Q3 Update


I don’t have any bonuses in first quarter this year, so income chugged along as expected this quarter. I also saw expected amounts of interest (~$100), credit card rewards (~$1,000), and dividends on my index fund investments (~$700!). The credit card rewards was mostly redeeming the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Freedom bonuses


In Q2, I saved 71% of my total net pay.

I finished contributing the maximum to my 401(k) in July and it surpassed $100,000 in total value…until the stock market took a huge hit in September.

I only made one extra mortgage payment in Q3, of about $900, for a total of about $3,000 paying down the mortgage balance or about 1% of the original balance.

I also set aside $4,600.00 in cash once you take out the August spending which was done out of savings since I saw a very small paycheck in July.

Sometimes, I don’t think I’m saving very much monthly, but looking at the fact that I saved just over $15,000 in Q3 makes me realize that I am saving a pretty good amount of money :) I’ve missed watching the mortgage balance go down as I’ve been stockpiling cash the last few months with a potential job change on the horizon. I have a feeling I’ll end up stockpiling more cash than I need and then making a large mortgage payment once things have settled a bit more. I’m now quite far off from my stretch goal of paying off the mortgage by the end of 2015, but I’m still over $20,000 ahead of where I need to be to have the mortgage paid off before the rate resets in 2018.

What does my savings plan look like for the rest of the year? I will put all of my savings for the rest of the year into my savings account. Quite simple, really. Once I’ve sorted out the job situation, then I’ll probably earmark some of the savings account money for my 2015 Roth IRA and make a large mortgage payment. The mortgage should see about another $2,000 in regular payments and then my savings account about $30,000.


I made a small number of donations in Q3 compared to Q1 and Q2, but I at last have 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’m also trying to leave some room here because I have an annual donation coming up in January and I don’t want to be overbudget for the first 5 months next year like I was this year.


I was actually underbudget this quarter, by $34! That’s pretty good. Total spending came in at $11,549.34 and I’m on track to spend about $42,203.80 total this year, which would be a decrease of $2,603.95 from last year (2013) or about $217/month.

  • $271.30 Clothing – much better than the rest of the year so far :) I’ve spent $1,557.94 on clothing so far this year. In Q3, I hemmed a pair of pants, bought one new bra, paid for some dry cleaning, bought three dresses, and fixed up a pair of leather boots.
  • $616.86 Entertainment – slightly under budget. $1,878.56 total so far this year. This category includes cash, books, date nights / meals out with my boyfriend, meals out with friends, movie rentals, and music.
  • $1,135.50 Food – somehow a bit under budget, though marginally overbudget for the year at $3,431.70 total. This category includes groceries, eating out by myself, and work lunches.
  • Charitable donations – right on budget now. I’ll probably finish out the year a bit under budget, to leave some more working room for next year.
  • $4,487.62 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’m about $300 overbudget for the year ($15,149.37 total so far this year) due to the internet going up, condo insurance going up, and property taxes going up more than expected (14% instead of 3%). I’ve estimated a 20% increase in property taxes next year to make things a bit smoother. The internet cost will go down in Q4 and next year since my boyfriend and I are now splitting it.
  • Medical bills – nothing surprising here. Just paid my normal premiums for dental, medical, and vision insurance. I’m going to have some costs here in Q4 though.
  • $77.56 Personal care – this includes eyebrows, hair cuts, make-up, and toiletries. Pretty cheap this quarter.
  • $555.00 Recreation – some yoga classes and annual fees for another sport
  • $156.61 Shopping – bought some artwork and a hat
  • $1,733.10 Transportation – a bit more fuel than the other quarters, but also some bus fares, taxis, and insurance (mostly insurance really). This includes my $2 million umbrella insurance policy. The car insurance went up 20%, but I’m so underbudget on gas that that covered the insurance increase.
  • $2,153.41 Travel – That puts the year at $4,412.06 and I’m now done with traveling for the year, woohoo!

Readers, how was your Q3?


10 thoughts on “Q3 Update

    • That is a great perspective, thank you! My expected gross income for this year is about 3x that and that doesn’t include my boyfriend’s income since we have separate finances. I’ve been trying to donate a larger % of my income than I was and the average income certainly provides a good perspective on that decision.

      Part of why my savings rate is so high is that once you reach a certain income, you don’t really need to spend any more to be happy, so I just save and donate the excess.

    • Not sure – that’s what I thought too. I switched companies last year so maybe this was a second year increase. I asked my agent to shop around and no other company was better. If this happens again next year, I’ll also call the insurance company directly. I don’t understand why the insurance is so expensive (almost $1,500 this year versus $1,200 last year).

      On the other hand, my vehicle tabs have been cheaper to renew every year, but those are only around $100 per year, haha.

  1. Why are you using an agent?

    Get a few quotes from companies direct such as Geico and Amica. The agent has to get paid from somewhere. To my knowledge, you can’t use an agent for the aforementioned companies.

    • Oh, I have been shopping around as well, with Geico, esurance, and a few other sites. Their six month policies are about the cost of my current twelve month policy. Some of them were pretty crazy expensive.

      • Liberty Mutual is another one I’ve checekd in the past. They also have 12 month policies. I guess the regulation varies by state.

        • It’s also about the total insurance cost, not just auto. Condo insurance costs more with some providers than other ones. I had a vandalism claim on my car that was quite expensive to recover from just over two years ago now. According to CreditKarma, my insurance score also isn’t very good. Those two are probably the primary culprits of the high cost.

      • I’m told you can buy a Berkshire share (including the B shares) and then you get some kind of Geico discount (I think like 8%).

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