The Financial Dashboard – December 2018

The goals for December were:

  • Sell five more childhood toys. Sell five more car parts – Failure
  • Set a realistic monthly budget target for motoring – Success
  • Establish weekly and monthly joint grocery account expenses – Success
  • Finish reading Tim Hale’s Smarter Investing – Success

Checking the assets and liabilities:

Assets Dec

Dec Liabilities

These are taken from my Beast Budget spreadsheet. This month my net worth grew by £1392 (~5%), briefly hitting £30k. I’m happy with this considering it’s Christmas and so a lot of gifts, hosting and celebrating meant I spent more going out and cooking in than most months. I saved another £200 on my 5% Santander saver, £200 into a Starling 1% interest emergency fund pot, plus the usual pensions etc

Goals:.

Goal achieved:  Finish reading Tim Hale’s Smarter Investing

Done and dusted, and guiding me in the formulation of my Investment Strategy Statement.

Goal achieved: Set a realistic monthly budget target for motoring 

To do this I went back through my financial records for the whole year. In total I spent £6480.55 this year on transportation in varying guises. Of this I’m removing £179.36 which is what I’ve paid for public transport, parking and that bloody Severn crossing toll over the year. That leaves the following:

Car

The change in job in August really halved my petrol spend, but this will go back up with a further job change next month. I’m going to allocate £150/month to that, plus a further £50/month for car tax. I gave up my second garage last month, which will see me save £120/month. My insurance costs aren’t terrible as I keep one car garaged, live in a reasonable area and have 10 years of NCB. Rather than taking it on the nose I’m going to put £60 aside a month for 2019 to hold enough on hand to cover it as and when it arises.

The elephant in the room is the parts and labour costs. My reliable daily cost me £1031.16 over the year for it’s ~10,000 miles, which is MOT plus related work, a major service, a large amount of suspension work, two tyres and various other cosmetic bits. It comes out to £86/month, competitive with any PCP or lease deal before considering depreciation. On that, the old girl depreciated about £300 over the year, so call it £110/month to run about in a powerful estate. Or to look at it another way, I spend 12p/mile on parts and labour, 16p/mile on fuel. Reasonable Bangernomics but could do better.

And then there’s the Red Car. This was £1650 spent to complete a restoration which still has some minor niggles to sort. Money that has been spent for a fun hobby, but in no way recoverable on a car worth £2500 on a good day. Bugger. I’m going to continue to tinker the final issues, but plan to sell and recoup some costs before replacing with something less of a financial sinkhole. I also plan to replace the green car next year with something a bit newer to keep in my perceived sweet spot of depreciation vs reliability (for me 10-15 years).

490

With the plan to sell both cars and buy replacements in 2019 I will assign:

  • £50/month Car tax
  • £150/month Fuel
  • £60/month Insurance
  • £200/month put aside for parts, labour, MOT and replacements

If I can keep to £460/month then by the end of 2019 I’ll have saved £980 over what I’ve spent in 2018 on cars. Not vast, but an achievable goal I think, whilst also retaining a fun little hobby.

Goal achieved:  Establish weekly and monthly joint grocery account expenses

I’m going to cover this in the Q4 Quarterly Returns update, as I’ve run a lot of numbers to complete an accurate budget.

Goal failed:  Sell five more childhood toys. Sell five more car parts

Not without trying. I’ve had a fair amount of interest on eBay, Gumtree and (shudder) Facebook marketplace. Despite lots of assurances people definitely want stuff, no-one has actually turned up to take it off me. I’ll carry this over and attack it next month.

Budgets:

  • Daily living and entertainment – Budget £600(!), spent £131, last month £?
  • Transport – budget £300, spent £233.69, last month £126.12.
  • Holiday – £150, spent £209, last month £lots. Going skiing this month, so paying in advance.
  • Personal – £50/ £42.21/ £20.64
  • Loans/ Credit – £200/ £556.57/ £571.77. Paying any new additions plus £350 off my credit card every month now.
  • Misc – £50/ £20/ £16.40.

