Welcome to the October 2013 Money Making, Saving, and Investing Report!
Let’s see how we did this month. In September, we fell short of our goal to save 60%, did we “kick it up a notch” in October?
To view the previous month’s report, click here.
To read why I’m publishing these reports, check out the report page here.
Actions Plans for This Month (Set in September)
Key: Complete/Some Progress/No Progress
- Sell my Camry for more than $1,000
- I was able to get $1,300 for my Camry off of Craigslist! I held out long enough to find an excited buyer that was happy to take if off my hands. Score!
- Read the book I Will Teach You To Be Rich
- Complete – great book. The the review here.
- Try to get eating out to less than $150 / month
- We kept our eating out to ~$100, so we get a gold star here.
- Try to make more than $50 profit flipping stuff from yard sales to ebay. Something similar to this…
- Good here – I sold some soccer cleats (bought for $1 and sold for $20 on ebay).
- I also agreed to sell a buddy’s Xbox 360 games and stuff for a free console, controllers, and 4 game ($280 value if I were to buy new, so I’m counting this as profit – will make a great Xmas present for our son)
- Setup Roth IRA accounts for my wife and myself
- Done! Now I just need to fund them for 2013. We can invest up to $11,000 between the two of us. I’m planning to put bond and emerging market ETFs here because of the tax savings.
- Setup and release a new theme layout for the website (I’ve already gotten started on this one)
- Finished! It took me probably 30 hours of work, but I finally have the new layout decently working. It’s a self-modified version of MesoColumn. It is still a little glitchy when using a lower resolutions (like with a phone or Ipad), but it’s still readable. I hope to make the last minute fixes down the road.
Overall, I feel like I kicked ass yet again this month on my goals!!! I hit all six out of six, and I’m feeling super stoked! I’m especially glad that I finally sold my Camry – that was putting a ton of stress on me that I’m glad it’s over and done with. I shouldn’t have to worry about the joyful process of buying/selling a car for another several years 🙂 Now, onto the meat of the report:
Money Making (Income)
Salaries (after taxes) — $8,503.88
MoneyAhoy.com Income — $11.76 (estimated)
- Google AdSense Ads — $10.33 (estimated)
- YouTube Ads — $1.10 (estimated)
- Amazon —- $0.33
Yard Sale Items resold on Ebay — $19.99
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME = $ 8,591.85
Money Saving (Expenses)
- Squashed eating out expenses for the month. Kept it to ~$100!
- Total expenses were ~$131 less than last month – no other major changes for the month
- Most of my money saving ideas I’ve implemented over the past several months are really kicking in – routine expenses are $550 less than in May of 2013!!!
Special expenses for the month:
- Son’s Birthday Expenses – $50
- Car Wash Charity – $25
- Halloween Costume for Niece – $21
Here’s a graph of total expenses for the month for May 2013 – October 2013. As you can see, we’re making great progress!
For the month of October, we hit a savings rate of 46%. That’s pretty good and we’re making progress. But, I’d still like to get our savings rate much higher.
I feel like we’ve kinda hit a short-term plateau in our savings until we can downsize our house and get the kids out of full-time daycare. We’ve brainstormed home downsizing if/when I get relocated for my job. If this ever materialized, it would also afford my wife the opportunity to go part-time and cut childcare expenses to almost zero (except for the summer months).
With all that said, I’m going to be focusing my attention to money making ideas over the next couple of months to see what types of improvements I can make there to boost the denominator of the savings rate.
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES = $ 4,451.44 ( $188 less than last month)
After reading A Random Walk Down Wall Street and I Will Teach You To Be Rich, I decided to improve my investing asset allocation and get some emerging market exposure. I plan to make a future post on why asset allocation is the most important thing to focus on when investing.
I bought: 100 shares of VWO @ 42.06 (with $5 commission) — $ 4,211.00
- This is the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Market ETF
- It pays a
quarterly dividend that works out to be ~3.3% APR.
- The dividends are partially qualified, which means that about about half of the dividend is taxed at the lower 15% capital gains rate and the other half is taxed as normal income (~28%). This isn’t the best thing to hold outside of an IRA because of taxes, but I plan to load up our IRAs with Bond Index Funds and REITs which have NO qualified dividends.
TOTAL MONTHLY INVESTING = $ 4,211.00
Actions Plans for November
- Read the book Rich Dad Poor Dad
- Fund Roth IRA accounts (total of $11,000)
- Start and finish first version of side hustle website FrugalCalc.com – post on this down the road
- Start and finish first version of side hustle website RichmondThriftSore.com – post on this down the road as well
- Continue doing my ebay thang – Goal of $50 again for this month – I have > 200 Pokemon cards my wife bought at a yardsale for $5 and I’m seeing what I can fetch for them 🙂
- Post at least 4 additional monetized YouTube videos
Other Points of Interest
The Resources Page page is still out there. If you haven’t checked it out yet what are you waiting for?!?
Here is a list of the posts I created for the month of October. I can’t believe I made this many with school going full steam… Hopefully you’ll find at least one of these helpful on your finance journey:
- Progressive Snapshot Review
- Book Review – A Random Walk Down Wall Street
- The Money Saving Master Table I also created a page for Money Saving Here (this has an updated version of the Money Saving Master Table)
- Saving Money vs. Makin gMoney
- Give Yourself a Haircut
- Book Review – I Will Teach You To Be Rich
- Free Book Giveaway – FlexScore – Over now, but it was a cool giveaway and my first!
- How To Get Paid For Your Hobby
Also, I hit a new milestone just yesterday with more than 100 daily visitors (107 unique to be exact) to the site! Woot!! Traffic is starting to pickup as the content of the blog increases. We’ll see what it does in Novemeber.
Check back next month to see how well we did with our action plans! What are your money saving, money making, and investing plans for the month?