July 2015 Budget and Savings

Income & Expenses
My paychecks from my new job have smoothed out and I now have a good understanding of what my monthly income from work will look like.  My healthcare costs roughly quadrupled with the move.  This was compensated by a higher salary but it still hurts to see how health costs vary from small companies (with less claims) to larger ones. 

Dividends for July were a slight drop from last year but that did not affect my income in any major way (yet.).  I think when I am living off of them any dividend cuts or stock splits will have to be watched very closely to avoid income loss.

As for expenses there were no surprises there.  We did a planned vacation that was covered by income for the month.  It was in state since my wife is in her third trimester and we needed to stay close to home.  Next year it will be back to the beach (thinking Maine this time).  One of the perks of my new company is I can book hotels through their system for personal travel.  While it is not as low of a rate as the business it is a pretty decent cost savings. 

My other needs you can see is up to 19%.  It was back to school shopping that consumed $500 for new shoes, book bags and clothing.  This exceeded my budget (shoes aren't getting cheaper) so I will most likely adjust it for next year.  My son will be starting kindergarten this year so I will have 3 in school now and 2 at home (once the baby is born.)  While we try to save as much clothing as possible most of it is worn out or trashed beyond saving.  Some of the clothes we saved from my 15 year old son had elastic waist bands in it.  So after 10 years the rubber lost its elasticity and the jeans would not say up on the 5 year old.  We don't save shoes as they wear out fast and worn shoes are not good for a persons feet or backs.  As far as shoes we save by using coupons combined with BOGO 1/2 off sales.

My other savings for the month continued in the food department (since one week of July was tacked on the June total).  Also my cell phone bill dropped as my company also gets me a 23% discount off my bill.

Savings & Summary

Compared to my previous 2 years in July I did well.  Negative territory has now turned into positive with a 2% savings rate.  This is my best year ever in my life with a 6/7 months of actually saving money.  Tracking my expenses within a budget has been a life changer.  I hope you were able to save for the month and use that to build an emergency fund or invest in some dividend growth stocks.

Happy saving,



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