Sunday, April 16, 2017

Income/Expenses: March 2017

Happy Easter! He is risen!

One of my favorite posts of the month! It's very personal and helps keep me extremely accountable!

I think it takes a little bit of guts to share your income and expenses openly with the world. But that said, I think there is value for both of us in reading this post. I will do a similar post every month.

General Thoughts on this Month: Overall a pretty standard month for our family. Unfortunately I fell short of my Savings Goal this month, but part of the reason for that was due to some flight expenses for my wife and I that I've spread across two months, and also because of lower than usual 'job' income.  

I have money being automatically deducted from my paycheck in order to pay back my TSP loan (another one of my goals, goal #10), and so once that debt has been repaid it should be easier to hit my monthly savings target.  That said, I've updated my all-time Savings Rate page here.

Listed below is a detailed display of all income and expenses specifically for the month of March 2017.  Every penny in and out, recorded!

General Thoughts on INCOME:
1) Income was boosted this month due to 'side job freelance' by myself and my wife. Every little bit helps and it pays to side-hustle!

2) Lending Club is getting smaller and smaller and should go to zero by the end of this year. No additional comments!

3) Dividends were solid at over $600. Of course they were reinvested to continue the growth process.

General Thoughts on EXPENSES:
1) The 'Everything Else' category was very high, but only because of around ~$500 in airfare costs.  Overall we kept everything in check.

2) This is our last month with DirecTV! Excited to see that cost eliminated from the budget.  Thanks to those who recommended I do this!

The 'Post Takeaway' - I think the two key takeaways from this month are:

1) Consistency: Being consistent with your plan is boring.  There is nothing special or exciting about it, and it takes serious discipline to follow your plan month after month after month after month. But the results always follow! I believe you have to have enough consistency to really see your plan through and give it the time it takes in order to succeed.

2) Patience: For those who have read my blog in the past, you know that I've been in the fight of my life to get out of debt (...albeit debt that I willing incurred) for the last two years.  As much as I would love to double the above savings rate (and shoot for the 40s to 50%s range), it takes patience to see your plan succeed.  For me, it is being patient that I've made the right decisions in terms of real estate, and that eventually we'll be able to save and invest more. 

On that note, our North Carolina property is about to go on the market as an active rental property, and ideally it will generate over $350/mo in cash flow alone.  Believe me when I tell you that it has taken a lot of patience to achieve this outcome, but patience is what it is required to succeed.

So there you have it. Consistency and Patience.  Two critical elements to a successful financial plan, in my opinion.  Treat these qualities well!

I suppose that's it. What do you think of my March Income/Expenses report? I'd love to hear your thoughts below.

Thanks for reading!


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