Well, another round of money shuffling has occurred. It’s time to see how I did.
The short answer is “Not great.” At least compared to previous months. That’s because of the time I missed from my DC trip and a 21-workday month (instead of 22 days). So my check was lighter than usual.
Still, I did pretty decently thanks to a boost from my mom.
Extra income: Mom’s CD
Since she’s agreed to live another 150 years, Mom feels bad making me wait for my inheritance. (Though I’ve told her she’d better not leave me much, if anything, when the time comes.) So she’s decided to gift me money from time to time. In this case, it was because a CD’s term ended. She cashed it out and send the $1,200 to me.
Yeah, I know: pretty nice if you can get it.
Point being, I had an additional $1,200 in the account, on top of my check and the guest house rent ($500).
Each month I put $150 into an account to save up for my yearly premium. This is a shorter-term goal (less than one year), so it doesn’t count toward my savings rate.
I put $300 into a car fund every month. My hope is that my 2012 Civic lasts long enough that I’ll have enough to buy a new car outright. If nothing else, I’ll have one heck of a down payment. (I’m at $9,800 and counting. And there’s only about 76,000 miles on the car.)
This is a long-term savings goal, so I count it in my savings rate.
I put $100 into a vacation fund. I don’t plan on taking a trip for probably another year, so this is a long-term savings goal. Thus I count it in my savings rate.
Recent events made me start a pet fund. I’m putting $50 a month into the account. Hopefully, this is a long-term savings account, so it counts toward my savings rate.
I put $200 into this account each month, plus I round down to the nearest hundred the amount going into savings. I put the difference in the EF. This month, that was only $1.60, so $201.60 went to the emergency fund.
This is definitely a long-term goal, so the amount counts toward my savings rate.
Each month, I take $160 — the amount saved through various frugal hacks, such as eliminating cable — and put it toward my mortgage. I also take the previous month’s saved savings from coupons, sales, etc. and put that toward the mortgage.
This month that was an unprecedented $155.76. What can I say? It was a good month for coupons, store rewards and of course a couple of Uber trips (which I paid for with some gift cards I was given).
Both amounts count toward my overall savings rate That said, I also calculate the rate exclusive of my mortgage — and therefore this amount — as well. You’ll see the breakdown at the end of this post.
The general savings account got only $200 this month. That was the amount left from the check I write myself each month (as my own employee). I could have taken more out of the business account as a disbursement, but I’m trying to max out the SEP-IRA this year. So I wanted to keep that amount high.
I still had $931.47 left over for the SEP this month. If you’re doing your math, you’ll see that this means less than the $1,200 CD went into the SEP/savings. Without that, I’d have had to take $100 out of savings to cover expenses.
Obviously, I wish I’d been able to save the whole CD (and then some) but some months are better than others, I guess.
You can calculate your savings rate several ways: pre-tax, post-tax, and/or including extra payments made on the mortgage. As a reminder, I’m shooting for a 50% savings rate including the additional principal I pay on my mortgage.
This month I fell short of that mark.
Post-tax (including mortgage principal): 39.5%
Not great, but still pretty good. However, if you want to exclude the CD then the savings rates are definitely less impressive:
Post-tax including mortgage principal): 25.4%
So… Less than ideal. Still, I’m doing better than a lot of folks are able to. A “bad” month with a 25.4% is still a pretty good indicator of financial health.
The fact that my actual rate was nearly 40%… Well that just speaks to good luck (in the form of that CD) and good financial health overall. (Now if only I felt that health, but it’s a work in progress.)
So, I guess in summation, it could’ve been better but it could also have been a lot worse. Which is all that you can hope for some months.
Next month, I’ll have extra overtime (that is, more overtime than my usual weekend of OT) and it’s a 23-workday month; so my results should be quite robust indeed. But more on that in about four weeks…
How did your last financial month go?