My expenses continue to come in pretty much in line with just minor fluctuation. Luckily though I caught April on the downswing of that fluctuation and they came in at their lowest level over the last 5 months. It's still way more than I'd like as total expenses ended up at $2,616.11 which is well above my goal of $2,350 in average monthly expenses for the year. Yep, that goal is pretty much DOA but I'll continue to do my best to look for inefficiencies and where I can try and cut. Overall food spending continues to be a thorn in my budget but I'm still not concerned with them. I just want to be more efficient with my food spending and doing more cooking will help out with that. Fuel expenses ended up slightly over budget thanks to a combination of higher gas prices and more driving. There's not much I can do to curtail these costs because I don't do much useless driving so I expect these costs to continue to rise on average as gas prices continue to tick higher as the summer gets in full swing.
Total expenses for the month came in at $2,616.11 which was my lowest for the year so far, but it was still essentially a flat month since my high for the year is just $64 higher. But progress is progress and I hope to be able build on this little bit of improvement. My average total expenses are $2,658.35 so far in 2014.
The good news is that expenses made a little bit of improvement but my passive income made big strides. I received $203.98 in dividends during April which was a 37% increase from January 2014. Adding in the $3.26 in interest and my total passive income for April was $207.24 which covered 8.53% of my expenses, excluding my savings for my trip. That compares quite nicely to January's coverage of just 5.66%. Even better is that I received payments from Adsense and Seeking Alpha which totaled an extra $456.03. Adding in that income brings my expense coverage up to 27.30% for the month. As a dividend growth investor, the rising dividend stream is what I'm most concerned about but the extra income from online sources is great as that's extra money I can use to invest and build towards my goal of financial independence. My FI Income, monthly income based on the 30 year US Treasury bond yield of 3.46% using my net worth excluding traditional retirement accounts, came in at $709.52. I'm most concerned about the dividend income rising month after month but I also like to keep track of my FI Income to get a better overall picture of the potential monthly passive income I could generate. My FI Income for the month covered 29.21% of April's expenses.
*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 65/35.
I did better tracking my expenses throughout the month which is probably the reason why expenses came in lower for the month. I still need to do a better job tracking but April was a good start on getting back on the wagon.
I've updated my Progress page to reflect April'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?