Money Update – April 2017

Every month I’ll post an update on my finances from the last month, with a focus on increasing income, spending less, and maintaining a high savings rate.  You can see previous updates here.

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Results – April 2017

April was a “normal” month – 2 paychecks, a tame stock market, and flat expenses.  My net worth increased, I paid off some debt, and I paid my 6 month car insurance bill (I really did save 15% or more by switching to Geico…).

The result?

2017 Savings Rate:  55%

My yearly savings rate dropped a bit.  I knew it was coming.  It’s why I decided to use my yearly savings rate (instead of monthly) as the metric of progress for these reports.  Having a good month is much easier than having a good year – you can delay purchases, slash spending, save as much as you can, hustle and make more income – but you fail to stop and ask yourself if it’s sustainable.  And is it really progress if it’s not sustainable?

Having a good year is a grind.  It takes planning, focusing on good habits, thinking not just about what will make you happy today but what will make you happy in a year, 10 years, when you’re 70.  It takes luck and resources.

For reference, I’ve included the formula I use to calculate my savings rate at the bottom of this post.  I read a discussion the other night debating whether or not it was a useful metric for measuring financial progress.  As long as you measure consistently and against yourself, it’s useful.  When you start measuring against other people, your problem becomes a lot bigger than how you’re calculating your savings rate or your net worth.

Thanks for reading!

If you’re interested, I use You Need A Budget for monthly budgeting.  For tracking Net Worth, I recommend Personal Capital (automatic) or (manual).

I calculate my savings rate as follows:

401k contributions + employer match + debt payments + other savings  / Take home pay + 401k contributions

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  1. Great job staying the course. 🙂 Our April was probably the worst month this year money-wise, so we have some reining in to do in May. Womp womp.

  2. I like the idea of tracking yearly progress. As you said, it’s easier to have a good month, but having a good year is also about consistency and sustainability.

    • I agree, you can learn a lot in one month, but you get some really good knowledge when you track your progress in anything longer than a few months.

      Thanks for your comment and for reading!

  3. Nice savings rate, your net worth will undoubtedly climb quickly if you keep that up. I’ll be interested to see how your journey progresses, keep the updates coming 🙂

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