Budget October 2015 ~ Sweet and steady progress

Published November 5, 2015   Posted in Budgets

Ever since we decided that the path for us is out of the rat race and into an early retirement of our choosing, the Mr. and I have been keeping an eye on our finances and scaling down our spending. Neither one of us were complete clowns, but we certainly weren’t looking out for our future selves at anywhere near the level we want/need to be.

So in comes the budget. Budgets don’t work for everyone, and in the future, it may not be necessary for us but for now it is the way we are buckling down and meeting the tough goals we’ve set for ourselves. We may actually look into a few different budgeting apps in the near future. Read more about how we budget here.

We are labeling October Sweet and steady progress.
Why? Because we are doing just that. Nothing major from a financial standpoint happened in October, and we’re continuing the march down the road to our epic escape date next year.

On to the numbers!

  • Fixed Costs (Mortgages, HOA, Loans) $2550/ $2550 
  • Utilities & Other Necessities (electricity, gas, water, cars, fuel, etc.) $954/$851 We had to replace the kitchen sink this month. We’ve been without hot water for months now (well it was turned off under the sink since there was no way to turn it off using the faucet). We keep putting off the repair until the cold water went as well. Now after some DIYing we have an amazing deep large sink and are super happy though a little over budget. It’s amazing to be able to turn hot water on from the tap…just saying. We felt like total bad asses replacing the sink ourselves. 😉
  • Groceries $370/ $350 Still wheat free and low carb and it seems to be helping my migraines…so we shall see. You can see the breakdown of grocery costs down below. You’ll notice we no longer include restaurants here…that is now included in Fun Money below. Need to be a little more careful about the budget.
  • Fun (Travel, Mr.’s fun money, Mrs.’s fun money, Mr.’s camera fund, gifts, restaurants)     $981/ $1051. Yay under budget on fun money!
  • Additional Income: $409 Payment for the Ridge along with our normal random assortment of checks, interest and other sundries that came in this month. Unexpected money is a plus! We reinvest all our dividends, etc. so those don’t get counted in this roundup.

Another great month on the books.

Now, let’s take a look at the money-shot numbers.

Total October 2015 income: $14,524 (3 paychecks for the Mrs. and no more 401k withdrawls for the Mr.)

Total October 2015 expenses: $4,855 

This means our total October 2015 Take Home Savings Rate came in at: 66.5%. 

And our October 2015 Total Savings Rate: 70% (includes maxing out our 401ks).

Our net worth: $669,750.69. Let’s see this number grow!

Our Personal Capital net worth graph for the month

We’re doing great! Just gotta keep on keeping on.

Another adventure awaits!

— Groceries: $370.45–

Fruits and Veggies: $216.23 (cauliflower is expensive!!)

Canned Goods: $93.61 (stocked up on our refried and black beans)

Vegan ‘Meat’: $13.21

Meat, Seafood and Dairy: $14.98

Dry Goods: $31.92

Minus 50 cents from our bag credits. Gotta love a little extra savings 😉

We track our net worth using Personal Capital


27 responses to “Budget October 2015 ~ Sweet and steady progress”

  1. Freedom40 says:

    Great work keeping your overall spending down and especially keeping fun expenditures low. 70% overall savings is very impressive!

  2. Nice job in October, you guys! Do you ever do dried beans instead of canned? We eat a lot of beans, since we basically call Mexican food just “food,” and save a ton by buying dried and cooking ’em in the slow cooker. Good work on the DIYed sink, too! That is the best feeling, knowing you did something yourself instead of paying someone else. 🙂

  3. Great work guys!

    I just noticed your $750K by 2017 in the side bar. I took a look at my $10M road map to see where I am supposed to be by then and it has me at $575K.

    In January, once the full year for 2015 is in, I will have to recast update year one with the actual numbers to recast targets.

    You guys kind of got me all revved up to try to get to $750K at the same time as you. But 2 years to more than double our net worth is a bit aggressive.

    Onward & Upward!

    • Steve says:

      Hey, nothing wrong with a little motivation to kick some major financial ass! And the nice thing is…the more money you have, the greater its growth rate, so this stuff is pleasantly exponential.

