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Cash Flow – 2015 Q1

Our numbers were up in the first quarter – both income and (unfortunately) expenses.  Income outpaced expenses, so a great quarter for savings at almost 70% of income (even excluding a windfall from a sale).  But not many frugality points in March.  I’m hoping that getting back into blogging will help curb some of our recent lax attitude on spending.


Income soared…probably the best ever for a quarter.  Led by an asset sale in January at work that distributed lots of cash our way.

Expenses also soared a bit in March.  We’d been doing pretty well for a couple of months, and then just blew it.  Camps, pools, clothes, groceries, eating out.  All the cardinal sins of frugality.  At least we didn’t mix in car, house, or credit card payments.  Or I would’ve had to shut this blog down.  At least several items were once / year type things.  But there was also just a bulging of the budget – maybe chalk it up to sleep deprivation with a newborn.

The Numbers

Southern Fried Cash Flow - 2015 Q1  
IncomeJan-15Feb-15Mar-15Monthly Average
My Salary$16,461 $12,918 $12,918 $14,099
Her Salary$0$0$466$155
Bonus$174,700 $0$0$58,233
Interest Income$31$37$36$35
Rental 1$362$342$462$389
Rental 2($966)$1,724 $299$352
Total Income$191,191 $12,955 $13,420 $72,522
Income Excluding Bonus$16,491 $12,955 $13,420 $14,289
Auto & Transport($241)($277)($123)($214)
Bills & Utilities($369)($453)($456)($426)
Fees & Charges($1)($1)($1)($1)
Food & Dining($1,029)($775)($1,329)($1,044)
Gifts & Donations($1,620)($1,262)($1,167)($1,350)
Health & Fitness($5,586)($60)$3,126 ($840)
Personal Care($323)($231)($198)($251)
Total Expenses ($13,176) ($3,920) ($4,109) ($7,068)
Exp Excl Dr, Mortgage, Charity($3,721)($3,321)($6,069)($4,370)
Adj Savings %77%74%55%69%



  • Her Salary restarted in March.  Maternity leave isn’t quite as sweet when you’re a contract employee.  Time off = no paychecks.  So now my wife is taking care of two kids and working 8-10 hours per week during naps & evenings.  The only childcare is mother’s morning out for our 2 year old 3 days/week.  Impressive – I couldn’t do it.
  • Bonus Income exploded in January.  We sold an apartment project at work that I’d been working on since 2008…construction started in 2012.  It was a good sale for both investors and developers.  I was credited with an equity account of approximately $70,000 in December of 2012 as we started construction.  We pre-sold the asset several months into construction.  That locked in passive investors at a double in two years.  Development equity earned a triple.  I received $175k in cash, and $40k+ in trailing equity (non-cash: only shows up on net worth).  Great return with very limited risk.
  • Rental Income was relatively consistent, except for some timing issues with one rent payment.  That is an exception with rental 2.  Rental 1, however, has had lots of late payment issues.  I collected everything due, but had them move out March 30 after an ok 2.5 years.  It will be a tough Q2 on the rental side, as I’m doing a good bit of deferred maintenance at this turn.


  • Food/Dining was getting under control – averaging $900 in Jan/Feb, with hopes for lower.  Then we started getting restless & got rough weather in March.  Our solution was to escape the house during mealtimes.  Not very creative, and I was actually pretty shocked at how high the total was.  Also, groceries didn’t come down at all.  I don’t know what happened – actually maybe I do.  There were two guys out-on-the-town-drinking-too-much nights.  Blowing off a little steam from our growing families.  Our wives forgave us.  Hopefully the spending in this category was an aberration.  We are certainly trying to make it so.
  • Health/Fitness hit a high note in January as we paid for the good doctors & nurses that helped with my wife’s delivery of our second baby boy in December.  We got a good bit of this back from insurance in March to at least lower the quarterly total a bit.
  • Home Expenses have lowered after January – hopefully forever!  We’d been applying extra savings to the mortgage over the last 3-4 years in lumps of $20-30k.  And finally, with a bang, we had more than enough with the January Bonus to finish her off.  So now mortgage-free, we can focus on investing extra savings and set our sights on FI.
  • The Kids cost us a bunch in Q1.  Mothers’ morning out payments hit in February & March. Then both summer camps and the community pool initiation fee rang up in March.  This is certainly higher than we’ve seen on average.
  • We blew it out on Shopping in March.  A large portion was my annual work-clothes-outlet-trip.  Shirts, pants, etc.   Again, another category that I knew would be large, but didn’t realize just how much so. Spending can really add up.