Here we are, another month down, another income and expense report to share with my loyal readers! While nothing changed drastically during October, our income and expenses were significantly different than the numbers I shared with you in September. As you can already tell by looking at the table above, it was an overall positive shift, but it’s crazy how much things can vary month-to-month when both my wife and I are salaried employees. On our journey to financial independence I expect many ups and downs, and I’m happy that this month was one of the ups. Enjoy!
Job 1 – +$2,270 – After saying last month how this is the salary from my job and it shouldn’t change too much, of course it changes the next income report I do! I can’t be too annoyed though, since it increased by a significant amount. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a raise, a new job, or anything like that, this is just my annual bonus (see my bonus details here) finally being paid. While it’s definitely a nice chunk of change, I would rather have a job that provides me with more contentment and satisfaction than a bonus – but until then… I’ll take it!
Job 2 – +$0 – Now that my wife’s bi-weekly paychecks are back to their usual 2/month (at least until March 2013) this category really should stay consistent.
Interest – +$4 – While the increase here is pretty horrible, the fact that it’s increasing is good news, as it means that we’re saving more money. We do 95% of our banking with ING Direct (which is changing to Capital One 360???) and the interest rate they are paying on our savings was just lowered to .75% – so finding another use for our growing cash pile is becoming even more urgent in my mind!
Extra Income – +$240 Well, this is a very welcome addition to the income report this month! I’d love to tell you that I earned this extra income through some side gig or through private advertising or something equally as awesome. The truth is actually even better – I didn’t do ANYTHING to earn this money!@#!@ I know, crazy, right?? Well, the less crazy part is that my wife is a coach at a local fitness group and she earned this income! The less awesome part is that this is all 1099 income, so we’ll have to pay taxes on this next year, but it’s definitely awesome that she gets paid to coach something she loves. While this income does go in our general pool of money, we set it aside in our budget to be spent on recreational items (entrance fees, athletic clothes, shoes, etc) so it’s also an expense reimbursement type of setup in our household.
Rent – (just the rent) +$0 – Nothing to see here, this category is Mr/Mrs consistent! Of course, I say that while knowing that my wife and I have recently been looking at some houses to potentially buy… so this category could get completely busted – but let’s hope not.
Home – (Electric, Gas, Water, Internet, Netflix, Home Furnishings) +$143 – This increase was just to bring it close to a normal level as we didn’t have an electric bill in September, but did in October (double bill in August). We’re still under budget by almost $60 for the month, so I feel good about this category.
Car – (Insurance, Maintenance, Tolls) -$47 – While it’s down, we got hit with registration renewal which took us over budget. We’ve got a short road trip coming up in November (less than 500 miles) and a LONG one in December (about 2500 miles) so we’ll be shelling out for more expenses coming up.
Gas – (just gas for our cars) -$34 – I didn’t travel for business the entire month of October and we still managed to spend less on gas! Of course, I work from home so I fill up about once every 3-4 weeks but I definitely expected this category to increase.
Groceries – (Anything we spend at Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club/Kroger/other grocery stores that’s not otherwise marked in another category goes here) +$32 – Now that that I’m home 7 days a week instead of just 3 we’re definitely spending more on food! It’s annoying to spend more, but I’m definitely not complaining if it means I get to spend more time at home with my wife! The location independence is one aspect of my job that I enjoy while I’m between projects.
Eating Out – (pretty self explanatory) -$4 – So during September we spent a LOT on eating out and that included a $100 gift card. Well, we almost managed to eclipse that number and we didn’t buy any gift cards this time! We had several meals with friends, family, etc so I think the extra spending was worth it. Also, as I’m home more my wife likes to go out to eat with me more – crazy how that works!
Personal – (Dry Cleaning, Haircuts, Clothing, Medical, Vet, Other Pet Expenses) +$48 – This was mainly some new clothing (mostly for my wife – but she’s definitely worth it!) and also the dog grooming kit that I talked about previously.
Vacation – (any Vacation spending) -$23 – In a way it’s sad that this we spent $0 on this category during October…. But we will make up for that in the next couple of months!
Misc – (Allowance, Gifts, Entertainment, Other) +$575 – Holy shit! I thought last month was bad, well this month was twice as bad! Let me summarize what we did to get us here:
- Two new iPhone 5s! Yeah, I know this is ridiculous, but I’ll be listing my iPhone 4 on EBay and hopefully should get some of this back. Also, neither my wife nor I have to pay for cellphone service. My work pays for my service and I pay for the phone (unless I want some crappy BlackBerry), and my wife gets a stipend from her work that covers her service. When you look at it this way, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to spend $450ish (including cases and screen protectors) every two years for two new phones – that’s less than $20/month!).
- Credit card membership fee – I need to call and see if they will waive this, but I’m not hopeful since I hear they’ve been cracking down on this recently.
- Amazon Prime – We had a free year which expired earlier this year and we let it lapse. Since we do a lot of our Christmas shopping on Amazon we splurged, and as we’re still eligible for the student rate, it was only $39 plus tax!
- When I talked about the extra income that my wife earned, well most of it was spent during October as well…whoops! She needed new shoes as well as some cold weather gear.
- Gifts – We budget throughout the year for gifts, but I’m not sure we budgeted enough, so expect this “Misc” category to get uglier before it gets better as Christmas gets closer.
October was another great month in the Aspiring Blogger household. Our income was up due to the bonus and the other extra income, and even though our expenses were almost $700 more than last month I think a lot of it is due to seasonal anomalies and Apple’s product release cycle, which happens. While an almost $6,900 net income is awesome, I’m still aspiring for more. Our situation could change quickly and if I decided to venture out on my own to pursue my goals of financial independence and location independence through entrepreneurship then spending $3800 on household expenses in one month would be a complete failure in my mind. I’m still pleased, I just think we could do better (it might have to wait until January though – November and December are looking expensive).
What do you think? Are we on the right track? Was your October better or worse than you were expecting? Let me know! Thanks for reading.