We are flying through 2015 folks. With two complete months in the book and nearly a third (I apologize this post has taken me a while to finish), we are marching our way through the calendar year. Soon, it will be time for our quarterly goals assessment to see if we are on pace to hit accomplish our goals for the year. Anyway, as February came to a close, it is time to see if I was able to defeat the Dividend Diplomats’ Savings Challenge for the second consecutive month. Let’s review my savings rate summary.
Savings Rate Summary
Great news everyone! For the second consecutive month I was able to save over 60% of my income! I’m pumped!! 60.83% of my income went to my savings account this month. What’s exciting is that I think this is the first time that both Lanny and I have hit the 60% mark in the same month, as Lanny was able to save 61% of his income. So Lanny, the big question is, did you round-up or down for that figure? Let’s break that 61% out into decimal points to see if you were able to beat me this month or if you are hiding something from me and all of the readers.
As we have mentioned plenty of times over the last couple of months, one of the biggest factors and reasons I was able to achieve this savings rate is because of the number of hours worked. While I did not log the hours Lanny did, I was not far behind him. Putting in all these hours prevents you from spending your hard-earned money, which is the silver lining. Let’s review my income and expenses to provide more detail about what happened this month.
Surprisingly, my income actually went down this month. I had some pretty negative factors going against me this month. First, in January, I made some serious progress towards one of my 2015 goals to receive $1,000 in “Other Income.” In January, I sold a tablet and cell phone and am now 50% towards this goal! However, this income is solely transaction based and since I did not have the opportunity to continue to sell products for extra cash, I did not have any supplemental income. So there was $500 of income that quickly vanished! Second, as I have discussed for many months, my company reimburses me per mile for driving to and from clients. This month, I didn’t drive nearly as much as January and my fuel reimbursements decline 50%. But it isn’t all doom and gloom! This month, my dividend income increased as I received more income in February than January. While there was this one item that increased, it wasn’t nearly enough to offset the decline from other income and fuel re-reimbursements.
This was an interesting month for me in terms of expenses. As I have mentioned (and I am sure you are getting tired of hearing about it), I worked a lot and did not have time to go out a lot and spend money. But in the limited time I was home, I was in such a hurry to spend time with family and my fiance that we often went out to eat, grabbed a couple of drinks together, get ice cream with my niece, that I often found myself engaging in activities that cost money! The costs weren’t monumental, as I was still able to save 60% this month, but they add up. And if I don’t change my habits in a month where I am home all the time, achieving 60% savings will be a thing of the past. Still some progress to be had!
Other than the increased entertainment and food expenses discussed in the last paragraph, this was a pretty boring month for me. Same car payment, same insurance, same utility bills, and so on. I wish I had some more to report to you, but I still haven’t found a way to decrease my car payments….yet! Hopefully that problem will get solved at some point in 2015!
Overall, I can’t complain one bit! I still saved over 60% of my income this month and have put my money to work over the last few weeks, buying a bunch of stocks over the last couple of weeks! So far, I am 2 for 2 in the defeating the savings challenge and I am one-third of the way towards my goal of defeating the savings challenge 6 times in 2015. This month was very satisfying though, because I was able to save this rate while seeing the top line decrease significantly. That’s what has me the most excited. Hopefully I will finish out March strong and extend my streak to three consecutive months!
What was your savings rate this month? Was it better than your average? What do you do to cut down costs while spending time with friends and family? I am open for suggestions going forward? Be honest with me, does the current structure of my expense table provide any value to you? If not, what information would you like to see this month (outside of showing actual dollar amounts)? I am looking forward to hearing from you all!