As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

Personal Income Statement, October 2006 (Net Income: $3,583)

This article was written by in Monthly Update. 12 comments.

This is a big chart, thanks to the large number of categories of spending I have. Perhaps that’s a sign I spend too much. On the other hand, I managed to spend in October 2006 the least I’ve spent since January 2005. I thought I was going to do better, but filling up the rental car’s gas tank on Monday put me about $10 over. Continue reading to see where my money went (and how it came to me).


October was a normal month in which I received two paychecks, not three as I did in September. This accounts for the strange jump in “salary” income. No available overtime is definitely a downside to my new position (which is not so new as it has been 6 months already).

“Business” income fell from the last few months as expected. It’s still pretty healthy income and represents a large portion of my monthly net worth increase. The year-to-date number does leave little to complain about. I had lunch with a former boss a few weeks ago and we talked a little about my “side business.” He suggested finding ways to reinvest the income in the business rather than saving almost all of it. Over the rest of the year, I’ll brainstorm ways to do this.

My expenses for dining out are still higher than I’d like them to be. I’ve been saying this for some time but I haven’t been actively doing anything about it. I eat lunch out almost every day, usually spending $6 to $7 at a deli or Wendy’s. Staying in to eat in our cafeteria costs just as much or more. The best solution is to make my lunch and bring it in. I’ve tried this, unsuccessfully, in the past.

“Online Sales” is the category that I put PayPal transaction fees, listing fees for eBay and Amazon Marketplace, neither of which I’ve used lately, and postage for giveaways.

I like looking at the October 2006 YTD total in comparison to prior years. Hopefully I can keep up the acceleration.

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published November 1, 2006.

Email Email Print Print
About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

One question: Your salary, is it pre-tax or after-tax? Because you also listed tax in your expense, I am not sure if it’s your income tax. Not just you, I also saw people listed taxes in their expenses. Since we never see pre-tax income, would it be more convenient to simply consider the money you actually receive as income?

Reply to this comment

avatar 2 Luke Landes

Thanks for the question, Sun. The salary income I list above is pre-tax, thus the tax expense category contains all tax including federal and state withholding. No jokes about how low the salary is. :-)

Reply to this comment

avatar 3 Anonymous

Sun, I actually think that seeing how much a person pays in tax is good incentive to work on reducing that expense (and yes, there are ways to do that). If it was hidden in the salary amount, it could be forgotten about.

Reply to this comment

avatar 4 Anonymous

sorry new reader of your blog. could you tell us about your side business. is there any posts related to you side business?

Reply to this comment

avatar 5 Anonymous

Good job! Making more than last year and spending less. This is a sure way to keep more for the long run.

Reply to this comment

avatar 6 Luke Landes

Jack, the side business is centered mainly around this blog, Consumerism Commentary, but a few other website generate a little bit of income for me. I also have a few clients I do web development for.

This month’s “other income” is some event-related work for a non-profit.

The $500 was a gift from a family member for completing my Master’s degree.

Reply to this comment

avatar 7 Anonymous

When I’m in a disciplined frame of mind, I organise my lunch and morning and afternoon snacks for work. I also don’t buy sodas or coffes. The cost of organising the food and not buying the drinks usually works out to a saving of approx 60% of what it would cost me to buy during a normal working week. I also save two hours of time over the week on lining up to buy food and drink.

Reply to this comment

avatar 8 Anonymous

Compared to last year, you are doing very well

You have mush less debt, Congrats !!.

Now that you have completed your Masters, you should be well financially fit

Reply to this comment

avatar 9 Anonymous

Wow, what an insight! I’m in the throws of a major transition- divorce, career(s) change, financial upheaval, blah blah blah- and this is a wonderful idea for injecting some accountability into an otherwise “Who’s gonna know?” part of my life. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

Reply to this comment

avatar 10 Anonymous

Haha I’ve noticed that my tendency to eat lunch out increases when there’s no one around to make me one…

I think the easiest way is to prepare it the night before you go to work, some of the leftovers from dinner, plus maybe a portion of fruit (when you can bulk buy, and separate the portions over the week.)

How about if your colleagues purchase a meal as a group (aka in bulk) and get them to deliver it to your office? Then ask for a discount as a group (and NO the franchised/well known fast food companies, but the smaller ones).

If you purchase from them regularly (at least a week (5 working days), and maybe every second fornight), you may get a better deal.

Good Luck in cutting expenses!

P.S: What programs/software do you recommend for keeping track of income and expenses?

Reply to this comment

avatar 11 Anonymous

I had the same problem with lunches too. One purchase (actually, got it as a gift off my wish list) that really helped was my Mr. Bento. I’m always wary of ‘devices’ that promise to make life better, but this one really worked. It will keep food hot or cold (though I usually microwave instead) and has compartments for 4 different dishes. This has the advantage of forcing me to include some variety in my lunch. My lunch usually consists of: leftovers from the previous night, salad, crackers, bread or chips, and dessert (usually a store bought pie I’ve portioned up or a fruit tart)

Dessert is the most important thing. It’s what I spend my morning looking forward to!

You have a great website and a great idea. I keep stopping myself from posting about money on my site because it has been drummed in my head that it’s bad to talk about it. I never really understood that, though!

(I got here via Lifehacker.)

Reply to this comment

avatar 12 Anonymous

Boy, I’ve struggled with making and bringing my own lunches in to work for many years, before I finally found a system that works for me. In the past I had been unwilling and/or unable to tolerate lunches that were merely a sandwich and an apple, or to make time every damn evening to put together a lunch.

What I do now is make a couple or three dishes on Sunday afternoons I decide in advance what dishes to make, and then package them up into single serving size. This work also includes chopping veggies and fruit, or some cheese to add as a side dish, or mid-afternoon snack. Usually I make casseroles, or salads, but once in a great while I’ll make some sandwiches too. I end up with about 10 or so meals, which work both for lunches and dinners during the week.

I have developed several quick and easy standards that by now take little time to prepare, but sometimes I decide to try something new, that maybe I saw on Good Eats or on Martha’s show.

It may sound time-consuming to do this, but while things are baking and/or cooking on the stove I also do other chores. In the autumn I watch the Packers on my little TV in the kitchen while I’m doing this, at other times I do my computer maintenance chores on my laptop, and catch up on my weekly blogs.

This has become such a fixed habit with me that I even invested in a nice little insulated lunchbag (there are some great deals on eBay) and in lots of little single-serving plastic food containers.

I wouldn’t presume to tell you how to manage your lunches, but this is a method that I found works for me. Sure, every once in a while I’m out of town for a whole weekend, or the weather’s too nice to spend a Sunday afternoon on preparing food, but I can be flexible about it. Those are the weeks I can go back to my older, more spendthrift habits.

Reply to this comment

Leave a Comment

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.