Okay, it's time to start posting; I'm going to focus on the financial side because I'm really too far from being a renaissance man as described by Jacob to really talk about woodworking, handiwork, and so on. I hope to develop those skills later, but I'm a tunnel vision sort of person, and I'm now focusing on cost containment and savings and would love help on that side of things.
So, my income and outgoing for February (including March 1st to make a 30 day fiscal month) boils down to the following:
Job 1 $3,247
Job 1 Bonus $1,191
Job 2 $2,117
All figures are post-tax. No investment income for February; I sold all my holdings in January and made an advance mortgage payment (current balance is $24,979). I did this for two reasons: 1. my mortgage payment is 6.75% and I can't see getting that yield, post-tax, on any investment; 2. I'm expecting a bear market, and today's drop may be the beginning of that. I'm hoping to save up and buy some bargains when the market falls further later this year.
Housing $1,101.00 (513 mortgage, 588 maintenance--this includes property taxes, heat, water, sewage, trash, etc. Yes, it's very high--I live in NYC where this is quite normal)
Savings rate: 59.6%
1. The savings rate is slightly higher because part of that mortgage payment goes into equity.
2. I know the restaurants expense will be the first thing people here will want to cut, but it can't be, really. My wife and I go to inexpensive restaurants (diners, mostly) as a sort of date and I don't think this is going to get trimmed much.
3. All figures above are for two people. My wife is currently out of work, but she'll be going back to work soon. If we split expenses 50/50, my savings rate would be closer to 80%.
4. Some of that restaurant expense is take out when my wife and I were too tired/lazy to cook. I need to work on this more.
Any questions, advice, comments, feedback would be much appreciated!