      $750 by 2017 is possible though, like you said, just a bit aggressive! 🙂

  4. Mr. SSC says:

    Nice savings rate! Great job with the grocery budget. We did a detailed tracking for last month to see why ours has crept up again. I love DIY projects, when I have time to do them, lol.
    Great month!

  5. Great savings rate in October Steve! Congrats on the strong progress in 2015 so far.

    It looks like your budgeting process is serving you guys well. Glad to see you’re able to save so much and still have enough allocated for some fun.

    And $.50 + saving the environment is always worthwhile! 🙂

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Michael, appreciate the encouragement! Dual incomes definitely help kick the savings rate up, that’s for sure – definitely gotta take advantaged of two well paying full time jobs while we have them.

      Thanks for reading!

  6. Tawcan says:

    Congrats on yet another month of excellent savings rate! Dual income and no kids is certainly helping you guys a lot. 🙂

  7. Yikes! A 66% savings rate is awesome Steve. The extra paycheck from Courtney certainly helped achieve that number. Either way you guys are doing great.

    Remind me to talk with you about migraine headaches when we meet. Yet something else we share in common… this one not as fun. 🙁

  8. Debz says:

    New to this site! MMM brought me here. Am I reading this right? You guys take in over 14 grand a month??! Every month?! Jesus I’m doing it wrong

    • Steve says:

      Hi Debz – not quite. This month was a little higher because my wife got an extra paycheck and we’re no longer having 401k money withdrawn from our paychecks because we’ve already maxed out those contributions for the year. Instead, we usually bring home in the neighborhood of $11k to $12k.

      • Debz says:

        Oh I see. I’m catching up on your posts. I’m really far away from retirement…on a teacher salary but lead a pretty frugal lifestyle. I’m trying to do as much as I can consistently to set myself up for an early retirement. I want to be proactive since my district sees major budget cuts every couple of years. I’m Art and early to go…scary stuff.
        Great site, thanks for the advice on here!

  9. Joshua says:

    Hi Steve, thanks for sharing all the great info. A couple questions (1) is the total monthly income you show gross or adjusted lower for pre-tax items such as 401k, hsa, etc (2) can you explain how you calculate take home savings rate and total savings rate? I want to figure out my savings rates so I tried to figure out the calculations by using your example numbers but my percentages don’t turn out the same.



    • Hi Joshua

      Steve tagged me to answer your money questions since I am the one who keeps our budget. To answer your questions the total monthly income we list is our take home pay + rent. So our savings rate is that (total monthly income – total monthly expenses)/ total monthly income.

      We also list our total savings rate. I’m changing how we do this a bit in 2016 now that we can actually see the money going into our 401ks and Roths each month (yay Personal Capital!). But this year what I did was take our total take home income and add how much approximately was being put into our retirement accounts (by our deductions and the company match) given that we managed to perfectly split out our 401ks to max out on our last paycheck of the year. Obviously that’s not quite right since Steve has already maxed his out! That’s why next year I will be using the actual amount that is contributed each month to calculate this percentage….I hate when things aren’t right….even if they’re close.

      Anyway I hope that answers your questions. You should find that the Take Home Savings Rate works out number wise above. To calculate your own total savings rate take your take home savings + 401k contributions+Roth contributions+any company matches as your monthly savings and do the same calculation.

      Thanks so much for commenting!

      • Joshua says:

        Courtney, thanks so much for your response. Using the guidance you provided, I now have a better grasp of our savings rates. As for the 401k, I always wind up maxed out with a few weeks left in the year. – Joshua

  10. Jack says:

    Did you post your post-retirement budget target somewhere? I’m curious because I have a very similar situation to yours (nearly same net worth, similar target retirement date (2017 in my case), I’m shooting for 750k too. Your current expenses look a bit high though for a 750k nest egg, but I read that you planned to sell the house and your expenses should go down a lot. Still curious to see if you have a target budget, since we’re planning to travel too once I FIRE (my wife situation is a bit different than mine, she don’t really want to quit, but she has much more flexibility for long vacations and sabbaticals than I do). Anyway, great blog, quite inspiring.

    • Jack says:

      30k it is, just heard you say it in your one minute recording.

      • Steve says:

        Hi Jack – yup, our planned spending after we move isn’t more than $30k, at least starting off. We will adjust up or down as the market allows / dictates, though. We do plan on publishing our anticipated post-retirement budget some time in the near future.

        Appreciate you reading!

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