1. Portfolio Value and Net Worth as it stood at the end of the previous month
2. Income, Expenses and Savings achieved for the previous month
3. My Investing Choice for the previous month's savings
This post covers point 2 above: Income, Expenses and Savings achieved.
Income - Mar 2016
This is likely to be the last month I'll benefit from cashback for my direct debits from the Santander 1|2|3 account* (£12.10), because I'm changing banks in order that money in my current account can be offset against our new mortgage as we move house.
It's another nice month for interest at £37.53 which is due to the fact that I had the profit from my flat sale sat in my account until it was transferred to my ISA.
Income was further supplemented by an expense that I'd previously forgotten to withdraw from my Company account to cover costs associated with office working from home (£208). I also sold my fitbit on Ebay in February and withdrew the money from my Paypal account in March.
My monthly income target (as noted in my FIRE Targets for 2016) is set at £3,332 per month, which I've easily managed to achieve with £256.30 to spare - mostly thanks to the business expense repayment.
* The Santander 1|2|3 account offers 3% AER (variable) interest when the balance on the account is above £3,000 (on balances up to £20,000) as well as cash back for selected monthly direct debits (1% for water, council tax and Santander mortgage; 2% for gas & electricity; 3% for mobile, phone, tv & broadband). More details and the terms and conditions about the product are available on the Santander website. This is not a referral or affiliate link, this is provided purely for information purposes only.
Expenses - Mar 2016
Points of note this month:
- No council tax again because it's paid over 10 months rather than 12 by direct debit (not sure why, Councils seem to work it out this way for some reason)
- I needed to pay the garage to fix and replace some of the wheel bolts on my car this month - I discovered they'd gone bad when I took my car to have the tyre replaced due to a flat a couple of months ago, this is exactly the sort of thing my Savings Stash is for (phew!)
- My grocery bill was about £100 more in March than I spent in February, I need to keep an eye on this moving forward - it would be nice to try to keep this cost down a bit if I can. Part of the reason for the extra cost was because I hosted a Ladies Dinner and Film evening at mine, this is a monthly thing I do with 4 of my family/friends, so every 5-6 months it's my turn to host
- March was a busier month for me entertainment wise, we took Mum out for a nice Mother's Day lunch, I had a trip to Cardiff visiting a friend and I went out for St. Patrick's Day with friends
- My Savings Stash covers birthday and Easter expenses. I also used it to get a certificate for my gas appliances which I needed for my house sale
- My cash spend was the same as last month at £40
SAVINGS STASH VERSUS MONTHLY INCOME
Here's the split of how my expenses were covered from my Savings Stash (highlighted in yellow above) and from my monthly income:
Savings - Mar 2016
Subtracting my March expenses (excluding expenses covered by the Savings Stash) from my income for the month I can see what I've got left to save into my Savings Stash and Freedom Kitty:
The overall percentage of my income I've been able to save is 50.01%, that feels like a pretty solid savings rate again this month.
As I mentioned last month, the savings rate I'm really interested in is the amount going into the Freedom Kitty which is what will fund me in the 7 years between becoming financially independent at age 50 and being able to withdraw my personal pension at age 57. At 26.47% the Freedom Kitty rate is lower than I achieved last month (31.46%), but I'm not going to worry about it too much because I was only £50 short of my £1,000 monthly target for savings into my Freedom Kitty.
My Savings Stash usage looks like this for the month:
As well as the usual money in and out, I decided to shift some of my emergency funds from the Savings Stash to my Freedom Kitty so that I could take full advantage of my ISA allowance for the 2015/2016 tax year, you can see this reflected in the table as the £1,123 out.
Well, after my second month of tracking my income, expenses and savings rate I'm feeling pretty pleased with how things are going. On the whole I think I've managed to keep my expenses reasonably low (low for my normal spend rate anyway) and now that I have made a plan for how to get to FI it's really nice to document how I'm getting on with achieving it on this blog.
Did you have any last minute dashes to shift money around for the tax year end? Did you fill your ISA allowance? This is the very first year I've ever filled my ISA allowance and I have to say, it feels good!