March's spending was pretty much par for the course with the previous 4 months and I'm hoping to finally make some progress on lowering my expenses. Nothing really stands out as being way excessive but as usual my grocery and restaurant budget came in a bit high. Well, a lot high actually as groceries were about 25% over budget and restaurants were about 15%. It normally works out to where one is over budget and the other comes in under but March was not kind as far as food expenses. It's a shame that my goal of $2,350 in average monthly expenses is pretty much already dead after just the first quarter, but I'm still going to try and find ways to lower my expenses as much as possible. The biggest opportunity is going to be food because an average of $327 per month so far this year seems way high considering I'm buying mainly for myself throughout the month.
Total expenses for the month came in at $2,662.21 which was my lowest for the year so far, but still essentially a flat month. My average total expenses have been in a pretty tight range so far this year with just $18 from March's low to February's high with January falling in between.
Passive income expense coverage was pretty solid considering the relatively high expenses thanks to a great month of dividends. I received $565.55 in dividend during March and another $2.76 in interest bringing my potential retirement income to $568.31. That was good enough to cover 22.64% of my total expenses for the month, excluding my trip savings/expenses. That's my highest monthly coverage since the new expenses related to our house started rolling in back in October. That was well above Feburary's 8.55% mark although April should tick back down to high single or low teens coverage. My FI Income, monthly income based on the 30 year US Treasury bond yield of 3.54% using my net worth excluding traditional retirement accounts, came in at $701.60 which covered 27.95% of my expenses from March.
*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|
**Expenses shown above are only expenses that I paid for. My wife and I have split our expenses up due to my job having me out of town most of each month. The current split is around 60/40.
Overall I wasn't excited about this month but I wasn't really all that disappointed either. My two main goals moving forward are to decrease my food expenses and to get back on the trackin' wagon by keeping my budget up to date throughout the month. For the last 6 months of so I've been reconciling my budget at the end of the month instead of during the month so expenses have probably crept up a little due to that. Although it's good to see that even with the expense creep, they are still coming in at pretty much the same level.
I've updated my Progress page to reflect March'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 April?