October was just flat out horrible for my budget. My minimum expenses for October came in at $1,595.79 which was a welcomed decrease from September. Unfortunately that was still well above my average minimum expenses of $1,434.18 through September. Grocery expenses were way out of line for October. While I was home I made a lot of grocery purchases and stocked up with some essentials for the house and while at work I just purchased a bunch of junk. That's a sure fire way to blow a budget. There was so much that was going on in October with both work and the new house that I didn't get to keep track of my expenses very well. I think I only updated my spreadsheet twice during the month instead of as the expenses are incurred. My average minimum expenses are now at $1,450.34 which is well over my $1,400 per month goal for the year. I don't expect to be able to get the expenses back down under the $1,400 level due to the increased housing costs that will start showing up in November but I'll do my best to keep them as low as possible. Consequently, my total expenses increased pretty significantly as well up to $1,968.42. This is well above the $1,587 average through September and increased my average total expenses up to $1,635. Some of that was due to the debt payment that I have on the refrigerator that we purchased for the new house. It's at 0% interest for 12 months so we're going to take about 11 months to pay it off with a $300 monthly payment. Luckily I have the cash flow to be able to pay it off in full if I deem that to be the best use of the money and I would do that immediately it we weren't getting 0% financing.
As mentioned in my October dividend update, I received $128.15 in dividends last month. Adding in the $0.98 in interest income brought my total potential retirement income for October to $129.13. My expense coverage ratio just from dividends and interest was decent at 8.09% of my minimum expenses. Despite the increased expenses, October's coverage was higher than July 2013's coverage of 6.82% and October 2012's coverage of 1.77%, so I'm quite pleased. My FI income, monthly income based on the 30 year US Treasury bond of 3.64% using my net worth excluding traditional retirement accounts, came in at $588.26 which covered 36.86% of my minimum expenses from October.
*Minimum Expenses are only the expenses related to rent, utilities, car, food, minimum payment on debt and other necessities. In other words, the required amount of replacement income I would need for financial independence.
*Total Expenses are the total monthly outflow of money.
*Potential Retirement Income is income received from dividends, interest, cash back from credit card purchases and any other source of income not related to my job.
*FI is my liquid net worth invested at the 30 year treasury bond yield at the end of each month divided by 12 to get monthly income.
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I've updated my Progress page to reflect October's changes.
How did you do on your budget for the month? Is there anything you're going to focus more on in October due to September's spending?