Finance Tracker: April 2014

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For educational and entertainment purposes, each month during 2013 and 2014 I am posting detailed information about my monthly spending and expenditures. April 2014 turned out to be slightly more expensive than average, yet the income side was far higher than normal.

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And now let’s see the April 2014 numbers:

Expenses Amount Comments
Mortgage + Escrow $996 Main mortgage, taxes, insurance, HOA
Rental House $0 No non-standard expenses
Life Insurance $62 Two term policies
Groceries $343 Higher than average
Gasoline $79 Two tanks
Online Services $0
General Merchandise $481 Costco, Home Depot (backyard project)
Cell Phones $34 Ting Wireless
Restaurants $25
Alcohol $87
Electric $48 415 kWh
Internet $20 Sharing wireless connection with neighbor
Trash $70 Paid quarterly
Other/Misc $50 LLC filing fee (yearly)
Medical $2 Eye drops
Memberships $0
Dental $180 Paid for two cleanings
Travel $0
Total $2,477

The one unusual expense for April was that we decided to build a patio extension in our backyard by laying down some square paving stones. Ordering a pallet of pavers from Home Depot was a new experience for me, and while I originally thought about loading them into my car and making several trips to the store and back, I ultimately opted to pay for delivery. Having a truck drop off a pallet of stones in my driveway was humorous, but thankfully a couple of neighbors volunteered to help carry the paving stones from the driveway to the backyard. Thanks, neighbors!

And now for the income side of the equation:

Income Amount Comments
Salary $3,401 After taxes and health insurance
Rental Income $87 Profit (after expenses)
Taxable Dividends $113
Retirement Dividends $158
Royalties / Web / Other $3,100 Includes one-time gift
CC Cashback $0
To HSA $537 Pre-tax payroll deduction
To 403b $666 Includes employer match
Total $8,062

Our April income was much higher than I expected. For one, I earned some blog income. In addition, I received an unexpected windfall from family. You see, my father has colon cancer, and while he had surgery a few months ago and is now undergoing chemotherapy, the cancer has spread to his liver, and I suppose is recognizing his own mortality. One manifestation of this recognition is that he started advancing some of his assets to his children and grandchildren because you can’t take it with you. And while I would much rather have my father than any of his possessions, I will not refuse these financial gifts at the potential end of his life. Nor will I spend them. Even though he has both Medicare and a pension, I plan to save the money he gifts to me lest he need it back for medical treatment.

April was not a dividend month, but I still received payouts from some GE stock that I own plus some bond dividends as well as a smattering of bank interest.

Savings Rate

Using the above figures, our savings rate for April works out to 69.3%. If I recall correctly, this is the highest savings rate we have achieved, and while I recognize that part of this is due to a financial gift from my father, it still feels good. For the record, even without that monetary windfall, we still managed to achieved a 52% savings rate.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and prosperous May! 🙂

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