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"Hidden" Money - Money I forgot to add to my Budget

August 25th, 2008 at 06:30 pm

I was playing with Paulette’s budget spreadsheet (in her blog today) and as I was plugging in my expenses, it looked like I had “more month than money.” I couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong because I have a healthy savings and checking account and never bounce a check.

What I forgot was that although my monthly take home is about $4,400 (after taxes, medical insurance payments, and 401k contribution), I also put 10% of each paycheck into what is called an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) which comes due every six months. In the last two cycles (the last 12 months), I made over 20% on my investment! This is the single greatest money maker I have and I'm so thankful my company provides it to us.

For example, on August 1 the ESPP came due and I sold my stock. I purchased it with $4,300 (which was collected out of each my paychecks over the last six months) and sold for $6,300. If I did my math right, it was a 30% profit!

This last year, my ESPP gained me about $4,000 in extra income. I got one check in February and one in August for over $6,000 each. I use this money to pay my property taxes and have a little extra buffer in my checking account.

In addition to the ESPP money I get every six months, I forgot to plug in my profit sharing checks which come every three months. They net about $650. And, I have been getting a tax refund ever since I bought the condo and that amounts to another $5,000-$7,000 a year.

I’m glad I figured out what I had done wrong on the budget spreadsheet, because I was concerned I was in way over my head!






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