Budget Check & Cash Flow Update - June 2019

Budget | Cash Flow | Personal Finance
Budget Check & Cash Flow Update - June 2019

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 2019 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 June came in at $5,417.30.  The bulk of the income, ~79%, continued to come from my day job; although that should come as no surprise since we're still in the accumulation phase.  The remaining 21% came primarily from dividends in my taxable accounts as well as interest received on cash in my savings account.

Budget | Income | Passive Income
Monthly Income Breakdown - June 2019
As usual, total expenses were higher than I'd like at *GASP* $5,197.29.  The headline total is quite high; however, that does include nearly $900 to get a much more user friendly camera system for our house and another $300 for a little trip we're taking in July.

The wife finally broke me down enough to get some outside cameras set up so we went with the Arlo Home 2 and added on the Arlo Baby as well.  For ease of use I can't recommend it more although the price tag is a bit hefty.

Core expenses came in at $3,375.98 for June which is in line with our normal core expense range.

We barely eeked out a positive cash flow for the month during June with +$220.01.  Considering that income was down and expenses were up, including the big expense for the cameras, I'll take it.  Of course excluding our huge dividend haul during June would have seen a big negative month.

Our savings rate from all income sources came to 4% while our savings rate from work income alone was -21%. 
Budget | Cash Flow | Savings
Cash Flow Check In June 2019
*A few notes about the cash flow check in.  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.  I break our non-work cash flow into 2 categories: (1) Passive Income - dividends from taxable accounts and interest, and (2) Non-Work Income - all income from outside of my day job.

Passive income for June totaled $1,130.77 and covered 33.5% of core expenses.  Non-Work Income totaled $1,130.77 and covered 33.5% of core expenses.  

Through the end of the June passive income has totaled $3,678.83 while non-work income has totaled $7,491.60.  Over the TTM passive income has averaged $585.33 per month with non-work income averaging $932.19 which cover 10% and 16% of core expenses, respectively.


Now that I'm back to work and will have more income rolling in each month I'm looking forward to taking a chunk of our savings to reduce our debt load.  First up will be the loan on my wife's car which has ~$4,300 left so that should be gone in July or early August once my regular paychecks start rolling in.  I'm a bit undecided on the plan moving forward from that because we should have ~$23k in cash in the savings account after paying off my wife's car.  I'm a bit hesitant to take away too much of our liquid cash to pay down debt so we might lean towards just using excess monthly cash flow to reduce debt.  Whichever way we decide to go I won't really complain as long as we're moving forward.

Make sure you sign up to receive new posts to your email so you don't miss anything.  And be sure to follow me on Twitter @JC_PIP to get up to the minute news of purchases for my portfolio or if you prefer Pinterest or Facebook I'm on there too.

What are you doing to improve your cash flow situation?  Are you working on reducing expenses or increasing income?