It’s time for me to share with you our April 2018 budget report.
April was, for us, a month of heavy spending, but we found opportunities to be frugal and find lots of money-saving ways to reduce our expenses.
As we’d planned most of our expenses, it didn’t feel bad to be spending so much, though it still makes me gulp when large sums of money (again, they’re large amounts of money to us!) leave our bank accounts.
Mr B’s wages were lower than expected, due to his workplace going through a serious change, which meant days where staff got sent home early without pay.
We’ve known for a long time that April would be the time where our income from a certain source would end (somebody had been repaying us for a while, for helping with his debts a long time ago). Things will be tighter from May onward. However, though I can’t declare it to you yet, I may have increased our income from next month!
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 April 2018 Budget Report
Apart from winning back twopences Mr B and I put into the slot machines at a recent trip for ice-cream and a few games at the arcades (his treat) and finding a penny on the floor, we didn’t get an income boost this month!
(Shown in percentages of April’s total income, rounded up or down to keep things simple).
- mortgage: 26%
- Council Tax: 7.3%
Our Council Tax payments for 2018 started up again this month (we pay over 10 months) and have increased, although April’s payment was lower than what we must pay in subsequent months.
- gas and electricity: 3.8%
- water: 2.6%
- groceries: (Includes food, toiletries, and household needs.): 11%
We came in a good bit below our grocery budget limit this month due to getting another payout from Checkout Smart!
Whenever we don’t spend all our grocery budget, we roll the surplus onto the following month, 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: 1.1%
- life assurance: 1.5%
- mobile phone bills: 0.6%
- my dental insurance: 0.6%
- mortgage overpayment: 0%
- pensions (besides to the small automatic deduction from Mr B’s wage): 0%
- petrol: 1.4%
- sinking funds: 14% put into our short-term savings.
April’s Sinking Fund Spending
From our sinking funds, in April, we spent money on the following:
- home insurance annual premium
I shopped around for the best price using various price comparison sites, made two phone calls and ended up switching us to Legal & General.
- car breakdown annual premium
This was an automatic payment. Last year I signed up for a great deal with the AA where they froze the price for two years.
- sight test for Mr B
With a voucher printed on one of the numerous pharmacy bags my medications come in, we got Mr B an eye examination for £10 at Boots Opticians!
- birthday meal for one of my nephews
- greeting card for a birth in the family
- deep fat fryer
- sander pads
- bearing kit for our washing machine
We’ll either return or re-sell the bearing kit. The job is too big for Mr B to want to repair. We’ll now let the machine carry on as is (working fine, just incredibly noisy when spinning!) until it dies. The washing machine got donated to us a few years back and we’ll replace it with another second-hand one when it dies.
- dash cam
- holiday savings: (‘vacation’ to U.S. readers) 7.5%
April’s Holiday Savings and Spending
From our holiday savings, in April, we spent money on the following:
- new passport applications (paid for hoping to go abroad this year but have decided upon a UK holiday this year and have our ‘big’ holiday next year, instead).
- passport photos
- Cornwall holiday accommodation, which included a security deposit that will get returned to us.
- Train tickets to Cornwall
- ‘Treat’ food in both the first week of April when Mr B took annual leave and during his next lot of time off, which began on the last weekend of April.
Read how we saved money on our holiday costs here.
- miscellaneous buffer: 0.9%
In our miscellaneous category, we overspent a lot:
April’s Miscellaneous Buffer Overspend
From our miscellaneous buffer, in April, we spent money on the following:
- bike repair and tip.
We needed a professional bike mechanic to work on Mr B’s bike, which has enabled him to cycle to and from work now Winter is over (as long as we don’t have rain – he’s a fair-weather cyclist!). Him cycling more saves us petrol plus wear and tear on the car.
- one taxi to work (I must’ve been too unwell to drive him one day when he couldn’t cycle).
- medication for Mr B
We used money from our holiday savings to cover our overspend.
- personal spending money: (which has to cover clothing, haircuts, makeup, and gifts for each other on special occasions): 9%
My Personal Spending in April
In April my personal money got spent in the following areas:
- bakery treats for Bubs and I
- my food for the birthday meal out with my nephew (our ‘gifts’ budget section covered his share).
- donations to the homeless in our town
- a milkshake for Bubs and I to share
- to my savings pot for Mr B’s birthday
- clothing savings
- vape juice
- a make-up item
- to my general, personal savings (that cover the *cost of running this blog)
And that’s it for April!
Remember, When looking at your spending each month, 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 you need them.
So, how was April for you? How do you divide up your money each month? Do you need to make a budget?
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Until next time.
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