Checking In With My Savings Plan: February 2018 Edition

In February I received $7,050 in freelance income and $35.27 in book royalties, or $7,085.27 total.

Here’s how I divided up the cash:

  • My HSA got 5 percent, or $354.26.
  • My traditional IRA also got 5 percent, or $354.26.
  • Then I set aside 25 percent of the remaining $6,376.74 for federal taxes, or $1,594.19.
  • I also set aside 5 percent of the remaining $6,376.74 for state taxes, or $318.84.
  • Then I put 5 percent pretax money into my personal investing account, or $354.26.
  • I also put 5 percent pretax money into my savings account, or $354.26.
  • That left $3,755.19 for overhead, business, and personal expenses.

I had a lot of business expenses this month — $1,912.29 total, although I’ll be reimbursed on $324.01 of that — in part because I launched The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 2 pre-order and did all of the related “pay IndieReader, pay Kirkus, pay Foreword, pay BlueInk” stuff. (Yes, I do pay for industry reviews and yes, I think they’re worth it.)

I knew that this high cash-flow month would be followed by two low cash-flow months, so I tried to be as restrained as possible on the rest of my spending and ended the month with a $3,516.50 checking account balance. Based on the income I expect to receive in March and my anticipated expenses, I don’t think I’ll actually need to dip into my $3K checking account buffer until April — but I’m very glad it’s there.

Here’s how my net worth is doing:

Remember, that big dip in January represents the period in which my 403(b) funds were rolling over to my Vanguard IRA (and weren’t counted by either entity). The slight decline between February’s net worth — which was recorded on February 28, i.e. yesterday — and today’s has to do with this morning’s stock market drop and the fact that my rent payment was auto-deducted from my checking account.

But my net worth is still trending upwards, and I anticipate that trend will continue.

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