Q1 2015 Update

Whew, that was a busy Q1! I quit my job, had ~1.5 months unpaid between jobs, went on an awesome trip for a month with my boyfriend, and started a new job.


Things were actually not too bad in terms of income in Q1. I only got paid enough in January to cover February’s budget, saw no income at all in February, and then saw a full month’s paychecks at my new, increased salary, plus my signing bonus in March. Thanks to the signing bonus, my Q1 net income was (by a small margin) the largest I expect to see this year, though each quarter should be reasonably similar.


In Q1, I saved 79% of my net pay, which amounted to a bit over $20,000 in savings. I’m hoping I’ll be able to hit 80% overall this year :)

My savings was split to the following accounts:

  • 86% Cash savings
  • 10% Mortgage payment principal
  • 4% Traditional 401(k)
  • < 0% HSA

I made my 2015 Backdoor Roth IRA contribution on January 2nd, so that is done already! Next up is maxing out the pre-tax and after-tax 401(k). I’ll finish maxing out the pre-tax 401(k) in Q2 and the after-tax 401(k) in Q3.

I haven’t made any extra mortgage payments this year and it’s looking like I might not end up making any. I’ll talk about that a bit later.


I think the idea of Fidelity/Vanguard Charitable is really cool (but expensive at my donation amounts…), so I’m doing something similar with a savings account at my credit union. I have automatic transfers set up for every paycheck and I’ll do manual transfers when I get a bonus. This account’s purpose is to get me to give my money to other people for causes that I deem worthy. I’m trying to let the account build up a bit so that I have enough to pay for my January donation next year instead of not having enough money in the account for a bit to take the donation out and so that I can make larger donations. I plan to increase the % within the next few years.

In Q1, I made my annual January donation as usual and made another couple donations for causes friends were supporting. Not all of my donations are tax-deductible, but that’s totally okay!


Q1 2015 SpendingWhen you see that I spent more money on Travel than on Housing, you know it was an expensive quarter. I had budgeted for this quarter to be the most expensive of them all.

All in all, I spent $14,271 in Q1, about $5k of which was spent each on Travel and Housing. Another $2k on Clothing and everything else is tiny in comparison to those three. On the plus side, I have no more big travel expenses for the year.

I am going to try to reign in my clothing spending more in the rest of the year.

I was underbudget in a few areas:

  • I only spent $355.09 on groceries, of $600 budgeted.
  • I only spent $136.91 on work lunches, of $344 budgeted.
  • I only spent $63.52 on fuel, of $144 budgeted.
  • I had planned on replacing my passport in Q1, but that got pushed off until Q2. I replaced my driver’s license though, which countered that somewhat.
  • I only spent $13.46 on dining out, of $40.00 budgeted.

I’m still on track to spend under $40k in 2015 (my goal for the year) – I’m expecting the other quarters to be an average of $8k apiece. I’ll check in on that again at the end of Q2.

Readers, how was your Q1?

10 thoughts on “Q1 2015 Update

  1. I’ve had a great Q1.. Mr Market has been really nice in that a couple of sectors I have been investing in for the past year finally started to turn up a bit… Market gains increased my net worth over 30% in Q1 alone… However I needed that.. last year was mentally draining as I was constantly throwing money in the market and was gaining now ground at all… 2015 Q1 picked up a lot of traction.

    Great to hear you are settling back in and on track for a great 2015!!

  2. Nothing wrong with spending some money on travel! Especially if you had a great time. Q1 was great to me and my net worth increased by 19%. That’s because my net worth is quite low and I’m still somewhat new to this financial independence game.

    • 19% in one quarter is pretty good! That’s about how much I expect to increase my net worth by this year. Good luck with the rest of the year!

  3. We are waiting for SO MANY reimbursements right now. Presumably they’ll hit before I stop getting paid for the summer because usually there’s a flurry of reimbursement stuff done before the end of the school year.

  4. Congrats on the new job and I’m glad you had an awesome trip. I’ve been meaning to go travel again… got the itch.

    80% savings rate, you are total rockstar! :)

    All the best!

    • Thanks! I definitely do not have the itch to travel more at the moment. A lot of planning went into that trip!

      Thanks – you’re right that at an 80% savings rate, things are going pretty well. I forget that perspective at times, which is why it’s nice to look back on the big picture for the quarter :)

  5. I am super envious of that savings rate. Congrats!

    Q1 was pretty much normal spending for me, Q2 however is going to be ridiculously expensive (condo closing).

    • Thanks! Between my boyfriend moving in and the raise I got on my base salary with this new job, it was pretty easy to increase my savings rate :)

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