In the garden:

We ate the last of our late potatoes with our Christmas dinner, which was a real treat. The last of the winter salad veg is running to seed or bolting now, so I’ve had to cut back the lettuces etc. Still a bit of spinach beet and lambs lettuce surviving. I’ve repaired broken panes in our greenhouse and started staking out the new raised beds.

Goals for next month:

  • Sell five more childhood toys. Sell five more car parts.
  • Develop a single spreadsheet for all my financial data/ graphs etc
  • Finish my Investment Strategy Statement
  • Check our household green credentials
  • Check utilities for potential savings

What’s in the pipeline:

  • Quarterly Returns Q4 2018
  • Property Renovation Lessons Part II
  • Investment Strategy Statement – Part 4 – Funds, Accounts & Rebalancing
  • Frugal Motoring – Should I buy a Hybrid?
  • Plus the usual Full English Accompaniments and other drivel…

Happy January everyone,

The Shrink

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The Financial Dashboard – November 2018

With the long holiday I’ve missed out October, so here’s a chance the catch up.

The goals for October and November:

  • Clear out and sell/ dump items from the storage unit – Success
  • Sell five more items – Success
  • Service the red car – Failure
  • Establish weekly and monthly joint grocery account expenses – Success
  • Finish reading Tim Hale’s Smarter Investing – Failure

Checking the assets and liabilities:

Nov AssetsNov Liab

These are taken from my Beast Budget spreadsheet. Over the two months my net worth has grown by £4427 (19%). This is down to my quarterly revaluing of our property, which sees my portion go up by £5k, hiding two months of heavy spending. My actual savings rates have bounced either side of 0, despite putting money into my mortgage, savings accounts, credit cards and pensions. We spent several thousand on our honeymoon. We’re not looking at the figures properly, as it’s a once in a lifetime thing, but it was probably £4-5k all in, travelling around the far east for three weeks.

During that time I saved £400 in my 5% interest Santander saver and for the first time since February this year my credit card debt is under £3000.

Goals:

Goal achieved:  Clear out and sell/ dump items from the storage unit

Goal achieved: Sell five more items

I’ve cleared my storage lock-up garage. In the process we sold several pieces of spare furniture, with a couple more to sell along with a whole host of stored car parts. I’m trying to get better with this, as I have a tendency to snaffle rare or good quality parts when I see them, ‘just in case’. I took a full estate-car load to the dump too. By giving up the storage unit I’ve reduced £120 of monthly motoring outgoings. So we continue – Sell five more childhood toys. Sell five more car parts.

Goal achieved:  Establish weekly and monthly joint grocery account expenses

I’m going to cover this in the next quarterly update, as more data is better. I think I’ll take an average across the whole year and look at how I can restructure our diet and shopping to get a better budget.

Goal failed:  Service the red car

I harpooned myself here. I bought the parts to do the work (£50-odd quid), and then promptly filled my garage up with crap decanted from my storage. Bah.

Problem is this continues a theme. I love working on my cars, but rarely get the time any more, especially with continued house renovations and now the garden. My garage is full of sofas, lawnmowers and boxes of books, so it looks unlikely I’ll be able to wheel either car in there for tinkering any time soon. I’ve not actually been able to work on a car for at least a year, and this not only makes me sad but it also isn’t good for the cars. Nothing knackers a motor like a long period of inactivity.

Last month I spent a long weekend away with old friends for a stag do. Two of them are doing quite well for themselves and run brand new high-end German sports cars. They both spend a lot on these cars, but as they use them daily it’s an expense they’re happy to pay for the ‘smiles per miles’. Another bloody phrase I hate. It made me question my habits. I’m not about to abandon my bangernomics tendencies, but my current cars aren’t exactly costing pennies. I think I’ve spent £1150 on work on the red car this year alone, to only turn 250 miles in that time. I’m tempted to cut my losses and buy something either a bit worse to hack over the winter, or save up and buy an appreciating classic. Watch this space. In the interim I’m going to spend this month looking over my previous motoring spending and setting a realistic monthly budget/ savings target for my cars, to gradually build up their own replacement/ repair/ improve/ invest fund.

