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, saving almost 63% of his income for October. Straight cruising now Bert! I know he is doing and tweaking a few things to increase that even further/higher going forward. Let’s dive into the analysis.
Last month I was able to save a whopping 57% of my income, even with all of the hiccups with my car and other non-expected/planned events. When you do receive these unexpected events, it’s funny, because they are usually for reasons that don’t make you happy – tickets, car batteries, replacement parts for a computer, tires, dry cleaning, etc.. These aren’t necessarily things you call and want to say “hey Bob – I just bought a new car battery!” or “Whoa – this dry cleaning, wow, so amazing Jill!”… maybe you do? Maybe I’m wrong? Either which way, tracking the income and expense categories every month really drills down to where you can find improvements, to have more cash to invest into dividend paying stocks!
This month was straight forward, I would say, let’s see the breakdown:
Salary – 87%
Other – 13% (mileage reimbursement + 2 cash outs on my credit card rewards program!)
Expense and Outflow Summary
Household 19% (Mortgage + escrow, Utilities)
Transportation 10% (Auto Loan, Insurance, Gas, patch for a tire (ugh..), rapid/public transportation)
Food 5% (Some groceries – ended up eating out more often than not due to the sporadic traveling for work)
Gift 3% (went to a wedding, celebrated a close friends birthday — this should be lower for November)
Health 2% (health insurance, gym)
Entertainment ~1% (Netflix)
= SAVINGS ~60.6% = 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
I did it! I crossed 60% again, finally! Feels so good to be back, especially after I had been Locked, Cocked & Unloaded quite a bit of capital this month – I definitely needed to save. The Cavs had their home opener on Thursday night and there was not a chance in hell I was going to miss the big homecoming for Lebron back in the Q arena. The city was ABSOLUTELY electric, with Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons having free concerts outside, over 200,000+ people downtown, sold out arena, in addition to celebrities such as: Usher, J. Bieber, Jay Z, Beyonce, Michael Strahan, NFL stars and the like were all in attendance. This is not to mention ESPN had set up shop in the center of our downtown arena. Simply electrifying. It happened to be at the end of the month and I spent money at the bars and money on public transportation. Thanks to Bert for helping me get there.
I don’t expect a few things to happen in November: the city of Cleveland being as electric, tire hole patches, no weddings in the plan for attendance (2015, though, should be fun with this!) but also I am pairing that up with a LOT of vacation (I think I have a week and a half off during this month). I plan on getting physically back into better shape, working with Bert on the Diplomats, and enjoying time with friends & family. I expect expenses to be essentially lower, however, I can see groceries and transportation increasing quite a bit (as I’ll be driving more being in town). The one difficult thing I’ve really noticed – no one lives near me and I have been traveling west almost every night on my weekend or south. This is something I need to battle with on a weekly and weekend basis, essentially. My drive to the office is approximately 20-25 minutes, trip to the client this week is an hour to an hour and fifteen. Additionally, if I see my family south of where I live, it is approximately 40 minutes (give or take a few) and my friends on the west side are 30 minutes (give or take a few). I know I am lucky and fortunate that I have close friends nearby, but I need to be better about traveling. Instance: This past weekend – Friday = West Side, Saturday = Downtown + West Side, Sunday = South to see family and then to West Side. Total Driving time from Friday to Sunday = 245 minutes (rough estimation/conservative) or really over 4 hours. That is time that I could be spending doing other productive things – working out, blog, work in general, house, or walking around my neighborhood, reading articles, the list goes on. Maybe this even goes hand in hand with my other goals for 2015 for learning a language, joining a club or planning a vacation. Bottomline – gas and time end up being my biggest expenditures. Again – I want to see the people that I am seeing, I just need to find an attraction to come here and plan out my weekend better. The hard part is – it’s hard having groups of people that are from similar areas to come here, because – why the heck would everyone from one part of the city want to all come travel 30-45 minutes, when there are plenty of people they love to spend time with – right where they are.
To conclude, my income and expense amounts for the month of October, weren’t too shabby. I have updated my 60% challenge page and am eager to see what better things I am able to do this month and see if I can top Bert’s October. As of right now I should be sitting well with no big expenditures down the pipeline this month. Thoughts on my comments above? Have you ever lived somewhere where it isn’t as “convenient” for others to see you? What did you do about? Have more people over or did you end up moving? Thanks for stopping by, much appreciated.