October seems to have passed by in a flash! It was a lovely month celebrating some family birthdays. Work was crazy busy though, so I struggled through the month, thinking about what we’re trying to do with financial independence and thinking that one day I can just celebrate special occasions without the work exhaustion. We’ve had some pretty big expenses which is reflected in our monthly spending total – some of this was birthday celebrations, but some was connected to putting an offer in on a house! I won’t be talking a lot about the house here as there’s still a long way to go & I’m superstitious and don’t want to jinx anything. When it’s all wrapped up though, I will do a full post on how much we spent on the process. Let’s just say it’s not cheap!
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 and averaging about 2,100-2,300 Avois points per month. We’re now over 150,000 Avios points and hoping to get to over 200,000 by the time we book our companion voucher flight.
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)||£172.45|
|Food (groceries, household goods, food out (work lunch & eating out))||£667.27|
|Personal spending (own money, haircut, work clothes, hobbies)||£118.51|
|Transport - train (commuting)||£215.50|
|Transport - car (petrol, parking fees & tolls)||£469.35|
Total £5,132.75 || Savings rate 39.68%*
*(excludes passive income)
notes on october
- october 2018 spending was £3,661.21. Definitely didn’t under spend this month compared to last year!!
- utilities was higher this month as we purchased our annual home insurance policy
- special occasions reflects the fun we had celebrating birthdays. Value based spending is where it’s all about!