September wasn't the best of months for expenses but at least they were back on par with the average for the year. Total expenses for the month came to $2,655.90 which was about $16 higher than my YTD average through end of August. The worst categories continued to be grocery and restaurant spending with both coming in over budget. I wasn't too surprised by that since there was a lot of back and forth throughout the month between the issues with our son, Lucas, and then my grandfather passing as well. It's been a really rough second half of 2014 so far although things might start looking better for Lucas. Maybe. Who knows. We're waiting on FDA approval right now. With all that was going on I settled for a lot of convenience foods because I honestly didn't care to focus on my budget all that closely. Hopefully October will settle down a bit and I can get expenses back on the right track but I'm not expecting things to calm down too much. My average monthly expenses through September came to $2,641.54 for just a slight $2 and change increase. Maybe they'll start moving back in the right direction in October. At least that's the plan.
As far as dividends and passive income are concerned it was a banner month. I received $698.60 in dividends and another $2.83 in interest which was my highest monthly total yet. My monthly expense coverage came to 27.38% which is pretty cool to see considering my expenses are still much higher that I ultimately want them to be at. That was around a 3% increase from June 2014. As a dividend growth investor seeking financial independence, my goal is to eventually have enough dividend income coming in on a monthly basis to cover all of my expenses and allow me to consider early retirement. So it's great to see that the long-term trend is higher.
My FI Income, monthly income based on the 30 year US Treasury bond yield of 3.21% using my net worth excluding traditional retirement accounts, came in at $702.04. That was a solid increase from the $669 mark from the end of August, owing mainly to the increase in the 30 year Treasury yield. My FI Income for September covered 27.76% of my 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.
Overall I'm pretty happy with the way the budget ended up considering all of the other issues that were much more important. I'm hoping that October will calm down in real life and thus allow the budget to start being under closer watch as well.
I've updated my Progress page to reflect September'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 October?