November flew by starting with a bang with a wonderful fireworks display. We then had a glorious 10 days away from home with a little staycation in the UK. Initially, it was meant to be a long weekend but we felt like we needed a bit more of a time out and so we extended it to 10 days. Yes, we went over our initial budget for the long weekend but all told, it didn’t really do that much damage. Which I say from the position of having no debt and a healthy savings account – I definitely don’t advocate for unplanned for spending! We had a quiet end to the month and looking back at our spending, nothing was out of control high. I left it until the last day to begin the festive shopping but that gets put against our December spending so we’ll see that next month.
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.
I am so far loving my Nectar Amex, I am wracking up so many Nectar points! We’ll use these points for our weekly shop and put the cash we would’ve used into savings. We’re slowly inching towards our savings goal to buy a house and so every penny helps!
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 (when our Amex isn’t accepted in some places). 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 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)||£1761.00|
|Utilities (electricity, water, tv, music, mobile phones, broadband, cloud storage)||£184.35|
|Food (groceries, household goods, food out (work lunch & eating out)||£615.21|
|Personal spending (own money, haircut, work clothes)||£184.09|
|Transport - train (commuting)||£188.20|
|Transport - car (petrol, parking fees & tolls, car tax)||£122.36|
|Misc spending (incl health spending)||£81.20|
Total £4,247.68 | Savings rate 47.86%*
*(excludes passive income)
notes on november
- Taking our holiday spending out of the equation, it was an uneventful month, which is always a good thing!