I can’t believe it’s already October, this year is flying by! The weather has really cooled off in my neck of the woods and I’ve actually been home this week to enjoy it. So here we are, the second installment of my income and expense report. With my August Income and Expense Report the change column was blank as it was the first month I was reporting my income. Now that we’re in month two we have some data to compare against, so hopefully you’ll find it interesting to see how my income/expenses fluctuate on my journey to financial independence. Once I get more data I’ll work on some charts/graphs to make it more fun for you visual people out there (like my wife :)). Enough talk, lets get down to the data!
Job 1 – +$0 – This is my regular salary from my day job, after taxes and 401(k) deductions. About $435 goes into my 401(k) each month, and this is what I’m left with – which shouldn’t change too much month-to month.
Job 2 – -$1,273 – This is my wife’s salary from her job. As you can see, my wife’s salary was down significantly this month. She’s paid biweekly, and August was one of those super months with three pay periods. Unfortunately, September is a regular month with just two, so we’re back to her regular salary. Already factored into this number is $381 in retirement contributions (403(b) and another pension contribution).
Interest – +$13 – I’m not sure why this is up so much (percentage-wise) over last month – I think I must have screwed up my calculation for last month…whoops! I expect this number to remain pretty constant unless interest rates swing wildly one way or another, which I highly doubt any time soon.
Rent – (just the rent) +$0 – This is a pretty easy category to keep up with. Our lease is through March 31, 2013, so this number shouldn’t change until then at the earliest.
Home – (Electric, Gas, Water, Internet, Netflix, Home Furnishings) -$365 – Last month we got hit with double electric bills – which can be insanely high in Texas summers! As the electric company took out September’s payment early, there’s no electric bill included here, so it brings this category way down this month. It should increase in October, but just to a normal level again.
Car – (Insurance, Maintenance, Tolls) +$162 – We had a couple of big hits to this category during September. First, we had to renew the registration on my wife’s car. We also had to renew our AAA membership – and yikes, I can’t believe how expensive it seems. I guess it pays for itself if we ever need it, but it does seem expensive when you’re looking at the bill :(.
Gas – (just gas for our cars) +$123 – Yeah…we sucked in this category for September. It’s football season in Texas and our team is pretty far away, so we’re spending a lot of time and gas driving to the games. It gets expensive, but it’s definitely worth it! I expect gas to remain high for the fall and then to (hopefully) go down in the spring.
Groceries – (Anything we spend at Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club/Kroger/other grocery stores that’s not otherwise marked in another category goes here) -$97 – No major Sam’s trips this month, so that definitely saved our budget here. We’re still slightly over our budget for this category, but not by a meaningful amount, and way under last month.
Eating Out – (pretty self explanatory) +$78 – Uhh…so yeah, we definitely sucked on this part of our budget! My wife and I are doing a weight loss challenge (which isn’t going awesome right now) and the winner gets a $100 gift card – woohoo!!! The only bad part is we have to pay for it, which came out of September’s eating out budget. The other piece of this is from our dinner/bar tab to watch a football game. Our team was playing an away game on a specialized cable channel, and as we don’t have cable, we went out to watch it. While it wasn’t cheap, it’s still much more cost effective than paying for cable every month!
Personal – (Dry Cleaning, Haircuts, Clothing, Medical, Vet, Other Pet Expenses) -$33 – After a relatively expensive August with some pet bills, September was very close to normal/budget, so no complaints here.
Vacation – (any Vacation spending) -$244 – Well, we didn’t buy any plane tickets or buy more state park passes, so this month was much cheaper! We’ve got some vacation expenses coming up in November/December, but hopefully this category should stay pretty low until then.
Misc – (Allowance, Gifts, Entertainment, Other) +$285 – We definitely had a lot of “misc” expenses in September. We haven’t had our jewelry (mainly my wife’s wedding/engagement rings) insured for a while, so we got new/updated appraisals on those and my wedding ring so we can finally get that in order. The total for that was $284, yikes!!!! My wife had some phone trouble with her almost two-year-old Evo 4G, so we paid $35 to replace it with a like-new refurbished unit. Of course, while she was in the Sprint store the “helpful” store employees let her know that she would be able to get on the waitlist for a new iPhone 5 for only a deposit, so that’s another $50 spent! As both of us are eligible for new phones in October, and we’re both getting the new iPhone 5, it should be another expensive month in the misc category!
All things considered, I think September was a great month. Our income was lower than August, as expected, but our expenses were pretty consistent and very close to our $3000 budget. And I have to be honest, I just can’t imagine a time in my life where $5k in net income is a bad month! At our current income/spending level, for every month we work, we can pay for almost three months of expenses, which is amazing! Well, it’s closer to 2.6 months of expenses, but I’m still pretty excited about that. As you know, one of my main aspirations is to be financially independent, and being able to earn and save like this is a big piece of the puzzle. I’m looking forward to working through my “challenges” with LendingClub so we can increase our passive income to more than the $58 in interest we brought in this month!
I hope you enjoyed reading all about our income and expenses for September. Let me know if you have any questions/comments! How was your September? Better than you thought? Worse? Share it here!
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