May Expenses

Here is a breakdown of my expenses in May.











Student Loan Debt




I finally got my expenses back down under the $1000 mark. Expenses should be pretty much the same in June. I do make a 3 hour drive twice a week now which might increase my gas costs but I’m driving less during the week which will offset most of that. My car has to be registered and inspected this month also so my transportation cost might go up a little. My entertainment cost also might go up slightly since I was able to take advantage of more free entertainment in May than I think I’ll be able to do this month. Overall it should be a low cost month though.

April Investment Income- $27.50

This is not my actual investment income. To get this figure I first add up my retirement accounts, emergency fund, and any other money I consider permanent savings.  What the total of my savings would earn at 6% interest for a month is my monthly investment income. The 6% figure is the highest interest I can earn in an FDIC insured account right now. My plan is to eventually have my investment income equal or exceed my expenses. My expenses were $1581.53 in April so I have quite a way to go. The total of my expenses should go down though, making the gap not quite as large.

I just started reporting this figure now because I should now make enough money to be able to contribute enough to my savings to have this figure consistently rise. However if I’m no longer able to get 6% interest or my stock fund declines significantly the amount could still go down. I’m hoping that won’t happen and my contributions will be sufficient to cover any minor fluctuations.

April Expenses-$1581.53

Here is a breakdown of my expenses for April.











Student Loans/Education




Expenses were way too high for April. My goal is to keep my expenses under $1000 not counting optional debt repayment. If my entertainment expenses wouldn’t have been ridiculously high I would have been on budget. Most of the entertainment expenses was in the first week of April and I’ve now gotten that back under control. I now have a girlfriend and my best friend is coming back to town this month after being gone for a month and a half so I’ll still have considerable entertainment expense for May but it should be much lower than April.

I plan to make significant cuts in my food and student loan expense also. I plan to cut back on the fast food and the junk food to lower my food expense. I’ve decided to not pay ahead on my student loan for now which will reduce that expense.

Household, Utilities, and Transportation expense should all remain roughly the same. April’s transportation expense included a payment for six months of liability insurance. My gas expense actually went down even though gas prices were higher because I drove less. This month I’m going to start working three hours away from my apartment and commuting back most weekends. That will cause my gas expense to rise but I hope the total transportation expense will not be more than in April.

April Income- $371.06

Here is a breakdown of my income for April.

Online Income






Mystery Shop




Since I can’t work during the semester all of my income is alternative income. I’m really pleased with my online income. I’ve already made this year than all of last year. May should be even better than April. Most of this online income is from my other blog. This blog hasn’t really been monetized yet and I’m debating whether I should. I’ll discuss that in a blog post sometime.

I’m also pleased that my alternative income total is almost as much as my rent of $375. I’ll have to set a goal of making enough to pay my rent with alternative income this month.

The interest amount is high because it includes ING Direct referrals. Since they will be reported as interest on my 1099 at the end of the year I just go ahead and count them as rent now.

Tracking Every Penny and My Non Budget

Over at My Two Dollars last week David wrote a post arguing against what he called “Watching Every Last Penny Syndrome.” Since I track every penny I spend and earn I have to disagree with that post. This is something I started doing after reading “Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence” and I’ve found it very helpful and pretty easy to do. Apparently Trent at The Simple Dollar keeps track of every penny too.

That being said I don’t budget every penny. I just keep track of what I spend and when my spending gets out of line in a certain category I adjust my spending accordingly.  Stephanie at Poorer than You uses a similar system and Nick at Punny Money has his own variation of the system. This system works well for me but it won’t work for everybody. You need to determine what kind of budgeting system works best for you.