May 2018 Income & Expenses

3 min read

At the end of each month, I provide a recap of every dollar I earned and spent.

Related: April 2018 Income & Expenses

I share these numbers because I have always found it insightful to see the real numbers behind a blogger’s financial journey. I love talking about how to earn more and save more, but it’s helpful to provide a behind-the-scenes look at how I’m actually managing my own money.


Here’s what my income looked like in May along with the previous three months. All numbers are post-tax.

Monthly Income Streams
  February March April May
CVS Stock  $9.69      $9.75
KR Stock    $5.07    
WPC REIT      $101.85  
OHI REIT  $88.90      $91.15
JCAP REIT    $54.37  
LADR REIT      $96.70  
VDC Fund    $27.07  
VYM Fund  $14.92
VTI Fund  $6.79
Ally Bank Interest  $7.52  $9.64  $12.42  $14.22
Side Hustle
Blog Income $516 $653 $1,120  $783
Stats Tutoring  $120 $150  $60
9-5 Income
Data Analyst $5,064 $4,670 $4,827  $4,827
Total Monthly
$5,686 $5,506 $6,362  $5,784
  February March April May

Here’s my May income according to type:



Here are my May expenses:

Monthly Expenses
Expense Amount
Rent $611
Car Payment & Insurance $400
Dining out $304
Groceries $169
Gas $119
Entertainment $114
Miscellaneous $102
Eye Appointment $89
Utilities $52
Gifts $50
Internet $25
Total $2,035

The Net

Here’s a visual look at my total income, expenses, and net savings in May:


May Savings Rate: 65%


My savings rate in May was lower than my usual 75% for a couple reasons:

1. My “dining out” expenses got a little out of hand this month at $304. Normally I keep this number under $150, but I went out for social occasions far more than usual in May.

2. The three-year lease ended on my Honda Civic and I decided to get a loan for it for $11,000. The monthly payment along with the insurance is about $400 per month, which feels like a lot, but it’s not bad considering I’ll be able to pay it off in only three years. I decided to get a loan for this car instead of buying a cheaper used car simply because I plan on keeping it for hopefully 10+ years. It also gets great gas mileage and it’s extremely reliable.

Due to this added expense, my typical monthly expenses will be around $1,800 – $2,000 moving forward. I hope to keep increasing my income over the coming months so I can get my savings rate back up to 70% or higher. 

Income Outside of My 9-5 Job

The blog had another nice month, bringing in $783 in total income through a combination of affiliate link earnings (Personal Capital and Bluehost) and Mediavine ad revenue.

Related: If you’re interested in starting your own blog, check out my page here for a simple guide on how to get started.

This month was a little slow for stats tutoring, but I still managed to bring in $60 with one client I found via Facebook.

In total, I earned $957 through blogging, tutoring, dividends, and interest this month, which covered almost 50% of my total expenses. Over time, I hope to be able to consistently cover 100% of my expenses through income streams outside of my day job.

Looking Ahead

My apartment lease is up in a little under three months and I have decided to stick with my current company. This means I’m currently looking for a new apartment elsewhere in Cincinnati. Ideally I’d like to find a studio apartment with a monthly rent under $1,000.

Housing is by far my biggest monthly expense so I plan on keeping it fairly low if possible. I have always thought that no matter how big your living space, you naturally get used to it. This means I’d rather live in a smaller place with a lower rent because it would only take a few weeks for it to begin to feel normal.

Over the next 12 months I plan on continuing to save a huge chunk of my monthly income, increasing my side hustle earnings, and enjoying the slow, steady net worth climb to $100k and beyond.

That’s all for this month, thanks for reading 🙂

My favorite free financial tool I use is Personal Capital. I use it to track my net worth, manage my spending, and keep an eye on my monthly cash flow. It only takes a few minutes to set up and it makes tracking your finances simple and easy. I recommend trying it out.

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Full Disclosure: Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be advice, research or an invitation to buy or sell any securities, please see my Terms & Conditions page for a full disclaimer.

12 Replies to “May 2018 Income & Expenses”

  1. Hi Zach,

    I am of view that there is no need for you to take a loan for the car. It will be prudent to take up a cheaper car and pay the amount in full.

    My two cents worth of view.


    1. For me, the decision to take out a loan made sense even outside of financial reasons – I knew who has driven the car, the complete history of it, how well it has been maintained, etc. Also, this is a long-term decision. While $400 per month is a lot now, this will become more financially reasonable if I drive the car for 10+ years which I plan to do.

    1. Hey Tom,

      I hardly promote at all on social media. I have a twitter account where I occasionally send out links to my articles, but that’s it. I have found that as long as I write quality posts on a daily basis, word of mouth sharing naturally takes care of the marketing for me 🙂

  2. Hi Zach, I saved 47% and was a turbulent month for me personally. Just hoping this shall too pass, my next few months will be even more expensive have to see how I get along. My FI date got pushed back but under 5 years, keeping my head down and moving along.

  3. 65% savings rate is fantastic-like you need me to tell you that.

    What stuck out for me is your current rent is $611 and you are hoping to move to a studio for $1K or less? I will assume that will move you closer to your job, thereby reducing commuting costs, which could be a good move.

    On the car it could be a hard choice, a known vehicle and a loan as opposed to an unknown vehicle and possibly get it for cash. Bottom line is you made your choice, and it wasn’t a bad one. I would like to hope that once my current car dies, which I plan to drive until the wheels fall off, I have enough to pay cash for a replacement and it’s a good one. You never know what you will end up until it’s done.

    There are a few other places I made choices different than you did and with a 65% savings rate I don’t know that it truly matters. You are doing a fantastic job.


    Thank you for your blog. I love learning the choices others make and what these choices create.

    1. Well right now I live in a 2 bedroom apartment with a roommate and rent is a little over $1200. Since we split it, I only pay $611. From doing a bit of research, I have found that most studios are in the $800 – $1,200 range for the areas I want to be in. You make a great point about the car though – there are more than just financial factors at play. Since I know the complete history of the car and how well it has been taken care of, I can count on it to perform well for years to come. It’s a long-term financial decision for me and it’s great to have reliable transportation whenever I need it.

      I appreciate the kind words, I hope you keep finding value in the blog 🙂

  4. I made a similar decision with a vehicle (in July 2015), getting an extremely low interest loan for a Honda Civic that I plan to drive forever. Fantastic car and we’ll have it fully paid off in a couple months. Like you talked about, our expenses rose for the short-term, but long-term it made sense for our situation both financially and emotionally. Cars tend to be controversial, but as long as you’re making the decision mindfully, it’s another area of personal finance that’s “personal.”

    J$ and Desiree (from Half Banked) both have posts talking about getting car loans, using them as a tool that made the most sense for their current situation. There’s no one size fits all approach!

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