Another month has passed, another month where I ask myself… Did I hit the 60% savings goal with my income and expense tracker? Did I hit the big mark that I set for myself back in August when I was discussing why I am aiming to save 60% of my income? I know Bert did extremely well again I am betting – I hope he cruised past 60%! Let’s dive into the income and expense analysis.
Last month I was able to save a mind boggling 60.6% of my income, even with a wedding, a birthday event and the Cavs home opener Cleveland celebration. The wedding was definitely worthwhile, one of my close friends from High School and on top of that – it was in my hometown where I grew up – so I was able to see family as well. I also went to the old school Swensons drive up restaurant, which is by far the best hamburger. Period. Just google it to see!
Lets dive into the fun month of November’s Income and Expense breakdown:
Salary – 87%
Bonus – 8% (I received an Overnight bonus for having over 10+ overnights for work in a given quarter that my employer rewards us for, not a bad perk to traveling, but I’d give this up to be home doing things in a heartbeat)
Other – 5% (mileage reimbursement + 1 cash outs on my credit card rewards program!)
Expense and Outflow Summary
Household 20% (Mortgage + escrow, Utilities)
Transportation 13% (Auto Loan, Insurance, Gas, patch for a tire (ugh..), rapid/public transportation)
Entertainment 5% (Netflix, Concert, Cavs night out with brother, engagement celebration for someone…, Cleveland tour with relatives)
Food 3% (Groceries + Coffee)
Gift 3% (went to a wedding, celebrated a close friends birthday — this should be lower for November)
Health 2% (health insurance, gym)
= SAVINGS ~56% = This includes automatic savings from my pay to my online account, extra savings transfers to my account from this months income to my online savings accounts + automatic 401K contributions
Income and Expense Conclusion/Results
Dammit! I need to get back into shape with this 60% goal, as I missed it by 4% approximately. I know what happened this month vs. last month – my utilities crept up a bit for a few reasons, as my house expense was 20% vs 19% last month due to: Water, Sewage + increase in gas costs from heating. That caused a tick up in this department. Additionally – my entertainment went way up for me due to a few things that occurred, which I am hopefully controlling this December. I showed my little brother and cousin around Cleveland a bit, took in a few bites, a nice first tapping of our infamous Great Lakes Christmas Ale (thought I think Akron’s Thirsty Dog Twelve Dogs of Christmas is better!). Further, I showed my older brother a hole in the wall bar and showed him what it’s like to transport to downtown via public transportation and took in a few beers and a Cavs game. Further – my younger sister was doing a great job in class with her grades and I wanted to reward her! So we sat in the main Orchestra seating at a concert at Playhouse Square, saw the lighting of the Christmas tree and the chandelier, hung out with friends (Editors Note from Bert: Come on Lanny, are you afraid to say you hung out with the other Diplomat? Glad I’m lumped into a generic friends category!) and attended the best concert we have ever been to. I bargained to get the tickets on Craigslist – saving approximately 35% on the tickets for that section, we used free rides we had with one of the taxi-like apps and then I paid for our dinners and a few drinks – wanted to show her what Cleveland was all about and that if you work hard throughout life you can have memorable experiences such as this! See the pictures below from the Kip Moore concert and Playhouse lighting:
In the end – though given my income and expense amounts for November, falling short 4% for savings – I wouldn’t have traded anything that happened this month for that 4%! 56% savings rate isn’t too shabby, still allowed me to purchase BBL, IBM & Mattel and pushed me closer to financial freedom. You can see the summary of the 60% savings challenge here. What is awesome about the present is that we can alter what we do right now, today, tomorrow in order to be happy right now, today and tomorrow. I know that sounded redundant, but I believe it is true. The memories that I had in November with my brothers, cousins, sister and friends who married, those that became engaged – was truly priceless and the time spent with them will be remembered forever. I am passionate about life and this month was a great reflection on that! I am pumped up to finish the year off right, for my 2015 year goals and also being apart of this community! Seriously – this has been the most fun I have had in a while – being able to connect with dozens and dozens of other contributors and readers out here online in the dividend income, investing, frugality and life journeys – so THANK YOU for being awesome. I, Bert, the Diplomats couldn’t be here without all of you – thank you!
With that being said – how did you fair this month? Have a good amount of savings? Enjoy Thanksgiving break? Hope everyone is doing well, please share your thoughts and tweaks below! Much appreciated and talk soon!