Saving for the future: March 2017

By | April 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.

 

March 2017 Savings Update

Dividend Income: $118.14

Regular Income: $5,419

Blog Income: $157.24

Total Income: $5,694

Expenses: $2,620

Savings Rate: $3,074

Savings Percentage: 54%

During March we invested a total of $1,640 of our savings into shares, which we will post about next.

Savings rate including Superannuation: 65.4%, this is the net amount after the superannuation contribution tax of 15%.

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

The upwards staircase keeps on going, but this is probably the last month of increases (for now). Let’s compare to last year:

March 2016 rate: 31.5%

March 2017 rate: 54%

Improvement: 22.5%

We crossed the 50% mark again, hopefully we can do this regularly throughout the year. This could be quite difficult in the second half of the year as that’s when we have annual bills appearing in most months (car insurance, registration, etc).

The percentage change is nice, but in dollar terms it was an even bigger change. In March 2016 we saved $979 and in March 2017 we saved $3,074, so we more than tripled the amount of money saved. Our hard work of earning and not-spending is paying off.

Our money will be a balance between saving for FIRE & saving for future things (like a house, second IVF baby) versus enjoying our life in the moment. We think a monthly savings rate between 40%-60% at this stage is a good level to be aiming for.

Income

Dividend income – A very pleasing figure over $100. All of this is going back into more shares but it’s nice to receive.

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 and more when there are three payments for Mr DDU (he is paid fortnightly, so 2 months of the year have 3 payments).

Blog income – We were paid our $157.24 that was sitting there. We’re very happy that we can receive such a nice amount every so often – thanks for reading!

Expenses

Non-regular expenses that happened this month:

Birth class – With the baby coming along in a few months we have booked birthing classes so we can be better prepared. We paid the deposit of $200, the actual class is in a couple of months.

Food – We spent a bit more on food this month than we normally do. Other than that, there really wasn’t much else – we guess that’s why our savings rate is so high.

 

Final thoughts

Another great month. Hopefully we can keep up good savings for most of the year, except for April which will be a very expensive month for us. The April expenses include the babymoon that several of you suggested and we have a few large household items that we want to (or need to) replace. Details of that next month!

 

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 March finances like?

 

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

Onwards and upwards!

26 thoughts on “Saving for the future: March 2017

  1. ambertree

    Nice results. Keep the system running.

    With our budget approach, bug yearly bills do not mess up the month we pay them as each month we set aside a pro rata part.

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Fair enough Amber Tree, we could do that approach but we’d rather not lose sight of what we’re actually spending each month – taking into consideration the cash flow ramifications.

      Mr DDU

      Reply
  2. wealth from thirty

    That’s a great trend, even if it doesn’t remain quite as high in the future. Your blog and dividend income are excellent and you’re both doing an awesome job keeping your expenses under control! Hopefully you can have a productive run up until the end of FY.

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks WF30, we’re really enjoying how we’re doing. It brings a smile to my face every time I look at that graph. I’m such a finance nerd.

      Mr DDU

      Reply
  3. Dividend Diplomats

    DDU –

    Great job jumping over the 50% savings rate for the month, HUGE! I’ve managed to stay above 60%, when not included dividends as income and reinvestment, but may have eclipsed the 70% with dividends. I know you know that the more you save and invest, the shorter the horizon is to financial freedom! Keep it up DDU, loving following. Great blog income too!

    -Lanny

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Damn right Lanny! The finance train is building up momentum and hopefully there’s no stopping us from now on, now that we’ve got the IVF successfully done 🙂

      Mr DDU

      Reply
  4. The Jolly Ledger

    Good job guys! So nice to see that savings rate above 50%. Plus getting ready for a baby is so exciting! Parenthood is so great, enjoy.

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks TJL, you bet we’re looking forward to it 🙂 We’re working hard at keeping the rate above 50% but it’s great to see how often we’ll be able to do it now.

      Mr DDU

      Reply
  5. Len @ Financialfarmers.com

    Another great result, guys! Just wondering, how do you keep your expenses so low? Have you done a post on a breakdown of your expenses? It’s be interesting to know what you’re paying for the big three: accommodation, food and transport

    Reply
  6. LadyFIRE

    Your savings rates are super inspiring 🙂 And congrats on the blog income! Is that just a months worth or built up over time?

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      I’m glad you find it so inspiring 🙂 The blog income is any payout we’ve received, which was 3 month’s worth (around $50 a month).

      Mr DDU

      Reply
  7. SMM

    “This could be quite difficult in the second half ”

    There are so many factors that attribute to more spending in the 2nd half of the year (higher gasoline costs, A/C bills, temptation to go out because the weather is nice). Maybe we should hibernate in the winter more to prepare for theses in the summer :-).

    Great job on hitting 54% btw!

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Ha, don’t forget that in Australia the seasons are reversed, but I get your points! We do spend more in winter than summer actually, we don’t have AC in our rented place. Thanks for posting SMM 🙂

      Mr DDU

      Reply
  8. J @ Hey, It's Just Money!

    Wow, great job, you guys! And it even looks better when you compared it with last year’s one! This year is really looking good for you, I’m so happy! Congratulations on your blog income, it seems that this blog is already paying for itself? That’s awesome!

    Reply
    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks J 🙂

      We are loving what we’re achieving so far and hopefully it can continue for most of the year. The blog is paying for itself yeah, that’s really awesome.

      Mr DDU

      Reply
  9. Yttrium

    should birth class be free in australia through the hospital, or under medicare ?

    Reply
  10. Tawcan

    That’s a nice amount for blog income. Gotta love that right? Having savings rate above 50% is a nice feeling to have. 🙂

    Reply
  11. Life we learn

    Great savings rate this last month, well done! I think you guys will enjoy the birth classes, we certainly did. Enjoy the babymoon!

    Reply
  12. Troy @ Market History

    I had some large one time expenses. Bought 2 new laptops and got a new surfboard after the older one was dinged. Hopefully I don’t have similar expenses in the upcoming months.

    Reply

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