Saving for the future: December 2016

By | January 8, 2017

Author: Mr and Mrs DDU.

We are big believers in living below our means; spending less than we earn. We try to only spend money on what is essential or makes us happy. Nearly everything society spends money is fleeting: food, holidays, a movie ticket etc. Most of it is forgotten about by the next day and we look to the next thing to keep us entertained.

Every month we track our income and expenses to see how much we’ve saved/not spent. This helps us to see how we’re going, as well as motivate us to continue saving. Hopefully over time, our savings rate will increase allowing us to invest even more.

We want to show that even on a modest income, it is possible to save hard, invest and become financially independent. We post any articles about our money savings choices or habits here.


December 2016 Savings Update

Dividend Income: $0

Regular Income: $6,747

Blog Income: $102.84

Total Income: $6,850

Expenses: $4,785

Savings rate: 30.1%

Savings rate including Superannuation: 30.1%

(We count superannuation savings when a payment is actually made, usually every 3 months).

The final month of the year was great income-wise, we also had a lot higher expenses but this was covered easily by the extra income we’re now receiving.


Dividend income – Nothing again last month, but there will be an amount here this month.

Regular income – We were happy with this month’s income which should hopefully be around the norm going forwards.

Blog income – We finally received our Google Adsense money of $102.85 which was exciting to see it hit the bank account. This is enough to cover our hosting so we’re happy with that.


Annual public transport – We paid for Mr DDU’s annual pass this month, which came to around $1,500. We save around 10% by paying annually as opposed to monthly (which is cheaper than daily). It’s a lot upfront but worth it for our annual budget.

Further education – We got a surprise extra cost relating to Mr DDU’s further education which we weren’t expecting. It was $656, which we could cover but it was a little annoying to have to pay it. No exams yet, but that will happen soon!

Final thoughts

We’re very happy with our savings rate considering the above large expenses. It was a pretty good end to the year and it’s looking really positive for our money in 2017.

Our next post will be a year-end summary of our yearly savings rate and our 2016 calendar year’s dividends.


The 3 key factors for us to become wealthy are:

  • How much we earn
  • How much of our earnings we save
  • How hard we can make our savings/investments work

These monthly savings posts will track how good we’re doing with the first 2 factors.


What were your December finances like?


Thanks for reading this article about our financial journey Down Under.

Onwards and upwards!

32 thoughts on “Saving for the future: December 2016

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks CF! I’m looking forward to seeing our savings rates in 2017 with our extra income coming in, hoping the hard work pays off and is visible in our savings rate even this month 🙂

      Mrs DDU

  1. Vicki@MakeSmarterDecisions

    Love that you pay the annual cost and save so much for public transport! That is another area where people struggle when they live paycheck to paycheck. They pay so much more for just living everyday. Here’s to a wonderful 2017 for both of you!

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks Vicki! It does put a big dent in our December savings rate but it is well worth it for the rest of the year.

      Wishing you a fantastic 2017 too!

      Mrs DDU

  2. Dividend Diplomats

    DDU –

    The unexpected costs are the worst, but being frugal individuals, strong savers – it doesn’t kill us; still frustrating! Let’s see you raise that closer to 50% savings if you can soon!


    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Hey Lanny :). You’re right, it is great to be in such a strong position that we can absorb those unexpected costs, I can’t imagine how stressful it would be to live to the brink of income, month to month, and then have an unexpected bill.. I guess that’s why debt is so tempting for so many.

      Mrs DDU

  3. Dividend Producer

    Hi Dividends Down Under!

    Really impressive results for december! I´m jealous of that Google Adsense income!

    It will be fun to continue following you 2017!

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Hey, thanks for stopping by 🙂

      We are really surprised at how well Google Adsense is doing for us. very grateful for our readers, without them we wouldn’t have that income :). I’m sure some good Adsense numbers will creep up on you too, it’s a slow grower that’s for sure.

