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 #8 - November 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.


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

Full-Time Job Income
Software Engineer$7,909
Side Hustle Income
Collecting loans$2,810
Total Monthly Income$10,904


Here are my expenses for November:

Monthly Expenses
Car insurance$118

Net Income

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

Income, expenses, and net income for November 2018

November Savings Rate: 80%


November was a weird month income-wise.

If you look at my update from October, you’ll see that my full-time job income has seemingly gone down. The reason for this is that I finished maxing out my 401k this month and so I paid a bit extra in taxes.

The other curious bit in this month’s update is the income listed under Miscellaneous, labeled as “Collecting loans”.

My girlfriend moved in with me in August, but didn’t start working until October. These income-less months combined with the fact that she was already running on fumes since she’d just graduated from college meant that I covered a few extra expenses the past few months.

But in a sudden plot twist she paid everything she owed me and since she took care of next month’s rent, I am now indebted to her. How the turntables.

Michael Scott saying how the turntables in The Office

Admittedly, considering this debt repayment as “income” is not entirely honest.

Yet, in a surprising twist, if I don’t count these $2,810 as income and I also subtract half of the rent (as I paid our whole rent in November), then the savings rate actually goes up to 84% [($8,094-$1,299)/$8,094], which goes to show that keeping expenses low is just as valuable as increasing income.

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), so I won’t repeat myself here.

The bulk of the $185 came from one story which went “viral” (over 4,200 “likes”) a few months back. This post netted me $66.93 this month, about 36% 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, and $185 in November.

I haven’t been active for the past 2+ 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 mean time I’m happy with the residual “royalties” I continue to receive.

Where I’m Headed

November was another solid month. I am continuing to write every day early in the morning and pushing forward at my full-time job as a software engineer.

Now that Sammy has finished settling in and we’re back to splitting expenses, 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.