November 2017 Income & Expenses

4 min read

At the end of each month I provide a recap on all the income I earned from dividends (brokerage account only), blogging, and working at my good ol’ 9-5 as a data analyst.

Related: October 2017 Income & Expenses

The reason I share my raw monthly income and expenses is 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 give a behind-the-scenes look at how I’m actually managing my own money.


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

Monthly Income Streams
  August September October November
CVS Stock  $9.56      $9.62
KR Stock    $5.02    
WPC REIT    $97.91  
OHI REIT  $82.56      $85.59
JCAP REIT      $52.50  
VDC Fund      $13.16  
VYM Fund    $14.54    
Ally Bank Interest  $3.94  $6.37 $4.42 $5.27
Side Hustle
Blog Income* $644.74 $359.81 $526.10 $338.51
9-5 Income
Data Analyst $4,528 $4,334 $4,528 $7,419**
Total Monthly
$4,808 $5,313 $5,222 $7,858
  August September October November

*My blog income was previously included in my passive income category, but I switched it to the side hustle category since it does require active work.

**I received one extra paycheck this month and also worked overtime the weekend before Thanksgiving, which explains why my 9-5 income is much higher than usual.

Here’s my November income broken down by type:



Here are my November expenses:

Monthly Expenses
Expense Amount
Rent $611
Car Maintenance $588                   :'(
Groceries $154
Gas $101
Utilities $42
Phone $33
Internet $25
Chipotle $24
Coffee $11
Entertainment $10
Total $1,600

Unfortunately this month I had to get an oil change and replace all four tires on my car so I took a $588 hit in the car maintenance category.

I also used to have a “Dining Out” category but then I realized the only two expenses in that category each month were Chipotle and coffee so I made them their own categories. (If you think my Chipotle expenses look pretty reasonable it’s only because I blew through a $50 gift card this month, which covered most of my Chipotle spending)

The Net

Here’s what my total income, expenses, and net savings looked like in November:


November Savings Rate: 80%


This was my highest savings rate month ever. I did receive an extra paycheck this month, which helped boost my income, but I also had higher than normal expenses due to my car maintenance so that 80% savings rate is legitimate. This topped my previous months savings rates in October (77%) and September (73%).

This was another solid month for passive income from stocks, REIT’s, and savings account interest totaling over $100. The blog also brought in a respectable $338 this month from a combination of affiliate links, sponsored posts, and advertisements. 


Something I have been focusing on more lately is practicing gratitude, especially for my financial situation. Last November I was earning $0 in dividends from stocks and REIT’s and $0 from my blog. Now, only one year later, I’m consistently earning over $100 each month in dividends and hundreds of dollars each month from this blog.

When I think about the financial progress I have made in only one year it makes me that much more excited to think about where I’ll be this time next year. 

Looking Ahead

Ultimately my financial goal is to generate enough income from dividends, blogging, and freelancing to quit my day job. Currently I’m earning anywhere from $300 – $700 each month outside of my day job and my monthly expenses are typically only about $1,200. Once my income outside my 9-5 gets closer and closer to $1,200 I’ll be able to seriously consider quitting my job.

In the short-term I aim to grow my net worth to $100k within the next 6 – 8 months and continue to grow the blog and invest in dividend-paying assets. I think 2018 is going to be a massive year of change and growth and I’m excited about the direction I’m heading.

If you’ve been following along with my financial journey up to this point, I really appreciate it and the encouraging comments and emails never get old 🙂

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.

You can also sign up to have my most recent articles sent straight to your email inbox for free ?

Disclaimer: I am NOT a registered investment adviser, investment professional, brokerage firm or investment company. Readers are advised that information on the website is issued solely for information purposes and not to be construed as an offer or recommendation to buy, hold, or sell any securities. All information, opinions, and analyses included are based on sources believed to be reliable, but no representation or warranty is made concerning accuracy, correctness, timeliness, or appropriateness. Please consult with an investment professional before investing any of your money.

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.

17 Replies to “November 2017 Income & Expenses”

  1. I’m curious to hear how you keep your grocery bill so low. I fortunately don’t have to buy my own food yet while I’m living with my parents but, $145 a month sounds low.
    Do you have any strategies or tips you could share? Maybe a future post?

    1. I have thought about writing a post detailing my grocery expenses…but it would be a fairly boring post honestly haha I pretty much eat chicken, rice, and beans everyday. I buy peanut butter in bulk along with tuna and that makes up 80% of the food I eat. I have simple taste, which probably helps keep my grocery bill reasonably low 🙂

      1. You should still write a post about it! 🙂

        What spices do you put in your chicken, rice and beans? Do you eat fruits and veggies? What about the tuna? How do you eat it? Tuna salad? On the side of a main dish?

  2. 80%!!!! Killing it mate!
    Also great to read that your expenses are so low that your current passive income is a significant portion of your current expenses. You’ll be FI within 2 years for sure 🙂
    Great inspiration! Have been looking at ways to boost passive income lately. Our investment account has been growing really nicely which has been the focus. Bringing some passive cashflow sources online would also help to diversify our income streams which would be great too. Always good food for thought here!

    1. I was literally going to type the same if not a very similar comment. So I’ll just follow-up to Dave’s comment and say that I agree!

      Overall, that rate is really, really awesome. We never came close to that, nor do we today. We’ve typically hovered around ~20-25% depending on where we lived. New York City can make one apartment poor in a hurry.

      Congrats again.

  3. My saving rate stands at 67% in November and your 80 % is phenomenal. I wait for your post every day and from rockstar finance. Nice to see your post featuring in Rockstar the other day. Keep up the momentum, 100k is insight.

  4. Zach, an 80% savings rate this month. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Congratulations on the great results. Sure, you want to retire early one day. But think of how much faster you are going to get there by saving such a high percentage of your income now. You are laying the foundation and ground work for one heck of a portfolio that will be able support your freedom. Excited to continue to see your results over the next few months!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *