Dividend and Expense Updates

My savings rate and expenses – July update – spending less

I’m back from vacation and taking a quick looking at my savings rate in July. I had a rough month in June and knew that my August wouldn’t be great either due to the vacation and some other expenses. As such, I tried to hunker down and spend less in July.

I was glad to see that spending less actually wasn’t all that hard. I’m lucky to be a home body which certainly helps with expenses. The fiancee and I spent more time at home versus going out and I’m hoping that showed in the savings rate for the month.

We certainly didn’t just stay in all the time. We still going out and did stuff every once in a while and enjoyed ourselves. However, I was certainly aiming for a number that was a good deal higher than June’s poor savings rate.

Let’s take a look at the gross income breakdown for July.gross income savings rate july 2017

I saved 32.5% of my gross income this month which isn’t too shabby for a two paycheck month. Adding employer contributions brings that number up to 37.43%.

This is right on the cusp of my silver goal which is great to see for a regular month. That shows I can really do nice things when I put my mind to it.

My expenses this month were actually the lowest I’ve had this year. My savings rate is below some other due to the fact that those months had 3 paychecks or a tax refund or a bonus of some sort.

Let’s take a look at my savings rate.

spending less

The savings rate for July was 44.69%. 

That rate jumps to 51.54% when I add in employer contributions.

This again is right under my silver goal for 2017. It’d be great if I could see that every month! It’s good to see that I can achieve this number without killing my life enjoyment too much. That’s mostly due to the fact that I’m lucky to have most of the things I enjoy be free.

I’m glad to see this number jump back up after a few mediocre months and I’m sure my portfolio employee Steve will be glad to get the extra help.

Let’s take a look at my expenses.

expenses july 2017

Rent and my car are the two biggest expenses as usual. I actually tossed another $200 at my car payment this month. That was another one of my goals this year. It’ll be great to lose the car payment and direct that cash flow towards savings. I think I’m about 19 months away from that.

Health, restaurants and groceries are next. While the % on these may seem high, it’s just high because of the lowered overall expenses this month. That’s why rent is higher than usual too as it generally makes up ~25% of my expenses in most months.

I’ve had some doctor visits recently where bills keep streaming in and I purchased some supplements that I take that I was running low on this month as well.

Restaurants are next and I am finding less and less excitement in my restaurant visits these days preferring to eat in at home if I can. I think it was my trip to Nashville where I ate out for five straight days at fancy restaurants that led to this lack of excitement and that may lead to some additional savings opportunities for me in the near term as my restaurant costs drop off.

The rest of the stuff is nothing amazing. I do notice that my internet and phone bills are super high in relation to everything else. That’s something I plan to remedy soon with a call to Comcast to see if I can lower my expenses there. I do have an internet/TV package with the TV part of it never being used. Hopefully I can keep the same speeds but lower my costs. I was already able to do the same with my cell phone by lowering my payment this month.

As I mentioned before, we spent a lot more time at home this month since we knew we had a big tiring vacation ahead of us. My entertainment expenses was all my Netflix and Apple Music subscriptions and it shows in the other expenses as well. I wasn’t driving as much beyond heading to hiking spots so my gas bills were lower as well and I didn’t spend much else on other stuff either.

August is almost done and I’m sure this’ll be an ugly month on the savings rate front as my trip to Denver and some other expenses will hit my savings rate but I’m already looking ahead to September and the following months and trying to see how I can maximize this number going forward because the last few months before July weren’t great and I want to change that.

I do plan to do a quick write up about my awesome trip to Denver soon but work has been absolutely killer so I haven’t had a ton of time to do any writing lately.

Thanks for reading and I’ll be back soon with my dividend and portfolio updates.

For those tracking expenses and savings rate, how was July for you?


  • Dividend Life

    Hi timeinthemarket,
    Congrats on reaching a 44% savings rate for July. But don’t let up on Steve – keep him hard at work 🙂

    My expenses (net) were 53% so quite similar to yours, although I calculate mine based on a fixed expense budget and not true spending as I like to compare underlying performance.

    Looking forward to the portfolio update – hope you had a great August too!
    Best wishes,

  • wealth from thirty

    Hey TITM from a fellow 30-something-finance-fiend. Well done on the excellent savings rate. I’m also trying to improve my savings rate, it would be great to have 40%+ on a regular basis. Paying out the car should free up a very decent sum of money for your cashflow.

    Keep it up!

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