Another month, another update! This time I had a nine grand increase from my last update. Breakdown below:
Increases – $11,806.81
- After tax income – $8,136.85
- 401k contributions -$2,216.66
- HSA contributions – $278.33
- Sales on Craigslist – $280*
- Sales on Amazon – $34.42**
- Interest from checking and savings accounts – $30.75
- Gain on investments – $1,098.88
- Over-time meal reimbursements – $429.80***
- Loan payment from a friend – $400****
Decreases – $2,419.70
- Rent – $2,300
- Other expenses –$119.70
Net increase – $9,387.11
Wait, did I see that correctly? My expenses outside of rent were only $119.70?! Well, I guess that’s not too surprising given that I’ve been walking everywhere and pretty much eating all of my meals on the firm. But don’t be fooled – my new Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select hasn’t been added to my Mint account yet, so the $350 plane ticket that I purchased for San Diego won’t be included until next month.
All in all, it’s been a great month for saving. Months like these make me confident that (i) financial independence will come sooner than I think and (ii) I can be happy with spending very little money. Of course, once I stop working, I can’t rely on my employer to pay for my food all the time, but hopefully I won’t have to pay $2,300 NYC rent either!
In addition, I’m gradually learning the gift of salesmanship on Craigslist and Amazon. Sure it’s not a real business, but nonetheless I’m picking up a few customer service and negotiation skills along the way. Perhaps someday I can start an actual business of selling products that aren’t just my used stuff.
Finally, I’m looking forward to pumping more cash into the stock market for increased dividend compounding. According to a colleague and former trader, the US markets are currently inflated with foreign cash. Put another way, investors view the U.S. as a safe haven from the messes overseas. So the idea is to steer clear of companies with over-inflated valuations and invest in stocks with high dividend yields, like REITs.
Okay, that’s all for now. Until next time!
*Items sold on Craigslist: TV stand, Nintendo Wii U and Xbox 360.
**Items sold on Amazon: two Nintendo Wii U games (The Wonderful 101 and LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes) and one Xbox 360 game (Naruto: Rise of a Ninja)
***One of my four ways to save money in New York. My employer reimburses us for up to $35 for over-time meal expenses.