Basketball over a hoop
Photo by Noah Silliman

At the end of each month, I provide a summary of all the income I earned as well as all the expenses I incurred.

Related: Net Worth Update #9 - December 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 December:

Full-Time Job Income
Software Engineer$7,625
Side Hustle Income
Medium$293
Total Monthly Income$7,918

Expenses

Here are my expenses for December:

Monthly Expenses
ExpenseAmount
Rent$865
Miscellaneous$148
Groceries$134
Car Insurance$118
Christmas Gifts$95
Internet$40
Total$1,400

Net Income

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

Income, expenses, and net income for December 2018

December Savings Rate: 82%

Recap

December. Vacation, Christmas, family, friends, and some grade A Florida sun. Hard to beat.

I spent a good chunk of December in Florida at my parent’s house. I hung out with my parents and sisters and saw friends I hadn’t seen in months.

I ended up spending more than I usually do amid Christmas gifts and going out, but my parents made the mistake of leaving the fridge and pantry unlocked and so in the end I spent basically the same as I do every other month.

Donkey Kong opening a fridge

In fact, December was the first month since July where my savings rate was over 80%, mainly due to the fact that Sammy and I split the rent this month from the get-go rather than having one person pay for the other and owing each other indefinitely (the Splitwise app has worked well for us as far as splitting and tracking expenses.)

On the other hand, my full-time job income was slightly lower this month as I maxed out my 401k contributions for 2018 last month which resulted in paying a bit extra in taxes. Damn you Uncle Sam.

This month I once again had some side-hustle money courtesy of Medium. I’ve talked about Medium in the past few income & expense reports (July and August in particular), so I won’t repeat myself here.

The bulk of the $293 came from one story which went “viral” (over 4,300 “likes”) back in April. It spent a few days on the front page of Medium and got passed around on Twitter. This post netted me $108.37 this month, about 37% of the total.

My income from Medium for the past few months has been on a steady decline: $248.38 in July, $847.47 in August, $687.37 in September, $362 in October, $185 in November, and now $293 in December.

(The slight bump this month had more to do with there being an extra week this December than anything else.)

I haven’t been active for the past 3+ months and so I’ve faded a bit from Medium’s discovery algorithms. This means that my posts get less views and consequently earn less.

I’ve got plans to get this going again in the next few months, but in the meantime I’m happy with the residual “royalties” I continue to receive.

Where I’m Headed

December was a good month. I took a break from writing and read more than I had in a while. My final tally of books read in 2018 was 62 and I’m hoping to read another 40 in 2019. I’m full of words ready to be written and feel ready to hit the ground running in 2019.

There’ll be some extra expenses the first few months of 2019 as we’re planning on taking advantage of the Seattle snow to get in some skiing, but I should continue to be in the 75-80% savings rate range for the upcoming months.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the next update.