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 #6 - September 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 September:

Full-Time Job Income
Software Engineer$8,032
Side Hustle Income
Medium$687
Miscellaneous
Security Deposit Refund$825
Total Monthly Income$9,544

Expenses

Here are my expenses for September:

Monthly Expenses
ExpenseAmount
Car Shipping$1,100
Travel$425
Groceries$416
Ikea$161
Eating Out$40
Internet$30
Miscellaneous$558
Total$2,730

Net Income

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

Income, expenses, and net income for September 2018

September Savings Rate: 71%

Recap

After a hectic August that included a trip to Argentina, moving out of my previous apartment, and my girlfriend moving in with me, September was much more relaxed.

Expenses this month were still higher than usual due to our move to the new apartment.

An Ikea excursion to buy dinnerware, bath towels, and shelves among other must-haves, like a förtrolig and an oumbärlig, combined with a Walmart trip to stock up on toilet paper and paper towels set us back about $500. Not unreasonable for setting up a new place (then again this is my first time doing it, so I’m really just talking out of my ass. It does feel like I’m playing some sort of game where I pretend to be an adult.)

Interestingly enough, I’m also unwittingly acting as interim sugar daddy (it feels as weird to type that as it does to say it) as my girlfriend is not starting to work until October and savings from having people yell at you while you’re making $8/hour at the university’s computer help desk only go so far. That’s a character-builder for sure.

The travel expenses for this month include what I owed my parents for the trip to Argentina last month as well as gas for the car. My car arrived from Florida early this month (hence the $1,100 car shipping fee) and September saw us complete 3 different hikes out here in the Seattle area. Snow Lake, Mount Rainier, and Rattlesnake Ledge are checked off our Pacific Northwest bucket list.

Growing up in flat, flat Florida the views out here in the Pacific Northwest are a treat. Turns out that palm trees are not the only type of tree and swamps are not the only bodies of water. (I do miss the Florida sun though.)

Hiking in Snow Lake, Seattle

This month I once again had some side-hustle money courtesy of Medium. I’ve talked about Medium in the past two months as well (July and August), so you can find more information on how Medium works there.

The bulk of the $687.37 came from one story which went “viral” (over 3,800 “likes”) a few months back. This post netted me $351.30, about 51% of the total.

My income from Medium for the past three months has been fairly variable: $248.38 in July, $847.47 in August, and now $687.37 in September. But I’d be writing even if I wasn’t making anything so it’s a more than welcome boost. The best part is finishing posts, getting them out there, and hearing what people think. A nice little rush.

Except for The Tyranny Of Long-Term Compounding Costs which I wrote last month, all the other stories that are making money I wrote months back, mostly in March and April.

Where I’m Headed

September was an overall great month. I’m writing daily (and sometimes making some money from it) and exploring the Pacific Northwest without breaking the bank.

Income this month was inflated from the security deposit refund. However, the decrease in expenses from stepping down from my sugar daddy role and from not having to ship my car or buy Ikea’s Swedish-named items every month should allow me to maintain a savings rate somewhere in the 70%+ range in the months to come.

In September Sammy and I were able to get settled in and get into a groove. October will be a bit different as she will start working and some routines will have to change. Hopefully, the extra stress doesn’t bring too much extra fighting, but what good is a relationship if you can’t get a little mad sometimes? No? Anyone?

Well, have a good October.