Monthly Summary – May 2015

Here’s my net worth update and summary for May 2015. There were a couple of surprises in May: we received unexpected (& free) tickets to watch New Kids On The Block although perhaps they should consider a name change since they’re about 45 years old now! And my graphics card died, so I bought a new graphics card to keep my PC running (it’s twice as fast as the old card and uses half the power) – that’ll show up in July’s costs since I used my credit card.

So was May a step forward towards FI or a step backwards?

My Score for May

Living Expenses $ 3,900
Security Ratio 9.71 %
Expenses 53.71 %
Investments 29.26 %
Savings 17.04 %
Retirement 0
Wet Worth $ 74,589
Work Freedom Day 13-Nov-15

Living Expenses

This is my fixed monthly budget for living expenses and it includes both essential (e.g. groceries, mortgage, insurance), and non-essential (e.g. music, travel) purchases. $3,900 is the amount from my current Budget 3.0.

I spent a total of $3,190.03 this month which means I underspent my budget by $709.97.

Security Ratio

This is the percentage of my monthly living expenses budget that my dividend income would pay for this month.

This month’s value of 9.71% is back to more normal levels after the spike from higher dividend income in March. Last month I earned $341 in dividend income; this month was $379.

Living Expenses %

The percentage of net income that’s spent on living expenses. Lower numbers are better here.

This month’s 53.71% is pretty much the same as last month’s 53.56%. Any change in this number is caused by a change in either income or budget; my budget hasn’t changed and income didn’t increase significantly so the result hasn’t changed much.

The chart above shows the trend in my Living Expenses % since the start of 2014. For the first part of 2014 I was paying two mortgages. In June 2014, I introduced Budget 1.0 after selling my first house and I made some minor tweaks in Budget 2.0 from October onwards. January 2015 is the first month following Budget 3.0. I can’t wait to see the first value below 50% this year!

Savings %

The percentage of net income spent on savings.

I put aside $530 every month for mid and long term goals (any large expense or purchase due a year or more in the future), as well as $547 for my car payment. Contributions to my Emergency Fund also come from this category. This month, the savings amount was $1,237.25 or 17% of my month’s income.

Investment %

The percentage of net income that I invest.

Any spare money left over after savings, retirement and living expenses are paid goes into my current income portfolio. This month it was 29.26% of my income.

I’ve written about my portfolio income and gains in May in a separate post, so I won’t repeat all of that here again.

Retirement %

This would represent the percentage of any post-tax contributions from net income towards my retirement accounts, but I don’t have any plans to do so at the moment. You can read about my retirement account asset allocation here if you’re having trouble sleeping.

Wet Worth $

My liquid assets minus all debt (excluding retirement and assets).

My Wet Worth increased $3,901 in May to $74,589. There’s a more detailed breakdown of this amount further below.

Work Freedom Day

The day in the year that my dividend income could pay for the rest of the year’s expenses.

Based on my current projections my Work Freedom Day remains at 13 November 2015.

Wet Worth Detail

I’m showing my Wet Worth in this post – this is the cost of my liquid assets minus debt, I exclude assets and retirement accounts from this number. I prefer this over Net Worth since the equity in large assets (house, car) and retirement funds is hard to get at and not always predictable. I find this is a more honest view of where I’m at on my journey.

The change in Wet Worth is caused by

Cash +$306 Cash for living expenses increased on the whole due to the budget surplus this month.
Debt -$1,272 Debt decreased this month due to regular mortgage / car payments and normal credit-card spending.
Savings -$1,145 I’m starting to re-characterize a portion of my savings as cash in my Investment portfolio. The Vanguard Wellington fund (VWELX) that I use for long-term savings also increased by $88 this month all on its own.
Emergency Fund +$257 My Emergency Fund consists of cash, a stock fund (VTSMX) and a short term bond fund (VBIRX). I’m slowly converting the cash portion into the stock fund, as well as adding a little extra each month to reach my 2015 target.
Portfolio +$3,210 My overall income portfolio increased in value this month. See my earlier post for details.
Total +$3,901 Total change in Wet Worth.

May 2015 Summary

May was a solid month all in all. The total amount of cash I’m holding onto is decreasing and slowly being converted into investments. My income portfolio did well last month too. May 2015 is my 17th month of continued wet worth increase since the start of 2014.


Quote of the Day

I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.

9 thoughts on “Monthly Summary – May 2015”

  1. Nice update, DL.

    Another solid month! You keep on rattling along with your dividend income and wet worth growth. For me, the next couple of months are going to be a little weaker than the last two. From £150+ per month returns down to about £70. Still ahead of schedule, but much slower it would seem!

    I don’t know whether the same applies to you! Still, we’re doing well!

    1. Hi D²,

      Yes patience is a virtue in reaching FIRE it seems, as well as resisting the lure of trying to get quick profits from the market. Hopefully things will pick up after the next couple of slow months.

      June for me should be my second best month of the year after December, so we’ll see how that pans out…most of my stocks pay dividends in Mar, June, Sep, Dec and my stock funds pay on those schedules too which boosts my income. It’s hard to say with the funds though as their income is more variable than stocks.

      July will be back to April levels I expect. I’m also trying to see if I can sneak my budget down a little bit starting next month but things seem to be conspiring against me at the moment!

      Best wishes,

      1. I am still well ahead of my average monthly income needed to reach my target (a little over £66). I did some forward predicting and it looks like two slow(er) months and two big months again for me. Still, as I say, way ahead of schedule so far!

        Yes, you benefit from mostly quarterly payments I suppose which gives you a bit more extensive coverage.

        This month is going to be a dear one for me expenses wise, I think (me and Miss DD had out anniversary which was a rather nice–but expensive–meal). Though maybe I can slow expenditure down for the rest of the month to keep me on track. We will see!

        On the plus side, I have engaged in a pretty aggressive declutter which is yielding a quite tidy amount of additional income this month!

        Good luck with your budget taming!

  2. New Kids On The Block?!?!? That’s awesome! Great month and well organized post. I like all of the metrics you keep track of – especially your “work freedom day.”


    1. Hi Ken,

      Yes it was a blast from the past! They were touring along with Nelly (not really my cup of tea) and TLC. They put on an entertaining show.

      I really like the Work Freedom Day metric too – it’s very simple and shows just how much work it is to move just a day earlier…it’s much easier to move the date forward by reducing expenses than by increasing income.

      Thanks for your support!

      Best wishes,

  3. Looks like you are headed in the right direction judging by your recent financial picture. Your expenses are being kept at a very manageable percentage while your investments keep growing. Keep up this great work.

    1. Hi DivHut,

      Thanks for your support – May was a good month and June’s looking even better at the moment since June’s a strong month for dividend income.

      I look forward to reading your June dividend income update next week!

      Best wishes,

    1. Hi DFG,

      Thanks – May was a good month. it was actually quite a fun concert and they were quite entertaining since they didn’t take themselves too seriously.

      Best wishes,

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