Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Income/Expenses: April 2017

Sorry this post is a little late.  It's been a little crazy lately with my Graduation from Duke. 

So I'll get right to it:

General Thoughts on this Month: Overall this month had a lot of larger expenses, making it very hard to achieve a high savings rate. I've said it before and I will say it again, it doesn't really matter how much money you make if you're spending it all! 

The road to wealth is in consistently having a large difference between what you earn and what you spend.  The 'extra' that you have at the end of each month, wisely invested, is what makes you wealthy.  See my Must Read Books and read The Richest Man In Babylon, where this point is really hit home.

Additionally, I've updated my all-time Savings Rate page here.

Without further adieu, listed below is a detailed display of all income and expenses specifically for the month of April 2017.  Every penny in and out, recorded!

General Thoughts on INCOME:
1) Income was again boosted this month due to 'side job freelance' by myself and my wife. I've been very thankful for this additional income while we pay down debt. I'd add that you always should be thinking of ways to increase your income if you're going to ultimately be consistently earning more than your expenses.  You'll see what I mean below (in my thoughts on expenses...)

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) This month was extremely rough on expenses.  From the above list of expenses, you can see our 'Shopping', 'Gifts and Donations', and 'Everything Else' (what we don't actually have a budget category for), were all very, very high this month. In addition to our regular, routine expenses, we had these 'extraordinary' expenses this month listed below, and these are just the bigger ones!:

*About $400 in education costs
*A $300 diet program for my wife
*A $200 repair part for our refrigerator
*About $80 in car repair costs
*About $400 in additional food costs.  We had several larger gatherings that we hosted at our house, in which we put all of the food costs under 'Gifts and Donations', making that category higher as well.

The 'Post Takeaway' - Expenses always add up, and sometimes they add up VERY quickly!

To elaborate, there are going to be months when you experience a lot of expenses, despite your diligence and discipline (that I wrote about last month).  When this happens, it becomes even more important to have a lot of income to help offset those expenses. Thankfully, due to some very hard work, despite this extremely large list of expenses this month we were still able to achieve a positive savings rate of 13%.  Can you imagine all of these costs without having the income to cover them? It is easy to get into deep credit card debt!

Now, I of course don't like at all how small a savings rate of 13% is compared to our monthly goal amount of 28%, but at least it was still a positive number.  And in fact, 13% saved consistently per month should still get you to a comfortable retirement (albeit after a long time of savings, but still).  We'll have to have some big months to make this up, but at least we have time to do so, with still over 8 months of Income/Expenses reports in the year left to publish.

Well that is it.  What do you think of my April Income/Expenses report? I'd love to hear your thoughts below.

Thanks for reading!



  1. Your internet, directtv, and call phone bills seems awfully high. Could you get a triple play from one of the major cable providers bring cable and internet down to 125, then switch to a low cost provider. We use straight talk from Walmart which is on the Verizon network in my town. I am going to try and go with a cheaper alternative soon as well.

    I know how the struggle is real with a wife and kids Keep grinding.

  2. I do have months like that as well Dan. The nice thing, like you said ,is if you have that buffer to protect you from going into any debt. So the takeaway is always to keep your expenses well below your income.