The goals for February were:
- Sell £50 worth of stuff
- Calculate and set a budget for Entertainment
- Reduce consumption of single use plastics
- Finish the raised beds
- Set up an account with an investment platform
Checking the assets and liabilities:
These are taken from my Beast Budget spreadsheet. This month my net worth grew by £984 (~3%). For the first time I’ve ended the month with a net worth >£30k. I put another £200 on my 5% Santander saver, paid down our wedding loan to a family member and my credit card bill. I also put money aside as budgeted for future professional and car expenses.
Goal achieved: Sell £50 worth of stuff
Sold some car parts, got £50 in cash, spent it on soil (rock ‘n’ roll). I’ll increase this for next month to keep the impetus up.
Goal achieved: Calculate and set a budget for Entertainment
Again I went back over the past year’s spending to calculate what my average is. I’ve previously classed entertainment as daily living type costs, and kept gym and hobby fees separate. For this year and to produce a proper budget I’m going to include them all together, so that it encompasses eating out, the cinema/ theatre/ concerts/ events, the gym and my other esoteric hobbies. There’s been a lot of variance in monthly spending, from £~50 to £~250, accounted for by concert tickets and times when we’ve eaten out a lot. In the last couple of months we’ve spent around £100, but we’ve barely left the house. I’m going to budget £150/month for the future, and anything left over at the end of the year can be used to top up ISAs.
Goal achieved: Reduce consumption of single use plastics
Gradual progress here, through small changes. We’ve moved to only buy loose fruit where possible. Our veg is delivered loose. Our meat is delivered wrapped in waxed paper. We’ve switched some of our cosmetic items, so that we only buy paper earbuds, and we’ve made re-usable face-wipes for makeup from old material. We’ve switched to shampoo bars, which are more expensive but seem to last much longer (this sort of thing). We’ve switched back to soap bars from liquid hand soap. Slow but steady, with plenty more to do. Next month I want to look at other ways we can reduce our environmental footprint.
Goal failed: Finish the raised beds
I’m tripling my veg patch size by rebuilding the raised beds using fly-tipped or old pallets and free/ cheap soil. This is taking bloody ages. Trying to scrounge free or cheap soil through gumtree and facebook is slow. I’ve probably put in about five tonnes of soil so far, with the same to go.
Goal achieved: Set up an account with an investment platform
I’ve spent much of the month looking at online brokers using Monevator’s excellent guide and a few other websites (1, 2). As we’re coming to the end of the tax year my first purchase will be pretty simple. I’ve opted to go with Vanguard directly and have set up an account in anticipation for making my first payment in March.
- Groceries – Budget £300, spent £207.01, last month £185.03 Continue to underspend.
- Entertainment – Budget £150, spent £92, last month £97.30.
- Transport – Budget £460, spent £405.44, last month £124.75. MOT and tax costs came in under budget, so a little carries forward for next month.
- Holiday – £150, spent £0, last month £133.09. Need to start putting a little away here.
- Personal – £50/ £5.50/ £61.52. Had a rejig here which I’ll explain next month
- Loans/ Credit – £350/ £288.99/ £-445.78. This is now net change for the month.
- Misc – £50/ £186.45/ £123.34. Had a rejig with the new spreadsheet here too. Misc payments this month:
- £50 cash on soil (plus £50 from the car parts)
- £20 cash for a work event
- £50-odd at B&Q on more house things
In the garden:
See above for a raised bed update. The greenhouse is now full of seedtrays with early crops, and the dining room table covered in potatoes being chitted.
Goals for next month:
- Sell £100 worth of stuff
- Finish the raised beds
- Calculate and set a budget for Personal spending
- Look at other ways to reduce environmental footprint
- Purchase first stock investment
What’s in the pipeline:
- Stoicism and the finance world
- Green Credentials
- Property Renovation Lessons Part III
- Plus the usual Full English Accompaniments and other drivel…
Happy March everyone,