Feb ’18 Income and Expenses

So February is a nice short month so in theory this should be a good month for me – the question is… was it?!


So the standard pay cheque went in – still deducting my companies share scheme which is painful but it is a long term bet so I won’t complain! I double checked back to what my income was at the start of this tax year. Worryingly what I am pulling in now is about what it was back then. That means come April when (hopefully!)  my tax code sorts itself out again I will be a little better off, but certainly shouldn’t be worse off.

The challenge for me here is that I have upped the amount I put into my rainy day funds, as well as other savings so I am worried it will be tough.

It was confirmed that I have an approximate 3% pay rise this year, which will hit in my next pay (back dated as well!) so that should be nice.

The income from my other half’s ISA was also a slow month so not a great month all round.


So – Christmas is now far behind us, so what did the month look like? Lets dig in….

Item Notes Amount
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 6%
Alcohol for home Home alcohol consumption only 2%
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. 3%
Other My catch all for anything I may have missed…. 3%
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) 45%

So although I was really worried about just how much I spent on food for home (and still not quite sure on what), my feeling was that it was not the best of months all round. Having said that, it was still a good savings rate overall just not as high as I would like. The reduced income has caused problems and the only reason that I was able to keep the GTP ISA filling up was by digging into my Cash Flow Fund (CFF).

It is worrying me that not only am I not able to build up the CFF, I am starting to drain it – I can probably only afford one or two months more of this, and I have more than that to go. This means it is going to be tough as I want to increase the amount going into ISAs but that will be a big ask.

So the general stand out for me was “groceries”. I really do not know quite how I spent so much on food. Granted there were a couple of non “food” items in there but still. Seems I just spent a lot. Oh well. I know there were some instant M&S meals in there and some fresh market and butchers meat but…

Eating out was a bit expensive as we went out for a few meals but then I do like to have some life, so I am not going to complain at that.

So I am 5% short of hitting the magic 50% – so reduce the groceries a few percentage, remove the other and reduce the alcohol and I think I could hit it. Would I be happy though, I don’t know.

Either way, 45% I don’t think is to be sniffed at!

How was your February?


Author: fireinlondon

Fighting the high cost of living in London

12 thoughts on “Feb ’18 Income and Expenses”

  1. well done. 45% is great going.
    still sorting out my own finances now ive discovered FI and looking forward to when i can get my savings rate up to those sort of figures


    1. Hi Fu Mon Chu,
      Many thanks – I am chuffed with it if I can keep it up as it will rapidly propel me to FI.
      Good on you for sorting out the finances, it takes some time and dedication (it can be a bit depressing at first!) to get it sorted. The biggest influence for me was starting to track every penny I spent – never mind budget etc. Year on year I am now watching my spending tracking, mainly as I focus on where my money goes!
      Good luck!


      1. I overspent in Feb but there was a friends birthday and I had to replace my fridge freezer again as numpty here didn’t realise some don’t work at low temperatures and I keep it in my garage. O well lesson learned. I’m really going to try and have a quieter year this year spending wise.I use moneyhub to track my spending and totted up that I spent over 70k last year which seems bonkers to me! My gross income is 90k! That did Include 20k of house renovation and 15k spent on getting my mortgage down to the magic 60%ltv. My net ‘income’ was just over 80 so I still saved a decent sum . this includes a ‘loan’ (read gift unless he really needs it) from my dad of 15k so I didn’t have to deinvest to pay the mortgage down (I rarely take money off my dad as I like to be independent but this was on the understanding I can pay him back at any time which I can and seeing as he’s just loaned 100k to my stepsister to help buy a house I didn’t feel too bad) plus contributions from better half towards holidays events etc.

