November 2016 Income and Expenses

So, my very first report on my months expenses and income. I am so not looking forward to this, and you will see why below, but hey, best to be honest from the start and see how it is. I would like to say next month will be better but I know it wont, its Christmas, and we have a lot on in December – but that’s next month. I think this month can be summed up in two words.


If I could work out how to make it flash red, I would have done that as well. So lets get into the details and see just how badly wrong things went.


So, the income front was steady with the same salary landing in my bank account as always. I don’t include any income generated by my savings vehicles that don’t go into my current accounts, so the only other item coming in was a very small tickle from my other half’s ISA – which went straight off the mortgage. There is something comforting about the same amount of cash hitting the bank each month!


So, this personal finance and Retire Early stuff… it’s spend less than you earn.




There were a number of large one off’s that came up in the month that I wasn’t expecting, but then this is exactly why I tuck away a small amount into an emergency fund, to cover these large unexpected one off’s. The amount column is the percentage of my monthly income I spent on the item(s).

Item Notes Amount
Things I choose not to avoid* Mortgage, Insurance, bills, travel card etc. – yes, we could move somewhere cheaper, not have insurance, reduce our bills a bit and so on, but we are where we are.


Groceries All the food and other stuff needed for home – my spreadsheet still says Food for Home but that’s because I am too lazy to change everything


Alcohol for home Home alcohol consumption only. Please don’t judge 🙂


Bicycles / Car related Any costs related to either the bikes or the car (car insurance and MOT come out of the first item, of things I choose not to avoid, so generally its just the fuel)


Alcohol Out Generally, its the pub…. but it could be wine at a restaurant if i do split the bill out


Eating Out I include purchased lunches in this as well as meals out etc.


Other My catch all for anything I may have missed….


Holidays Any spending related to holidays, flights etc.


Savings Anything left over! This includes money into ISAs, mortgage payments and non relief pension contributions. My company pension comes out before it hits my bank account so isn’t included, nor do I include the “top up” of money when my money goes into my personal pension (i.e. I put in £100, I register it as £100, not the £125 that gets credited in my pension). Its worth noting that my pension savings and other half’s ISA savings go regardless.


* This covers a number of things that I would class as essential for me. Yes, I could move to somewhere cheaper to reduce the mortgage (which in turn would reduce the insurance I have to pay), yes I could reduce my bills by switching energy supplier etc. but it comes down to what I am happy with. There are a few other things in there that are classified as essential that others may object, and so I have just lumped it into there.

The Details

So what to make of all this? Firstly, the big “Other” number is not things I expect to have to shell out on again, for at least 10 years, if not longer – possibly ever. The Holiday spending was paying for an entire ski chalet for our group, so I will recoup this in other ways when I am away, so I think of it as a down payment on my holiday!

Both the alcohol (in and out from home) and the food are higher than average, but I tend to do “splurges” where I do big shops and stock the freezers up for food.

Technically my numbers show 0 saved, however this isn’t quite true. Regardless of spending, my direct debits go into my other half’s ISA, and my personal pension, but I like to report from a cash flow perspective, so in effect I took money out of my emergency fund to keep my investments adding up. It works for me, but not for everyone.

So, not really a great start to a personal finance blog, showing how I spent so much more than I earned but this is exactly why you should have some cash in the bag for an emergency. If that money hadn’t been put away we wouldn’t have been able to do it – or worse, taken an overdraft / credit card bill etc. to cover them.

According to my spreadsheet nothing has changed as I don’t include my emergency cash, so it’s quite nice that nothing changes!

One final note and a plus side for me is that the mortgage over payments are starting to bear some fruit. We took a 5 year fix, and if we were to remortgage on exactly the same terms (duration, interest etc.), then I have knocked my payments down to the next rounding point (i.e. £50 less per month). This shows what difference those little extra bits soon add up to.


Author: fireinlondon

Fighting the high cost of living in London

5 thoughts on “November 2016 Income and Expenses”

  1. Hey FiL

    Just realised that I’ve missed your recent posts – I thought I’d added your blog to the blogtracker I use but obviously not!

    The ‘Epic Fail’ is a little harsh – I’d say ‘room for improvement’! 😉

    “Alcohol for home” – I’ve run out of homebrew and my next batch is unlikely to be ready until the new year. I’ve seen my ‘grocery’ bill go up as I’ve been buying for home consumption… Need to organise my brewing better so I never have to run out!

    Interesting about you saving ‘0’ vs your income yet were able to continue the flow of investments ticking over using your emergency fund. I understand the priority of continuing to keep the investments going. With me being unemployed in the new year, I know that I’m going to have to continue to invest ‘something’, even if it’s not the same amount as usual.

    Thanks and well done on posting your first expenses and income report!


    1. No problem at all, promise I wont take it personally!

      haha you are too soft – I think if I was a little overspent I would say room for improvement, but definately a fail 😉

      Heh – the alcohol for home, I tried home brew once and it didnt work well so I dont bother – I do like my beer, wine and spirits so I do buy them in. Its a pleasure and not something I am willing to give up – yes it means I will take longer to reach FI but I can live with that!

      Yes – its not something I would always do – in your circumstances (and in the past when I have been between jobs) I would probably stay on the side of caution, but it really comes down to personal choice – I want to keep ticking things in and I know my salary will hit soon so I can start recovering the cash (I Hope!)

      Thanks – I hope Decembers is a bit better than this month, although with all the food it still wont be a great one!


  2. Wahey. Starting with a bang, I like it. The only way is up as they say!

    You’ve made me feel better about our negative savings last month so thanks and for “big up” for getting your figures out there.
    Looking back I kinda wished I’d done mine all in percentage terms but that cat is well and truly out the bag now so not worth changing.

    Hope the FI London meet was good last night and hope to see the crew in the new year!

    Merry Xmas!



    1. Hi TFS,

      Well if it gets worse I will be in serious trouble 🙂

      I was torn between doing actuals and percentages but went with percentages to keep a little bit of mystery 🙂

      The FI meet up was great fun as always, and looking forward to the next one, hope you feel better soon, and a very happy Christmas!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: