Our January 2018 Budget Report

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 Christmas spending 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 categoriesAs 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:

  • sold our old car for scrap.
  • accumulated Nectar points (which we put towards our grocery shopping, enabling us to use the cash we saved, to treat ourselves to a takeaway pizza!).
takeaway pizza image
Photo by Kristina Bratko on Unsplash

January’s Outgoings and Our Monthly Budget Categories:

(Shown in percentages of January’s total income, rounded up or down to keep things simple)

Mortgage: 25%

Council tax: 6.7%

Gas and electricity: 3.6%

Water: 2.5%

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%

calculator and paper with monthly budget report

Sinking funds: 14%  

From these sinking funds, we spent 9.3% of our total January income on:

– our annual VPN subscription.

– unexpected dental treatment for Mr B.

– a new light bulb pack for our car and sealant to try to repair where water is getting in.

– birthday and late Christmas gifts (and experiences) for family members.

– a second-hand window vacuum.

Holiday savings: (‘vacation’ ) 7.2%

We’re excited because it’s the first time in a few years that we’ve been able to save towards a holiday!
couple sat on boat deck
Photo by Evren Aydin on Unsplash

Emergency fund savings: 18%

This month we completed our goal of having six months of expenses saved in 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.

Petrol: 1.4%

Miscellaneous buffer: With January’s income, our total miscellaneous spend was 3.4%. That’s  four times what we set aside for unplanned expenses! This was due to paying for:

– the final vet bill for the cat we cared for.

– taxis to work for Mr B.

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.
bicycle propped up against settee
Photo by Yulia Chinato on Unsplash
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?
If you think this article (or any of the posts on the blog) could help anybody, please share. You can even pin to Pinterest! Just hover over the left-hand corner of the image below and click the red ‘P’ icon.
Pinterest pin of feet in cosy socks - Our January Budget Report
I love hearing from you and want to grow this community. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, send me a private message or all three! I will always try to help you.
Lisa aka ‘Bunchy’

8 Replies to “Our January 2018 Budget Report”

  1. Gotta bottom line it for me. How much in total did you save? and/or compare it with last month. I would be curious how you do spend your personal allowance, mainly because you mentioned “haircuts” and I recently did a post on how I’ve been having the wife do mine. She’s getting quite good! 🙂 I look forward to checking this out each month.

  2. H, Jim! If it weren’t bedtime I’d work it out for you. I’ll get back to you asap. 🙂
    I’ll tell you about our haircuts too, and will be sure to let you know what my ‘pocket money’ goes on. 🙂
    Thanks for the comment. 👍

  3. Sorry it’s taken so long to come back to you. I checked, and we saved 27% less than we did in December. 🤔
    I’ll cover the other things in a future post. ☺

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