EOM February 2013

I had been waiting to get my most recent travel reimbursement back before writing this post.  Now that the funds have been deposited in my savings account I can close out February and see exactly how much I saved this month!  I took a big trip to New England for 8 days that I was afraid would impact my savings rate in a big way, so I tried to be frugal the rest of the month to balance it out.  Let’s take a look at the numbers!

When I go on trips, I categorize most expenses (like hotels, rental cars) under a “Travel” grouper in Excel.  When I get reimbursed, I also include that positive transaction amount under my “Travel” grouper.  This way, by looking at my total “Travel” amount I can see everything that wasn’t reimbursed.  The total cost of my personal travel this month was just under $500.  That’s less than my rent!

My cell phone costs this month were only $10!  I love this new prepaid plan.

One of my biggest expenditure categories this month was alcohol, at $166.52.  This is because I bought a lot of drinks at bars this month, instead of my usual six-pack or two a week.  When I was in Boston and Portsmouth restaurants I bought a few $5 beers (which is a ridiculous markup if you think about it), as well as treating some friends to drinks in downtown Madison as they passed through on their way to moving to North Dakota.  Totally worth it, but way above my average monthly alcohol expenditure from 2012.  To bring my 2013 average back down I’ve decided to make do with only what is currently in my fridge and refrain from buying more until April.

Other expenses like gasoline, groceries, and eating out at restaurants remained stable.  I spent slightly less than average this month on entertainment/gaming.

So let’s take a look at my overall savings rate for February: 64%.

That’s just barely below my 2012 average of 67%, and it includes my little personal vacation which I won’t be taking every month.  It is also well below my target goal of 85%, which I am beginning to think is a little high considering that to achieve it I would have to pay my rent and nothing else.  We will see how the rest of the year goes.

How much did you save this month?  It is nice to know that with my savings from this month alone I could spend an entire month and more not working and visiting my friends in New England instead.  Early financial dependence and the freedom that comes with it is my goal, and every month brings me closer.


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