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).
$444–Bonus and Spiffs
Total Income: $4,884
Expenses from March 2012:
$95–Fast Food and Pizza
Total Expenses: $2,950
*The Everything Else category includes expenses I don’t have a regular budget for. In this case it was Federal taxes owed ($1,686), the cost of doing my own taxes on TurboTax ($34) and a birthday gift for my father ($51). The taxes were a bummer.
Well, what can I say? It was another strong month for income. I never actually thought when I first started doing what I do now that I’d make the kind of money I do. I had thought I’d probably cap out around $40,000 a year, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised and equally rewarded for my hard work. The bonus category was a bit high as I included the difference from the sale of my car and the purchase of my scooter as bonus income.
Expenses were actually pretty well in line. Food costs were just slightly above my long-term trend and I wasn’t even carefully watching the food budget. Everything else was as usual. I had a high fuel bill due to the fact that I owned a car for the first week of March. From now on, that expense will likely be less than $20.
Taxes were the big nasty. I owed as much as I did due to a couple of reasons. First, I was claiming an exemption of “1” on my W-4 for Federal taxes withheld. I changed that to “0” a few weeks back to correct that going forward as being single and now making decent money I need to adjust my taxes withheld. Second, I had quite a large bill for capital gains last tax year. I had a big gain on my Harleysville Insurance (HGIC) sale after the buy-out as well as a couple of other sales just before the blog started. Third, I had my first big dividend total for a year. I earned just over $1,200 in dividends which I owed 15% on. Although the investments certainly contributed, I was over $800 in the hole before I even imported my 1099 statement into TurboTax. The exemption adjustment should correct this for next year.
If you take away taxes, I actually had a very high savings rate and had a phenomenal month. It’s unfortunate that taxes skew my average, but I count them as an expense instead of a reduction in net income when I owe direct like I did. You could go either way with it, but the point is that the money still left my wallet and went to the Federal government.
I managed to save 39.6% of my net income this month. This doesn’t look very good, but the fact is that taxes were a one-time expense and I’ll most likely be well above 60% for the rest of the year. Without taxes owed, I would have been at a 74.1% savings rate.
My goal is to average a 65% savings rate of my net income, monthly. So far, I’ve hit rates of:
30% – January
74.7% – February
39.6% – March
I’m now averaging a monthly savings rate of 48.1% for the year. Not as well as I would have liked to start, but I’ve got the rest of the year ahead of me and I’m very excited for what the next nine months bring me!
How are your budgets doing?
Thanks for reading.
Photo Credit: RambergMediaImages