The Financial Dashboard – June 2018

Apologies to regular readers (hello? anyone? awake at the back?) for the lack of Full English Accompaniment last week. MrsShrink and I have been moving home, which occupied all our time.

The goals for June were:

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

That didn’t go so well. Oh dear.

Net worth fell. Moving house is expensive.

June 2018 Dash

The value of my assets derived from my residence increased (bigger house) but my cash assets fell as we spent our emergency budget/ spare cash moving house. I’ve added data from our joint account now, as although it doesn’t generally feature on these pages, it does explain where some of my cash ends up parked. I also finally tracked down my life insurance figure, but I’m not including that in asset calculations:

June 2018 Assets
Goal achieved: I set up a Starling account, putting my money where my mouth is. I’ve talked in previous blog posts about Starling and it’s relative benefits. Once the dust settles from the house move I intend to move all my spending money into the Starling account, and use it’s ‘pots’ feature to split off money in that account (1).

The liabilities took a big jump this month with my increased mortgage. The credit card debt continues to reduce regularly, and we took a small amount of equity from the house sale to pay back wedding loans to family:

June 2018 Liabilities

Goal failed: Sell five items from my hoard. Everything I own is in boxes. Haven’t even begun to look.
Goal achieved (ish): Reduce daily living (groceries and lunch out) and entertainment expenses to budget

I have managed to reduce my outgoings in part. We’ve finally completed on our house sale 150 miles away, and have moved into our new home. This means we’re no longer paying rent and mortgage, so my costs for this have fallen.

I spent much less on eating out, having friends over for dinner rather than going out. I also tried to make more lunches or take things from home, but this remains an area to be worked on. I celebrated by paying nearly a thousand pounds for a professional exam. #thuglife. Daily driver insurance also fell this month, biting a hole into my finances where the absent emergency fund should have been.

I’m going to keep this goal on here, as I think I can keep improving.
Goal failed: Eat out a maximum of once a week – improving, as mentioned above, but I still ate out more than once a week.
Goal failed: Repair or purchase a new bike. Found a repair shop. Haven’t set foot in it. I can hear the tutting of mustachioed frugal community members from here.

Goals for next month:

  • Rein in spending on the automotive hobby by setting a budget
  • 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 July everyone!

The Shrink



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



The Financial Dashboard – April 2018

So where did that month go?

April 2018 Dash

My first monthly review is not pretty reading, but I expected that. My net worth has actually decreased. This is due to a few expensive payments for professional courses and subscriptions I have coming up. Some of these will be reimbursed by expenses. I’ve also been shelling out for wedding items and legal expenses for property conveyancing. This has swallowed up some money I had in my main bank account put ready after working some extra shifts last month.

Assets April 2018

My assets have decreased. I have been back through old bank accounts and working out a more accurate picture of the lay of the land. I’ve now factored in a bit of overdraft I paid off earlier in the month, and the cash float has been swallowed by legal fees. Next month I should be clear of my (interest free) overdraft for the first time in several years. I’ve managed to raise a bit of cash by starting to sell some spare car parts, but I continue to be a serial hoarder of bits which I picked up cheap and ‘may come in handy one day’. I’ve also managed a mini-goal in drastically reducing my £4/day canteen lunch habit to a £10/week shopping trip… Chipping away.

Liabilities April 2018

My liabilities have decreased a bit. Student loan is being paid off as per amortisation, as is the mortgage. My credit card has increased a bit with wedding expenses. Over the month I’ve set a clearer plan for my credit card, and I now plan to pay off a specific amount (~£250) monthly rather than ad hoc amounts.

I have also set a plan to decrease monthly spending. We currently pay mortgage on a house on the other side of the country, and rent on a house where we work. This is an eye watering £1950/ month, plus bills and council tax. We’re downsizing our rental on a short lease, and waiting on the sale of our property and purchase of a new place.

Plans for next month:

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

I also plan to continue reading about savings and investment strategies, and look into overpaying my mortgage once conveyancing and purchases are complete.

There’s a long way to go.


The FIRE Shrink

The Financial Dashboard – The Beginning

Each month I plan to do a financial dashboard check and publish how I’m doing to reach my yearly goals. Currently it should be pretty simple due to my lack of investments.

Here’s the front page from my Beast Budget excel chart.

March 2018 Dash


Breaking it down.

Assets March 2018

£690-odd in my current account as monthly float. £115k in value of my property. A few £k in jewellery and cars. The life insurance? is as this is currently being renewed.

As for pensions… ah pensions. I pay into the NHS Pension scheme, at a rate of 9.3% with the NHS contributing 14.3%. A healthy 23.3% theoretically. The value given in this is my current lump sum redeemable value. The NHS Pension is complex enough to warrant it’s own blog post as I’ll try to make sense of it.

Liabilities March 2018

The majority of this is the mortgage on the property I own. The £2.5k owed to family and £4.3k on credit cards are both 0% interest, borrowed to pay for an upcoming relocation and nuptials. The student loan will gradually be paid down, but I’m in no great rush to clear this as it currently accrues paltry interest.

So that’s the baseline, and the only way is up!

The FIRE Shrink