Another month down, another month closer to financial independence. Still a long way to go though ;). As I did for January, I’m sharing all of my income and expenses in hopes of being as open as I can with my finances here to chronicle my journey to financial independence. So how’d I do for February? Well I met my overall spending goal, spending only $542.12 out of $2017.02 income for an overall spending rate of only 26.87%! I’m sure it helps a little that February is a little shorter than most months, but still, I’m really happy with this. Of course, it probably helped that I spent the whole month working the night shift at work, so there was really no time to go out and blow any money on drinks/entertainment.
So here’s how it all broke down:
Paychecks: $2017.02 (after taxes, includes base pay and food allowance). Slight increase as I adjusted my tax withholding. I had completely forgot to change it from 0 to 1 once my parents stopped claiming me as a dependent when I moved out a few years ago. Oops! Oh well, guess that explains why I should be getting a decent return again this year 🙂 . This should go down next month as I start my Thrift Savings Plan deductions from my paycheck again.
Food: $243.84. Slight increase from last month (+24.50) but overall staying pretty steady. I budget for $250 so I’m still in good shape here. While this may look like quite a bit for one guy, it does include a monthly 54.99 purchase of whey protein (gotta get ripped ya know 😉 ).
Household Expenses: $27.87. Managed to stock up on quite a few items in January so this went down from $37.85.
Gas: $10.00. Hooray for walking, haha! Managed to keep my car parked the majority of the month. With all of this cold weather lately I think I spent more time letting my car warm up than actually driving ;).
Auto Insurance: $118.66. This will stay the same until at least July when my term expires. Used to be around 90 but got one speeding ticket a few years ago and can’t find any better rate than this right now. Come on 25 years old and that reduction…
Phone: $49.22. Still have my unlimited talk/text/data plan from Net10. If you haven’t heard of Net10 you should check it out. They have some pretty good deals for entry and mid-level smart phones and usually are introducing new plans and more options several times per year. I would like to try out Republic Wireless but alas they run on only AT&T networks which are terrible in my area. Net10 supposedly runs on any available network (doesn’t explain how my Verizon friends seem to always have better service!).
Dining Out: $0. All homemade meals for me this month. With my financial and fitness goals for the year, I’m trying to avoid spending much in this category.
Drinks: $0. My base has a program where you can volunteer to be a designated driver and pick up military members in the community that call for a ride. I volunteered on the majority of my off days this month as I choose to take a month off from drinking myself. Good for my health, my budget, and I get to help out my fellow brothers and sisters here. Triple win.
Entertainment: $7.99. Good old Netflix membership is all I need for at home entertainment. With so many other things to do, when I’m not working (gym, reading, blogging) I really don’t see the point of ever getting cable. It just seems to be such an unnecessary expense.
Other: $29.55. Some of this was buying “The Single Best Investment” by Lowell Miller. Being my frugal self, I have been trying to find this through the city library or maybe an inter-library loan for a while but no luck so I eventually broke down and got it off Amazon a few weeks ago. For those of you that don’t know, it’s supposed to be one of the best investing books out there on dividend growth investing which is the method I use. Once I read it I’ll post a review on here.
Total Expenses: $542.12.
How was February for you with your spending? Did you meet all of your budgeting goals? Leave a comment below to continue the conversation.