Income and Expenses – August 2012

by AB@AspiringBlogger.com

Income and Expenses Aspiring Blogger August 2012Welcome to the first installment of my income and expense report. This format may evolve over the next few months, but my goal is just to show you how eye opening it can be to carefully track all of your income and expenses (just like with your net worth, which you’re already doing, right??). As with my August 2012 Net Worth post, the “Change” column will be blank as this is the first month I’m publishing. Next month should have some more interesting data. The only difference here is that on my expense categories I will show you how far over/under budget I was for the month.

Enjoy!

INCOME:

Job 1 – This is my regular salary from my day job, after taxes and 401(k) deductions. I’ll be the first to admit that I make a great income, I’d just rather be doing something else with my time so I can sleep in my own bed at night. Out of my paycheck $435 goes to my 401(k) so technically I could list this somewhere else (a savings category maybe?) but for now I’ll just talk about it.

Job 2 – This is my wife’s salary from her job. She is paid biweekly and August had three pay periods so this number is higher than it will typically be. The best part of that is her contribution to her retirement was $572 for the month – which means that between us we put away over $1000 pretax into our retirement accounts – not bad!

Interest – Back in the “good old days” when interest rates were up at 4 and 5%, you didn’t need much to earn $44 a month in interest. I earn anywhere from .2% (checking) to .8% (savings) which is pretty decent considering the current market.

EXPENSES:

Currently our expense budget (before any retirement/saving/investing) is right at $3000 a month.

Rent – (just the rent) +$0 – We sold our house earlier this year to shorten our commute and now we’re renters again. While the rent is higher than I would like, it’s definitely manageable and it’s nice not to worry about repairs and general upkeep!

Home – (Electric, Gas, Water, Internet, Netflix, Home Furnishings) +$163 – We were way over budget, but mainly because our electric company was late taking out last month’s payment from our account and early taking August’s payment (which was $199). Other than that things were pretty much in line here

Car – (Insurance, Maintenance, Tolls) -$106 – We had some money left over this month, but this is just a timing issue. We pay our insurance twice a year (July and January) and the rest of the month there is a nice $111 cushion in this budget. Just wait until January and this category won’t look so good!!

Gas – (just gas for our cars) -$5 – Since we moved and drastically reduced our commute, our gas bills have gone down as well. Our budget for gas is $150 a month, so it’s nice to be able to come in under that.

Groceries – (Anything we spend at Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club/Kroger/other grocery stores that’s not otherwise marked in another category goes here) +$112 – My wife and I went on a camping trip the last weekend in August and spent a good chunk of change on supplies for that. We also went to Sam’s Club looking for camping supplies and came away with way more than we went in for… I think we could survive for months without buying food at this point!

Eating Out – (pretty self explanatory) +$5 – We normally don’t eat out much, but during August we had people over and ordered pizza for that and we also took lunch over when we visited our friends’ house that had just had a baby – so definitely money well spent. 

Personal – (Dry Cleaning, Haircuts, Clothing, Medical, Vet, Other Pet Expenses) +$31 – August was time to buy heartworm pills for the dogs – so there goes $83!! If anyone knows where to get those suckers cheaper, please let me know! Other than that, a pretty cheap month…just how I like it! 🙂

Vacation – (any Vacation spending) +$68 – This is one of those categories that we normally just roll from one month to the next until we splurge on a big vacation – but recently we’ve been spending more of it – which isn’t a bad thing. We decided to visit my parents, so we picked up a cheap plane ticket ($168) and the other $100 was for our state park pass and camping fees… yeah… camping is more expensive than you think! Hopefully we’ve got a couple of cheaper months before the spending starts again.

Misc – (Allowance, Gifts, Entertainment, Other) -$67 – We were only under budget because we were reimbursed for a charity run that we did and bought family members tickets for. We set our current budget back in March and we had our allowance (Money we each receive that we can do whatever we want with. I use mine mostly for Starbucks and the occasional electronics purchase, my wife uses hers for eating out at lunch and… other stuff I guess??) figured out. A couple of months later we decided to increase it by $25/each per month so we’re over in this category each and every month. I’m hoping that we’ll be under budget in other categories and it will make up for it, but we’ll see.

Total – +$201 – Considering all the movement, to be only $201 over budget this month is pretty good in my opinion. We’ve had a couple of months since we started tracking our budget this way (April) where we’ve been under budget, so I’m hoping it will all balance out in the end.

OVERALL:

My number one aspiration is to be financially independent, so having Job 1 (my job) represent such a large percentage of our income is something I want to change. In the next few weeks I’m going to be looking into investing a small amount into one (or maybe multiple) peer to peer lending platform that will start generating additional income from the cash stockpile we currently have, but it won’t be much at first. Over time I hope to earn money from many other avenues so that Job 1 will become irrelevant. My first goal will be to have it bring in more each month than I make in interest – then I’ll aim higher from there!

August was an excellent month for us. In addition to saving over $1000 in pretax retirement, we were able to earn over $6200 more than we spent. Obviously our earnings will go down next month as my wife will go back to only two paychecks, but I still think we’ll do pretty well.

So, how was your August? Did you earn as much as you were hoping for/expected? Did your expenses get out of control? Let me know!

AB

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