Budget 2015


Welcome to brain dump part III! This isn’t really a brain dump as such but it is vaguely related to the other two posts which were about Expenses and well, me and the blog I guess. I realised long ago that the £10,000 per year target spending I set out 1.5 years ago was a little over optimistic for us. 1 However this is not to say it can’t be done, as I’ve had many emails from people saying they are living on less than that, and in the comments there are other examples.

So after tracking 6 months of spending and getting a much better idea where our money goes I thought I better redo a more realistic yearly budget for us. Here is it!

Yearly Budget Overview


Item Cost Per Month Notes
The Fun Stuff £11,652.00 £971.00  1
The Boring Stuff £20,341.00 £1,695.08  2
Total Core Budget £31,993.00 £2,666.08
Big One-off expenses  3
Bathroom £2,500.00 £208.33
Small Kitchen Revamp £1,000.00 £83.33
Garden bits £500.00 £41.67
New Boiler/ASHP £6,500.00 £541.67 4
Total £42,493.00 £3,541.08



  1. Fun stuff = All “non-essential” expenses. Obviously this is subjective but I’ll break the category down in a minute so you can have a gander.
  2. Boring stuff = I guess this is the budget we could live on if we didn’t do anything else which required spending money. And it includes £10,116 worth of mortgage payments per year! It is quite comforting to know that you could theoretically live on so little, should the shit really hit the fan.
  3. There was a bit of discussion in the comments of the expenses brain dump about one-off expenses. The conclusion is that you obviously include them in your expenses, money spent is money spent, the definition of an expense! However I will not be including these three items into my yearly planned budget because in the Total Core Budget I (think) I’ve left enough wiggle room to cover other smaller one off expenses anyway. But I’ll let you be the judge of that.
  4. A new boiler would be nearer £4000. ASHP means “Air Source Heat Pump” – both are expensive but the next post will go over the cost/benefit analysis of both so I can try to work out what is the best option.


Breakdown – The Boring Stuff


Fixed Monthly Cost Yearly Notes
Mortgage £843.00 £10,116.00  Yikes!
Council Tax £106.00 £1,272.00  1
Gas & Elec £60.00 £720.00  2
Total £1,009.00 £12,108.00
Yearly costs
Car Tax £10.83 £130.00
Car Insurance £25.00 £300.00
Car Maintenance & depreciation £58.33 £700.00  3
House insurance £8.33 £100.00
Water Bills £27.50 £330.00
Landline £15.00 £180.00  4
TV Licence £12.08 £145.00
Total £157.08 £1,885.00
Variable Monthly
Groceries £250.00 £3,000.00
Eye care £32.00 £384.00  5
Dental £20.00 £240.00
Mobile Phone £35.00 £420.00  6
Petrol £82.00 £984.00  7
Public Transport £10.00 £120.00  8
Home Maintenance £100.00 £1,200.00  9
Total £529.00 £6,348.00
GRAND TOTAL £1,695.08 £20,341.00



  1. This is lower than when we were at the flat, which is a bit strange but I’m not complaining!
  2. This does not include the offset from our solar panels, which will appear on the income side of the sheets. Generation payments are completely separate from what your usage and bills are, as far as I can work out so far anyway. We’ve only had one generation payment! I’ll do a post this summer, after we’ve had a few better months of sunshine on how much those babies are generating!)
  3. We’ve nearly blown this budget already this month, so I am hoping for a trouble free year for the rest of 2015! (Again, post coming up on this one!). Maybe a bit optimistic but I am sure this will average out over the course of a few years. Our old car went 3 years without needed any work at all, for example.
  4. I still haven’t taken my own advice and paid up front yet to save a bit of extra cash on this, reminder to self!!!
  5. £22 per month for Mrs TFS contacts + random £10 per month for any glasses that break or eye tests. Has anyone ever had laser eye surgery by the way? And worked out the ROI on it? It is something she might consider if it works out well money wise.
  6. I have a work phone which I will have to replace at the end of 2015, so this could go up, but I am hoping to persuade Mrs TFS to extract herself from the teet of the Apple ecosystem when her contract is up in September. If she does and we both go cheap (but eminently usable!) Android then it should hopefully stick at the same level.
  7. We are running on about 1.25 tanks per month right now (although that did include our 1500 mile Scotland road trip, so it might come down in future if we don’t go on quite so long driving holidays again)
  8. This is just for when say one of us has to get a bus to work. Any taxi’s, trains etc… for nights out, that just comes under The Fun Stuff.
  9. I am hoping that this is enough to keep our home in ship-shape over time! We may spend less one year but can save up any excess for future expenses, for example.


