Budget Check & Cash Flow Update - October 2018

Budget | Cash Flow | Personal Finance
Budget Check & Cash Flow Update - October 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 October came in at $4,805.26 which was well below "normal" for me.  The majority of which, $4,490.29, came from my day job.  Expenses were up about $500 compared to September although that was due to a one off expense of $722 for some maintenance on my car. 

Despite lower than average income and higher than average expenses we were still able to net $1,083.39 of positive cash flow for the month.

The official savings rate came to 23% based off all income sources and 17% based solely off of work income.  
Budget | Cash Flow | Savings
Budget Check October 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 $314.97 during October which was about a $24 increase from July.  *Dividends are from my taxable accounts only.  

Based on October's spending the passive income for the month covered 8% of expenses.  

Thus far in 2018 I've totaled $5,441.96 from income outside a traditional day job.


As with all things life likes to change your plans.  While I desperately want to be get to rid of our non-mortgage debt at this time it makes more sense for us to build up our cash.  So debt reduction is currently put on hold, outside of the normal payments that we're making.  

Considering the lower income and higher expenses for October I'm pretty happy with how the month turned out.  Nearly $770 of positive cash flow from work income alone and over $1,080 including all income sources is a good bad month in my book.

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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?