This post contains my monthly income and expense report. If you haven’t viewed my January balance sheet, read that first. I review these reports on a monthly basis, though I may soon move to quarterly, to ensure my finances are staying on track and I’m making sound decisions with my money.
Many years ago, I worked for a non-profit organization and spent more money getting to work than I was earning. Eventually, spending more than I was earning presented financial problems, magnified when I lost my job, my apartment, and my girlfriend. Since then, I’ve been working to be more responsible with my personal finances. Not soon after, I started Consumerism Commentary to keep myself accountable in front of an imaginary audience. Now the audience is much less imaginary.
January was a good month in terms of income and expenses. If the rest of the year is like January, even if I experience no income growth, I will be in good shape. Of course, I would like to see growth, particularly in my business income. On the bottom line, I managed to save $10,923 this month, or 68% of my income. Keep reading to see the full report. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the report.
My “Salary and Benefits” category was higher in January due to receiving three pay checks, as it happens several times each year. This line includes my gross pay from my day job, as well as employer’s matching 401(k) contribution. I’ll be contributing the maximum to my 401(k) this year, and my portion of that investment comes out of the salary.
The “Other Earned Income” line consists of any income generated by the work I do when I leave my office. For the past few years, I’ve put much of my waking life into Consumerism Commentary and a few other endeavors. For now, it’s paying off through advertising deals and writing opportunities. I expect that my good fortune won’t last forever, so I’m making as much of it as I can while always trying to think of other ideas to keep it moving forward.
Under “Business,” it looks like I haven’t recorded all of my expenses this month. I should have about $300 for January on this line. I’ll have this fixed by the time I report February’s numbers. My business expenses are primarily web hosting fees, merchant fees for accepting payments online, and supplies. I have some major plans for Consumerism Commentary this year, and my business expenses will climb.
Otherwise, my non-discretionary and discretionary expenses are not out of the ordinary. My charitable contribution this month was a small donation directed towards an organization that performed in the Presidential Inauguration Day Parade in Washington, D.C.
I mentioned last month that I didn’t find it likely to have a year as good as 2008, but so far, 2009 is working out well. I’m trending slightly better than last year. Keeping the same level of income throughout the year is going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of time dedicated to these activities. As a single guy with not a lot of familial responsibilities, now is the best time to do this.
Updated October 21, 2015 and originally published February 5, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.