Another month gone by, just like that! According to popular wisdom, both November and December are traditionally more expensive months. After seeing some of the insane Black Friday footage from across the big ol’ pond we call the Atlantic Ocean, I’m inclined to agree with that statement. As a result, I’m excited to read everyone’s income and expenses report. Of course, I’ll also share mine.
The mere fact that there are a lot of sales going on is obviously no reason to spend money like crazy, especially for us seasoned frugalists and financial independence seekers. There are, nevertheless, some good reasons why most folks spend more in November, if only because they have to turn up the heat to ward off winter’s cold. With King Winter making his first stop of the year in Belgium, I had to do just that.
To get me through the cold winter months I found nothing better than to buy a brand-new graphics card – these things not only provide great performance, but also put out a lot of heat. Yes, I splurged. Like most of your comments indicated, however, splurging on something that brings you joy and happiness is sometimes warranted.
Let’s measure how much havoc my favourite past-time wreaked on my November budget.
|Paycheck||€ 2,019||As expected|
|Dividends||€ 13||Dividends from DE, T and PG|
|Other||€ 460||Sold some stuff and side hustlin'|
Big increase from last month income-wise! Even though my paycheck remained the same and my passive income through dividend investing wasn’t anything too special, my side hustles really payed off in November. On top of that, I sold my old graphics card to a friend since there’s no reason to keep it around and have it gathering dust.
|Rent||€ 350||As expected|
|Utilities||€ 70||As expected|
|Telecom||€ 20||As expected|
|Groceries||€ 94||Still less than my goal of €100 a month|
|Restaurant||€ 20||Friend's birthday|
|Healthcare||€ 16||Haircut, etc.|
|Games / PC||€ 370||GTX 970 and Steam sales|
|Subscriptions||€ 23||Google Play Music|
|Entertainment||€ 11||Beers with friends|
|Gifts||€ 20||Mom's birthday present|
Expenses were much higher than usual, but that’s no surprise given that my new GTX 970 costs 350 Euros. What’s more, November’s increase measured up to almost exactly the price of my new toy. All things considered that makes November a pretty decent month, especially since my income is up from October.
The more math savvy among your already figured out that I managed to save 60% of November’s incoming cash. That’s lower than my goal for 2014, but I’m still on track to save 70% on average. Because my side hustles also payed off this month, I managed to save more in absolute terms than in October, when I managed to keep 70% of my after-tax income in my pocket.
The €1,498 left in my bank account was immediately transferred to my pension fund (€95) and my brokerage account. I quickly deployed most of the fresh cash in dividend growth stocks Qualcomm Inc. (NYSE:QCOM) and Vodafone Group (LON:VOD) right before their respective ex-dividend dates. With my free transactions running out at the end of this month, it’ll probably be one of the last times I’ll initiate small positions like nine shares of QCOM and 188 shares of VOD.
If you’re interested in knowing my past performance, look no further. I’m happy to say that I’m doing much better than I’d hoped when I started living on my own in August.
- January: N/A
- February: N/A
- March: 87.4%
- April: 65.3%
- May: 78.6%
- June: 72.9%
- July: 76.7%
- August: 65.3%
- September: 72.3%
- October: 70.0%
Following November’s savings rate, I’m now standing at 72% on average for the entire year, which is slightly down from last month’s 73.5%. If nothing unexpected happens in December it’ll be smooth sailing to reach my 70% savings rate goal for 2014. Even if I eat out more than usual while on a short vacation in Ireland next month, those expenses will be offset by my year-end bonus.
How was your November? Did Thanksgiving and Black Friday leave deep cuts in your budget? Or are you more worried about your heating costs now that it’s getting colder and colder each day? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading and for your support.