That’s a wrap on 2019 – last month of the year done. All told it was quite quiet with the general festive merriment with family and friends. We both enjoyed some much needed time off of work over christmas and we also went away for a week to the countryside which was lovely and restful. Great to be out of the city!
credit cards: how we buy everything
easier to track expenses
We track every single penny we spend. So, we like to do most of the spending on one card. I also have my card linked to my phone so I’ll get a notification every time I use it – easy to pop the expense in our budget tracker right then & there.
Still plugging away at our BA Premier Amex. We’re edging closer to 170,000 Avios points and starting to turn our attention to those reward flights we can book in 2020 for 2021! It’s been a long road saving these points but hopefully it will be worth it!
build our credit
For simplicity, we could just pay on our debit card for everything, particularly as it would be even easier to track expenses that way instead of using a credit card and debit card. However, it’s important to build up our credit history and maintain a good credit score rating.
And yes, we pay off our credit card in full, every month.
how we organise our expenses
As I alluded to in an earlier post, we track every single penny – more on our budget strategy in this post here. So what we generally do is put numbers next to categories but those numbers aren’t set in stone. We generally try to spend as little as we can, with those figures there to guide us. In my report, I haven’t added the planned numbers, just the actual spend.
what you won’t see here on a month-month basis
We pay for some things up front on an annual basis. All our insurances are paid this way, as is the car tax and we tend to do our charitable donations all in one month at year end. Those expenses will pop up in the month they’re paid.
|Housing (rent & council tax)||£1,840.00|
|Utilities (gas/electricity, water, tv, music, mobile phones, broadband, cloud storage)||£229.23|
|Food (groceries, household goods, food out (work lunch & eating out))||£634.88|
|Personal spending (own money, haircut, work clothes, hobbies)||£225.50|
|Transport - train (commuting)||£158.00|
|Transport - car (petrol, parking fees & tolls)||£157.12|
Total £6,683.65 || Savings rate 18.13%*
*(excludes passive income)
notes on december
- december 2018 spending was £3,664.71.
- we had some house purchase expenses, which if you take off (as it’s an irregular expense) leaves our monthly spending at £4,397.55. If you also discount holiday spending from this month (as again, it’s irregular and not a normal monthly spend) that brings our total monthly spending to £3.649.25 which is very comparable to last December (our savings rate without these irregular expenses would be 44.91%).
- food spending was actually really good this month as it includes all our christmas food and some meals out for our holiday.
- holiday money as we had a staycation for a week in the UK.
- special occasions money was all christmas presents and work christmas do’s.