Goal failed: Finish reading Tim Hale’s Smarter Investing

Read fiction whilst away. Will finish it this month.

Budgets:

  • Daily living and entertainment – £0 from my account, but technically a lot more from the joint.
  • Transport – budget £300, spent £233.69, last month £217.23. Keep reducing this.
  • Holiday – a lot.
  • Personal – £50/ £20.64/ £90
  • Loans/ Credit – £200/ £571.77/ £425. Paying any new additions plus £250 off my credit card every month now.
  • Misc – £50/ £16.40/ £47.97. Took some cash out for the pub.

In the garden:

The early frost while we were away last month killed off much of our late crop. We managed to save some late potatoes which are now in the greenhouse, along with a host of salad crops. I’ve dug over the ground and I’m making plans for new beds.

Goals for next month:

  • Sell five more childhood toys. Sell five more car parts.
  • Set a realistic monthly savings target for motoring
  • Establish weekly and monthly joint grocery account expenses
  • Finish reading Tim Hale’s Smarter Investing

What’s in the pipeline:

  • Property Renovation Lessons Part II
  • Investment Strategy Statement – Part 3 – Asset Allocation
  • Investment Strategy Statement – Part 4 – Funds, Accounts & Rebalancing
  • FIRE for your Mental Health
  • Plus the usual Full English Accompaniments and other drivel…

Happy December everyone,

The Shrink

 

The Financial Dashboard – September 2018

The goals for September were:

  • Do a piece of automotive DIY – Success
  • Establish weekly and monthly joint account grocery expenses – Success
  • Sell five items from my hoard – Success
  • Repair or purchase a new bike – Failure
  • Finish reading Tim Hale’s Smarter Investing – Failure

Checking the assets and liabilities:

September 2018 Assets

September 2018 Liabilities

These are taken from my Beast Budget spreadsheet. My net worth grew by £1152 (5.58%), my best increase this year. This matches my best savings rate – 22.39% (not including my DB pension). I saved £200 in my 5% interest Santander saver and paid off £1025 of my credit card (although I put a fair bit on due to organising a friends stag do, which will be paid off with the other Stags). We’re still spending heavily from our joint account, this month on our honeymoon (once in a lifetime!). I’m going to have another look at how I calculate my savings rate in the near future, as moving most of our house DDs to the joint account has made the spreadsheet fairly confusing.

Goals:

Goal achieved: Do a piece of automotive DIY

As mentioned last month I have decided to reduce my automotive spend. This month I gave in my notice on my £120pcm storage unit. Goal number one for next month is therefore: Clear out and sell/ dump items from the storage unit. Minimalism it is not.

I also began work on the red car. It’s had a number of issues which have kept me using it regularly, so I spent a couple of hours one Sunday troubleshooting. Upshot is they’re not simple problems (a couple where I’m way out of my depth), and I’m going to need to spend some cash to fix them. For the time being my new goal is to Service the red car.

Goal achieved: Establish weekly and monthly joint account grocery expenses

Bugger me, the big black hole of my gob doesn’t just radiate crap, it also vacuums it up. I think what has been most surprising here is our shopping pattern. Ensuring all shopping purchases go through our joint account has produced an accurate picture of how much is going out. There is skew as we had two parties this month and spent big to host, but even so our food spending is far more than expected! We appear to have a tendency to do an Aldi/Lidl shop 2-4 times/week, spending between £10 and £30 each time, and then do one big Tesco/ Sainsbury’s shop for toiletries at £100. We also get a veg bag (middle class yo!) for £10.50 a week and a butcher’s box (oo-er missus) for £60 a month. I’m going to continue this to for another couple of weeks to get better data, and then set a budget when we get back from the honeymoon.

