Saving for the future: January 2017

By | February 5, 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.

 

January 2017 Savings Update

Dividend Income: $10.24

Regular Income: $5,831

Blog Income: $0

Total Income: $5,841

Expenses: $3,632

Savings Rate: $2,209

Savings Percentage: 37.8%

During December and January we invested a total of $1,570 of our savings into shares.

Savings rate including Superannuation: 37.8%

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

This is a nice looking savings trend over the last few months. Now that we’ve been blogging and tracking for over a year, we can compare to the last year’s savings rate too:

Jan 2016 rate: 14%

Jan 2017 rate: 37.8%

Improvement: 23.8%

We are happy with that progress in one year. Considering we’re earning a lot more now, combined with a higher rate, that’s added a lot to our savings that we can put towards investing, our emergency fund, saving for a house, baby #2 IVF Fund or anything else we’re going for.

Income

Dividend income – Just the one small dividend payment, but it’s something to compound our wealth with.

Regular income – This is the after-tax figure if you’re wondering. We’re very happy with this figure and we’ll be receiving around this amount each month from here onwards.

Blog income – We didn’t receive any payments this month (it has to be over $100 for Google to send you a payment). However, we are extremely happy and surprised by the $68.60 we accumulated during January – thanks to all our readers for making this happen! We’re now sitting on a balance of $97.62 so the next payment should be sent in March with February’s total added. Wow.

Expenses

Non-regular expenses that happened this month:

Birthday present – One of our closest family members just turned 18, so as our present we decided to give $250 towards their first investment. We don’t normally give presents anywhere near this size, but it’s a big life milestone and they’re pretty excited by the idea of taking control of their finances so we were glad to contribute.

Further education – We had some expenses from Mr DDU’s first exam, $135. He passed (go Mr DDU!). This will be partially refunded when he does his tax return later in the year, thanks to Australia’s tax system.

Pet expenses – We took our cat to the vet this month because kitty DDU was a bit sick with a nasal infection/cold, we were given anti biotics and seems all better now, the vet + treatment cost $135.

Petbarn sent us an offer for 25% off all products, so we loaded up on cat food and cat litter which cost us a total of $163. It’s taking advantage of this type of offer that saves us money over the long term.

Medical baby expenses – Now that we’re pregnant we will be paying fairly regular expenses for things like Dr visits, ultrasounds etc. We won’t list small baby purchases separately (like clothes or toys) but we will mention the major things. We spent $430 on medical things this month.

Final thoughts

We’re very happy with our savings rate, even with the above things we still managed around 38%. It suddenly seems like we have lots of cash to put towards good things, which we have already started with our $1,570 towards investments in December and January.

We have a number of posts in the pipeline – reviewing 2016, goals for 2017 and our recent share purchases. We will get to them soon, we promise!

 

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 January finances like?

 

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

Onwards and upwards!

38 thoughts on “Saving for the future: January 2017

  1. Vicki@MakeSmarterDecisions

    Great work in January! It’s great to keep banking away a lot of money before baby comes. January was good for us. We paid down a home equity line of credit by a few extra thousand last month. Can’t wait for that balance to be zero!

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Good question :). We don’t plan on changing our income much if at all, might even be slightly higher 6 months down the track. We will definitely be leading a busy life, but outside of Mr DDU’s fulltime job the rest of our/my income is flexible working hours and from home, or just the awesomeness of dividends :).

      Mrs DDU

      Reply
  2. The Financial Tech

    Nice report and congrats on make some money with your blog. Also I am impress with your saving rate and the dividend may be small but it need to start somewhere to become huge 🙂

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thank you, we are hoping for some big things from our savings rates in 2017 – watch this space for cracking the big 50% hopefully more than once!

      Mrs DDU

      Reply
  3. The Green Swan

    Good work this month despite a few more expense categories. You folks have done well planning ahead. We have a couple more months of Dr visits for my wife before our newborn arrives. And we’ll expect the labor and delivery charges to be a thousand or two. So exciting though!

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Having a baby is expensive business, especially when you want the best care. We could have gone public and had minimal expenses thanks to the amazing public healthcare system in Australia, but we wanted just that extra level of care from private after all we’ve been through. We will also be getting one of those chunky bills in a few months time. Good luck to you and your wife on the end of the pregnancy 🙂

      Mrs DDU

      Reply
  4. Divi Cents

    THIS!

    This is how you get rich 🙂

    Great savings rate. The more you practice at this the easier it becomes.

    I’m trying to hit 70% on a single income this year but it will be tough!

    Keep up the awesome progress

    Reply
  5. Graham @ Reverse The Crush

    I totally agree on spending money on what’s important to you. However, I’ve been spending too much money on what’s important to me lately. This post motivated me a little more to get systems in place to get back on track. Congrats on investing 1000 during the month. That will go a long way. Hope your February goes well! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      First step is being brutally honest with yourself to make that change. I’m so happy that we could be motivating, that is a huge compliment. I think we all ebb and flow in periods of indulgence and other times buckling down saving – it’s all about balance 😉

      Mrs DDU

      Reply
  6. Jason @ FamilyDollarMan

    Good work for January, babies get expense and the compound hit of one partner out of work is tough, savings are always needed. Good for us Aussies is that the government paid parental leave scheme gives us some sort of cash flow for a few months.

