October is done with more money in the savings account – the forward march of savings progress is always a happy event! I finally got my pay rise at work, which was dismal but it was backdated to April so a welcome little extra in this month’s payslip. We did OK in October – spent more than we’d like to in some categories but less in others which equals itself out with no overall budget overs. We also side hustled our behinds off in October which I don’t count in our overall savings rate as that’s just on earned income (we count side hustles as passive income – don’t ask me why as we could legitimately count it as earned income but that’s just what category it’s in in our budget :)) but it’s still a few extra hundred pounds that’s gone straight in the savings. Our side hustles came from matched betting, selling a couple of bigger items (DSLR camera and golf clubs), a TopCashback withdrawal, survey money and a market research session that paid me £50 for an hour of my time. Side hustles can be a bit hit and miss and we don’t necessarily have an amount we want to hit each month, we just take opportunities as we see them.
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 have switched up our credit card situation this month and taken out a Nectar Amex (with £30 cashback of course!). You get 20,000 bonus Nectar points after spending £2,000 on the card in 3 months which won’t be hard for us. We already have £50 in Nectar points in our account and so all Nectar points we get with this card will go to pay for our weekly shops and the money we don’t spend on these weekly shops will go to our travel savings fund. Credit card churning for rewards is so much harder in the UK than the US but we’re determined to do what we can! And with no supermarkets near us but a Sainsbury’s, I’ll exploit those Nectar points for all they’re worth!
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)||£1,761.00|
|Utilities (electricity, water, tv, music, mobile phones, broadband, cloud storage)||£179.75|
|Food (groceries, household goods, food out (work lunch & eating out)||£723.04|
|Personal spending (own money, haircut, work clothes)||£335.29|
|Transport - train (commuting)||£205.00|
|Transport - car (petrol, parking fees & tolls, car tax)||£56.99|
|Misc spending (incl health spending)||£254.59|
Total £3,661.21 || Savings rate 49.2%*
*(excludes passive income)
notes on october
- I bulk bought the rest of the supplements I need for the rest of the year which is why the misc spending category is high this month.
- The train commuting was back up this month as Mr. NC has a leg injury which has meant he has to stop cycling to work until it’s healed.