The Financial Dashboard – May 2018

The goals for this month were:

  • Set up a regular savings account to build an emergency fund. This may either be a regular saver or a high interest bank account Achieved
  • Set up a Starling/ Monzo/ Atom/ Revolut account for day to day transactions. Fail
  • Reduce mortgage and rent outgoings Achieved
  • Sell five items from my hoard Fail
  • Set a monthly budget for hobbies Achieved


May 2018 Dash

A very big month in our household for various reasons. Crossing the £20k net worth mark went un-noticed, and for the first time in three years I wasn’t in my overdraft at all. My assets increased:

May 2018 Assets

Goal achieved: I set up a regular savings account. Utilising the Santander 1-2-3 offer to open a 5% interest savings account which I’ve filled to their maximum (£200). I’m not actually sure if I’m going to use this as an emergency fund. I was reading The Fire Engine’s post about emergency funds and thinking about liquidity (1). Although Santander’s documentation specifies sums can be withdrawn, I think I’ll use another high interest current account for rainy day cash. A regular savings account carries too much disincentive with withdrawal.

Goal failed: I didn’t set up a Monzo/ Atom/ Revolut/ Starling account. I looked into it but realised as we’re in the process of moving (twice), it’ll be easier to set up once I have a stable address.

Not much change on the liabilities front, though this is set to change with house moves. The credit card went up and down with wedding expenses, but has started reducing regularly now:

Liabilities May 2018

Goal achieved: Plan was to set a monthly budget for hobbies. I set one for everything.

I read a variety of opinions on budgeting while I was setting my own (2,3,4,5). In the end I opted to use a YFG wall-street-banker style approach, setting goals based off my actual expenses for the past six months (6). The poor rip from my Beast Budget spreadsheet looks a little like this:



I’ve under-estimated my income, using the approx lowest I received during the six months. Nearly £5k entered my account this month, but that included a refund on the bond of a rented property, refunds of expenses, some sold items and some wedding funds.

Goal failed: I didn’t sell five items from my hoard. I listed five, sold three, one for a fairly substantial sum. I use specific forums to sell these rather than eBay/ Gumtree, so may venture into the general public for the next sales. I have a vast amount of tat hoarded ‘just in case’.

Of my expenses, nearly £1300 went on various items for our property and wedding. Unavoidable. I transferred part of the rental property bond into MrsFireShrink and I’s joint account, which I don’t include in my FI story. MrsFireShrink is very frugal, and all our household expenses go through the joint account. This is also where the Home section goes to, including our rent and mortgage…

Goal achieved: Reduce mortgage and rent outgoings. Done this, with significantly more to come. Having moved across the country for work leaving our lovely home behind, we’ve been renting for quite some time. This meant servicing mortgage AND rent, for a combined total of £1950/month. Once household expenses (gas, electricity, council tax, etc) were added in we were both putting £1250/month into our joint account. We’ve moved into a smaller rental temporarily which will cut £200+ off the outgoings, and once property sales/ purchases complete we’ll be back down to just servicing the mortgage. I’ll adjust the budget appropriately at the time, freeing up around another £400/month for investment.

I bought some new tyres for one of my cars which dented the coffers. I could count the cars under investments or something else, but they’re currently under transport. I suspect I’ll end up making a separate Hobbies category.

We also went out for dinner or got take-away a lot this month. Our excuse was social events and moving house (so not being able to cook), but we need to manage this properly.

Goals for next month:

  • Set up a Starling/ Revolut/ Atom/ Monzo account – carried over
  • Sell five items from my hoard – carried over
  • Reduce daily living (groceries and lunch out) and entertainment expenses to budget
  • Eat out a maximum of once a week
  • Repair or purchase a new bike

Happy June everyone!

The Fire Shrink



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