Here is the summary of my income and expenses for January 2015.
Day job (take home pay) --- $11,896.95
Dividends/interest --- $786.40
Total net income --- $12,683.35
Expenses --- $6757.12 (ouch!!!)
Savings --- $5926.23 Rate --- 46.72%
January usually is one of the slowest months at work, but we increased sales by 7% and net profit by over 20%. So while my income was lower than most months, it was higher than last January. Dividend income was good and continues to move in my favorite direction up.
At first glance my expenses were way out of whack! I hate explaining away certain outlier expenses because there are always seemingly special circumstances each and every month. With that said, included in my expenses are my property taxes for the entire year, my auto insurance paid through June, and finally $500 I paid back to my savings account for a fence I had installed last summer.
Removing these three irregular yet necessary payments would lower my January total down to $3554.12. Obviously these expenses are real and therefore I listed them above, but the next several months should be (hopefully) more normal. Oh, except during April when I have to pay income taxes....see what I mean, there are always expenses that can be explained away but are real nonetheless. One more thing, our Christmas expenses (presents, dinners, etc) charged in December were paid on Jaunuary's credit card statemtent and is also included in the above expense total.
Also, when calculating my take home pay, it is net of my health insurance, HSA, and my 401k contributions. I could probably filter all these different deductions, but I'm not going to hassle with it as I like to keep things relatively simple.
My wife also works and has her own checking and savings accounts (so she claims). She has a pretty good and simple strategy for keeping her expenses down. She simple lets me pay for all the household, food, car, medical, animal, insurance, and other life expenses we incur. :-) Like I mentioned her plan is pretty solid and seems to work well for her.
So I don't appear totally
Anyway since our house and cars are paid off, our (my) expenses right now should stay around $3,200 a month. In time I hope to drop these expenses to around $2500.
It is amazing how many job related expenses occur each month. Between work lunches, dress clothes and shoes, frequent hair cuts, dry cleaning, gas, and auto maintenence I know that I could eliminate around $300.00 a month at least.
In addition to these work related expenses, it seems like there is always a cause (employees fundraising for kids, random solicitors, high school coupon book, food drives, etc.) that sucks $20-$50 a month from me. I have to admit I usually fall prey to these types of things. Last month I think I contributed $50 to a fundraiser for the local animal shelter. While these are worthwhile donations that I don't mind helping out with, it is unlikely that I would spend money on these things outside my workplace....or at least less frequently.
Anyway, my plan is to continue posting these results in a general, non itemized form each month and hopefully this will increase my focus on making improvements in both income and expenses. I had no idea that I spent this much money last month until I went down my bank statement just before making this post. It certainly is an eye-opening experience.