Okay, the money is all transferred. So let’s see how we did, shall we?
As a reminder, I calculate my saving rate a few different ways, so you’ll see references to saving rates, not saving rate.
These bills obviously don’t count toward my saving rates. However, they do take up some of where my money goes. So I figure they’re worth noting.
They were high this month. Two health insurance premiums were charged in this billing cycle, plus a couple of charity donations plus the surcharges for paying my quarterly taxes online (those were $65ish just by themselves) and some other miscellaneous stuff. Also, I forgot to cancel my American Airlines card in time, so I got hit with a $99 annual fee. Drat.
So all in all, they added up to about $1,253. Ouch. But these things happen.
Again, these don’t count toward my saving rates. But like my credit card bills, they are where a significant chunk of my paycheck goes. So $1,853 a month gets socked away toward quarterly taxes/FICA.
My Honda Civic has fewer than 80,000 miles on it, so it should last me for a good long time. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t plan for the future. So $300 a month goes into this account toward a future car.
This is a long-term goal (more than one year — I hope), so it counts toward my saving rates.
I put aside $150 a month against my yearly premium. It’s coming up soon, so I need to shop around and see if I can get a better rate elsewhere. But for now, I’ll just keep putting away this amount just in case it turns out not to be worth switching.
This money will be spent in less than one year, so it doesn’t count toward my saving rates.
I put $500 a month into my Roth IRA to make sure I max it out for the year. Happily, as of this month the account is maxed out (thanks to my state and federal tax refunds). From now on, I’ll just add this amount to the SEP IRA.
Obviously, retirement is a long-term goal. So this counts toward my saving rates.
Pets get sick. It happens, and when it does, so do vet bills. So I put aside $100 a month right now until I have at least $1,000 in this account.
Hopefully, this won’t be needed for at least a year. So this counts toward my saving rates.
Every month, I save around $160 thanks to various past frugal hacks like switching to Ooma, negotiating a lower Internet rate, cutting cable, etc.
In addition, throughout the month, I put aside money saved with coupons, store rewards or sales on items I was going to buy anyway. My credit card rewards also go in here when I cash them out.
It was a good month, so those added up to $129.57. The combined $289.57 is use as an additional payment on my mortgage principal. This counts toward my saving rate that includes the additional mortgage principal paid.
I rent my guest house for $500 a month, including utilities. I could probably get more, but I like the tenant. So I’m happy with this amount.
It also goes toward my mortgage principal. So it counts toward that saving rate.
I put $200 a month into my emergency fund, but I’m trying to boost it a little more. So I round down to the nearest $100 anything left after I allot all of the above funds. So $350 would become $300, with $50 going toward the EF.
This month it wasn’t much ($10.18), but hey, every little bit helps. This is a long-term goal, so it counts toward my saving rates.
This left $1,100 to divvy up between my savings account and SEP-IRA. More than I was expecting, given the higher credit card bills. But I’ll take it!
I actually still had about $400 left in my bank account this month from the previous month’s funds. (I don’t count those since they’re not from this paycheck.) Since those were going into savings already, I only put $100 of the $1,100 into savings.
The rest went into the SEP, along with $32.50 in blog income. (Yep, really raking it in here.) After keeping out enough for the monthly account fee, I put $1,020.49 into the SEP-IRA. I have less than $3,000 to go til I hit my yearly contribution limit (25% of the salary my business pays me as an “employee”). Very exciting!
These are both long-term savings accounts. So they count toward my saving rate.
I base the rates on how much I saved with pre-tax income, with post-tax income and with post-tax income when I include the additional mortgage principal in my savings amount for the month.
I shoot for a 50% rate on that last one.
With additional mortgage principal: 47.2%
Well, I didn’t quite hit my goal. But given that most months’ credit card bills are lower, it’s a good sign that I got so close even in a high-bill month.
Obviously, I’m incredibly lucky to be making this kind of progress at any time — let alone when times are so financially fraught for so many people. I am lucky enough to only have my own expenses (no kids/spouse). And not only am I lucky enough to still have a job, it pays very well.
So if your results don’t look like mine — especially right now — I hope you’re remembering that everyone’s situation is at least a little different.
How’s everyone doing out there?