2015 6 month expense report: C+ could do better
Seeing as I did a 6 month review of our spending in January for the last half of 2014, which was very eye opening indeed, and forced us to really buck our ideas up and put in a few extra measures to track our spending, I thought it would be worth seeing if any of it has actually taken hold and helped out reduce our spending! Spoiler alert for those who can’t be bothered to read through it all: Yes it has! 🙂
As the title alludes to I still think we could have done a lot better, but hey, progress is progress and all that!
The overall figure for the 6 months is…. drum roll purlease 1….
This compares to the previous 6 months figure of £24,735 very well. I think it would have been harder to actually spend more than that than reduce it, but the cut of £7,323 is a pretty significant one so I can’t really be anything but happy with this result, I just wish I’d discovered Moneydashboard a bit earlier!
I have also noticed that if we extrapolate that expense to over a whole year it falls neatly to ~£34,000 which is exactly the amount that Under The Money Tree noted it is possible for a couple to earn tax free in the UK.
It is an amazing thought that our expenses could be easily covered (including our mortgage payments!) by a couple with a part time job paying £11,000 each, £40,000 in cash/peer-to-peer lending earning 5% and around £250,000 in share portfolios yielding around 4% between them. And we wouldn’t have to pay a single penny of income tax on that for the rest of our lives.
People think this country is rigged towards rich folk, or complain of slackers on benefit getting free ride, but I am more and more starting to think it is actually rigged towards even mildly frugal people who are looking to achieve Financial Independence!
Now let’s move onto the “fun” part – the break down (you can just skip this part if you really want to, I won’t blame you!). I’ve added the last 6 months expenses on the right hand side for comparison where possible.
Nothing to add of note here, apart from maybe to say that we didn’t do any overpayments in this period, but that will change going forward.
- The main savings is on groceries which we spent over £900 less in this 6 month period. Not bad!
- I’m not sure what “Household – other” was in 2014 but it was quite expensive whatever it was 🙂
- Mrs T’s mobile bill is also significantly lower which is nice
- An overall spending cut of around £2,500 in this category can’t be sniffed at
Wow. I’m genuinely surprised as I feel like we’ve not really held back all that much on going out but apparently we’ve still done a lot better with a reduction of around £1,600. I’ve had a stag do to Berlin for example and we’ve been on two “big” holidays and a few little breaks away, and I can’t remember any time we’ve turned down an offer of going out due to trying to scrimp and save. No doubt this figure is still very high compared to some people but I think we’ve got value for money in this category this time around. I still reckon we’ll beat this category again for the latter part of the year because we have no big holidays and are planning on ramping down the going out further still and concentrate on things like doing up the house, which is time consuming and so we just won’t have time to go out as much!
hobbies and sports
£835.63 current vs £981.23 – Not much change here really, but fairly happy with it!
695.63 current vs £1191.75 previous – Well well well, what an improvement! It could still be better (i.e. zero 😉 ) but happy this is trending down as well.
gifts and charity
£664.09 current vs £694.64 previous. “Gifts – other” has shot up because people keep on having babies and obviously you have to buy them something (I jest of course, I don’t mind buying the little ones something, even though they actually wouldn’t give a crap either way). Also charity stuff has gone up which is a good thing while other stuff has gone down a bit, making overall expenses much of a muchness.
£790.99 current vs £2232.65 previous. I guess most of that “saving” is just on cash transactions that were not properly tagged from the last period and we’ve kept a much better track on where our cash has gone this time around. Having said that, it is obvious these hidden cash expenses have not actually been added on elsewhere on the budget as overall everything has gone down, so overall once again this can only be a great result. I think it’s clear I need to knock the gambling on the head though 🙂 and luckily Mrs T has decided to give up the lottery (“Games and gaming”) in October… more on this in a post I’ll put out next week 😉
£456.63 current vs £916.07 previous – An excellent halving of this expense category (well done to Mrs T!) 🙂
home and garden
£733.91 current vs £1933.62 previous – Well we had just moved house so a higher expense on this one is understandable in 2014 I guess. With the bathroom and kitchen “renovations” coming up for the second half of 2015 though, this category will be a lot more on the next 6 month report!
£962.09 current vs £1370.30 previous – Not too much cut off here but any reduction I’ll take!
Bit of a boring category to end up on here. The “Insurance – other” was actually two mortgage payments that got mis-tagged, and the car and “life” a.k.a house insurance is due in the latter part of the year, so once you take that out there isn’t much difference going on here.
So there we go! As mentioned the greatest takeaway from this is that if you can live on £17,000 per year per adult working person in your house then you won’t ever have to pay tax, which I think is pretty bloody amazing and it seems like this is well within reach for us.
The second part of the year will be more expensive for us due to house work we have planned and a few expenses such as car tax, insurance, etc coming through, but I’m confident we’ll still end up with an overall spend far less than the second half of 2014, even if we blow, say, £5k on the house stuff. Now we just have to go out and make sure that happens!
How was your first half of 2015? Did you hit all your spending/savings goals? Let me know?
- Was that the worst manufactured suspense you’ve even read in a blog post? Considering the picture at the top already had the total spend I think it might well have been 🙂 ↩