Basketball over a hoop
Photo by Noah Silliman

At the end of each month, I provide a summary of all the income I earned working at my 9-5 as a software engineer as well as all the expenses I incurred.

Related: Net Worth Update #5 - August 2018

I share this to provide real numbers behind my financial journey. Financial independence, and the road leading to it, can be a hazy concept without actual numbers. Hopefully, seeing this helps bridge the gap between financial independence as an idea and financial independence as a reality, for others and for myself as well.

Income

Here’s what my post-tax income looked like in August:

Full-Time Job Income
Software Engineer$7,789
Side Hustle Income
Medium$847
Total Monthly Income$8,636

Expenses

Here are my expenses for August:

Monthly Expenses
ExpenseAmount
Rent$875
Groceries$99
Eating Out$45
Travel$2,159
Car Shipping$200
Miscellaneous$305
Total$3,683

Net Income

Here’s a chart of my total income, expenses, and net income for August:

Income, expenses, and net income for August 2018

August Savings Rate: 57%

Recap

I spent more in August than in May, June, and July combined due to a trip to Argentina and expenses related to moving apartments.

The breakdown of expenses is not entirely accurate as the $2,159 for the trip to Argentina includes costs for both myself and my girlfriend as she had taken care of expenses relating to the move (security deposit, application fee, one month’s rent in advance, etc.)

We’ve been using Splitwise to keep track of our expenses. The app tracks who owes who and how much, avoiding the inconvenience of constantly having to square up. I’m currently $410 in debt, but working hard to make payments so she doesn’t call the repo man on me Sims-style.

Repo man repossessing a stove in Sims 3

August also marked the second month with side hustle income, once again coming from Medium. As I talked about last month, Medium is a blogging platform––you make a profile and start posting stories, as they’re called in Medium. They charge a $5/month membership and then distribute some of that membership fee among its writers based on the amount of views and engagement each writer generated.

The bulk of the $847 came from one story which went “viral” (over 3,300 “likes”). This post netted me $382.94, about 45% of the total.

As I mentioned last month, this is not a reliable source of income. I haven’t written anything since Stop Trying To Memorize — A Good Book Will Change You that has done as well (and I wrote that in April). And it’s anyone’s guess how this experiment from Medium will play out.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying this side-hustle income and looking for new hustles to supplement it.

Where I’m Headed

August was an eventful month––some good (traveling), some annoying (moving), all expensive.

September will also be a bit different as it’ll come with its own set of one-off expenses like the remainder for shipping the car ($1,100) and the finishing touches on our new place (kitchen supplies, etc.). This month will also be a time for my girlfriend and I to get used to living together and adjust to our new-ish lives. College sleepovers are not the same as living under the same roof 24/7 as we are finding out…

By October, though, things should be back to normal and my savings rate should be back to the usual 70%+ rate.