Goal achieved: Sell five items from my hoard

A big success here as setting myself a public goal motivated me to offload some tat. I’ve sold £50 worth of teenage toys through eBay, with another six listings still running. I’ve also started taking photos of spare furniture to sell through Gumtree to free up further space. The cash will go into my Starling account as an emergency fund. I want to keep this up, so I’ll continue the goal.

Goal failed: Repair or purchase a new bike

I’m going to park this one (pun intended) and come back to it in a few months, as the shop I want to get one from is only open on for two hours on a Saturday morning (council charity affair) and I’m not going to get a chance to visit it until mid-November.

Goal failed: Finish reading Tim Hale’s Smarter Investing

Started it, was really enjoying it, left it at the in-laws on the bedside table. Bugger. Off to the library.

Budgets:

  • Daily living and entertainment – see above
  • Transport – budget £300, spent £166.80, last month £279. Much better here
  • Holiday – £100/ /£~800/ £35.22. Lots to come
  • Personal – £50/ £0/ £93.32
  • Loans/ Credit – £200/ £1025/ £500
  • Misc – £50/ £0/ £90

In the garden:

We had the first crops off our new garden this month, and I’ll be keeping a track here so I can come back next year and see how we got on by comparison. I’m quite motivated to do a cost comparison like Jono at Real Men Sow (1). This month we’ve had: radishes, mizuna (a big fat nope from MrsShrink), romaine lettuce and red lettuce. The radishes are slowing down, but the salad leaves continue to thrive in the greenhouse (which needs repairs). The lawn has been resown and is coming through well, and I’ve been earthing up winter potatoes.

Goals for next month:

  • Clear out and sell/ dump items from the storage unit
  • Sell five more items
  • Service the red car
  • Establish weekly and monthly joint grocery account expenses
  • Finish reading Tim Hale’s Smarter Investing

What’s in the pipeline:

  • Frugal Motoring – Should I buy a petrol car?
  • Learning from our property renovation
  • Investment Strategy Statement – Part 2 – Goals
  • Quarterly Returns Q3 2018 – Setting targets
  • Plus the usual Full English Accompaniments and other drivel…

Happy October everyone,

The Shrink

Referenced:

  1. http://www.realmensow.co.uk/?page_id=175

The Financial Dashboard – August 2018 – returning to normality

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:

August 2018 Assets

August 2018 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.

Goals:

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.

Budgets:

  • 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,

The Shrink

The Financial Dashboard – July 2018

In an effort to streamline the Financial Dashboard, I’m cutting some waffle.

The goals for July were:

  • Rein in spending on the automotive hobby by setting a budget – Epic epic fail
  • Sell five items from my hoard – carried over – Fail
  • Reduce daily living (groceries and lunch out) and entertainment expenses to budget – Fail
  • Eat out a maximum of once a week – Success
  • Repair or purchase a new bike – Fail

Checking the assets and liabilities:

July 2018 Assets

July 2018 Liabilities

These are taken from my mega Excel Beast Budget spreadsheet. I need to develop some pretty graphs to show changes over time. In short, my net worth grew by ~£600 (~3%). My savings rate including my mortgage was 14.7%, 2% without. I saved £200 in my 5% interest Santander saver, and paid off some of my mortgage… and that’s about it. My finances are still recovering from moving house and changing jobs, so hopefully will improve. I’m lucky in that my NHS pension is a DB pension rather than a DC, but it’s been watered down by progressive governments, and is pretty complex to calculate.

Goals:

Goal achieved: We only ate out around once a week this month, and a couple of those were lighter lunches rather than dinners out. We’ve had lots of friends over for meals (the grocery spend shows that!). We enjoy eating out, but we’re going to be more sensible from now on.

