Okay, the checks have all cleared, and the money is all transferred. So it’s time to look at how I did this month.
New bank account
I’ve officially started an iPhone replacement fund at Ally. The 4S will die at some point, and I’d like to have at least some money saved up to replace it.
I’m going to put $50 a month into the fund, so I should have enough to get iPhone 7 within a year. Though by that point, it might be that the iPhone 8 is the oldest option Apple is selling.
The money I save in this fund, like the $150 I tuck away each month toward the yearly car insurance premium, doesn’t count toward my savings rate.
As I’ve discussed, I’m going to funnel a bit more money into my EF for a while until I can get it up to $10,000.
This month, I’m putting in the normal $100, plus the $100 I’m no longer socking away in the full-enough vacation fund.
As also discussed, I’m rounding down whatever money is going toward savings to the nearest $100 and putting the leftover funds into the EF. This month that meant an additional $87.60. So I boosted this account by $287.60 this month.
Saved savings is money that I don’t spend because of coupons or sales. It only counts if I would buy the product at normal price. If a sale is what induces me to purchase, I don’t count it as savings since it’s an actual increase in my spending.
This was another good month for saved savings, though not quite as crazy as last month. I still managed to put away $103.23.
Of that, $59.95 was from my Citi Double Cash Card, which I still adore. I charge everything to the card to get 2% back on all everything I spend. Then I just make weekly payments to keep the balance sane/keep track of my spending.
Car fund and Roth
I put the usual $300 into the car fund. This is my eventual down payment for when the current car dies. Which could be quite far in the future — Hondas are pretty reliable — so the real hope is that I’ll have enough to pay for a car outright by the time this one dies.
Another $500 went into the Roth IRA to make sure I max it out this year.
Both of these count toward my savings rate.
Despite having to make a double payment for healthcare this month (just over $750 total), my balance was just $843.42, which is pretty good.
Too good, actually, since my Internet was about $90 (business line) and I had a $111 charge for some services I paid for in advance.
Those add up to more than $843.42, which just means that I somehow paid more with the weekly payments than what actually went on the card.
How did I manage that? I think it has to do with saved savings.
The $280 I “spend” during the week doesn’t all go on the card because some of it gets shunted over to the saved savings account. But I’d forget that when making my payment on the card and just put $280.
Honestly, I’ll probably keep this system because trying to remember how much I put aside could get very confusing very quickly.
Anyway, my point is that the credit card bill was surprisingly low — a welcome relief after months of $2,000 – $3,000 bills. Here’s hoping the balance stays low this month too.
Because the credit card was so low, I had a goodly sum left over after allocating money to the various Ally accounts. That got divvied up evenly among the mortgage, SEP-IRA and savings.
I’m putting the entirety of the guest house rent ($450) against the principal. Saved savings also goes there, along with the automatic $140 that I save by having cut the cord, using Ooma for a landline, etc.
Along with the leftover after the credit card, that put the total extra paid at $980.49. I count this toward my savings rate.
I got AdSense this month plus a small amount of sales from my book meant an extra $183.25 went to into the SEP-IRA. Combined with the leftover after the credit card, a total of $479 (I rounded up) went into the SEP-IRA.
And yes, this definitely counts toward my savings rate.
TLDR version: I saved a shocking $2,747.10 — again counting the additional paid against my mortgage as “savings.”
That’s a savings rate of 34.8% pre-tax or a 47.8% savings rate for my post-tax income. If you’ll recall, my goal was to save 50% of my post-tax income, so I’m starting to get close!
How did your past month’s finances go?