January 2013 Monthly Expenses


The goal for 2013 is to average an 80% savings rate throughout the year. With the short-sale approval being triggered this month, I had a feeling that 2013 might get off to a slightly more jittery start than I would have liked. Now that January is in the books, let’s see how I did.


By winning the short-sale in mid-January, the clock started immediately ticking down on when I needed to finalize the loan. I have 40 days total, or until the end of February to close. Last time around, the deal didn’t get signed until the last hour, so I’m hoping to do better this time. That is, I don’t want this one going down to the wire again. Quite frankly, I’m really busy at work right now, so I can do without any additional stress, or headaches.

To get the process started, I’ve been selling stocks throughout January. When the month began, I had 24 positions in the dividend portfolio. This has been reduced down to seven. Over the course of the year, I will work to build this back up, so I’m not too concerned with the dwindling stock portfolio at this point.

Expenses for Rental Property #2 were also high this month. To close the deal, the lender requires a lot of forms and documents. The HOA package ended up costing me $404. Further, an additional lender specific questionnaire was needed, so this tacked on another $205. What really hurt was the $711 appraisal that I needed to pay. For some reason, investor property appraisals cost about twice what an owner occupied property would cost. I can’t say I’m a big fan of all these different rules…


Monthly rent was increased by $50 this month. I don’t think this is too big a deal since I’m counting on Rental Property #2 being able to offset any differences in my own rent. Rental Property #2 should go for a higher market rate than what I was able to get for Rental Property #1, back during last Summer, since the housing market keeps on surging ahead. If I can generate monthly net cash flow of ~$400+ from each property, I’ll be more than thrilled.

Food expenses were about normal, but I am expecting my bill to dip over the next few months. I’m starting to exercise more vigorously this year (partly to offset work stress), so I invested in some supplements this month. I also did some heavy shopping at Costco this month. Hopefully by buying in bulk now, I can reduce the grocery bill over the next 2-3 months.

Lastly, I spent some extra funds in the “Other/Fun” category. The web hosting/domain hosting for this website were due to expire next month. Since I don’t like keeping tabs of this (too many other things to worry about), I decided to spend a bit extra and register both for the next few years. By doing so, I now have one less thing to worry about, and hopefully I’ll be locking in a lower rate, which is something I’m expecting to increase gradually over the years.


My savings ratio was only 38.92% this month. This was due to the aforementioned expenses attributed to Rental Property #2. In total, I spent $1320 on forms and documents. Talk about crazy, right?

After removing expenses for both rental properties (which cannot be avoided), my true savings rate jumps back up to 65.59%. This is still 15% lower than my target, so I know I’m not performing up to the standard, yet.

The good news is the grocery bill should come down next month. There also won’t be anymore web hosting/domain bills to worry about, for awhile. Lastly, once Rental Property #2 is good to go, I’ll receive some much needed cash flow to help supercharge the savings rate again. I’m confident the savings rate will continue increasing as the year progresses. By the end of the year, I will do my best to ensure everything averages out to 80%.


Here are the dividend payouts for the month:


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Sharing is Caring:
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 years ago

Where is the money to invest going? Cash for rental property #2 or your dividend portfolio? Ouch on those fees for the new rental property… Buying property sure does nickle and dime you sometimes!

How are you only spending $15/month on internet?! I want to know your tricks! Mine is costing almost $50/month now. I tried asking for a promotion via live chat and that didn’t go anywhere.

JC @ Passive-Income-Pursuit
Reply to  Leigh

Except they like to move the decimal on those nickels and dimes.

JC @ Passive-Income-Pursuit

Considering all the extra expenses related to the short sale I’d still consider a 39% savings rate a win. You’re still about 10 times the average savings rate in the US. At least you were having to sell off your stocks in a month that was up. It would have been much worse to have the short sale approval go through during a horrible month.

7 years ago

I agree, 39% is very impressive number. I recently did my own calcs and got to 22.91% savings rate. Originally I was depressed seeing you guys saving 20, 30 or even 40 to 50% of your income not realizing that I was actually doing well myself. FIF, great job!

7 years ago

Good job on the savings…and congrats on winning the short sale! We love real estate.

Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin

I can’t wait to see how this second property boosts your finances! I’m sure it will make all of your hard work these past couple weeks worthwhile!

7 years ago
Reply to  FI Fighter

I agree with Marvin. Once settled down, update the table for us. The rental income of 2200 monthly (is it monthly?) is huge! I wish I had it. That is my inspiration to get my dividends and options income to these levels or even higher. Then I can suspend contributing to my savings and just reinvest and use my money to travel for example. There is so many places around the US I have never been, gosh…

7 years ago

I like the 80% savings goal. That’s a sure way to accelerate your investment earnings. We used to hit that level a few years ago. 2 kids have since sent our savings rate down to about 50% 🙂

Dividend Mantra
7 years ago

FI Fighter,

Great job man. Saving almost 40% of your net income during a month in which you went out and bought a property is astounding. Most people have a hard time saving 10%. You quadrupled this and also bought real estate in the process. Crazy!

Keep up the great work. Look forward to hearing about the new property’s progress and the rebuilding of the stock portfolio.

Best wishes!

The Keichi One
7 years ago

Well done FI Fighter!

Your savings rate really surprises me! It’s great to see such a high earner taking the reigns and creating control for himself.

Keep up the good work!

7 years ago

FI – Great job! Big fan of your combination of the DG model with rental real estate! I hope that once I can get clear of a few financial obligations this next year, I should hopefully be able to start back down that path myself!

Financial Independence

Why would you rent and own properties at the same? Is it tax efficient? As to pay for the rent you need to pay taxes of those money.