        I’m considering doing the last SAYE scheme I can have which would take 250 a month out for either 3 or 5 years ( I generally to the longest to give the shares maximum time to go up). There no tax break on these so that would be 500 a month that I can’t touch. The only thought I had was the opportunity cost of not investing it straight away. I reckon our company will grow. They are cash rich even american insurance brokerage and financial services business even after buying two huge national brokers in the last two years for cash (you can probably guess from that who I work for if you know the insurance broking Industry) and have done share buy backs before which I cam see happening or rising the dividend as there’s not much left to buy tbh which . Have you any thoughts on this conundrum? It would leave me only able to contribute a few hundred a month into my Saye for a few years but then I could put some big chunks in after this


        1. Sorry I really should read comments before posting

          That should read a few hundred a month In to my s and s isa not saye


        2. One word – Enron. I would look at the overall investments you have and spread. The reason I do my companys share scheme is because within the trackers I will hold so little of their shares it is irrelevant. I intend to cash them out as soon as they vest as I also rely on my employer for my salary.
          Yes they may continue going up but you only need to look at the stories from Enron to know its not worth it. Worth reading “The Smartest Guys in the Room” to see how it all fell apart and a lot of workers lost everything


  2. O yes I’m only looking to hold until they vest then sell not hold the shares . It’s whether I put any more in than I have at the moment. I can put a max of 500 a month in. I out 250 in. Even if the company goes bust its guaranteed. I’m buying shares directly every month as well for the tax break through a scheme called sip. Its whether I’d be better placed just putting the extra 250 straight in my isa. But then I can potentially spend it. The Saye is out of sight out of mind


    1. Well you can treat your ISA the same way 🙂 It all comes down to your overall portfolio and risk appetite. I wouldnt want to have say 50%+ of my assets in the same company that was paying my salary!


      1. Yes s and s isa in theory is don’t touch. I just like the fact the Saye comes out before I get paid so you really do never see it. Its more to get my saving rate up. if it disappears before I get paid then I’ll automatically adjust my spending. The SAYE bit is guaranteed so I don’t have any worries if the company goes bust. I’d have bigger issues if it did!


  3. Congrats on the pay rise! I don’t know if I’m going to get one and if so, when…perhaps on my job anniversary and if it’s 3%, I’d be well happy!

    The company didn’t hit its targets but we’ve been told that we will be getting a bonus of sorts, likely to be 1%, which isn’t great but unexpected and better than nowt and which I intend to invest in its entirety.

    Just this weekend, I broke my self-imposed not purchasing alcohol for home consumption rule – I’d inadvertantly wandered down the alcohol aisle in Tescos and noticed that the Brewdog offer of 2 x 4 packs @ £9 was on again and I couldn’t resist! It’s going to be at least a month before my home brew will be even close to being ready – I need to stretch this purchase til then, haha!


    1. Hi Weenie,
      Thanks – yes it is still less than I would have liked but definitely better than nothing. The increase will go straight into my other half’s ISA to increase my longer term cash flow. We did miss some of our targets this year so the bonus won’t be as high as it should be, but as I got an “Above expectations” rating it means I get an improved bonus so it should hopefully about balance out. Shame, as if we have a good year I could have done VERY well out of it!
      This to me shows why even at the day job, you should put everything you can into trying to get the best out of yourself and it comes!
      A bonus of any type, even 1% is better than nothing and very wise to just invest it! Mine will probably only be in my bank account for a matter of hours before it goes into my pension!
      Sorry to hear you broke the no alcohol, but I can see why with that offer how could you resist! Well – 1 month isn’t that long, if you dont drink during the week, it’s only 4 weekends or so, make it 1 can a weekend and that’s 2 months worth!
      Reminds me – I have some beers to review from the pub crawl the other week 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, I have been working out how many cans I can have per weekend and I think I can stretch it to 2 per weekend! In the meantime, might have to crack open one of my bottles of gin! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha well that is still better self control than I would have – I went through a fair few beers and wine over the weekend, fortunately I have steered clear of the gin bottles…… so far! Good luck!

          Liked by 1 person

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