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August 2012 Monthly Expenses

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August was my first month on the new job. As a result, I had more disposable income than in any previous month. You would think that because of this (and because I’m so frugal :)), my savings rate would reach an all time high! Unfortunately, this was not the case. Actually, August proved to be the most spendy month to date this year. What happened?

Well, many things. To start, I spent a few hundred dollars at Home Depot and Lowe’s, purchasing items for the new rental apartment. These expenses are a one time deal, so they shouldn’t carry over to next month. Still, I will have to allocate some money for repairs, and maintenance every month. Ahh, the joys of home ownership 🙂

I also indulged a bit this month and purchased a new $500 IPad (retina display). Since I am an Apple shareholder, I figured I would do my part and support the company! No, what actually happened was I was being clumsy, slipped and dropped my old IPad 2 to the ground (concrete). The screen shattered instantly, rendering it unusable. Although I try my best to be frugal, there are still certain niceties, I admit, I am guilty of consuming.

Food expenses were up this month as my family and I celebrated my Grandma’s 91st birthday. Again, I try my best to save as much money as possible, but there are certain events in life that are simply worth the extra cost. I wasn’t going to hold back on this occasion, so we opted to order some of the more expensive entrees from the dinner menu. The entire family had a great time and it was a very memorable experience! Only my wallet was unhappy, but that isn’t a big deal. I’ll just do my best to reduce the grocery bill next month.

Generally, I aim to save about 70% of my earnings. For this month, I was only able to achieve 42%. Hopefully, August was just an aberration, and I will be able to return back to my thrifty ways in September. I guess the underlying point I am trying to make is – life happens. Investing, being frugal, and constantly striving to achieve early financial independence is the end goal. However, we shouldn’t forget to celebrate and embrace life while on this journey 😉


Here is an update on the dividends received this month:


{ 8 comments… add one }
  • The StoicNo Gravatar September 13, 2012, 5:39 am

    Even with an expensive month, a savings rate of over 40% is not bad.

    Here’s to a less expensive September.

    The Stoic

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar September 13, 2012, 9:54 pm

      The Stoic,

      Yeah, 40% isn’t too bad, considering the fact that I haven’t yet added the rental income into the monthly savings rate. At current, the ratios are calculated using only job income. I think starting next month, I’ll keep track of the rental income to provide more clarity and disclosure.

  • Dividend MantraNo Gravatar September 13, 2012, 5:22 pm


    Great month! Saving over 40% of your income on a “down month” is quite fantastic, indeed.

    I completely agree with you. Although our goal is noble and wonderful, it’s still important to remember that the journey is in the here and now and life should be enjoyed at every stage.

    Great to see your grandma enjoying a 91st birthday and a fantastic month for dividends. Also, some of the expenses were for an income producing rental that’s pretty good stuff!

    Best wishes!

  • FI FighterNo Gravatar September 13, 2012, 10:03 pm


    Thanks for the words of encouragement! The growing dividend payouts always provide a great feeling. It’s nice to know that our hard earned slave-wages are now doing some of the work for us. In time, I hope they will continue to grow and eventually carry the bulk of the work while I go to relax on the beach 🙂

    The rental property is just getting started and underway. I’ve received the first month’s rent and security deposit. Fingers crossed, and hoping things continue to go smoothly. I’m going to try and write-off a lot of the rental expenses from this month when I file for taxes. Hopefully I can recoup most of the costs.


  • Dividend MantraNo Gravatar September 14, 2012, 7:35 pm


    You mention above including rental income as part of your income, as you should. But, I’m wondering where are the expenses listed for the rental property (mortgage, taxes, etc.)? Are they in the other/fun category?

    Best wishes!

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar September 17, 2012, 9:38 pm


      Thanks for the constructive feedback. The rental income/expenses aren’t currently included in the report (due to force of habit of using the same template every month, I’m afraid). I agree, it makes sense to include this information since it will now be an on-going part of the overall progress. I’ll update the report to include this information.

      Take care!

  • Compounding IncomeNo Gravatar September 14, 2012, 9:55 pm

    Good stuff man!

    Adding to what Dividend Mantra was saying, I’d be interested in seeing a category just for rental expenses or maybe just factor it in along with the profit. I’ve always been curious about real estate. I’m sure you track it anyways but it might help to make better decisions in the future.

    That is really awesome that your Grandma has been going strong for 91 years. All my grandparents passed away over 10 years ago, enjoy time with her and get to know her while you can. I barely knew mine 🙁


    • FI FighterNo Gravatar September 17, 2012, 9:41 pm


      Thanks for the well wishes. I’ll admit, I’m very fortunate and blessed to still have my grandma around at this stage of my life. Actually, she is the only grandparent I have ever known, so in that sense, I’ve always had this intrinsic sense to value our time together. Appreciate what you have in life, and things become much more simple. As they so often say, the best things in life are free.


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