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 in August when I was discussing why I am aiming to save 60% of my income? I know Bert did extremely well, saving almost 50% of his income for September. C’mon Bert, step your game up, you have someone to split your income with and you can’t save 50% of it, weak, right? Joking, he did extremely well as I’ve said, now let’s see how I performed in my balancing of the income and expense categories. Last month I was able to save a whopping 54% of my income, even with all of this 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 far from ordinary, let’s see the breakdown:
Salary – 87%
Other – 13% (Received a check from giving out my hilton points back in March, sold gift cards, swagbuck $25 paypal redemption)
Expense and Outflow Summary
Household 20% (Mortgage + escrow, Utilities, plumber tape)
Transportation 13% (Auto Loan, Insurance, Gas, new tire…, brake light bulb, taxi, rapid passes)
Health 4% (health insurance, gym)
Food 3% (Grocery Stores, coffee shops, restaurants)
Entertainment 2% (Netflix, Bar Scene, comedy show)
= SAVINGS ~57% = This includes automatic savings from my pay to my online account, extra savings transfers to my account from this months income to my accounts + automatic 401K contributions)
Income and Expense Conclusion/Results
Well, as I posted earlier, there are definitely endless liabilities to owning a car. This month, of course, did not seem to amaze, but a new $96 tire was added onto my car. That is tire #5 in 5 months, awesome, high five? Nope. I had a great experience with NTB.. well, let’s say that there wasn’t an exact match to my tire. Further, he was trying to sell me a tire that cost $150 and I compared it to a similar class/specification tire they had (this was a more well-known name tire) – such as tread, level, mileage expectation etc and the tire I came across was $90 less taxes. So naturally I went with the $90 tire because I did not see any further benefit of spending almost twice as much for the same tire? Obviously the commissions and moving a higher priced tire is in their best interest, but what about the consumer? What about doing what’s best for the consumer? Don’t they want my repeat business? In my current role, I would be buying a new set of tires projected in 2016 – wasn’t giving me the best tire for my position now, worth the $400+ in the future? He wasn’t thinking right and only thinking short-term. This added almost $100 to my expenses.
Transportation also has led me to further rapid rides downtown ($2.25 each way). However, the one night I stayed out much later and it cost me a $31.50 cab ride back home, ouch. Conclusion: Don’t stay out as late, get better sleep, drink less expensive items at the bars = save more money. Glad I went through that experience and it makes more sense, as it actually is a much healthier lifestyle, and going to bars is a lifestyle I definitely am comfortable phasing out of my life, outside of certain circumstances (Birthdays, Bachelor Parties, etc.). This will reduce my expenses and increase the healthy lifestyle that I tend to live. I will work at implementing this more and more going forward.
Also to note, my auto insurance will be cheaper for the next 6 months since I raised my deductible. I’m pumped – it’s going from approximately $95/month to $76.33/month or a 19.65% decrease! That will be nice for this month, as in an unrelated note – September had an increase in my escrow for my house from $337.28 to $407.55… thanks property tax increase, you’re the best! Shaking my head, but I think this was due to a shortage in my last escrow analysis, so I will let this go for 3 months and then have them do another analysis to see where I’m at. I traveled quite a bit as well in the month of September, so my utilities, I am expecting, are to be very low (gas & electric). I more than likely will receive my Water & Sewer bill in November that entails the 3 months previous.
All in all, I am excited about being able to save 57% of my income. The Income and Expense, the what came in, the what went out — it is all very interesting to track. I know going forward, this is my gameplan:
- Drink Less when out
- Call it a night earlier, unless it is an “epic” time
- Drive less (less to spend on gas, oil change, tires, brakes, etc.)
Doing these simple, no brainer-items, will help push me to the lofty 60% goal. We are only 7ish days into October and there are three weeks to tweak the month and buckle down. I already know I had a larger miscellaneous expense, but I’m used to having these so it’s to make sure I keep other items in check. Having this extra savings allows me to purchase dividend stocks, which allowed me to receive over $600+ in dividend income last month, and I will reinvest those dividends in my pursuit to financial freedom! How did everyone else do? Anyone else interest in the challenge? Where do you see where I am failing at in my tracking of my September income and expense? Thanks all, talk soon!