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: $4,978
Expenses from November 2013:
$537–Rent & Utilities
Total Expenses: $2,392
*The Everything Else category includes expenses I don’t have a regular budget for. I had the oil and filter changed in my Frugalmobile early in the month for a total of $41. The remainder of these expenses were directly related to clothing. I recently discussed my need to upgrade my wardrobe for the first time in about a decade. I’ve been largely wearing the same clothes since my college days, but I’m a bit smaller than I was back then due to my increased focus on cardio and circuit training and less on heavy lifting. In addition, the clothes were just plain worn out. I’m a bit disheartened to spend so much on clothing ($860), but the great thing is that this was below my self-imposed budget of $1,000. I don’t have discretionary spending very often, but this was one of those rare cases. Hopefully, it’ll be another ten years before I have to buy clothes again!
Income was great yet again. I’m blessed to be able to pull down a very solid income in a tough economic environment. My day job net income of just under $3,900 was very strong. December is shaping up to be pretty weak in that department, so I take it when I can get it! The online income was simply wonderful. Only $60 of the income in the Bonus category was related to programs we ran at work this month, so the rest, just over $841, was directly related to this blog. Thank you all for supporting my journey and stopping by. It means the world to me! The dividend income was also most welcome, even if it was below my running monthly average.
Expenses, besides the clothing expenditures, were largely normal. Food was high, however. I spent a total of $360 on food this month, which in my opinion is ridiculous. I can only say that part of it was due to an anniversary dinner early in the month, as my girlfriend and I shared a 4-year anniversary. Besides that, however, I just spent and ate too much. I’m eating a lot healthier these days and it’s paying big dividends in terms of how I look and feel. And I don’t care what anyone out there tries to tell you, eating healthy is more expensive than eating cheap. When I first started this journey I was eating ramen noodles and PB&J almost every day. Now I’m eating whole foods and a lot more protein. There are costs involved, but I’m glad that I’m healthier than I was just a couple years ago. However, with this being said I need to curb the spending. I’m going to make it my goal to spend less than $250 in total food costs for December and continue watching my food spending going forward.
I’m currently shopping for car insurance, as what I’m spending to insure a 1997 Ford Escort is insane. I know it doesn’t have anti-lock brakes, but this is still crazy. I haven’t made any moves yet, however, because I have the potential opportunity to purchase another car. My current plan is to drive my beater until it has a major mechanical breakdown that wouldn’t make economical sense to fix, but I have the opportunity to pick up a 2006 Toyota Corolla with 20,000 miles for $5,400. As it usually turns out, it’s not what you know but who you know. My girlfriend happens to have a friend that knows a caretaker of elderly people here in Sarasota. One of the caretaker’s clients is 87 and unfortunately has cancer. Furthermore, her driver’s license has been suspended. Due to this, she’s selling her Corolla. I’m going to look at it Monday. I don’t want to spend that kind of money on a car, but if it’s in excellent shape (as it should be) I have a tough decision to make. I’ll keep you guys posted!
I managed to save 51.9% of my net income this month. Another ugly month, but most of this was due to one-time discretionary spending rather than a fundamental issue with my ability to control my spending or budget.
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
51.9% – November
I’m now at an average of 62.6% for the year. Looking ahead, December looks to be another expensive month due to holiday spending, so I’m going to do my best to exceed my goal. I’ll be honest, it’s going to be really close. Although, even if I don’t make it I’ll still consider saving 58% or so of my net income for an entire year to be really strong. We’ll see. I’m hopeful that I can just barely eek out a victory here.
How as your November? Did you have a great month for your budget?
Thanks for reading.
Photo Credit: RambergMediaImages