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks for coming by our blog Jason. Thankfully we have structured our income preparing for starting a family and we won’t need to take a hit to our income for me to be able to be a stay at home mum. Mr DDU has been saving his annual leave from the last 1.5 years and will use it for the birth – guess that’s one good thing about needing IVF – you can really plan out your life for the best outcome because it’s not a surprise pregnancy 🙂

      Mrs DDU

      Reply
  7. Jef Miles

    Nice work here.. Impressed that you were able to improve that, interesting to know what sort of money if any you’re putting away for the little one?
    My Jan was pretty nice and gearing up for the trip across to Africa in about 6 weeks.. Hope Feb is great for you both! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Africa – that’s coming up quickly now! Hope you have a great time. As for money away for bub, depends what you mean lol, we have money saved that we will use for pregnancy/birth expenses, we also have a savings account set aside to put $200 a month into for saving to have IVF baby #2. We will also open up a savings account in our baby’s name but we haven’t got a strict plan about how much/how often we will contribute towards it.

      Mrs DDU

      Reply
  8. Amanda @ centsiblyrich

    Congrats on a great month! 🙂 I love your investment gift to the 18 year old! Our niece will be graduating high school this spring – this would be a great gift for her.

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks Amanda for complimenting our gift giving, we even allocated an afternoon to helping the 18 yr old make their investment and answer any questions – it was a great to see them so excited by it 🙂

      Mrs DDU

      Reply
  9. Adventures with Poopsie

    That’s a great savings rate guys, well done. I like the idea of contributing toward someone’s first investment. My nephews are only six months and four months old, but I’ll keep this in mind for when they’re 18!

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks AWP! We chose $250 because it’s half of the minimum investment amount with most brokers, so the 18 yr old had to put a bit of money in themselves but makes them think even harder about the choice. It’ll be interesting to see how the investing world has changed once your nephews are 18!

      Mrs DDU

      Reply
  10. Our Frugal Escapades

    You are both making great progress on the financial front! We did something similar with our nephew where we gave him some money toward opening his first EFT. 🙂

    Congrats on passing your test Mr DDU! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks so much for your kind words :). I’m glad to hear that getting young people on the financial path is popular around the PF community, I’m excited to see where the next generation goes financially!

      Mrs DDU

      Reply
  11. Miss Money Box

    I love that you gave your family member money to make their first investment. That’s such a great way to give them a leg up in their finances. Do you know what they’re going to invest in? Maybe an ETF?

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks Miss Money 🙂 We actually allocated an afternoon to talking through the choice and any questions they had, and then helped them make the purchase once they had chosen. They went with an LIC (listed investment company), we also have helped them with a yearly budget going forward into university so they can make regular investments, they are especially keen on dividend stocks.

      Mrs DDU

      Reply
  12. Mrs. ETT

    Like Miss Money Box, I was wondering exactly how the 18 year old is going to start investing? We have a nephew who has finally turned around his money habits after near bankruptcy (before 20), and we also want to support him in new habits. His birthday is next week, and I’m trying to think of the best way to get him started. Acorns is easy, but also too easy to get the money back out 😉

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Hey Mrs. ETT, I’m sorry that this reply is so late. We are finally getting on track with our backlog of commenting!

      Wow that is a big experience to go through before the age of 20. We gave $250 because it’s half of the minimum amount that most brokers allow, we liked that they would be personally invested too, not just “free money” but the $250 we contributed does take away the sting of it being so expensive (remember the days when $500 was like being rich lol). We wanted to instill “big adult” investing knowledge young, so we’ve already been talking about shares here and there with them. When we gave them the money to invest we showed them the ropes of how to pick out stocks and what the different terms mean (dividend yield, P/E, etc) and then talked them through what stocks they were considering and they went with a LIC (listed investment company). At a separate time we also helped them make a thorough yearly budget on Excel and they included a budget for investing – I’m very proud!

      Mrs DDU

      Reply
  13. SMM

    “Birthday present”.

    We had a few of these in January, not just because there were birthday’s for people we know in January, but also past birthdays for my mom and sister and I delayed in getting them a gift. Shame on me! As a result, gifts were substantially higher in January. But they were really happy with what I got them, so maybe I can say I took so long because I wanted to find something they’d like and was being thoughtful….let’s see if that works :-).

    Reply
  14. Josh @MoneyBuffalo

    I don’t have Google ads on my site, but, that’s good revenue from ads if you ask me. Especially considering how long this site has been up. Congrats on passing the exam! It’s always a good feeling.

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks Josh. We’ve been around about 1.5 years now, time flies! Hopefully our readers don’t find the ads obnoxious, they do help with the running costs of the blog and we don’t do sponsored posts. We love having quality content that you guys want to read, it amazes us that we get some ad revenue in the process.

      Mrs DDU

      Reply

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