As I do every month, I’m sharing all of my income and expenses this month in hopes of being as open as 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. I hope that by sharing these monthly updates I can also prove that it is possible to take control of your financial life and invest a high percentage of your income, even on a small salary.
So how’d I do in September? Pretty good, making it the second straight month of being able to save 50% of my net income. Since I spent most of this month in school finishing up a leadership course for work, I didn’t have a whole lot of time for anything else which definitely helped keep expenses down.
So here’s how it all broke down:
Job Income: $2636.51.
Rent/Utilities: $538.05. Rent is $500 a month and I’m also responsible for the electric bill which includes heating costs. So far seems to be running between $30-40 a month.
Renter’s Insurance: $0. I decided to pay this all up front just to take care of it for the next 6 months in July.
Food/Drinks: $246.88. After one of my lower spending months in August, this category jumped up quite a bit as I stocked up on a lot of staple items. Trying to get better at cooking cheaper meals going forward.
Dining Out/Fast-Food: $33.10.
Household/Personal Expenses: $83.08.
Clothing/Shoes: $94.20. Some more misc. uniform items for work.
Gas: $80.00. Sadly the days of $20 or under gas months is over with me living further away from work now. Going forward I’d like to keep this to about $40-50 a month, not including any travel for weekend trips, vacation, etc.
Auto Insurance: $0. Switched to liability in July after the recommendations of several people here in the blogging community, cutting my monthly bill down to less than $40 a month. Decided to just pay for the remainder of this year so I don’t have to worry about it until January.
Car Maintenance: $13.99. One headlight bulb for the car.
Phone: $43.86. Been looking at various other options, but with the limited service choices in my area and having gotten used to having a smart phone, I’ll be sticking with Net10 for the forseeable future. Still not a bad deal, compared to the monthly rates companies like Verizon charge for their contacts.
Entertainment: $7.99. Good ole Netflix.
Donation: $28.00. This will be a new monthly category here as I’ve decided to donate $25 a month to start off to Child Fund International, a great charity that my family has been donating to for quite a while and I’ve donated randomly to over the last few years. This month and going forward I’m donating to their “Essentials for Survival” fund which provides basic necessities like access to water, food and healthcare to children around the world.
Total Expenses: $1242.10.
Expense Rate: 47%
Savings Rate: 53%
How did you do in September, did you meet all of your budgeting goals?