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  • Writer's pictureZach

2018 Savings Overview (With Charts!)

This tells the tale of saving!

The year is over. Done like a blackened pancake floating in a pool of soapy water. What's left but to pick out he pieces that get stuck in the drain, and examine them for blueberries of wisdom?

The chart above best tells the tale of "the gap", which is the difference between what you make, and what you spend. The bigger the gap, the more you saved. I love this chart because every month had a gap, even in the summer when I budget spending my whole salary. Also, since September I have been killing it with keeping my expenses low and using my side hustles to boost my income to the highest in my life, leading to huge savings amounts over what I predicted. My total savings rate for 2018 was 52%, which is damn respectable, if I do say so myself! I also was able to invest $29,000 during 2018, which is significantly more than the $20,000 I had planned.

So how did the expenses break down by category? What can we learn from that? I need another chart!

Sweet Mother of God, Cars are Expensive!

The most important lesson in this is that I spend WAYYYY too much on my car. Sadly, it's kind of unavoidable as I commute to work and all my gigs. Without the car, I wouldn't be able to do my side hustles or be as social. I'm thinking of a way to decrease that cost this year, but the plan is still in its infancy (hint: it involves moving closer to work).

But What About December, you ask?

Originally, I plan on only saving money for 9 months of the year, so that during Christmas break and the summer, I can be freer with the moolah. However, this December, instead of traveling, my girlfriend and her daughter came to Dubai to visit! So I didn't have to pay for a flight or hotels, and I had my kitchen so I could cook when needed. Instead of saving nothing, I saved 15,200 AED, which is the third most I've ever saved! That's the second month in a row I've saved over $4,000 USD. I had over $2,000 in income from my side hustles as well, which definitely contributed!

January should be fine, although not nearly as good as December and November because I didn't have as much side hustle income and I'm being forced to move out of my apartment, which is a long story. To balance that out, I've put a bunch of my possessions up for sale on the Dubai version of Craigslist, because I have been feeling overwhelmed by the amount of things I own lately, and it also could create some good income as well.

The other good news is that my credit score jumped up to 789, because my awesome dad put me on two of his credit cards (thanks Dad!). This means I should be able to buy my first rental here in a few months! I think I need to save up for two more months to get to a 20% downpayment and closing costs for a decent place in Memphis, and with the credit score in place, I should be ready to do that by March.

OK gang, thanks for sticking with me. Go out and reach your goals!

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