Q2 2014 Update

Eurgh, this update was super delayed! It’s now midway through Q3! I have several job interviews lined up and I am super excited about some of my prospects! That will definitely affect how my financial goals end up falling for the year, so I will definitely be reconsidering my goals for the year (such as the mortgage payoff plan!) once I have a more firm idea of what my income will look like. I’m especially not excited about paying for COBRA. I found out how much it was and, ahem, let me say that I am only paying 5% of the actual cost of my health insurance plan. Wow.


I saw one bonus in the second quarter and my regular income chugged along. I didn’t see a raise on my regular salary. I also saw expected amounts of interest (~$100), credit card rewards (~$55), and dividends on my index fund investments (~$950!). Maybe another quarter soon, I will surpass $1,000 in dividends across my portfolio! That would be pretty cool. I think it might happen in Q4 this year.


In Q2, I saved 79% of my total net pay.

I’ve contributed about 55% of the yearly 401(k) contribution as of the end of Q2. It will be fully funded by mid Q3. I’m contemplating fully funding it early in the year in the future to help me be a bit less stressed out if I am unhappy in my job.

I made $22,749.03 in extra mortgage payments in Q2, which is about 8% of the original mortgage balance, double last quarter’s payments.

I also set aside $1,300.00 in cash.


I made a small number of donations in Q2 compared to Q1, but I’m close to having positive budget space in this category, which is nice. I’ve been really happy with my increase here this year and will consider increasing it higher next year.


I was only $300 over budget this quarter (or $100 per month), compared to $1,700 last quarter! Total spending came in at $10,061.91 and I’m on track to spend about $44,781.15 total this year, which would be a decrease of $27 from last year (2013).

  • $586.64 Clothing – this was clearly way over budget. I’ve spent $1,286.64 on clothing so far this year. Hopefully this goes down a bit in H2…
  • $525.18 Entertainment – slightly under budget. $1,261.70 total so far this year.
  • $965.53 Food – pretty much right on budget.
  • Charitable donations – I’ve overspent by about 2 months’ of budget. This should reconcile itself soon.
  • $6,141.33 Housing – this includes my mortgage payments, internet and electricity bills, HOA dues, household goods (e.g. toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies), mortgage loan fees, and property taxes. I was about $500 overbudget thanks to increasing my internet speed, budgeting for average monthly electricity bills rather than winter electricity bills, and property taxes going up.
  • Medical bills – nothing surprising here. Just paid my normal premiums for dental, medical, and vision insurance. I’m over budget a very small amount since I hadn’t budgeted for the premiums going up, but they didn’t go up very much $ wise.
  • $269.29 Personal care – this includes eyebrows, hair cuts, make-up, and toiletries. This was overbudget a very small amount.
  • $424.44 Recreation – after spending nothing in Q1, I spent a fair bit in Q2. Still under budget for the year though.
  • $311.95 Shopping – bought a new router with my boyfriend and then some other general furnishings.
  • $35 Transportation – just fuel. Q3 will see insurance and vehicle tab renewal, which will be much more expensive.
  • $365.08 Travel – I’m surprised I spent this little on travel in Q2! That puts the year at $2,258.65 so far.

Here’s what my travel expectations look like for the rest of the year:

  1. (July) Weekend getaway with my boyfriend – $430 total
  2. A friend’s wedding – $710 flight, $70 lodging, $100 transportation, $100 food -> $980 my portion
  3. A friend’s bachelorette party – $325 flights, $400 lodging (my portion), $300 food and incidentals -> $1,025

I spent $2,258.65 on travel in H1 and anticipate spending $2,435 in H2 for a total of $4,693.65, which is about $500 over my original budget. Next year’s travel budget is in the works and it is starting to look like it’ll be around $6,000: two weddings, Christmas, and a two-ish week trip to Europe. I’ve debated postponing the bigger trip, but that seems a little silly to do simply for financial reasons.

Readers, how was your Q2?


15 thoughts on “Q2 2014 Update

    • Thanks! I’m getting a bit nervous, but I’m super excited after being at this one company for so long! Definitely going to spend this weekend studying.

