It’s time again for me to share with you our monthly budget report. Can you believe it’s now February? I’m sure time moves faster as we get older!
From a financial point of view, January can be a difficult month. Excesses in Christmasspending and a spike in credit card borrowing can leave many people feeling the pinch when January arrives. You can change this, though.
By designing a realistic budget focused on careful spending and saving, you’ll find that one month holds no more money stress than any other. Make sure, if you can, to make some room in your budget for some of life’s little pleasures too!
You can’t protect yourself from every unexpected expense (just look at our miscellaneous category!) but by making and following a budget, you can really reduce your money worries.
Here’s where January’s income went…
For new readers: I use percentages, instead of monetary amounts. This is both to respect my husband’s wish to keep our income private and in case you want to compare how much of your income goes to your own categories. As your income will be different to mine, me using percentages should be more helpful to you.
Our January income had a 3.6% boost because:
we sold our old car for scrap.
we accumulatedNectar points (which we put towards our grocery shopping, enabling us to use the cash we saved, to treat ourselves to a takeaway pizza!).
January’s outgoings and our monthly budget categories:
(Shown in percentages of January’s total income, rounded up or down to keep things simple)
Council tax: 6.7%
Gas and electricity: 3.6%
Groceries(Includes food, toiletries, and household needs): 8.7%
We have a tiny sum left in our grocery budget. As this category is tight, we’ll roll the surplus over into next month’s grocery budget.
Internet and landline: 1%
Life assurance: 1.4%
Mobile phone bills: 0.5%
My dental insurance: 0.6%
Mortgage overpayment: 0%
Pensions (besides to the small automatic deduction from Mr B’s wage): 0%
This month we completed our goal of having six months of expenses savedin our emergency fund! It’s been a hard slog. Yes, we’ve gone without, but the peace of mind is worth it. I’d be more secure with more put away, but if we don’t switch to investing soon, we’ll be looking at a difficult retirement.
Personal spending money (which has to cover clothing, haircuts, makeup, and gifts for each other on special occasions): 8.6%
I haven’t written about where our personal allowances go every month, but tell me if you want me to show you how I spend MINE.
Mr B cycles to work in the finer weather and I drive him during the colder and wetter months. This week, though, I’ve been ill with yet another cold and complications of Crohn’s disease.
When we ran out of money in the miscellaneous category, we covered the overspend from the grocery and household categories. Not ideal, but no debt incurred.
When looking at how much and where you’re spending money each month, remember that your life and requirements will be very different to ours. Sharing our budget gives you insight into how we budget and may give you ideas for your own.
So, how was January for you? Are you experiencing the post-Christmas pinch? My waistband is pinching! How do you divide up your money each month? Do you need to make a budget?
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