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).
Total Income: $4,592
Expenses from October 2013:
$532–Rent & Utilities
$480–Car Prepayment Fund**
Total Expenses: $2,296
*The Everything Else category includes expenses I don’t have a regular budget for. For this month, I booked my girlfriend and I a 1-night stay at The Helmsley Sandcastle at Lido Beach to celebrate our 4-year anniversary together ($137). I also purchased flowers ($16) for the same event. We stayed at this hotel earlier this year to celebrate her birthday, and we really enjoyed our stay. So, I thought this would be a great way to ring in four years together. We actually spent this past Saturday night/Sunday morning there and had a fantastic time.
**The Car Prepayment Fund is money I’m setting aside to purchase a car with. I set aside $500 in last month’s budget, and the $480 represented in this month’s budget is the remainder of the costs associated with purchasing my Frugalmobile, including purchase price, taxes, registration, etc. The great thing is that after just two months of budgetary expenses I now have a car completely paid for and going forward I’ll only have to include insurance, fuel and repair costs.
Income was fairly solid this month. My regular, day job income was a bit light, coming in at one of the lowest months of the year. This was more than compensated for by a great month of Online/Bonus income, however. I earned a total of $801.35 from this blog, with the rest of the income in that category coming from a small bonus program we run at work. I also had a great month of completely passive dividend income.
The rest of my expenses were rather high, unfortunately. Higher-than-normal food costs were the main culprit. Although it may look like I really hit the town this month, it’s a bit misleading. The reason I spent so much on restaurants is due to the fact that I took my entire family (10 of us) out to a great Mexican joint for a birthday party. One of my parents and one of my siblings share a birthday in October, and I flew up to Michigan to see my family and celebrate. In lieu of purchasing any gifts I instead offered to take everyone out to dinner. We had a great time, and it was worth every penny. The rest of my food expenditures were rather normal, historically speaking.
I now have expenses that I’m not used to having since I’m no longer car-free and carefree. Auto insurance and high fuel costs are something I’m still getting used to. It’s wonderful to have so much flexibility now, being able to leave home for work later and getting back home earlier. However, there are costs associated with the trade-off, as there always is. On the flip side, I won’t have public transportation expenses any longer so that will reduce that area of my budget to slightly offset the higher transportation costs.
I managed to save 50% of my net income this month. This was my second lowest month of the year in that regard, but that’s due to my purchasing of a car and not my inability to control expenses. Now that the initial costs of the purchase price of the car are all factored in I can move forward and hopefully improve on my savings rate as we close out the year.
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
64.6% – June
71.4% – July
73.1% – August
61.3% – September
50% – October
I’m now at an average of 63.7% for the year. I’m on pace to exceed my goal, although the margin isn’t going to be as wide as I thought it would be. Looking forward, I still have a couple of fairly expensive months in front of me as I recently decided to upgrade my wardrobe for the first time in about eight years or so, and I also have the holiday season coming up and all the costs and gifts that come with that. Though, I am quite excited to still be able to exceed a 60% savings rate over an entire year. It takes incredible discipline and consistency to acheive a savings rate well over 10 times the national average on what amounts to a middle-class income.
How was your October? Did you save as much as you wanted to?
Thanks for reading.
Photo Credit: RambergMediaImages