  1. If you do need to use COBRA, consider ACA. You may find out it is much cheaper than COBRA, depending on your circumstance. And it may be possible for you to keep the same insurance company, if the insurance company is on the ACA Exchange.

    • It should be, but the deductible could be much higher, so COBRA could be cheaper. The best ACA plan I found was $180/month with a $5.5k deductible, which isn’t really that terrible to me. My COBRA plan is just under $500/month, but it has a $500 deductible. I’ll probably only be without coverage for a month or two. I may also be able to join my boyfriend’s plan, which would cost more than ACA and less than COBRA, but has really awesome coverage.

      I know dental is on COBRA, but I couldn’t find any info on it, so I guess I’ll learn about that after I quit. I can’t get short term dental insurance, so I’ll either move my checkup until I have new insurance or pay cash for it if I don’t take COBRA.

      • You get a look-back period with COBRA, so you can choose not to take it and then choose to take it so long as the however many days aren’t up yet. You still have to pay for the entire time if you do choose to take it in the end. But if it’s less than a month uninsured you can go without paying anything and then get COBRA if you get hit by a bus.

        • Yup, and that’s quite probably why I’ll end up going that way. It should be somewhere under 2 months uninsured depending on how things fall and going through ACA or my boyfriend’s plan for such a short amount of time seems silly.

    • I also set aside money in checking for non-monthly spending that is neither spending nor saving. I think I actually netted somewhere around 40k in Q2 and about half of that was a bonus. I save 100% of my bonuses.

  2. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing your income and savings for your most recent quarter. I’m excited about all the transparency that many financial bloggers show online. I think it’s great to watch real life debt repayments, savings and investing play out online. it just gives me inspiration and I’m sure others as well. Thanks again for sharing these details.

  3. Great job on the savings, but the clothes budget is out of control. But maybe you needed the items for the interviews, that will land you a higher paying job. It’s an investment then, not an expense. You can re-categorize it, almost like savings.

    • Just by the regression to the mean, I think it’s pretty unlikely that Leigh is going to be able to land a higher paying job. And for someone in her 20s with her income and her net worth… it’s impossible to criticize any of her spending. How much more than 79% of her income saved does she have to do before she’s allowed to buy clothing?

      • So eloquent!

        I had my condo valued informally at a $100k increase from my purchase price two years ago, so my August net worth update should be over $500k. I’m 25/26 this year. I don’t care about my spending anymore so long as I enjoy the things I spend my money on. It’s wonderful! (I still organize it, but I don’t watch it like a hawk at all and I definitely don’t budget other than for the purposes of forecasting.)

    • I’m reasonably confident that I won’t land a higher paying job and that I will stay in the 150-200k total compensation range for the next few years. And I would never work anywhere that required fancy dress. Went would I take a job requiring suits when I can make 150k without one?

      We will have to agree to disagree about the clothes. Sure, I could have spent less on clothing – I agree that there were some wants on there. But I changed sizes and some of my clothes no longer fit, so I bought two pairs of cords, two pairs of jeans, and two skirts, all on sale, for probably $300 across the lot of them. Running shoes, since I walk a lot instead of driving everywhere, need to be replaced every six months, so $200/year. (So much cheaper than wear and tear on a car!) My flats wore out, so I replaced them, for $100. Bras are expensive. I budget about $400/year for keeping well fitting bras. Sure, I could continue to wear clothes that don’t fit, but why would I do that to save another 1.5% of my net income? I would rather have clothes that fit. That 1.5% might make a difference if my savings rate was lower at say 40%, but it is low hanging fruit at 79%.

  4. Laughing at the “the clothes budget is out of control.” You’re doing just fine. Do you have an official last day of work yet?

    • Nope, I missed the “waiting for recruiters” step in the process when calculating my original timeline. That added like three weeks! I’m going through interviews now and scheduling them. Hopefully I’ll get some offers in the next few weeks :)

      I definitely guilt myself over the clothes spending, so usually in my annual report I separate items out into wants vs needs to squash some of the guilt.

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