Surprisingly May saw my lowest expenses of the year so far. Considering how much driving and eating out that I did I didn't expect that at all. Although I did have about 5 days that didn't get tracked in my expenses because I was on vacation in Vegas. Any expenses that are incurred during trips gets taken from my savings for trips and not accounted for in my regular monthly expenses. It's all really a wash in the end but it works best for me to keep track of it this way. Total expenses for the month came in at $2,529.12 which was $87 less than April's total and $129 less than my average monthly expenses for the year so far. While I'd love to see this trend continue I don't expect to be able to make much more improvement but I'll do my best to get them lower. My average monthly expenses this year is $2,632.50 which is well above my goal of $2,350 for the year. I'm thinking I'll either stop reporting on that goal or change my goal higher to give me a more realistic goal to shoot for over the second half of the year. Fuel and food expenses continue to be the largest expenses that I have outside of those related to our house and I expect fuel to probably remain elevated as the price of gas should start it's summer climb.
The really good news is that dividends were higher and expenses were much lower than recent months so my passive income coverage increased over 14% compared to February 2014. I received $244.51 in dividends in May plus $3.03 in interest giving a total passive income of $247.54 which covered 9.79% of my expenses. That's a solid increase from the 8.55% coverage in February. As a dividend growth investor seeking financial independence I'm primarily concerned with the expense coverage that my dividends can provide and it's great to see them continuing to rise. My FI Income, monthly income based on the 30 year US Treasury bond yield of 3.31% using my net worth excluding traditional retirement accounts, came in at $693.11. This was a decline of around $30 from April but that was mainly thanks to a decline in the 30 year treasury yield from 3.46% down to 3.31%. My FI Income for the month covered 28.21% of May'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've updated my Progress page to reflect May's changes.
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How did you do on your budget for the month? Is there anything you're going to focus more on in May?