Budget September 2015 ~ NY NY

Published October 6, 2015   Posted in How to Think

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. Read more about how we budget here.

We are labeling September NY NY.
Why? Because our week in NY was definitely the biggest expense of the month as we anticipated. It was a normal month income wise (which means low in the grand scheme of things) and a high expense month as planned due to our trip. Not to mention the market being what it is…. O well. We’re still happy where things stand.

As I mentioned last month we changed our format a bit and might still tweek it in the coming months to get it more in line with what we’re hoping to have setup when we go full time. Money amounts changed slightly but really its just a categorization.

Meanwhile while the budget numbers are accurate our net worth number was not taken on 9/30 as we were on vacation for our anniversary. So

On to the numbers!

  • Fixed Costs (Mortgages, HOA, Loans) $2550/ $2550 
  • Utilities & Other Necessities (electricity, gas, water, cars, fuel, etc.) $724/$851 Actually low on gas this month. Yay motorcycle weather!
  • Groceries $342/ $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.
  • Fun (Travel, Mr.’s fun money, Mrs.’s fun money, Mr.’s camera fund, gifts, restaurants)     $1391/ $1051. This is high because of our trip to NY (though we did pretty well eating out considering). Also Steve bought some new camera equipment and still needs to sell back a lense to balance things out.
  • Additional Income: $457.69 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 August 2015 income: $11,751.55 (some overtime)

Total August 2015 expenses: $4,999.42

This means our total August 2015 Take Home Savings Rate came in at: 57%. 

And our August 2015 Total Savings Rate: 69% (includes maxing out our 401ks).

Our net worth: $641,177.31 (as of 10/6/2015). Let’s see this number grow!

Our Personal Capital net worth graph for the month

September budget Personal Capital snapshot

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

Another adventure awaits!

— Groceries: $342.75–

Fruits and Veggies: $188.27

Canned Goods: $52.55

Vegan ‘Meat’: $9.43

Meat, Seafood and Dairy: $14.95

Dry Goods: $77.10

Minus 45 cents from our bag credits. Gotta love a little extra savings 😉

We track our net worth using Personal Capital


15 responses to “Budget September 2015 ~ NY NY”

  1. Maggie says:

    Excellent work! We’re working on scooting closer and closer towards a savings rate over 50%. Not quite there, but getting closer! And Happy Anniversary!

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Maggie! Every little bit helps. A savings rate of 50% is absolutely awesome and beats the wide majority of other people out there who will be working well into their 60s. It’s an awesome goal! 🙂

  2. Nice jump in Net Worth for September!

  3. What the heck do you two eat? Would like to see a post about your low-carb, wheat free, hippie meals 🙂

    But on a serious note, glad you found a diet that is helping with the health issues.

    • Steve says:

      Hehe, I know it sounds kinda weird based on the article, but we seriously make some of the most delicious meals that you could imagine utilizing foods like beans, rice, tofu, nuts and virtually every vegetable known to man. Coconut milk is usually the base of a lot of the sauces that we make. Lots of Sriracha.

      I’d put some of the Asian dishes that we make up against any restaurant in the country. 😉

  4. Hmm… how does the vegan “meat” taste? It doesn’t sound too appealing when you describe it like that!

    • Steve says:

      We don’t buy a lot of it, but it’s not bad actually, especially when incorporated in other dishes. It’s more about the consistency of the soy-based protein that makes the dish better, and of course the taste and spices that we put on the “meat” helps with the taste. 🙂

  5. It makes my heart hurt a little bit when I see other people’s net worth numbers go up, given that ours just keep going down, regardless of how much money we’re saving. I’m ready for the markets to start moving in the right direction again! But happy for you guys that you’re doing so well — happy anniversary!

    • Steve says:

      Believe me, I understand. There were a couple personal finance bloggers who’s net worth increased in August too. I was like, WTF? Good for you, but…WTF? Luckily, this isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. Slow and steady.

      Thanks for the anniversary well wishes! 🙂

  6. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for sharing your monthly budget, net worth and expected financial independence date.

    It is pretty exciting that you are less than 16 – 17 months away from “early retirement”

    I have a question on the net worth. Have you broken out how you have invested it?

    Best Regards,

    Dividend Growth Investor

    • Steve says:

      Hi Dividend Growth Investor,

      Appreciate your readership and the kind words. Nope, we haven’t broken out how we’ve invested our money, but it’s actually pretty simple. We have a combination of a Vanguard LifeStrategy fund, along with a money market account that provides around 30% of our wealth, while our retirement accounts provide another 30 or so percent. We also have two real estate properties that we’ll be selling as a part of retirement next year that adds a nice portion onto our net worth. As you can see, we keep things pretty simple around here. 🙂

  7. clementine says:

    Hi Steve,
    It was really inspiring to read your story. I’ also do not believe nor do I want to work endlessly for someone else. I save as much as I can so I that I too can live a simple, afforded lifestyle. I must say though, I became extremely disappointed when I saw that you and your wife have a combined income of 11k a month. I’m a 25 year old recent grad and my boyfriend and I make less than 4k a month combined. As you can imagined, my disappointment was quite severe. I do live a very simple life and I’m an entrepreneur l at heart because I too value my strength and independence more so than me making someone else rich. I’m somewhat familiar with the financial industries and I’ve been considering starting a ROTH IRA to prepare myself for early retirement. I’ll like to know, what advice you have and also if you can pretty please tell everyone you know about Mothers help.. http://pedrovoter45.wix.com/mothershelp. Is a business that I’ve started to help new mothers recover after labor. It is my way of providing my talents and series to the world, while still having the ability to provide for my self and my family.


    • Steve says:

      Hi Clementine,

      I appreciate your comment and definitely understand your position. In fact, I think that you have inspired me to write a post about the influence that our income is having on our retirement plans. We do bring in respectable incomes every month that is helping us to retire this quickly (next year), but high incomes are not necessarily required to retire early.

      It’s wonderful that you are starting so early in life. And remember, the ability to retire early is as much about your level of anticipated expenses post-retirement as it is your income pre-retirement. The less you spend after you call it quits, the earlier that you’ll be able to retire.

      Thanks for commenting, and I appreciate you stopping by!

  8. […] few weeks ago we received a comment to our September budget article from a young reader who was impressed with our plan of financial independence and […]

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