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 #4 - July 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 July:

Full-Time Job Income
Software Engineer$6,947
Side Hustle Income
Medium$100
Total Monthly Income$7,047

Expenses

Here are my expenses for July:

Monthly Expenses
ExpenseAmount
Rent$875
Groceries$184
Utilities$17
Total$1,076

Net Income

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

Income, expenses, and net income for July 2018

July Savings Rate: 85%

Recap

July was another normal month, but with a small twist.

My income table above has a new row –– side-hustle income!

Over the past 2 months I’ve talked about creating additional income streams and July is the first month where this “side-hustle” income was a reality.

Around February I started writing on Medium. Medium is a publishing platform site founded by Evan Williams (creator of Twitter). You make a profile and start posting stories, basically like a blog.

However, on Medium you can choose to put your stories behind a paywall. The only people who can then view these stories are those who sign up for Medium’s $5/month membership. Those without a Medium membership can view 3 of these paywalled stories a month for free as well as all stories not behind the paywall.

The interesting thing about Medium is that they then distribute some of that membership money among the writers based on the views and engagement of the stories they wrote.

I wrote a story back in April which ended up going relatively “viral” (over 2,700 “likes”). This story ended up netting me $100 in July.

This is not a reliable source of income. I haven’t written anything since this story that has done as well. This payout will greatly vary from month to month and it’s not a long-term thing (depends on how Medium does in the months/years to come).

But it’s a nice little bonus and the start of hopefully many more months with some side-hustle income.

Where I’m Headed

August will be a bit of a weird month. I’m taking a trip to Argentina to visit family and then at the end of the month my girlfriend is moving to Seattle and we’ll be moving into a new apartment.

I still owe my dad my part of the plane tickets for the trip and my girlfriend my half of the security deposit for the new place. This combined with the extra spending on the trip means the expenses for August will be much higher than usual.

The new place is a bit more expensive than where I’m at now (by about $100), but we’ll have our own kitchen (in my current place there’s a kitchen on my floor shared by 8 people) which’ll be nice.

Moving in with my girlfriend will also be a significant lifestyle change.

We’re shipping my car over which will add some ongoing expenses in the way of car insurance and general upkeep of the car (Seattle has the highest gas prices in the USA, excluding some cities in California and Hawaii) as well as the hefty fee for the actual shipping of the car.

Plus, we’ll also be doing a decent amount of traveling and exploring of the Pacific Northwest, which will add a few $100 of expenses on some months.

[Note to her: I’m super excited to have you here though!!]

July is probably the last month with an over 80% savings rate for a while. I think 75% should still be doable going forward, though.