It’s crazy that I’m already sharing our November income and expense report. It seems like the end of this year is just flying by. We had a very busy month with family in town, the Formula 1 race, and trying to do some advance preparation for Christmas. Lots of action in the report, so read on for the details!
Job 1 – -$2,223 – This number is has been all over the map recently. After my bonus last month, this month is back to normal – but I did get some “extra income” in here in the form of a $50 cell phone rebate and a couple of other minor adjustments that made one check about $47 higher than normal. As I keep saying – things should settle down next month…but I guess we’ll have to wait and see if that actually happens!
Job 2 – +$0 – My wife keeps going to work, she keeps getting paid – not a bad trend!
Interest – -$0 – So this number looks consistent, but it has actually decreased by $.42 this month due to the 0.05% reduction in interest rate. Nothing we can do here except find something more creative to do with our money than keeping it in a big stinkin’ pile of cash!
Extra Income – +$1,072 – An awesome month for extra income! $240 of this was from my wife’s late fall fitness group coaching income. My wife just got her check for the early fall group last month – so it’s nice, but definitely not normal to have these checks a month apart. $800 of this came from my brother paying us back for a plane ticket we bought back in August. We used a combination of frequent flier miles and cash, so purely looking from a financial perspective, we made approximately $600 on this. It was also a better deal than he could get by going straight to the airline, so it was a good deal for everyone! The last piece our extra income is the $272 we made by selling my iPhone 4, which you can read all about in the attached article. Overall, a great month for extra income!
Rent – (just the rent) +$0 – No change – it’s nice having one category that we can keep consistent!
Home – (Electric, Gas, Water, Internet, Netflix, Home Furnishings) +$18 – We had a double electric bill again in November, but as we’re not using much electricity right now due to the mild weather, it didn’t have a huge impact. This category is still under our budget for the month, so we’re happy.
Car – (Insurance, Maintenance, Tolls) -$67 – We didn’t have any registration renewals during November, but we did get hit with $80 in tolls (we have prepaid toll tags which debit our account in $40 increments), which is about twice our normal rate. Both of our cars are due for oil changes and we have a long road trip in December, so this category has nowhere to go but up…yippee? :
Gas – (just gas for our cars) +$72 – If you look at what we spent on gas for our F1 mini-vacation, you can easily see the difference. Other than that, no real change in our driving during November. During December I’ll be starting to work locally, so I’ll be driving daily, so this number will jump way up. In addition, we’ll have 2500 miles worth of gas to pay for on our Christmas vacation.
Groceries – (Anything we spend at Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club/Kroger/other grocery stores that’s not otherwise marked in another category goes here) +$172 – Part of this increase was spending for snacks/lunch while we were at the F1 race, another was for a birthday party for my brother and I, and the rest is that we have had family in town all month. This will probably be higher than usual at least through December and then go back down…hopefully!
Eating Out – (pretty self explanatory) -$12 – Even though we ate out a LOT (at least by my standards) when we were in Austin for F1, we managed to spend less – so I’ll definitely take that as a victory. My parents have also bought us a couple of meals, so that helps too!
Personal – (Dry Cleaning, Haircuts, Clothing, Medical, Vet, Other Pet Expenses) -$77 – Down sharply, just a little clothing here this month and that’s about it. Vet visit for one of the dogs in December so expect this to increase
Vacation – (any Vacation spending) +$0 – This is slightly misleading – as we definitely went on a vacation during November. Luckily, we paid for the F1 tickets back in the summer, and the rest of the expenses fit into our normal categories (eating and gas) so I didn’t feel the need to take anything out of this budget.
Misc – (Allowance, Gifts, Entertainment, Other) -$525 – Last month was ridiculous since we bought two new iPhones and a myriad of other expenses. This month was much lower, and would have been even less had we not spent a bundle on gifts. We have a lot of our gifts purchased, but there will still be some expenses that creep into December.
November definitely represented another awesome month in the Aspiring Blogger household. While income was down for November, so were expenses. While we didn’t exceed October’s net income numbers (which would be tough due to the bonus thrown in there), I’m very proud of what we have accomplished.
Sometimes I have to sit back and ask myself how we manage to have such a surplus (over $6k this month) and not feel like we’re depriving ourselves. Not having debt definitely is a huge part of the equation. If we had debt payments our income wouldn’t go anywhere near as far. Also, not needing the best, the shiniest, the newest, the most, etc of everything helps too. Being content with what we have (other than Apple products as you know) and not having “upgrade-itis” where you feel like you have to buy new stuff whenever something gets a spec of dust on it is another big part of it.
All of that is fine, but I think the key is perspective. To me, this perspective comes from asking myself before making a purchase “does this fit in with my aspirations of becoming financially independent, location independent, and more content with life?”. If it doesn’t, then I don’t care how awesome the product/service is, I won’t be buying or paying for it. I hope you have figured out what you aspire to and what your goals are so you can prioritize your spending and head down the track to achieving your aspirations!
What do you think? Are we on the right track? Do you make sure your spending lines up with your aspirations? Let me know! Thanks for reading.