Breakdown – The Fun Stuff


Standard Monthly Cost Yearly Notes
Gym £18.00 £216.00
Cinema £10.00 £120.00  1
Squash £25.00 £300.00  1
Clothes £50.00 £600.00  2
Haircuts £33.00 £396.00  2
Beauty stuff £30.00 £360.00
Charity £20.00 £240.00  3
Total £186.00 £2,232.00
Random One offs
Running events £16.67 £200.00  4
Concert or two £12.50 £150.00
Birthday Presents £58.33 £700.00  5
Christmas Presents £20.83 £250.00
Booze Cruises £16.67 £200.00  6
Gadgets £16.67 £200.00  7
Sports Equipment £8.33 £100.00
Total £150.00 £1,800.00
Big Ticket Items
Golf £100.00 £1,200.00
Going out/dining out £333.33 £4,000.00  8
Holidays/Breaks away
Holiday 1 £91.67 £1,100.00  9
Holiday 2 £58.33 £700.00  10
Cheap Weekend away £15.00 £180.00  11
Dublin for anniversary £33.33 £400.00
Total £971.00 £11,652.00



  1. Where possible I am overestimating: I would say that we’ll struggle to go to the cinema more than 6 times a year right now, which is what this works out too. Same with squash, I am getting about 3 games a month in (£15) but this allows for 5 games a month.
  2. Attempting a decent reduction in these categories compared to the last 6 months! Let’s see if we ahem, Mrs TFS, can do it. I believe in her! 🙂
  3. This should be more really! I am thinking I might do something like, if we come in under budget, I will split the excess 50/50 into Charity and contributions to investment accounts.
  4. Already signed up for two and have paid for them last year, so this allows 6-7 more running events, which I almost certainly won’t fill up that quota 🙂
  5. This is surely a massive over-estimate!? It is based on roughly doubling our 6 month spend of £368 but maybe it’s just most of the birthdays come in the second part of the year?! Who knows!
  6. Two booze cruises per year, normally spend around £100 each time including (free) ferry crossing, and alcohol. Lunch and Petrol are accounted for in other categories!
  7. Pretty sure we don’t buy much in this category anymore but will leave some leeway in here for it.
  8. This isn’t even that much of a cut from our roughly £2400 over 6 months spend, so I am really thinking we can beat this estimate!
  9. Spain for my mum’s 60th birthday. They are kindly footing some of the bill so it is working out pretty cheap (for us!). In fact I just realised I didn’t take that off, so unless we blow through about £700 in a week, which is unlikely for a family villa holiday with 4 other adults and two small children (I don’t think we’ll be having any boat parties or nights out in Manumission, Ibiza!) then it should come in under budget.
  10. We have friends in Madrid who are kindly going to put us up for a few nights, so again should work out as a fairly cheap break away.
  11. Bit extravagant really this one but we are having a one night break for our “meeting up” anniversary (does anyone else do this? Is it even a thing!? 2 🙂 ) but it ties in nicely with valentines day which works out well for us to celebrate both things at the same time. Mrs TFS booked it up and it’s a secret where we are going… exciting 🙂


Final words

My final comment would be, if you took off the big one off expenses and the mortgage payments we would be running at £21,577 per year. Which doesn’t actually sound that ridiculous, if we can stick to it!

What do you think peeps?! Do you think we are still not cutting enough and are spending like we’ve “made it” prematurely? Or do you think the budget is still not realistic enough and we will come a-cropper at the end of 2015???!


  1. In fact if you read the comments in that post there were people picking holes in it straight away, and rightly so.
  2. Just to clarify this is the anniversary of (roughly) when we met, which was the end of Jan/start of Feb. In the absence of a wedding anniversary for the first 7 years of our relationship it seemed like a pretty good thing to celebrate, especially as it was so close to valentines day, but now it seems a bit redundant. But then valentines day is then anyway so I guess it doesn’t really matter 🙂