It finally happened. The longest month of the year is DONE. Why the longest? My January started on December 21st. And although I budget for the whole month and whole year, it just feels like a never-ending stick-to-the-budget battle.
But – I survived, just about. Here is how my budget actually looked like line by line.
Income: I made my usual salary, I got paid rent and then I made random £13.95 on eBay.
Expenses: I paid both my mortgages. My smaller mortgage will be £1 cheaper as of February and this is because my fixed term deal changed and I switched to a new one which is marginally cheaper. No changes in council tax, I didn’t pay a penny towards the quarterly gas & electricity costs and there was nothing to pay for the annual water bill.
My travel card looks ridiculously expensive because I bought an annual one instead of monthly one. The prices go up on a yearly basis across the UK and it made a lot more sense for both my partner and me to change to annual cards on 2018 rate of £1960 (we bought them at the end of December) instead of 2019 rate. For zones 1-4 2019 annual cost is cost £2020, monthly cost is £194. Since we bought ours at £1960 for the whole year, there is a small saving there. Also, we used my boyfriend’s Amex to get the air miles for our next longer trip. Don’t worry, we paid it off right away too.
Moving into variable expenses, my ‘travel other’ which covers all travel expenses outside of the travel card was £52.50 over budget. This is because we ended up booking the hotel for our next trip a little earlier than planned as it went on sale in January.
My broadband was spot on, mobile phone ended up being slightly cheaper than I usually budget for. Cats care costs came in under the usual £60 at just £25.75, mainly because their food somehow got bundled up with our groceries. I ended up not shopping sales at all, leaving £50 in my budget. Going out budget got blown out of the water with £100 planned and actual spend of £202.43. This category has been consistently above £100 for few months now, so maybe it’s time to review it.
Groceries and household came in just under budget at £116.90 of £120.
The second MASSIVE overspend happened in the beauty/personal care department. I usually budget £30-50, which os sufficient per month. In January however, I paid forward the cost of full length of my dental treatment and it came to £2060. if it wasn’t for that, my actual spend would have been closer to £25.
Overall I came in £2,007.89 over budget. If I kept the money in the bank, my budget would have resulted in coming £52.11 under my income. I did of course have the money put aside for Invisalign but I actually did not want to exclude it form this budget because it was not planned for this month initially.
February is somewhat calmer in terms of big expenses (none planned), travel (only one non-overnight trip planned out of London) and just life. But as I say that, you know, famous last words, so who knows what will actually happen!