Another month in the books, April has finished so I can officially document my commuting progress. I biked or ran to work 12 of the 20 days I worked, for a rate of 60%. It’s been about a year since I got serious about biking in, and I’ve been sprinkling in a few runs over the last few months. Last April I biked 41% in the first month I really tried, and over the April/May week I biked in to work every day for the first time in my life – it’s the anniversary of quite a milestone.
This month I only drove myself in once and carpooled the other seven times, so we did well on car usage. We filled up on gas a total of 3 times (first time in 6 months for our rarely used SUV) and drove approximately 590 total miles. I’m going to blame a lot of the carpooling on rain… although, as usual, many of those days passed and I could have easily biked.
For May I’m planning to work about 19 days and my goal is to commute under my own power at least 15 of those days (it is bike to work month after all).
It has been over a year since I last updated on my account at Lending Club. We’ve been adding a couple hundred a month as automated investment to the account and rolling all payments back into new loans. With $1367 in interest and $50 in recouped loans, less the $367 charged off, $50 in fees, and a $180 adjustment for loans which are currently past due I’m up $795 on my deposits of $7450. Lending Club tells me that works out to an Adjusted Net Annualized Return of about 9.2%.
The primary changes I’ve noticed since I last wrote about my Lending Club progress include a lot of small mark downs of expected returns… that’s not so promising considering the generally positive economic situation and bull market. Compared to the stock market over the last two years this has not been a particularly good return, we’ll have to see what happens whenever the market runs out of steam. And from what I can tell it also isn’t that good of a return compared to a diverse junk bond portfolio, and then factor in taxes and the tax complexity… not feeling so hot on P2P lending right now. We plan to continue to automatically deposit a small amount each month until we reach $10k of deposits (sometime around the end of this year) then I think we’ll just let it ride to see how it goes.
From my recurring income series; Our net savings/spending numbers for March 2015:
Got expenses back into check this month, more around our long term sustainable average. Our home (mostly mortgage interest, property tax, and insurance) accounted for 41% of our spending. Food followed at 26% of our spending, then entertainment and health/fitness at 8% each. And then transport at 5%, and that spending was mostly some bicycling maintenance / tires thanks to all our miles on the road :) Bills clocked in at 5% of our spending, and then general shopping and gifts accounted for the last slice of our spending pie.
Our tax refund made this month look a bit better, so all in all we saw a 76% savings rate. I’ll set a goal for April of 70% – shouldn’t be too hard to hit this month – again with no major spending expected maybe with some luck we’ll hit 80%.
How about that change in title? March has finished so I can officially document my commuting progress for March. I biked or ran to work 15 of the 20 days I worked, for a rate of 75%. Again I blew out my rate from last March of 0%. I only drove myself in once and carpooled the other four times, so we did well on car usage – only got gas once :)
For April I’m planning to work about 22 days and my goal is to commute under my own power at least 17 of those days (keep it over 75%.
Edit – we’ve been using a GPS tracker for about a year now to get an auto insurance discount. As a bonus it is a great way to also track our monthly mileage very closely, I’m going back for the months to document our total driving mileage. In March we drove only about 350 total miles.
From my recurring income series; Our net savings/spending numbers for February 2015:
Expenses were excessive due to some health costs – primarily my LASIK and some dental work – and accounted for 46% of our total spending. Behind our home at 18% was general shopping (mostly for a new laptop) at 13% and then food at 10% of our spending. Entertainment, bills, and then auto/transport accounted for about 4% of our spending each and that rounds out the month of February. Not really the worst month if you take out the medical expenses… but certainly not great either.
We didn’t work much OT, but a bonus saved this month from looking really ugly. In the end we saw a 47% savings rate. I’ll set a goal for March of 70% to start to make up for some of that embarrassment. And since there is no real spending expected maybe with some luck we’ll hit 80%.
In February I biked in 11.5 of the 19 days I worked, for a rate of 61%. Again that’s a lot better than last February’s rate of 0%. I only drove myself in once, so we were pretty good on the car usage as well.
For March I’m planning to work about 20 days and I plan to bike at least 12 of those days.
Edit – we’ve been using a GPS tracker for since about March 2014 to get an auto insurance discount. As a bonus it is a great way to also track our monthly mileage very closely – I’m going back for the months to document our total driving mileage. In February we drove only about 800 total miles.
From my recurring income series, Our net savings/spending numbers for January 2015:
Expenses were again amazingly high as we spent the first week+ of the year in an expensive international city. Again travel accounted for the largest portion of spending at 45%, and again at least some of that was for food which we didn’t break out due to the tracking effort on cash spending. Another 26% went to “home”; mortgage interest and taxes. 18% went towards food, and this was a bit more accurate than last month because our travels finally took us to places where credit cards were accepted. Mint is only breaking down the other 11% as “other”, although it covers all sorts of bills, some gifts, the gym etc.
We combined for a couple days worth of overtime, which helped us squeeze over the 50% savings rate, at 58%. I’ll set a goal for February of better than 50% (mostly due to an expensive elective surgery), and there’s also been some shopping already under way…