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, October 20, 2016
September 2016 FrugalMaster Results Monday, August 08, 2016
September was a tough
month on the FrugalMaster 9000. Little
time to exercise the frugal muscles in me with the kids back to school (and all
the expenses that come with it). Luckily
I had some income luck to cover those expenses.
Income was abovenormal
This was the second of
the "three paycheck months" for the year. My current job pays me bi-weekly so two of
the months each year has an extra paycheck in it. On top of that I got a $150 bonus for
transferring my IRA. This interest of
sorts will get added to my taxable income for the year but since I usually get
a refund the tax on it will be little to none.
Needs were overbudget
In short I was over by
a good $1400 this month. There were
several things that caused this. Some
were planned and some not so planned.
I was dropping my son
off at school one day. As I left the
school and turned onto the road I started hearing this clicking noise coming
from a tire. I pulled into a driveway, got
out and took a look at my front wheel. I
huge piece of metal (thick gauge wire) was embedded in the tire. Since I wasn't loosing pressure yet I decided
to not put on the spare tire.
Then I attempted to
drive the mile to the tire place we usually go to. I was doing great until about a block away
and the metal wire fell out. Pressure
dropped quickly but I was able to make it to the parking lot of the tire place
without damaging the rim.
Unfortunately that one
block of driving damaged the side wall enough that the tire was toast. The tires had only 2/32 left of tread on them
but I was hoping to get another month out of them before replacing. That cost just came earlier than planned
sending me over budget for the year on my car maintenance budget.
Stuff like this
happens all the time. That is why
budgeting for maintenance and repairs of your house and automobile is very
important. I felt really bad for another
woman that was there who had to take out a line of credit with the tire place
to replace her tires. But looking at
here super-sized SUV with chrome trim and raised suspension told me how she got
to the place she is in now.
Now the planned reason
for being over budget is a good thing.
My school district likes to make you pay lots of school fees on top of
my taxes. Also next spring my daughter's
class is taking a trip to Washington D.C.
The school offers a way to offset those fees by using a gift card
program. Basically you buy these gift
cards (with cash) and you get a certain percentage of that purchase credited
back to you.
I did the math and the
gift cards I buy to pay for things I buy anyway averages to 4%. That beats my BoA Credit Card's 1%. The only downside to the program is I have to
plan in advance what stores I will be shopping at and then ordering before the
cutoff day each week. Since you pay in
cash/debit I have to space out the purchases to maximized the time my money
sits in my interest earning checking account.
So I was over budget
because of this pre-purchase (but we should see that reflected in next month's
budget). I have already accumulated $90
in one month towards paying off the fees and the trip. Largely because of some gift card purchases
to finally buy my 5 year old a dresser to put her clothes in.
Guilt Free Spending Money (Wants) was overbudget
Well last month was
good and this month was bad. $100 bucks
on dining out. It adds up fast. 3 work lunches, 2 pizza orders (1 is a gift card
for next month) and a trip to gets some burgers and shakes with the family.
2 other another annual
expenses were are zoo membership and historical society memberships. We use those allot and it gives the family
some good learning experiences.
Other GFSM expenses
include school pictures for the 3 kids in school and my wife's chocolate
habit. That and some charity giving are
all part of the normal budget I have for this category.
Even though we were over budget the savings rate still remained positive at 26%
That extra paycheck
kept me positive for the month even though I was over budget in needs and
wants. Having it helped me get those
gift cards to lower school expenses going forward. With a decent buffer in place it feels good
to have options to do what will benefit my family over time. October brings lots of good changes to DFG
and I can't wait to share the news with you all. Until then happy investing.