You can tell how busy I am at work by the fact it’s reached almost the middle of October before I’ve had time to sit and write our spending report for September. Looking back, it was a busy month that saw me run a race, go see a live podcast recording, view some houses (I already hate the process) and go away for work. It ended up being a bit spendy and mostly on food as my work trip turned into an extra couple of days away which I couldn’t expense for. But still, it was a good month all told.
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 hit the target for our companion voucher right at the very end of the month, so we are all systems go on using points/companion voucher for our big holiday in 2021, which we’ll book in 2020 as soon as the reward flights come on sale for where we want to go. We don’t know where that’ll be yet but I know we’ll get there in style!
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)||£170.78|
|Food (groceries, household goods, food out (work lunch & eating out))||£631.07|
|Personal spending (own money, haircut, work clothes, hobbies)||£436.13|
|Transport - train (commuting)||£197.90|
|Transport - car (petrol, parking fees & tolls)||£59.17|
Total £3,514.63 || Savings rate 47%*
*(excludes passive income)
notes on september
- september 2018 spending was £7,924, which included our 2 week holiday. If you discount that, we spent £3530.78, so we’re down again for year on year spending which is great! Only just but I’ll take it!
- we pre-bought a few upcoming things for December including a Chrtistmas outing with my friends and a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, so our personal spending was a bit higher this month, reflecting this.
- groceries still feels pretty consistent and I’m working hard to keep it that way – it takes a lot of planning and tight control to not go crazy with food shopping but I’m happy to do it as I can’t justify a super huge grocery bill just for the two of us.