It’s the 1st of March as I type this post up and honestly, I am feeling a bit meh. It’s cold outside, colder than it was for the last couple of days, the sun is not shining and I’ve just sifted through all my February expenses. And the bad part? The best part of my February expenses was actually spent at the end of January. I tell you, meh. At least I made some extra money, and I’ll tell you all about it now.
Let me stop moping around and get to the point.
My usual work income was…usual. It is going to go down slightly because I am bumping up my pension contributions for the coming months from 5.45% to 10%. Until the new tax thresholds come into effect in April I expect to bring home £140 or thereabouts less in exchange for quite a bit more pre-tax. I also cashed in the usual £400 on rent which was paid to me early and ended up being mainly spent in Porto at the end of January. I also made £129.60 cat sitting via Cat in a Flat website (not affiliated) and another £100 by switching my mortgage to a cheaper deal with a £100 cashback – with the same provider, the whole switch took 2 minutes. I’ll explain this in another blog post.
Onto my expenses:
I paid the mortgage as usual, there was no council tax due for this month (if you pay by direct debit, you’ll end up with 10 payments covering 12 months). My gas and electricity bill was a whooping £208.20, which I split with my boyfriend resulting in an equal share of £104.10.
The ‘Travel other’ category covered the remainder of my Porto spending, flights booking for a week in Istanbul in the summer and train tickets to Basingstoke to visit the indoor skydiving centre. The category came in £343.45 over budget.
My mobile phone bill was marginally over budget. I also budgeted £20 as my share of the new broadband + installation cost and with the bill being £40 total, this was accurate for my half. Our next month’s bill will be £25, slightly cheaper to the previous £27.49 with an upgrade to a fibreoptic connection from a standard line.
I was £25.43 over in restaurants budget – I took a friend out on a whim for an inexpensive dinner which was definitely worth majority of this small sum. I was also £14.95 over on groceries and household goods – now that I am baking a lot more it turns out the cost of ingredients really takes a toll of my monthly budget. Now that I think about it, March with boyfriend’s parents coming over might be a bit more expensive restaurants wise. Truth be told, it’s only the 1st today and I’m already £24.50 down following a team lunch.
Finally, I was not planning on spending anything in my personal money/beauty/presents category but I ended up spending a bit on some cosmetics which I don’t share with my partner and a bunch of books, resulting in £68.03 overspend. I am being wiser in March and putting some money into this category. I’ll also toot my own horn here – I’ve just realised that I haven’t really been shopping for clothes at all in the last two months.
My total balance ended up being £452.14 over my anticipated spending. Compared to ridiculous December and January, this was not all bad. And oh, I did pay another £501 overpayment towards my mortgage even though I started the year with the intention to slow-pay that debt.
Now onto savings, which I don’t always disclose.
Despite my massive overspend, I still managed to put £250 away into a high interest ‘bonus’ saver with my bank, £100 into investment portfolio and another £1102 into an ISA. All my pension savings were sent off pre-tax hence they are not shown in this savings breakdown. My bonus saver (at 5% per annum) expires at the end of May leaving me free to consider changing banks without loosing that 5% interest. If I see any good deals then, will be sure to let you know.
Have you reconciled your February budget yet?