Income Update - January 2013

January was a truly awesome month.  I ended up bringing home over $2,200 more than my average for 2012 and the best part is that all went straight to savings.  I only overshot one category by a lot but that'll start getting in check beginning with February.  Grocery expenses were the only other category that I went over but it was right in line with where my spending was during 2012 so I'm not too disappointed by it although I do need to work a little more on it.  My minimum expenses for the month came in at $1,304.19 which was my lowest total for a full month.  I did get lower last June but that was mainly from being on the honeymoon which those expenses were all saved for.  TTM minimum expenses are averaging $1,469.13.  Total expenses for January ended at $1,451.85 and brought the TTM average down to $1,631.36.  Dividend and interest income was pretty light for the month at only $25.09, so my potential retirement income covered only 1.92% of expenses.  The 30 year treasury yield ended January at 3.17% which brings my FI number up to $288.37, over 2.5 times January 2012's number.  This would cover 22.11% of my minimum January expenses.  I know my expenses will creep back up some because my cell phone bill was noticeably missing since I started the new contract by joining on my wife's account in the middle of a cycle so they held off on the billing.  I'm not too happy with that but it is what it is.

*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 is my liquid assets invested at the 30 year treasury bond yield at the end of each month divided by 12 to get monthly income.

Monthly Income
Category Amount
Paycheck $7,774.60
Expense Check $1,626.47
TOTAL $9,401.07

Monthly Expenses
Category Budgeted Amount Actual Amount Subtotal
Rent $480.00 $480.00
Utilities $210.00 $115.19
Gas $175.00 $134.54
Car Insurance $95.00 $95.00
Groceries $200.00 $234.09
Restaurants $125.00 $121.33
Entertainment $0.00 $0.00
Cell Phone $10.81 $10.81
Other $49.06 $49.06
Miscellaneous $55.00 $136.83
Gifts $0.00 $0.00
Trip $300.00 $300.00
Roth IRA $0.00 $0.00
Emergency Fund $249.19 $272.21
Gifts $50.00 $50.00
FI savings $7,327.01 $7,327.01
Car Maint/Repair $75.00 $75.00
TOTAL $9,401.07
I've updated my Progress page to reflect January's changes.


  1. Wow, that's a great amount to save in just one month! I look forward to see what you purchase with that extra cash. I need to get a budget put together myself. I do like the visuals.

    1. AAI,

      It was a great month, especially with the higher than normal income because all of the difference goes straight to savings. I'm a big fan of the budget or spending plan if you will. It helps me out so much because it forces me to stay on track. I don't really care if I go over on an particular category because I have some built in wiggle room and since my expenses are so low anyways it's not going to kill me if I go over on something.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I envy how low your expenses are. Less than my rent alone. I don't think I could in this area without moving to the slums and getting a roommate. Keep it up!

    1. MFIJ,

      I'd like to get them a little bit lower, but I don't think I can realistically drop them too much more. If I wasn't married they would be cut probably in half because I work a job where I am out of town and stay in a trailer, oil field work at its finest, so my housing would be taken care of save the few days that I'm home which I'd just pitch $1-200 to my friend and crash on his couch when I was back in town. But I can't complain because I have an awesome wife and the expenses are still well within check.

      The area you live in makes a huge difference. I live in a pretty low cost of living area so that helps out even more. I'm sure if my wife and I lived on one of the coasts and purchased the exact same stuff we'd be spending much more.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Pursuit,

    Great job man. Saving over $7k in one month is fantastic. That's more than the yearly savings for a lot of people. Keep up the great work.

    I need to find some work up in those oilfields! :)

    Best wishes.

    1. DM,

      It was a great month that's to the higher than normal income. It's pretty amazing and unfortunate how true that comment is. Just squirreling away a little bit every paycheck makes sense. You never know what's going to happen. I guess I'd just rather have a more secure future in case anything happened.

      The oil field does provide some nice pay, but you're going to have to deal with being away from home. That's the biggest drawback and the main reason we're paid so well because the work isn't all that difficult.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. You're one determined fella. Almost everyone I know envy the wealthy, yet none of them would be willing to make this type of sacrafice...because the neighbours can see the BMW but not the investment account. My hat is off to you.

    1. ADY,

      I really want to be able to hit FI much earlier than normal and hopefully much earlier than my 40 target. I envy the wealthy only because of the freedom they can have but not so much for the things they own. If money truly was no object then I have to admit I'd have a bunch of stuff. Well mainly a boat and four-wheelers, stuff that I can use to have a great time.

      Luckily cars were never my thing, I always just wanted something that gets me from point a to point b without breaking down and that gets good gas mileage. That's why I have a Civic. I'm one of the few people where I work that doesn't have a SUV or truck. I've been keeping track of my MPG and my car costs me around $0.10 per mile without including maintenance, almost everyone else here is paying at least $0.20 per mile so that's a 50% savings right there.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Wow, $7k/month towards the early FI fund. You are absolutely killing it! What a great way to start the new year. Man, that's a lot of ammo to play with... too bad the stock market is a bit pricey atm. Are you planning on hoarding the cash for the next pullback, or will you sell some more puts?

    1. FI,

      It was a great month with the high income and low expenses. I couldn't agree more that it was the perfect start to the new year. I had accelerated some of that savings forward to December to make some buys then and the rest is spoken for with the KO and BAC puts. That's the advantage of having a decent sized emergency fund. I can cash flow from my EF to my brokerage account and then just replenish it when the paycheck clears.

      I don't really know what I'd be doing. There's a few stocks that I wouldn't mind owning at the current prices or at least close to it. JNJ needs to come down just a bit, but LMT could possibly work. I'd probably lean more towards selling puts or sitting on the cash for a bit. I have a feeling that we'll be getting a correction soon. Who knows if that's right though.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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