Goal failed: Rein in spending on the automotive hobby by setting a budget. Frankly I blew this one out of the water. I spent £450 getting a local garage to go through a list of niggles on my daily car which have been low down the priorities list while we moved house. I didn’t use a main dealer, but a decent local independent. In hindsight some of these jobs I could have done myself to save money, but I simply haven’t had the time. I also spent £90 on train tickets for a work conference later in the year. This month I’ll actually have a crack at this. I’ve set a goal of only spending £300/month. Given that currently £120 goes on fuel, and another £160 on tax and storage, my schedule of preventative maintenance needs to become a lot more DIY! One to keep chipping at.

Goal failed: Sell five items from my hoard. It’s all still in boxes, gradually being unpacked. Another aim for this month.

Goal failed: Repair or purchase a new bike. I’ve decided it’s going to be cheaper to buy a ‘skip bike’ than to repair either my old road bike or downhill MTB. I went to a local charity run place but they didn’t have one to fit me, so I’m going back this month to have another look at new stock (they’re only open Saturday mornings).

Goal failed: Reduce daily living and entertainment expenses to budget. I’m calling this a fail. My daily living expenses included some substantial one-off work costs, but otherwise were under my intended £50 budget. My entertainment expenses were £55, less than my £100 budget. However I’ve never thought to include expenses from my joint account, and really I should, so I’m going to rethink my budget and the way I show my expenses. MrsShrink and I spent £630 on daily living costs last month, £70 on takeaways(!) and £500 on food(!!). We spent £56 on eating out from the joint (entertainment).

Budgets:

  • Daily living and entertainment – budget £50 from my account for daily living and £100 from my own for entertainment. Spent £114 from my own on daily living, £630 from joint on daily living, £56 from my own on entertainment, £56 from the joint on entertainment. Future budget will be £75/week food, plus £75/week entertainment, for £600 combined/month. This will include all eating out, cinema etc. I’ll see how realistic and manageable this aim is.
  • Transport – budget £300, spent £803. Last month £695.
  • Health – budget £10, spent £8.80. Last month £8.80. Going to stop putting this on here as it’s dull.
  • Holiday – budget £100, spent £0. Last month £150. I’ll start using a Starling pot to build a kitty.
  • Subscriptions – budget £100, spent £105. Last month £114. Had to pay a professional subscription this month. I’m going to stop including this, as there’s little more I want to reduce currently.
  • Personal – budget £50, spent £21.50. Last month £44. I really need to start updating my wardrobe.
  • Loans/ Credit – budget £200, spent £575. Last month £250. Paid back a big lump of credit card. Not a bad thing.
  • Misc – budget £50, spent £100. Last month £946. This is anything I can’t list in the rest of my budget system. I spent £100 on an important course this month. Much better than previous months.

Goals for next month:

  • Rein in spending on the automotive hobby by setting a budget – carried over
  • Sell five items from my hoard – carried over
  • Reduce daily living (groceries and lunch out) and entertainment expenses to budget – carried over
  • Use my Starling account to track monthly outgoings
  • Repair or purchase a new bike – carried over
  • Special goal – rework my net worth and savings graphs to cover results simply

What’s coming this month:

  • Frugal Motoring – Bangernomics
  • Musing on… Motivating factors for financial investments
  • Plus the usual Full English Accompaniments and other drivel…

Happy August everyone!

The Shrink

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

References:

  1. https://www.starlingbank.com/blog/6-ways-move-spending-saving/

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

References:

  1. http://thefireeng.com/wheres-your-emergency-fund/
  2. http://www.thefrugalcottage.com/how-i-organise-our-finances/
  3. http://thefirestarter.co.uk/question-time-frugality-end-tight-begin/
  4. https://littlemissfireblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/08/frugal-challenge-setting-the-challenge/
  5. https://tuppennysfireplace.com/frugal-people-always-do-organise-finances/
  6. https://youngfiguy.com/how-to-budget-like-a-wall-street-banker