Our March 2018 Budget Report

It’s time for me to share with you our March 2018 budget report.

I know I say it every time, but I’m always so shocked when yet another month has passed. The first quarter of this year has vanished!

March was a month of financial ups and downs, but with careful spending, we ended the month with two home-delivered pizzas (via an online deal, naturally!).

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, percentages are more helpful.

Our March 2018 Budget Report

Income

Mr B’s wages were much lower this month. This was due to several days where his workplace didn’t have enough work and sent employees home. If he doesn’t work, he doesn’t get paid.

Then we had two snow days and he more than likely missed at least one day due to a persistent health issue (for which he’s awaiting further tests). I can’t remember. In total, Mr B brought in around 28% less than usual!

We received a wonderful surprise though, in the form of a monetary gift from a family member who received a small windfall and wanted us to put the gift towards our holiday for this year!

We tried, over and over, to refuse the money (we’re not good at receiving monetary gifts due to our fierce independence), but too much refusal can cause offence and this person got real joy from giving to us, so we accepted with great thanks. This accounted for 16% of our final income.

Another mini-boost of 0.5% of our income came from either being told to ‘keep the change’ after helping family members out when shopping for them (again, we always refuse this!) and the unexpected coins upon the ground!

Despite these income boosts, our March income came in at 11.5% lower than average.

March Calendar - Our March 2018 Budget Report
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Outgoings

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

  • mortgage: 24%
  • Council Tax: 0%

Our Council Tax gets paid via Direct Debit over 10 months. In February and March, we don’t have to pay a thing, which helped this month!

  • gas and electricity: 3.6%
  • water: 2.5%
  • groceries: (Includes food, toiletries, and household needs.): 7.4%

We came in below our grocery budget limit this month. When this happens, we roll the surplus into next month’s grocery budget because our grocery budget is tight. Should we be trying to pay off debts, we’d instead add any surplus to debt payments.

  • 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%
  • sinking funds: 13% put into our short-term savings.
Gift-wrapped box with tag - Our March 2018 Budget Report
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

From our sinking funds this month, we bought:

– screen wash for the car (and today I found screen wash, hidden away in a cupboard!).
– two greetings cards (I used to always make them, but have lapsed this year).
– Mothering Sunday gifts (a plant and chocolates).
– birthday money for one of our nephews
– a meal for two of our nieces to celebrate one of them turning seven!
– teaspoons
– batteries for our smoke detectors

  • holiday savings: (‘vacation’ to U.S. readers) 17%
  • petrol: 1.5%
  • miscellaneous buffer: 0.8%

We spent 93% of our miscellaneous buffer. Here’s how:

– pizza (home delivery)

– a flapjack Mr B bought at work.

– our remaining ‘bonus’ (for completing our six months worth of expenses emergency fund last month) went towards our share of a meal with our nieces, as I’ve mentioned.

– two taxis to work for Mr B (one was an icy day where he wasn’t happy for me to drive and the other was a day I was unwell).

  • personal spending money: (which has to cover clothing, haircuts, makeup, and gifts for each other on special occasions): 4%
Ice-cream and popcorn - Our March 2018 Budget Report
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

In March my personal money went:

– towards an overage on my mobile phone usage (the main cost comes from the joint account).
– to my savings pot for Mr B’s birthday
– clothing savings
– vape juice
– to my general, personal savings (that cover the *cost of running this blog).
– on a bakery treat for Mr B and I.
– buying a drink whilst out shopping (I forgot to bring my flask).
– on junk food (crisps and chocolate either for myself or for myself and Mr B).
– towards our half of the meal with our nieces as mentioned before (our remaining ‘bonus’ from the ‘misc’ category didn’t cover our share).

When looking at your spending each month, remember that your life and requirements will be very different to ours. I share our budget to give you insight into how we budget in the hope it may give you ideas for your own budget if needed.

So, how was March for you? How do you divide up your money each month? Do you need to make a budget?

Read:

Are You Within the Recommended Guidelines for Your Monthly Expenses?, Things You Need to Know Before Making Your First Budget, and Easy Budgeting for Overwhelmed or Lazy People.

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.

Painted Eggs - Our March 2018 Budget Report

I love hearing from people who want to improve their finances and/or simplify their lives. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, or send me a private message. I will always try to help you.

Lisa aka Bunchy

*This post has an affiliate link to the company used to host my blog. If you want to start a blog but aren’t sure which hosting service to choose, hence my link to Siteground. Their customer service has been outstanding as has their technical support. If you sign up via the link, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (you’ll get a great discount!). Don’t worry, I’d only ever recommend things from which I get true value.

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