March savings update

So now for the part that feels like finding a document on the printer at work that you weren’t meant to see…my March spending and savings update!

Spending

Here are my numbers:

So as you can see I track my expenses and to do that I am using the Emma finance app which links all my accounts and categorises expenses automatically. It’s great and I don’t need to spend much time to make this chart (Excel). I just copy the figures out the app.

The problem areas I always find are eating out (which I include going to the pub, daily lunches, coffees and dining out) and entertainment. Hell, socialising is important to me and that’s fine. I feel like other FI bloggers spend hardly anything in this category and I have felt bad sometimes about my spending in this category. These categories don’t seem that bad this month although we had my girlfriend’s parents visiting so ended out going out for dinner a lot more.

My groceries are also up as I think I bought more food to feed 4 mouths. Also, as of late in this Covid-19 world, I’m tending to shop more at M+S food as this actually has stock most of the time! It has also gone up because we are both staying at home and cooking every meal at home, whereas before I’d always eat lunch at work (which has a subsided canteen).

Now the lockdown is on I think that some savings will be made in the eating out, entertainment and transport sections.

Expenses include business expenses and contributions for groceries from my gf.

Income

I had a few unusual ‘windfalls’ in Feb and Mar. I cashed in some matched betting accounts as I only did it once but it totalled about £230. I also got £250 from interactive investor for moving my SIPP to them which was invested in my ISA.

Savings

I realised this month that I’ve been calculating my savings rate wrong so I’ve fixed it. I’ve also backdated the change throughout the previous year. In the expenses above, the income is from what lands in my account and that was the figure I was using for salary here. I realised that as I take 14% out of my salary for my pension that I need to include that in the salary figure I used to work out my after-tax income. So that is why it is higher here than in the spending above. This may still be wrong but it makes sense.

I include the tax deduction I get from saving my pension as income as it is after-tax. I will claim this as a tax refund at the end of the tax year as this is how my company runs their pension fund. I would love to have salary sacrifice for that purpose.

I also have a new category which is money that remains in my current account as I have not been tracking that. probably because historically, there never was any left at the end of the month! It counts as savings for that month. It also will let me work out what I can chuck into the ISA once Covid is done (I know I still have a job). That is calculated from the spending balance above minus what I invest in savings and my ISA.

So yes, this is overly complicated. The good news is Feb and March have been very good savings wise! Well done me. 60% and 70% savings respectively. That’s the highest rate I’ve ever achieved. (I thought I’d achieved 85% previously, but now with the new way of calculation, that was incorrect).

I should note, that the total invested line is not a sum of the above. I don’t add the pension total on as this is for my information.

It sort of makes up for the disastrous start to the year where I felt I was spending too much. I don’t feel like I’m doing enough saving into the S+S ISA. I have chosen to prioritise the pension for now as I get 40% tax deduction.

For now I’m focusing on cash savings as I’m worried about losing my job!

Stay safe, everyone!

4 thoughts on “March savings update

  1. Thank you for sharing your personal insights about budgeting! Not many bloggers are able to do it nowadays.
    I also loved how well you are able to express your opinions- so clear and effective.
    I wouldn’t wanna miss your future articles so I have decided to follow your blog. 🙂

  2. Nice savings rate! Definitely don’t sweat the ‘eating out’ category. You’ll drive yourself crazy comparing to others, and you have to be careful not to deprive yourself by being too frugal, especially since your income certainly supports your current spending habits. At least you know there is room to cut back if that became necessary.

  3. Surely eating out is going to take a nosedive this month? Or do you include takeaways in that figure as well? My food shopping has gone up- due to cooking way more at home, but also because supermarkets have put prices up and got rid of 241 etc. Still, I’m sure there are savings to be had there in the long run (and probably healthier too)

    1. One would hope so! Haven’t eaten out for about 3 weeks now. I rarely order takeaway and I cook most meals at home but I never bother with lunches. Also, going to pub is a big cost I include in there 😂.

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