Income/Expense Report: April 2014

As I do every month, I’m sharing all of my income and expenses this month in hopes of being as open I can about my finances here to chronicle my journey to financial independence. Keeping my expenses low each month will allow me to have more money to set aside and invest in high quality, dividend growth stocks that I will use to reach financial independence.

So how’d I do in April? Overall it a great month as I was able to save more than 50% of my net income for the month which is my goal each month. In addition to my regular day-job income I also received my federal and state tax returns this month so I had a nice bonus.

So here’s how it all broke down:


Regular Job Income: $1951.56.

Other Income: $2903.00. This was my combined federal and state tax returns. While it was nice to get a large return which I put into my Roth, picking up shares in Visa and Aflac, I’ve adjusted my withholding since so I shouldn’t be giving Uncle Sam such a large loan next year.

Total Income: $4854.56.


Food/Drinks: $235.62.

Household Expenses: $60.51.

Clothing/Shoes: $63.99. I picked up some new running shoes this month which were way overdue. As part of my job/workout regimen I usually run 2-3 times per week so I wear through shoes pretty quickly.

Gas: $21.00.

Auto Insurance: $118.66. Come on 25 years old and that reduction. 🙂 I’m keeping full coverage on my car right now with all the traveling I plan on doing later this year but my drop it down to liability only in the future.

Phone: $43.86. I’m now on a slightly cheaper plan through Net10, though by accident. I recently switched over all of my monthly bills from auto-payments with my debit card to my credit card to take advantage of the cash-back rewards. Apparently I messed up with setting up my phone account so my new payment never processed and service was shut off on my phone. Not a big deal, only took a few minutes to correct, its just that it took me 4 days to notice! I thought people were just ignoring my texts. When I reactivated it I noticed Net10 now offers a cheaper version of their unlimited talk/text plan with less data. Since I primarily use my phone for talk and text anyway I signed up. Should save me about $6 a month.

Internet: $54.99.

Dining Out/Fast Food: $12.00. Yay for Subway!

Entertainment: $7.99. Good ole Netflix.

Donation: $95.00. This has been a category I’ve been slacking with this year after donating monthly all of last year. I don’t have a set goal for this category this month but I plan on purchasing something from the “Gift Catalog” section of Childfund International monthly. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Childfund, they are a global charity organization that specializes in helping children. While I’m not ready for the commitment of sponsoring a child myself, I’d like to continue to help out in other ways. This month my donation went toward buying a pig, feed supply, and training for a family.

Total Expenses: $713.62.

Expense Rate based off Regular Job Income:  36%.

How did you do in April? Did you meet all of your budgeting goals?


  1. SFZ,

    Great job again with the expenses. I’d love to get my expenses down to that level, because I’d then be able to semi-retire already. Keep up the great work there!

    I’m hoping at some point to break below $1,000 in expenses for a month. That would be awesome!

    Best wishes.

    1. Thanks Jason. Just trying to take advantage of not having a lot of responsibilities right and now and try to front-load as much as possible with my investing.

      Getting below $1000 would be awesome, especially since you have to pay for rent/utilities which I won’t have to start worrying about until later this year. Good luck!

      Best wishes,

  2. Excellent work with your spending, especially in the eating and dining out category. I don’t think I’ve ever come close to that low. Respecting the donations as well 🙂

    Keep at it, what you’re doing is working very well.

    1. Thanks Ryan! I try to limit the amount I spend on dining out since it’s better for both my health and wallet to cook meals at home. 🙂 While I probably won’t donate that much each month I want to make more of an effort to do so on a regular basis.

      Thanks for commenting, best wishes,

  3. Thank you so much for sharing! Because of you, DividendMantra, and a couple of other sites, I think about every purchase I need. I did not spend a lot, but I really, really think about expenditures.

    1. Margaret,

      You’re welcome, I’m glad you find these updates helpful! 🙂 You hit the nail on the head with your comment. It really is all about developing a mindset that you think about all your purchases prior to spending money and separating them into necessities and discretionary purchases and maintaining the proper balance between the two.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Best wishes,

  4. Great job keeping your expenses at 36%! Keep doing that and you will see your portfolios grow fairly quick. Not sure if your shooting for early retirement but if you keep your expenses low, it will be within reach in no time. Keep in up…you’re killing it! AFFJ

    1. Thanks AFFJ. April was a pretty good month for expenses. Not so much for this past month when I went way over that mark but I’d like it to average at to 50% or less for the year.

      Right now I’m shooting for early retirement with a goal to be able to “retire” at age 40.

      Best regards,

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