A blog about dividend investing and financial independence for a person supporting a 7 person family on one income. My goal is to be retired at age 55 to pursue other passions in life and rely on a passive income stream generated from dividends.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
April 2016 FrugalMaster Results
month of above 50% of my income saved.
I don't think I have ever done that before. It is part result of exercising with the
FrugalMaster and part extra paycheck from my day job. Every product sounds better with Master at
the end of it right? Well my product I
was born with and continue to use every day by learning new things and
challenging myself. You guessed the
product right, a mind. You have one
too. It is a muscle and gets exercised
every time I bend my willpower not to buy things I don't need. Sometimes the evil marketers win out and I do
make a purchase. But over the long term
I have been winning by saving and learning more about investing. That on top of my continual drive at work to
keep improving and learning new things makes my mind more fit than the rest of
my body. I currently have a sprained
ankle being iced as I type. Ah the joys
of getting older.
Overall I was under
budget on all major categories that aren't fixed. In fact I spent nothing out of pocket on
healthcare last month (unlike the coming month of May). Like I said earlier sometimes the marketing
masters win and cause me to go over budget in the Guilt Free Spending Money
(GFSM) category. That was $167 dollars
that won't be generating any dividends.
My mind lost the
battle when I purchased 2 mechanical keyboards for home and work. I had one of these at my previous job and
realized I type faster with them. I got
so used to it that I was typing horribly with the keyboard at my new job. They were on sale so I also picked one up for
home for gaming purposes and writing this blog faster (that is what I told my
The second big ticket
item was a trip to the day spa for my wife (mother's day) and daughter (13th
birthday). They get a 1 hour massage,
facial, lunch and use of the hot tub or sauna.
It was a great deal on Groupon and couldn't pass up this gift. I also found a Groupon for my wife for a hair
salon. She colors her hair every once in
a while so I usually categorize that as I want and not a need.
Last, I adjusted my
budget to account for increases in Satellite TV and Internet. Both together caused my utilities to increase
by $50. After my last year of my
Satellite contract is up I plan on cancelling TV all together. For the amount of TV we watch (maybe an hour
or two a week for my wife and I) it is not worth the money. My kids watch PBS allot but that is available
for free on my Roku or Apple TV. That
plus I need to cancel my old cell phone now that work provides one will save
another $40 on utilities. I just need to
get off my lazy butt and call them.
This month I was able
to save 58% of my income. That beats
last year's 21% for the same month. The
extra paycheck combined with $440 dollars under budget was a good feeling. It allowed me to contribute to my emergency
fund and my other 2 savings goals. Also
I have saved enough to max out my Roth IRA for the year. Next I have to open my wife a ROTH IRA and
contribute to hers. I have read a few
articles that details how you can contribute to a spouse's account when that
spouse doesn't work.
Another month of
spending less on needs for the family tells me I am heading in the right
direction. The more you save the more
you can invest now to start the snowball.
This year so far has seen a drop in every month (besides February)
compared to last year. Part of it is
because my income has increased this year vs. last. The other part comes from continually
practicing frugal living and reducing impulse buying. For example, this year I have defined budgets
for Holiday and Vacation spending. We
will need to stay within those guidelines and still have a good time.
I hope you had a good
month of April as well and I look forward to reading your journeys.