July was a highlight month for us as we went away on a much needed relaxing holiday. I feel lots better after downing tools for a week, which I’m glad about because all of my tiredness/exhaustion is just down to work and not something health related. Depressing but also a motivator to keep on saving towards financial independence.
Other highlights in july were enjoying the lovely summer weather with dinner al fresco in the park, a theatre trip with family and getting a bonus at work! My line of work doesn’t really produce many bonus opportunities but at my current organisation, we are awarded a bonus if we’re rated exceeds in our annual performance review. I found out in june I was awarded exceeds but wasn’t sure how much my bonus would be until my july paycheck. I ended up with £1447 before tax which is going straight into the house savings! We will also post the bonus in our august budget so our savings rate in august should be great!
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.
We’ve switched our focus now to our Gold Amex as we put a preeeettty large purchase on it, which brings us within a few hundred pounds of the bonus 10,000 Amex reward points which we’ll convert to Avios. Normal service will resume on the BA Premier Amex next month.
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)||£1840.00|
|Utilities (electricity, water, tv, music, mobile phones, broadband, cloud storage)||£182.87|
|Food (groceries, household goods, food out (work lunch & eating out)||£506.16|
|Personal spending (own money, haircut, work clothes)||£373.95|
|Transport - train (commuting)||£161.10|
|Transport - car (petrol, parking fees & tolls, car tax)||£40.46|
|Misc spending (incl health spending)||£266.23|
Total £7,894.69 (£3,469.37 excluding holiday) || Savings rate 7.53%*
*(excludes passive income)
notes on july
- yes our holiday was expensive and yes, we give zero fucks – it was amazing.
- personal spending includes an upcoming trip in September for Mr NC.
- grocery shopping was lower for july as we were away for a week, however, we still spent less than £100 a week which is our ballpark target. £100 a week is high but we eat organic meat and I can’t eat refined carbs (like pasta), so cheap and easy pasta dinners are out for us unfortunately.
- our spending in july 2018 was £4,870.27, with a savings rate of 32%. If you take our holiday out of this months spend as it’s an irregular expense, then we spent £3,469.37 which is a great reduction over last july!