So it feels like an age since my December pay cheque landed and January has felt very tight indeed – including finishing with 39p in my bank account! There was also some fallout from Christmas and before which hit, but I will go into more detail below.
So my pay to cover January (and for the next 6 months) has taken a hit. My company has started a running of a Share scheme, which of course I have taken out as its pretty much a no brainer (although some currency risk). This means that I have taken a pay cut this month and through to May, reducing my income by approximately 8%. I have purposely not changed any of my direct debits to force my savings higher.
Whilst in theory this is great, it does make life very difficult in terms of cash to survive the month – my cash flow fund is getting hit and not going up which isn’t good.
So this is going to be painful. The fallout from Christmas has now finished through the wash, and I have had to take a hit this month but it is now out in the balance.
|Things I choose not to avoid*||Mortgage, Insurance, shared bills etc. – yes, we could move somewhere cheaper, not have insurance, reduce our bills a bit and so on, but we are where we are.||39%|
|Groceries||All the food and other stuff needed for home||4%|
|Alcohol for home||Home alcohol consumption only||0%|
|Bicycles / Car related||Any costs related to either the bikes or the car||1%|
|Alcohol Out||Generally, its the pub….||1%|
|Eating Out||I include purchased lunches in this as well as meals out etc.||1%|
|Other||My catch all for anything I may have missed….||10%|
|Holidays||Any spending related to holidays, flights etc.||0%|
|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)||44%|
So there we have it. Looking back and at just how low I managed to keep my standard spending which explains why I managed to keep the savings rate so high. I also doubled the funds going into my rainy day fund to help force the savings.
The reality is my Cash Flow Fund took a hit to keep my GTP ISA going up.
So, apart from keeping my alcohol and food bills to an absolute minimum (including making my own lunches, reducing my transport costs, the only thing that was a big hit was the Other category).
The Other category basically caught everything, and allowed me to balance out the residue from November / December. I’ve been back through all my receipts, visa bills and everything and I am still struggling to find out where this all came from. The whole 10% is basically stuff I am struggling to work out how I spent it as it seems that I have counted everything already. Visa bills match receipts, there are no errors or fraud on my account so there we go.
Oh well, a very tight start to the year and no savings benefit from it. The flip side is I made it, so hopefully February will mean that I can actually drive my savings up and have a little more of a life than I did in January, with only 1 day out!
How was your January?