November 2021 – Inflation & Energy Prices

In rushing together these few months and quarterly posts I’ve noticed an uptrend in my boring household spending. Nothing dramatic, just a general creep. Some of this is down to added baby costs, and MrsShrink being at home fulltime eating, keeping warm, breathing. I don’t think this can account for everything though. MrsShrink used to spend about £25/week at her work canteen for breakfast and lunch, and baby nappies etc from Aldi/ Lidl aren’t more than a few pounds a week. So why has our monthly grocery spend gone from £300-400/month in 2020 to £500-600/month at the end of 2021? I think most of it is inflation, due to the obvious increased transport and wage costs, increased cost of production etc. ONS has CPI pegged at 4.6% for last month, and I suspect food costs are rising faster (1). It could well account for an extra hundred on our monthly food bill. There’s a lot of concern about the risks of this inflation to households in the media at the moment, but for now we can weather it on my single income (2, 3). We’re lucky as I’m not sure all will.

We’ve also been struck by the collapse of our energy supplier, Bulb (4). We always had good service from them, but it seems that behind the flashy front and customer service they we’re particularly well run, will allegations that they weren’t hedging their energy contracts. We’re now on the supplier of last resort run by Ofgem, from a practical sense still paying through Bulb at the price cap. This means we’re likely to see a fair rise in our energy spend when the supplier of last resort is wound up. Time to tighten the old belt.

November Finances

Checking the assets and liabilities:

These are taken, as always, from my Beast Budget spreadsheet. I saved a paltry 19.5% of my salary, which I’m quite content with. Maintaining this whilst also running the house on just my salary feels the sort of thing a family in the 1950s might have been able to do, but rare today. Again this was all saved as cash or in my pension, with no new investment. If you fancy a free share, sign up to Freetrade with this link (I also get one).

Budgets:

  • Groceries – Budget £200, spent £348.68, last month £201.48
  • Entertainment – Budget £100, spent £206.38, last month £113.55 – Going out, eating out, naughty things like the asian bakery round the corner
  • Transport – Budget £250, spent £349.06, last month £163.98 – MOT time
  • Holiday – £150, spent £0, last month £0
  • Personal – £100/ £199.22/ £288.23
  • Loans/ Credit – £50/ £445/ £159 – extra locum/ overtime pay is getting funnelled here
  • Misc – £50/ £153.14/ £594.76
  • Fees – £300 /£494.43/ £311.67

In the garden:

Basically just on life support now, with tender stuff tucked up in the greenhouse or under cloches to over winter.

Hope you’re all having a great Christmas and New Year break!

The Shrink

References:

  1. https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/30/the-bank-of-england-has-underestimated-the-risk-inflation-poses-to-stability
  3. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/investing/article-10332935/What-2021-bring-investors-Covid-fightback-inflation.html
  4. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59373198

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