      Mrs DDU

  4. MrSLM

    Very cool with the blog income, is that for December alone or several months? Either way it’s a nice addition 🙂

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks Mr SLM 🙂

      It took a few months (3 or so) to build up that Adsense income, but we decided to only count it when it was paid out (every $100). It’s a nice little trickle adding into our income streams 🙂

      Mrs DDU

  5. Len @

    Great stuff, guys! With the unexpected and annual expenses included, you still hit an awesome savings rate. I’m sure now that your income has increased, your savings rate moving forward will be even higher and you can invest more into the share market. I also think it was a good move paying the annual fee for the public transport and locking in the saving. We do the same for home and car insurance but can’t for transport cause the Opal system in Sydney isn’t as friendly.

    Happy new year and looking forward to more of your posts!


    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Hi Len, thanks for your comment 🙂

      Another Aussie! Hi! That’s a shame about Opal not doing annual passes, I’m very surprised actually. We also pay our car/house/health insurances annually, it’s a great way to save little bits of money for sure.

      we have decided to invest $1k a month now with our increased household income, it’s going to be so fun putting that money to good use!

      Mrs DDU

  6. Jef

    Nice month here! Must say looking forward to seeing your goals post for 2017..
    My December was pretty expensive for a few reasons although I’m tracking along nicely for January despite the big expenses for a big trip I have coming up

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks Jef!
      Sorry we haven’t got around to doing our goals article yet, it’s very high on the to do list though! December does seem to be an expensive month for lots of people, looking forward to see how January ended for you, hopefully it remained strong 🙂

      Mrs DDU

  7. Buy, Hold Long

    Fantastic mate. Well done on this month. I am sure you will do a lot better in 2017. I am hoping for good things myself.

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Fingers crossed we will be right there along side you with a very strong savings rate at the end of 2017, good luck for the year!

      Mrs DDU

  8. Amanda @ centsiblyrich

    Even with the unexpected expenses, great job on the savings! We were happy with our December expenses, considering the holidays. Hoping for a low-cost January to boost the savings. Here’s to a fantastic 2017! 🙂

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks for commenting ambertree 🙂

      It is exciting that the blog is slowly starting to pay for itself, hopefully it continues. Hope you have a great 2017 too!

      Mrs DDU

  9. Miss Mazuma

    So true – what we spend on for the most part is fleeting. I try to really wrangle those costs down to if it is necessary or just filling a void….it usually works but once in awhile I can unfairly justify against myself! 🙂

    Great numbers and looking forward to seeing what you guys do in 2017!

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      I’m glad you agree on the fleeting costs. Although we definitely have to have a little fun, just about finding that balance!

      Have a great 2017 🙂

      Mrs DDU

  10. Brian

    Happy things are going well for you. Nice job keeping the expenses in check. You can either make more or save more so the options are limited. Be interested to see the dividends at the end of the month.


    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks for commenting Brian 🙂

      We are trying to have the best of both words by still saving hard AND increasing our income, means we can increase the investing too!

      Mrs DDU

  11. SMM

    One question: were you two always like this: “We try to only spend money on what is essential or makes us happy” or was one and had to persuade the other to become more like this? I’m asking because I’m more the saver and my wife is more the spender so it’s sometimes hard to find a middle ground.

    Congrats on the Google Ad income by the way!

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Hey SMM, that’s a really good question. It would be hard to have differing relationships to money.

      Mr DDU and I both were a bit more spendy in our younger years, we loved our trips to the movies, travelling and food! It was a gradual change over the years as our goals changed and we started focusing on the future. I think it helped a lot to get excited about a strong financial future together and make tangible goals of what to do with the money we save (aka invest). It might help your wife to be able to see a vision of the life you can build with that saved money, to get excited about setting financial goals together 🙂

      Sorry it took awhile to reply! But I did really love your question. Hope to see you around.

      Mrs DDU

  12. MakinCents

    Congratulations on the progress you are making. 30% savings rate is awesome!

    Just a quick question for clarification. Are you talking net or gross figures when calculating your savings percentage?

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thank you MakinCents 🙂

      Good question, our savings rate is net. It’d be huge if we did it gross! But for us we like that it’s more realistic to make the savings rate the money we actually “get our hands on”.

      Mrs DDU

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