3 min read
At the end of each month I provide a recap of all the income I earned from dividends (brokerage account only), blogging, and working at my good ol’ 9-5 as a data analyst.
Related: December 2017 Income & Expenses
The reason I share my raw monthly income and expenses is because I have always found it insightful to see the real numbers behind a blogger’s financial journey. I love talking about how to earn more and save more, but it’s helpful to provide a behind-the-scenes look at how I’m actually managing my own money.
Here’s what my income looked like in January along with the previous three months. All numbers are post-tax.
|Monthly Income Streams|
|Ally Bank Interest||$4.42||$5.27||$5.98||$4.11|
*I received one extra paycheck in November and also worked overtime the weekend before Thanksgiving, which explains why my 9-5 income was much higher than usual.
Here’s my January income according to type:
Here are my January expenses:
*This number is eerily close to my total of $1,346 from last month.
Here’s a visual look at my total income, expenses, and net savings in January:
January Savings Rate: 73%
This month my blog income dipped to the lowest it has been in six months because I switched Ad Networks in the first week of January. I left MyFinance to join MediaVine, which means I have to wait two months until I can cash in on my first monthly earnings. While this looks like a short-term hiccup in income, I know it will lead to an overall increase in the long-run.
It’s all about long-term vision, baby.
On a positive note, my dividend income was the highest it has ever been, with around $250 in dividends landing in my brokerage account. This dividend income was solely from individual REIT’s I own, which tend to pay higher dividend yields (5 – 7%) than stocks.
As an asset class, REIT’s have performed quite well over time. They’re also fairly uncorrelated with stocks, which provides some nice diversification. While there are many ways to get real estate exposure in your portfolio like owning rental property, or investing in crowdfunded real estate deals, I prefer to stick with REIT’s because it provides such a hands-off approach.
By clicking a button I can own a share in a company that leases property out to thousands of tenants across the U.S. Personally, this approach to real estate investing suits my interests.
My 9-5 income was pretty ordinary at $4,800 this month. Not much to say there.
My expenses were slightly above $1,300, just like in December. The only oddity in spending was the fact that I only bought one Chipotle burrito this month, which is why I didn’t give “Chipotle” a category of it’s own.
My financial plan for 2018 is straightforward. I still plan on sticking it out at my 9-5 job as a data analyst over the coming months, saving at least 70% of my monthly income, and slowly marching towards my first $100,000.
My monthly dividend income will continue to grow as well as I add more cash to funds like VYM (Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF), receive dividends, reinvest them, and earn increased dividend payouts.
I’m confident that my blog income will pick back up as well after this short-term December/January drop.
My financial situation will start to become quite interesting once I get closer to the $100k point and my dividends/side hustle income begin to account for more of my income. Once my income outside of my 9-5 job begins to cover a good chunk of my monthly expenses, I’ll consider ditching my day job.
Until then, I’ll continue to embrace minimalism, diligently save most of my paychecks, and enjoy the slow but steady climb to a higher net worth.
That’s all for this month, thanks for reading 🙂
My favorite free financial tool I use is Personal Capital. I use it to track my net worth, manage my spending, and keep an eye on my monthly cash flow. It only takes a few minutes to set up and it makes tracking your finances simple and easy. I recommend trying it out.
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