Budget Check & Cash Flow Update - September 2018

Budget | Cash Flow | Personal Finance
Budget Check & Cash Flow Update - September 2018

The saying goes that cash is king.  While that's true, a more accurate saying when it comes to finances is that cash FLOW is king.  Whether you're retired, still working or just starting out the only way you can improve your financial house is to have positive cash flow.  

If you're in the accumulation phase then that positive cash flow allows you to save and invest to build up your future cash flow.  If you're already retired, or FIREd, then congratulations because I'm sure your cash flow is well above what you need.

We've been fairly lax in regards to our budgeting, but the time is right to really get things moving forward.  One of our big goals for 2018 is to focus on our monthly spending.  When it comes to personal finance it's rather simple income - expenses = savings and savings x investing = financial independence.  There's obviously two main levers there and while we'd all like to increase our income, many times reducing expenses is some of the low hanging fruit that you can go after to increase your savings.

Budget Check

Total income for September came in at $8,454.34.  The majority of which, $7,395.42, came from my day job.  Expenses were down slightly compared to August but were still sizable at $7,656.47.  However, that does include $4,109.04 in additional debt payments so expenses actually came in at $3,547.43.  

We were still able to eek out $797.87 of positive cash flow for the month including all income sources.  The big news from September is that the A/C debt is officially gone which freed up $300 of monthly cash flow.

The official savings rate came to 9% based off all income sources and -4% based solely off of work income.  The adjusted savings rate, removing the extra debt payments, came to 58% and 52%, respectively.

Budget | Cash Flow | Savings
Budget Check September 2018
*A few notes about the budget check.  All income is only income that I receive and does not include my wife's income likewise for the expenses.  We've found it's easiest for us to just keep separate accounts since I'm gone most of the time for work.  Also, pre-tax withholding for the 401k (I currently withhold 6% in order to get the full 5% employer match) and the ESPP through my employer (8% post tax withholding) are not included in the above savings amount.  

Non-Work Cash Flow

Each month I like to examine the state of our non-work cash flow.  Since our goal is to become financially independent the monthly cash flow has to come from somewhere in order to cover our expenses.  

Truly passive income, dividends and interest, totaled $1,058.92 during September which was about a $55 increase from June.  *Dividends are from my taxable accounts only.  

Based on September's spending the passive income for the month covered 14% of expenses.  Excluding the extra debt payments the passive income covered 30% of September's expenses.

Thus far in 2018 I've totaled $5,136.51 from income outside a traditional day job.


August started the debt reduction process and September saw it kick into overdrive as well as bringing us our first taste of success knocking out one of the debts.  We now have an additional $300 of cash flow each month to put towards the remaining debt.

Looking forward I'm not entirely sure what our plans will look like.  Based on the month end balance of the car loan we still have right around $8,777 left to pay.  That means we need to average $4,388.50 in total monthly payments for it to be gone by the end of November or $2,925.67 to be done by the end of the year.  That's what the original plan was, but I'll be detailing why those plans might be changing sometime later this week.

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How is your monthly cash flow situation?  What are you doing to increase your savings?  Are you focusing more on increasing income or reducing expenses?


  1. Nice cash flow. Keep it up. Cash flow is the king to reach fire early and investingvthe cash flow speeds up the process sooner.

    Happy investing


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