The goals for August were:
- Rein in spending on the automotive hobby by setting a budget – success
- Sell five items from my hoard – fail
- Reduce daily living (groceries and lunch out) and entertainment expenses to budget – fail
- Use my Starling account to track monthly outgoings – success
- Repair or purchase a new bike – fail
- Special goal – rework my net worth and savings graphs to cover results simply
Checking the assets and liabilities:
These are taken from my Beast Budget spreadsheet. I’m working on pretty graphs to spice things up. My net worth grew by a paltry £180 (0.9%). My savings rate including my mortgage was 15.09% (not including my DB pension). This is close to my best recorded, and probably my best once all the house purchase/ sale shenanigans are taken into account. I saved £200 in my 5% interest Santander saver and paid off £500 of a credit card. My net worth didn’t grow due to spending around £1.5k from our joint account on building work for our house.
Goal achieved: Rein in spending on the automotive hobby by setting a budget
I set myself a pretty stern budget of £300 for my automotive hobby earlier in the year, which I’ve repeatedly failed to meet. I spend £50/month on tax direct debits, and another £120/month on a storage unit which is currently full of engines, tools and furniture from our house move. I managed to only spend £280 this month, £50 on tracking for my daily driver and £60 on fuel. I’ve started to walk to work, and have only filled up the car once because of this. I need to start putting money aside for predictable expenses such as maintenance, rather than taking it on the chin each time.
This goal is a marker of the change in my own mindset, as previously I viewed my £120 storage as a justified expense. It now feels like a waste of £1440 a year which could be better saved. I’ve also been paying others to do work I could do myself, as I lacked the time. My hobby car has been sat for months barely used, waiting on some fettling. I’ve now changed jobs, have some more freedom, and so one of my goals for next month is to get my home garage set up and do a piece of automotive DIY. Reducing my monthly fixed liabilities, and doing more work myself will hopefully make this a more frugal (dare I say profitable one day?) hobby.
Goal failed: Sell five items from my hoard
Items were listed on a specialist forum, then on eBay, with some interest but no sales. I’ll be re-listing and also putting some furniture on Gumtree. Fingers crossed some buyers next month.
Goal failed: Repair or purchase a new bike
The shop I’ve found still hasn’t got the right one for me. Next month.
Goal failed: Reduce daily living and entertainment expenses to budget.
A further failure. We spent £607 on ‘daily living’ and £160 on entertainment. Almost all of our groceries and going out expenses are now going through our joint account, and not my account. I spent £14 on food out and £20 on sport. What did it all go on? We spent £81 on tickets for a concert in December, £27 at restaurants and £35 on trips out with friends. We had no takeaways! We made some minor house purchases, but most of our costs were on groceries, as we had lots of friends over and bought nice food rather than going out. I’m therefore going to change this goal a bit to: Establish weekly and monthly joint account grocery expenses. I’ve trimmed expenses from my accounts as much as I can, and need to work out where all the rest is going.
Goal achieved: Use my Starling account to track monthly outgoings
Not to sound like a fanboi, but I’m really enjoying using my Starling account. I’ve used it for everyday expenses and outgoing over the last month, and plan to move all payments which aren’t automated onto it. Each month I’ll transfer enough to cover my budgeted expenses, and the rest can automatically transfer to savings.
- Daily living and entertainment – Under review as above.
- Transport – budget £300, spent £279, last month £803.
- Holiday – £100/ /£35.22/ £0 We’re paying lots out at the moment for our honeymoon which will show up next month and make a big dent in our joint account balance. Need to build holiday funds in future.
- Personal – £50/ £93.32/ £21.53. Upgrading/ updating work clothes and supporting a Youtuber I follow by buying their merch.
- Loans/ Credit – £200/ £500/ £575. Overpaying a bit.
- Misc – £50/ £0/ £97.50. No unexpected expenses, big woop!
Goals for next month:
- Do a piece of automotive DIY
- Establish weekly and monthly joint account grocery expenses
- Sell five items from my hoard
- Repair or purchase a new bike
- Finish reading Tim Hale’s Smarter Investing
What’s coming this month:
- Musing on… Motivating factors for financial investments
- Frugal Motoring – Should I buy a petrol car?
- A draft investment policy
- Some sort of post about property renovation
- Plus the usual Full English Accompaniments and other drivel…
Happy September everyone,