April ’18 Income and Expenses

Firstly, apologies for the slow progress on posting of late. Fortunately the NHS at its best has helped once again, so things can (hopefully!) get back to normal!

So its that time of the month again when my salary hits and it’s time to review what I have spent my hard earned cash on, and where I could have done better. It felt like a very tight month and that I was having to carefully watch every single penny


So as always I had my steady Salary drop into my bank account, always nice. I get a new tax code for next months income (as I do trailing income), and only a couple more pay cheques with my share scheme contributions coming out. I don’t include any of my personal ISA dividends in my income statement, that is just part of the growth of those portfolios.

The income thrown off by my other half is steadily increasing and starting to make a noticeable impact on my monthly income. It has taken almost 3 years to get this stage, but shows it is worth it!

So, steady as she goes on income.


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.  34%
Groceries All the food and other stuff needed for home  4%
Alcohol for home Home alcohol consumption only 5%
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….  2%
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)  50%

* 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.

So this was the first month of not paying out for insurance which is reflected in the lower “do nothing about” costs. We have also switched energy providers, however this won’t impact on the savings as we will continue to put the same amount into our joint account, it will just go on something else.

The Other and Eating Out were a bit higher than anticipated as we had friends over and took them out (they aren’t English) so a little more expense than planned.

The Groceries were quite high, and this excludes the “free” shopping I have been doing with some gift cards, so a little work to be done there.

Also the alcohol out was a touch more than I had planned, as there was an offer on at Majestic. Naughty Majestic for tempting me like that!

Lastly…. savings rate…. 50%!!!!! I really can’t believe it, I thought that would be an impossible rate and I am REALLY happy with this. The downside is that I have realised whilst my share scheme contributions go out I am burning through cash reserves to keep the money going into ISAs at their levels.

I have made next month an even bigger challenge as I have increased the amount going into my other half’s ISA to cover the cancelled insurance. I chose this rather than an IT at present as it means I get cash flow sooner. Once my share scheme finishes I will consider redirecting some of that into my ISA – although at that level I may just put more into VWRL and not separate it out, keep things simple!

How was your April?



Author: fireinlondon

Fighting the high cost of living in London

13 thoughts on “April ’18 Income and Expenses”

  1. Ola from spain FIL!

    Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell? Hope you are fully recovered.

    Well done on the saving rate. Ive been looking at your saving rate in more detail

    So you don’t include company pension contributions but do include SAYE contributions in your number? And it’s % of take home pay?

    My 36% is if gross pay and includes my company pension including their contribution so my saving rate is no where near yours. I suspect its cars and holidays that are the difference. Once my csr goes next year my saving amount will take a hit but my saving rate will go up about 15%.

    My grandad passed away last month (don’t sorry he had dementia and was 88 so was a blessing). Hes apparently left me something, no idea how much yetcould be very little could be alot. Will fill my isa this year at least and my need to set up some non isa investments. I do also want a new kitchen and will need to set aside some cash for a second hand car next year. I will definitely downsize from my current car but looking at the escape artist list of sensible cars i cant see me in any of those (i know in my head i should concentrate on the end game but my car and my house are two areas i struggle with)
    I will probably compromise and get a three year old merc c class or seat or something


    1. Hi FBA,
      Glad to hear you have (I hope it is!) holiday – and are enjoying it? Thanks – well they dont know what it is so continue to monitor and see what happens.

      Yes, for my savings rate I don’t include my company pension, nor do I include the tax uplift on the money I put in my private pension, nor the SAYE. The savings rate is purely my money that hits my bank account at the end of the month.
      Yes probably the two as I spend virtually nothing on cars, and holidays are pretty cheap at the minute (I’ve been cutting back, although I enjoy them I wanted to make fast inroads into my investments) – I may use the GTP ISA or my other half’s ISA to start paying for holidays in the not too distant future, but I will see.

      Sorry to hear about your granddad regardless of the circumstances, but as you say a blessing given his circumstances… and something is always better than nothing, it is a case of what you want to do with it – for example you could put it all in your ISA (depending on the amount of course!) in something like an IT, and then watch it grow over the years, or use the income it generates to pay for things – an inheritance that keeps on giving!

