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I love three paycheck months. The monthly income goes up but expenses stay the same!
My company usually has two three paycheck months in a year and June was the first one. That can only mean good things for my savings rate this month.
I can spend more in a month like this and still have a great savings rate. One of the trends that continued this month was additional car payments. As mentioned in last month’s update, I’ve been on a 0 debt kick recently. Now, that I’m very close to having my car loan paid off, I’m eager to kick that into high gear and free up some extra cash flow.
That led to higher expenses in May and a lower savings rate but I think it’s worth it in the long run. The extra paycheck in June allowed me to continue paying down that debt. Hopefully, without impacting my savings rate too much.
So far this year, I’ve done a solid job with my savings rate in comparison to last year. I’ll do a mid year goal review soon that takes a look at where I’m sitting and I’m eager to see those results!
Last year’s June had some wedding related expenses. That include an engagement ring for my beautiful future wife and a down payment on a wedding venue. That led to a low savings rate of 18.93% despite being a three paycheck month.
Those expenses didn’t exist this month so I’m hoping for much better results. Let’s take a look at what I saved in June.
Gross Income Savings Rate
I saved 40.8% of my gross income this month. That number goes up to 45.73% if I include employer contributions.
That’s a pretty awesome month. The long term goal is to save 1/3rd of my gross income and I’m beating that here.
Now, let’s look at the savings rate.
My savings rate for the month was 54.39%. That number jumps to 61.04% with employer contributions.
Three paycheck months are generally easier to do well in and June is no different. As I said before, that’s because my monthly expenses generally stay the same but I get more income!
There are outliers like last year’s June which had three paychecks but a low savings rate of 18.93% due to much higher expenses. Luckily, those were one time expenses and this June puts me back on the path of solid savings.
After Q1, my savings rate was 53.2%. April was above 50% as well but May came in below with a 31% savings rate.
It’s good to get back above 50% and I hope that puts me in that range as of the end of Q2. I haven’t crunched those numbers yet but will soon for my mid-year goal review.
It was important for me to get a good start this year as I have a wedding and honeymoon coming up and that will mean low savings months in my future. I knew that if I stood any chance of hitting my goals, I’d have to buckle down and save a ton in these early months.
That doesn’t mean I’ve spent no money. In fact, I’ve been more aggressive in paying down my car loan ASAP so my savings rate could have been higher if I didn’t do that.
Let’s take a look at where my money went this month.
My book income continues to carry the day! This month it covers my travel budget(parking) and either household or entertainment. I think household was some tissues and clorox wipes and entertainment was our Netflix, Hulu and iTunes subscription. Those are some big bucks guys!
In reality, it’s a tiny slice of the income pie with my job taking care of most of my needs. Still, it’s nice to have a little extra cash here and there. Maybe one day, I’ll write a bit more but it’s cool to see that stuff I wrote in 2015 is still selling and bringing in a few bucks!
Most of my money went to savings and that’s what I like to see every month but let’s take a deeper dive into the expenses after that.
Car expenses were #1 again due to the additional payments I’ve made. The balance on the loan is now close to $1700 and should be below $1000 before the end of the month.
The goal is to pay the whole thing off before my wedding at the end of September! It’d be nice to get it done in August since September will be an expense extravaganza due to wedding costs.
Car expenses will still show up in these expenses reports due to taxes, insurance and maintenance but they’ll be much less prevalent after that! It’ll be nice to have that extra cash flow to invest in a few months.
Rent is next and that’ll be around for quite some time. We are looking for a home but haven’t had luck with anything. Our lease is up for renewal soon and the home listing season is seemingly dying down so it’s likely we’ll be in our apartment at least another year.
Groceries are my third expense and that has been increasing lately as I stay in more often rather than going to restaurants. I’ve started cooking a bit more again and picked up a large tenderloin that the butcher cut up for me. My steak cooking skills have gotten much better and I’ve been working on mastering the reverse sear and making sure I get a perfect medium rare each time. It’s been going pretty well so far.
Clothes are next and included a shopping spree at J. Crew Factory. They had a 50% off sale at the outlets and I picked up about 8 t-shirts, 4 casual shirts and 4 dress shirts. I needed some new dress shirts for job interviews and the price was right. I find that J. Crew Factory has the best quality for the price you can find. The shirts look good, fit my skinny tall frame well and last for a long time. They also wash very well. I still have casual long sleeve shirts from there that I bought four years ago that look brand new. I also wanted to replace my t-shirts which are mostly made up of nerdy graphic tees that I don’t really like anymore. The blank J. Crew shirts fit well and are a good replacement plus at $9, they were a great deal.
Health was an expense for two tests I had done. Luckily, my insurance covered one of them as preventive so I only had to pay for the cheaper one! Results were all good too so double bonus!
Restaurants are next and included some brunches here and there. My fiancee and I usually go out when we take day trips since it’s hard to eat at home when you’re not there! We have started to eat at home more often though as I found myself enjoying eating out less and less lately. Maybe it has something to do with my cooking getting better!
I spent a little bit on my blog this month too. I talked about Pinterest before and sprung on a Tailwind yearly membership. There’s a free month to try it and I really liked it so I paid for the full year to give it a full test run. Right now the results have been good with my Pinterest account doubling in views and followers. On top of that, Pinterest has become my second best source of traffic(first best on some days) and it seems to be growing so that’s great.
If you want to give Tailwind a try you can use this link for a free month.
The goal with Tailwind is to improve visibility on the site. It’s a good way to try out one of the various social media platforms on the internet and see how they drive traffic. Tailwind also integrates with Instagram now but I haven’t tried that feature yet. Pinterest is an interesting platform and Tailwind certainly helps usability since it automates posting schedules for you. It’s much, much easier than doing it all manually. I was definitely too lazy to make it work manually but the automatic posting feature of Tailwind makes it a breeze.
I like it and see it as a fair value for the yearly subscription. I’ll keep testing out to see if I see good results throughout the year. The early results are pretty promising.
The final few expenses are common visitors on my expense report. Gotta have that internet to surf reddit! As I say each month, parking for work is too expensive, damn cities!
My pet expenses were dog food and treats for my teddy! Gifts pertain to presents or charity and were a small portion of the puzzle. Home bills are just gas and electric. It’s interesting to see how these two switch up during the seasons. Now that the A/C is pumping all day, my electric bill is soaring but gas is low since the heat isn’t on all day. That will reverse once winter hits!
Overall, this was another solid month. I’m happy with the start of this year and see it as a good foundation for the second part of 2018. I have a wedding and a honeymoon coming up and those things are costly so I know a few months on the back end will suck. That means it’s important to get a good start if I want to meet my goals and that’s what I’ve done so far!
Thanks for reading and let me know how your June went!