February's spending didn't go as well as I'd have liked. Nothing really stood out as being excessive and the total expenses came in right in line with January's spending. I need to find a way to start cutting some expenses if I want a shot a hitting my goal of less than $2,350 in average monthly total expenses. I mentioned in my 2014 goals post that I'm changing the way I calculate my expenses and savings. I usually save for expenses like gifts, property taxes, car insurance, travel, and more each month and some of those categories were counted as savings, even though they were earmarked to be spent. With the new year I'm now counting all of those savings categories as expenses rather than savings.
Total expenses for the month came in at $2,680.53 which was about $6.00 higher than January, so I'd call it flat month to month. The expense categories I'm focusing on for the year continue to be my food expenses, both groceries and restaurants. Groceries did a lot better than in January and just barely tallied over my $200 per month target at $209.22. Restaurants came in well under my $110 target at just $82.39 which I'm very happy about. Despite the fairly good job I did with my food expenses compared to February, total expenses were pretty much flat thanks to $47 being spent at bars and $40 for my gym membership. I don't go out to bars all that often so occasionally spending $50 is fine by me, but the gym membership cost will be recurring. Although that goes in line with my goal to improve my overall fitness by losing weight, specifically fat, and gaining muscle. I'm still well over my $2,350 target by about $300 so I'm not sure if there's even a realistic chance of hitting that goal. That's a shame since it's only February and one of my goals is already shot. There's not a whole lot of wiggle room in my budget but there's still some areas I can cut; namely miscellaneous and food spending.
Passive income expense coverage was pretty solid considering the relatively high expenses and solid month of dividends. I received $224 in dividends during February and another $5 in interest bringing my potential retirement income to $229.29. That was good enough to cover 8.55% of my total expenses for the month. That almost doubled February 2013's 4.89% mark. My FI Income, monthly income based on the 30 year US Treasury bond yield of 3.59% using my net worth excluding traditional retirement accounts, came in at $690.81 which covered 25.77% of my expenses from February.
*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 Income 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.
|Category||Budgeted Amount||Actual Amount||Subtotal|
|Debt Payment (Fridge)||$300.00||$300.00|
I've updated my Progress page to reflect February's changes.
Also, I'm starting a newsletter that I hope to get going over the next month or two so go on and be the first to sign up to receive new posts to your email and newsletter!
How did you do on your budget for the month? Is there anything you're going to focus more on in March?