 30% of my net income this month, which is actually pretty fantastic if you consider that I bought a car and paid cash for it this month. So, I purchased a car and still managed to save well above what most citizens in this country manage. That’s a combination of good fortune, for which I’m very grateful, as well as my frugal acumen.
My goal is to average a 65% savings rate of my net income, monthly. So far, I’ve hit rates of:
30% – January
This isn’t a great start, in terms of savings percentage, for the year if I want to hit a savings rate of 65%. But it is what it is. I needed a way to get to work and home on my own terms, and the public transportation in this city was not fulfilling that need. If I’m able to hit 60% or more this year I’ll be pretty happy as 65% is fairly aggressive.
How are your budgets doing?
Thanks for reading.
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