      We are lucky when we moved it was a new build so nothing has needed doing but soon it will, and the savings rate will take a hit then, but I can see the car would need some work. I am not one for extreme frugality to be honest – it depends how often you use the car. I know if and when I can afford it I will buy myself a posh car (think Aston or Ferrari) but – it will need to not affect my regular life!
      Not a bad car, and at the minute you can pick some of the second hand cars up relatively cheaply, ultimately every person is different and you need to do what you want.
      No point buying a car you will always be p!ssed off with!

      Enjoy the sun, sangria and sand 🙂


  2. Yes holiday. A frugal holiday to my dad’s apartment. 35 quid each return easyjet flights and 100 car hire. I did end up buying some clothes to leave out here but the markets have been kind this last week haven’t they so i can afford it😉

    Yes i was considering putting some of the inheritance in something a bit jt more ‘stable’ as id like to do the kitchen but don’t really want to hold that much cash. Id considered one of the safer p2p but they never feel that safe even for short term

    Without asking for specific advice (which i know you don’t give) Is there any other shorter terms 3-5 years i could consider as im 100%lifestrategy equities atm.was thinking a less volatile investment trust or possibly gilts or bonds but need to do more research. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if it tanked i could just wait to redecorate.


    1. Hi FBA,
      Haha nice – and not at all bad, so why the heck not! These are the types of holidays that really rock – you rest up enjoy AND it doesn’t cost a fortune!

      Personally I don’t do P2P as I find it a little more effort/risk than I am willing to do under the circumstances… the challenge with 3-5 years is that the stock market is volatile, so you could end up with bad timing having only half the amount you put in.

      As you say, I don’t do advice, and you have to make your mind up. I think for me it would come down to partly how much it is. I’m not a fan of long term cash accounts as at some point (surely!) interest rates will rise. You could set yourself some parameters, such as buy X (e.g. 100%LS as you say), and take the cash it generates and say once that, and the increase pays for the kitchen, then do the kitchen, leaving you with the original amount still invested for the long term.

      The only thing I have put in for potential shorter term is the GTP Stock ISA (CTY) and mentally told myself if I have to sell thats life, part of the experiment, so you could do something like that, reinvesting the dividends.

      It’s a tricky one as it comes down (to me anyway) on your mental approach to it as well – can you fire and forget and not worry if its worth less, do you have to do the kitchen then, would you be happy to wait a few years more if the worst happens etc. etc.

      A lot to think about and huge numbers of variables 🙂 I set my other halfs ISA that I pay into up to keep paying out to me so I constantly improve my cash flow, this means I can start paying for larger and larger “one offs” as they come out from re-earned income, and using the GTP VWRL I have mentally told myself I can spend the income (although so far havent) which helps 🙂

      Not sure that really answers your question though!


  3. Ps the one i was considering was Scottish investment Trust. Like i say not an issue if i need to wait a bit longer for the kitchen 😉


        1. Well past performance is no guarantee of future 😉 I used it because of its reputation – its yield is low at the minute but the capital gains have been good so I have been very happy. I chose CTY for my cash because of the quarterly payments to try and up it over cash.
          With SMT they hold a lot of tech stocks from memory at the minute, so again depends on your view, for me with most ITs they look longer term than the funds, so I am happy to put cash in and wait for a decade (think Woodford and Downing micro), so I am a little against the new ones at the minute, but these are certainly good performance so far!
          I think I am up something like 30% in a few years with SMT so I will be buying a little more each year!


        2. Yeah I’ll do some research. I had considered your plan for using the ‘income’ or capital gains to pay which is what i do for holidays etc (i generate about 2500k a year in dividends and interest)

          But the kitchen will be tens of thousands so this might be a bit of a stretch!


        3. The ultimate in delayed gratification? 😉 It’s slow going building up those dividends for sure but they do get quicker and quicker if you keep reinvesting / maximising the tax sheltering etc…


        4. Yeah i know you’re right…. But the shiny cookers and granite worktops are calling me

          Hopefully dear old grandad has left me about 100 grand and i can do both 😉


        5. Nah ive had my time of silly cars. Ultimately i found it wasnt worth the money. When i think of escape artists point that every 500 is worth 22,500 after 40 years. Ive had 6 years of more than that every month
          It was fun to do and i need a reasonable car for seeing clients and do 15000 miles a year but no way am I going to get something so silly again. I may continue to lease for a bit longer depending on funds available but for at least half what i pay now


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