Saving for the future: December 2017

By | January 6, 2018

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 on 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 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 2017 Savings Update

Dividend Income: $29.26

Regular Income: $9,145

Blog Income: $0

Total Income: $9,174

Expenses: $3,732

Savings Rate: $5,442

Savings Percentage: 59.3%

During December we invested a net total of -$71 of our savings into shares, which we will post about soon. Essentially, we sold something and saved most of our investing money for January. We also added $1,033 of our savings towards our house fund, this amount includes interest but there’s hardly any so far.

Savings rate including Superannuation: 59.3%, 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).

December/Christmas is the most wonderful time of year, particularly in Australia because it brings summer and Christmas together. It’s also an expensive month, but we were very happy with how much we ended up spending on everything for the last month of 2017.

Here are the changes compared to last year:

December 2016 rate: 30.1%

December 2017 rate: 59.3%

Improvement: 29.2%

December 2016 savings: $2,064

December 2017 savings: $5,442

Improvement: $3,378


Dividend Income – A little more this month, but doesn’t pay for a lot yet. Our dividends covered: 0.79% of our expenses.

Regular Income – This is the after-tax figure if you’re wondering. It is the combined figure of both our incomes plus any bank interest we have received. This amount also includes any government payment(s) we receive now that we have Baby DDU in our life.

Blog Income – We count this payment when we receive a Google Adsense payment into the bank account. We didn’t receive anything this month.


Here we go, non-regular expenses that happened this month:

Driver’s licence renewal – Mrs DDU needed a driver’s licence renewal, so we spent around $80 on that.

Baby DDU clothes – Baby DDU is growing quickly, she’s already too big for most of the clothes we have for her in smaller sizes. Apparently she’s a very tall baby, so we need to move onto the next sizes – so we bought quite a few items of clothing this month.

Christmas – We spent a fair bit more on Christmas this year, mainly for other people. We don’t want to fall into the trap of making Christmas all about presents, but we felt that we wanted to spend a bit more on people seeing as we’re earning more and saving more this year.

Final thoughts

What a (financially) great way to end the year. We had our best ever savings rate of 59.3% and saved the most cash we ever have of $5,442. We’ll do a summary post of the whole year soon, it’s been a very good year for us.

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

Onwards and upwards!

20 thoughts on “Saving for the future: December 2017

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      It feels like we are smashing it every month right now! It’s great. Could never have imagined we would be at this point so quickly.. be tough work to keep improving at at the current rate that’s for sure.

      Mrs DDU

  1. MrSLM

    Happy new year! No idea if you’ve considered it, but kids grow super fast, we actually grab a lot of stuff second-hand from garage sales and online via craigslist, etc. Young kids really can’t wear out clothes, so you’ll get barely used stuff for dirt cheap.

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Happy new year to the SLM fam :).
      We get a lot of our stuff on secondhand facebook groups – the modern day version of a garage sale haha, not many people do actual garage sales around here these days. But some items we still buy new – baby girl tights tend to get lots of pilling and worn out quickly – all the ones we’ve gotten second hand were very well worn that we decided it was better money spent to get nice new ones when needed. Aldi sell great baby girl tights for a great price though! So we keep an eye out for their sales.
      I guess you could say we are looking for the best quality we can get for the best price – not trying to get the cheapest items out there regardless of quality – hope that made sense!

      Mrs DDU

  2. Stalflare

    Ciao DDU,
    I have been absent from commenting quite a lot, now resuming the old habits, it’s incredible what you managed to achieve since the start of the adventure and now with the baby too you guys manage to save! Keep it up and big hugs from pizzaland!
    Ciao ciao

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Don’t worry we have been terrible commenters lately too. We’re just getting back into the blogging groove. Thank you, we are mindblown everyday by how it’s all working out.

      Eat a nice big slice of fantastic pizza for us :p

      Mrs DDU

  3. Dividend Diplomats

    Wow – Not only is your savings rate impressive as heck, but the growth you realized is amazing. And I echo what Mr SLM said. I do not have kids, but my sister has purchased a lot of toys from Facebook marketplace or other second hand places and saved a ton of money. But hey, you’re frugal and know how to save, so I’m sure you are all over finding the best ways to keep your costs down. You don’t need to hear it from a kidless person like myself.

    By the way – your dividend income is going to SOAR if you keep this kind of a savings rate up 🙂



    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Haha thanks Bert! I appreciate your confidence in us and our frugal abilities – you don’t get 59.3% savings rate without flexing that frugal muscle ;). Facebook marketplace and buy/sell groups are one of my favourite places on the internet – So no need to worry, we are all over it!

      Glad to hear your sister has the frugal gene as well.

      Mrs DDU

  4. Financial Shaper

    Nice breakdown and really great results, congrats! With your savings rate climbing up so strongly in a relatively short time period, just amazing. You are gaining immense financial flexibility to put money to work. There is a lot of momentum in your favour. Keep it up your good work!

  5. J @ Hey, It's Just Money!

    59.3%! Well done, guys! It seems that your plan of investing more (if that’s still part of the plan, now that you’re saving for a house deposit) is easily doable if you continue going at this rate. Looking forward to the summary post!

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks J! It is indeed still the plan to invest more, we have our savings finger in many pies, it was tough decision time when deciding how much to save towards each pie. Our 2018 goals article will have more details – it will be an exciting year for our savings!

      Mrs DDU

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Hahaha! I love your comment. Yes I do tend to be the one buying the clothes, Mr DDU does like to have a look at what I’m buying before sealing the deal on the transaction but most of it is online through secondhand facebook pages anyway so it’s easy for him to glance over my shoulder. It’s very sweet that he cares about Baby DDU’s little clothing choices.

      Mrs DDU


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