My savings rate and expenses – September 2017 Update

Welcome to another monthly savings rate update.

We’re right in the middle of beautiful fall foliage season in the northeast. I’ve been spending a lot of time outside enjoying the warm fall weather and the ever changing colors.

I mentioned in my August update that a good chunk of my travel costs for my awesome trip to see the eclipse would fall in September so I’m not expecting a great month for savings here.

First, I’ll take a look at my gross income savings rate.

gross income savings rate september 2017

Yikes, it’s the worst month of the year and a continuation of the poor results I saw in August.

I saved 11.6% of my gross income this month as expenses ballooned due to travel and other things. Adding employer contributions brings that number to 16.59%.

The vacation impacted both my August and September numbers but it was totally worth it as it was an unforgettable once in a lifetime experience I’ll cherish forever.

Let’s look at my savings rate.

savings rate september 2017

The savings rate for September was 16.02%. Once again, the results here are the lowest I’ve had all year.

The rate jumps to 22.92% when I add in my employer contributions.

I knew this was going to be a bad month so I’m not too surprised. I do know that based on the last few months of results, I’m pretty behind on my savings rate goals I set earlier in the year so I have some work to do in the last three months. At this point, I think even the bronze goal of 40% will be hard to hit.

It’s time to take a look at what drove the poor results this month, my expenses.

expenses september 2017

Travel

The biggest expense this month was my trip to Denver. This cost included the plane tickets and my part of the airbnb and car rental costs. It also included the bus trip to Wyoming to see the solar eclipse. If you haven’t read about my trip to Denver, you can check out my post about it here.

Rent

Rent is #2 and includes my share of the rent. My fiancee and I split the cost about 55/45 based on our incomes.

Car

My car was #3 this month as I tossed an extra payment onto my loan. One of my goals this year was to do that at least two months of the year in order to pay off my loan earlier. My interest rate is low but I’d rather have the extra cash flow and the good feeling of not having that debt on my books!

Pets

Pet expenses are #4 as my goldendoodle Teddy was due for her shots and annual check up. She also had a lump that we wanted the vet to check out that thankfully turned out to be a lipoma(small deposit of fat) beneath her skin and nothing to worry about. This month and October certainly brought to mind the expense that comes with a pet as annual vet visits, shots and tick/heartworm preventative pills can cost quite a bit. That’s not to mention the food and treats you have to get. This is one expense I don’t mind as Teddy’s value to our little family is priceless.

Restaurants

This is a common expenses on my list and included mostly casual meals but also one fancy dinner for our three year anniversary. We went to the place we had our first date and enjoy a delicious meal. I’m a big fan of going out once or twice a week and don’t mind this expense on my list but have tried to cut down a little bit as the year goes by and I see how far behind my targets I am on some of these months.

Groceries

We get most of our stuff at Trader Joe’s and this month was no different although I did make some pit stops at Whole Foods to pick up some items I can’t find at Trader Joe’s.

Other

The rest of the list isn’t all to amazing. My nephew’s third birthday meant some money was spent on toys and the regular bills kept streaming in as always.

I did spend some money this month on Amazon getting some toilet paper, wet wipes and paper towels in bulk which should last me for at least a few months. I’m not a fan of shopping outside of groceries so I try to get a lot of household items in bulk to save me both time and money.

Overall, this wasn’t a great month but the vacation and extra car payment drove the majority of the expenses. The car payment was voluntary and swung my saving rate nearly 6% and the travel costs were over a 20% swing in the wrong direction.

I’m hoping that next month is a bit better although I might throw some extra money at my car loan as well and had some pet prescription expenses as well as some personal doctor payments that will push the savings rate down. It’d be nice to see a number above 40% again but not sure if I can hit that especially if I get a bit aggressive on my car payments as it’d be nice to have that loan off the books before the end of 2018 and I’m behind that pace right now.

9 thoughts on “My savings rate and expenses – September 2017 Update

  1. Time –

    Don’t give up yet, come on. You have 3 months to go. Just kill it for these 90 days, reduce the pet expenses/hope everything’s okay there, monitor your restaurant expense and pay yourself first. Side hustle that shit too if you can, YOU GOT THIS.

    -Lanny

    1. I’m certainly still going to give it my best! The one good thing is that December is a 3 paycheck month and we’re not a huge Christmas family so I’m hoping to make up a lot of ground there.

  2. Time, Might not have been your best month, but the key is you track it and you know. Analyzing your costs like this put you in a position to make adjustments and improve. There are a lot of people in the world that could benefit from thinking like this. Tom

  3. Thanks for sharing your savings rate! Seems like were going through a similar time in terms of savings rates – mine has fallen a bit too. I saved under 12% in August. I’m hoping to catch up over the next 2 months. And hopefully you can reach your 40% mark or at least some where close to it. You can make a lot a progress when you start getting around that range. Looking forward to future updates!

  4. I really like the fact that you’re keeping track of your savings rate, and not just your income and expenses. Taking a vacation can definitely put it a dent in things. I found that out earlier in the year when I went to New Orleans for a weekend! I was spending like there was no tomorrow. But, it was good just to recharge the batteries, relax and have fun. After all, that’s what life is about sometimes.

    Good luck on reaching your savings rate goals. I might have to start tracking how much my savings rate it, because I think it’s an important metric. Just added your site to my resources page TITM; not sure why I didn’t before.

    1. For sure, vacations are key in recharging and experiencing new things. It’s all about enjoying life now because you have to figure out how you want to live when and if you retire early.

      Thanks for the visit and the add man!

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