Mar ’18 Income and Expenses

So March is over, and what a March. Snow, rain sun – everything! So how did this affect the spending and income? Do you really care or are you just enjoying gawking at what is spent? 🙂


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 too loudly! I still seem to be draining my cash reserves whilst making sure that I keep the same amount going into ISAs. Another few months and the share scheme payments will cease going out and my pay should bounce back up.

To this day I still have no idea how much pay I will have in my pay cheque in April. The plus side is I got (yet another) Tax Code in the post. This is once again a different one to any I have had before so maybe I should take a bet on how long before my next Tax Code arrives….

The income from my other half’s ISA is also continuing to go up so further extra cash. It’s been a long wait to see it get to this level but it is starting become very valuable.


So – what do the finances look like?

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. 37%
Groceries All the food and other stuff needed for home 2%
Alcohol for home Home alcohol consumption only 3%
Bicycles / Car related Any costs related to either the bikes or the car 2%
Alcohol Out Generally, its the pub…. 2%
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…. 1%
Holidays Any spending related to holidays, flights etc. 5%
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) 47%

So a little extra on holidays – a friend is getting married so booked some of the bits we will need for that, but something to look forward to.

Overall things I do nothing about is dropping slightly which is good too. Not at all a bad month – my highest ever savings rate. 47%! I really am amazingly pleased with that rate – so close to 50% I want to keep pushing. My 12 month rolling average savings rate is also creeping up to 40% so I am starting to believe I may yet make this happen!

I also did some money moving around – more into my other half’s ISA, and some extra into the Go T’ Pub ISA to make the most of the allowances that I can. This continues to hammer my cash reserves – I really do need to build these up as they are lower than I am comfortable with, especially as I am pushing up the money going into ISAs I no longer have the flex I used to.

Did you manage to keep control of your budget in March?

Update: As Quitting Teaching asked how my bills are so low – I do have a small confession. I am currently using up loads of John Lewis vouchers at Waitrose that I have been stockpiling for a while. I have done 2 huge shops for food this year of which I haven’t had to pay a penny for and so don’t show up…


Author: fireinlondon

Fighting the high cost of living in London

12 thoughts on “Mar ’18 Income and Expenses”

  1. Hi,

    Congratulations on the 47% savings rate. I notice you don’t share your actual figures which is of course your prerogative, but do you think it’s easier to FIRE in London? To spend only 1% on your meals out and lunches suggests your earning a fortune!

    I guess what I’m asking is do you think the London pay : London Expenses ratio is greater than the Wycombe pay : Wycombe expenses. Obviously houses and beer are a lot more expensive in London but books on Amazon, clothes, electricity and a ford mondeo are the same price countrywide…



    1. Hi QT,
      Thanks – I was very pleased. With my change in roles I now make almost every lunch meal (and breakfast) at home, so it comes under my groceries costs hence eating out can be very low – couple with use of things like Booktable / Opentable you can get some great deals, likewise tastecard etc. I am also lucky that sometimes we have lunchtime meetings which include food 🙂
      For my line of work, London is the place to be (UK wise anyway) for potential earnings, I couldn’t earn what I do out of London. I could commute in but stuff that!
      One thing I do notice when I visit friends and family outside of London is just how cheap it can be, be it pubs, supermarkets, butchers etc.
      To me London gives the best career options, so pushing your earnings up, but also has the biggest housing costs. If you are lucky in housing (I class myself in that category) then London can be a great place to speed up FIRE, however there are just SO many temptations on offer it can be hard!
      Is that a good politicians answer – i.e. I haven’t really said 😉


        1. Yes – I am often amazed we have any public workers in London given the relatively low pay compared to house prices and other costs. I would do the same as you – live outside, and squirrel away as much as possible!


    2. I think the full range of beer prices is available nationwide. I can pay less than £3 for a cask ale in a Wetherspoons in London. Last night I paid £4.50 for a Neck Oil in a student dive bar in Glasgow.


      1. Hi Luke,
        As you say you can get a variety of prices anywhere. Round me there is nowhere to buy a pint for less than £5 sadly, but a bus ride away I can get to a spoons, however not one I would want to go in sadly!
        As I say – London can be as cheap or expensive as you make it!


  2. My. March was a great month saving wise the fact i paid for most of my 2018 holiday costs in 2017 means saved about 1700 in March despite skiing last month. Currently sat in a hotel in Paris. Drunk on wine and full of good food 😜. Also paid for mostly from last year’s budget

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi FBAB,
      Thanks for stopping by, and especially while on holiday! It is always a bonus when you get a “free” holiday like this and glad you have made some really good inroads into the savings side as well! There are definitely some good wines out there (and food!) so make the most of them!
      Btw – which is your current home country (or continent if you don’t wish to divulge that much!) – curious a to how it is working in terms of taxation, savings etc.!


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