Keep On Running



Ah… the short and cold month of old February. It should hopefully allow most people to get up to a good rate of savings shouldn’t it? Well for once it might surprise you to let you know we actually did pretty well with a savings rate of 55%! Whoo! Let’s see how it broke down (remember these expenses are for two people!):


February Income


Categories February Notes
Total £3,900.17  1
TFS £2,431.95
Mrs TFS £1,050.77
Interest TSB 1 TFS £6.65
Interest TSB 2 Mrs TFS £6.65
Interest Santander £13.22
Cashback Santander £3.33
Cashback CCs £321.55  2
Solar Panels £0.00
Gifts £0.00
Sold stuff £66.05  3
Refunds £0.00
Other £0.00
SIPP Tax back £0.00
  1. Overall a good month for income! Although massively helped by…
  2. I cashed in the cashback from our Barclaycard cashback card. This goes onto the card as credit but as we use it for groceries and other bits that works out fine anyway. This was built up over around 1 year and included a big chunk when manufactured a spend of £5000 on our house moving bill, which added a nice chunk to the cashback total!
  3. I have a separate bank account for selling our stuff on eBay which I don’t track in MoneyDashboard. I pay the eBay fee’s from here as well (if need be) so it’s nice and separate, and then transfer a chunk of money over into the main account when there is a half decent amount in there. This way I know it’s all pure “profit” after eBay expenses etc. In fact that brings up a good point in that I should pay postage costs via this account as well, I will start to do that in future!


February Expenses


Total expenses: £2,127.04

To keep this post at a readable length I will summarise the main category spending here, but if you want to see a more detail break down just see the full spreadsheet here 1.

  • Groceries £191.87– Another sub £200 month and we still have plenty left in the freezer so I am thinking March will be the same.
  • Phones £16.99 / £40.86 – Right I am finally going to sort out a cheaper landline deal for next month! Mrs TFS also finally got her Bill Monitor report and they recommended she ring up her provider (EE) despite being around 6 months away from the end of her contract. They agreed to practically cut her bill in half for some strange reason… try it if you haven’t done so yet!
  • Clothes £50.50 – Not quite zero but it’s trending in the right direction, so a good effort on Mrs TFS’s part again here. 🙂
  • Dining & Drinking £253.35 – Massively up from last month but still fairly happy with that! We had a few pub lunches after the 2 half marathons I did, a curry night out, and a friends 30th night out which was fairly expensive.
  • Car service/mechanics £0 – The TFS Mobile is 1 month and counting without any repairs needed. I am happy with this outcome!
  • Golf £35.30 – Just the one round this month, as had running events been generally busy so no time for much golf! Boo!
  • Birthdays presents £51 – We’ve planned ahead and have bought my Sister and Bro-in-law their presents already, so we won’t have to spend out on it later in the year!
  • Overall  £2,127.04 – Much better than last month. £933.88 better to be precise! That already brings our average monthly spend to £2,593.98, which is inside the £2,666.08 I laid out here in our yearly budget, which is great. If we can keep it at this level or below throughout the year I’d be happy 2


February Totals & Savings Rate


February Notes
Net Worth £65,543.00  1, 2
Years to FI  12.16
Total £2,834.73
Income vs Spend £1,773.13
Share Save 1 (TFS) £250.00
Share Save 2 (Mrs TFS) £250.00
Pension 1 (TFS) £453.69  3
Pension 2 (Mrs TFS) £107.91  3
  1. Astute readers will notice that this is a rather huge jump from last month. It turned out that I was estimating my work pension pot and was out by a fair amount (about £8K) so that accounts for most of the jump! I still need to dig out Mrs TFS’s pension details and so there is still an amount of uncertainty on this figure, but I think it will be near enough to +/-£1000 accuracy now! I won’t bother doing a %age change analysis this month as it seems a bit pointless seeing as last months figure was so inaccurate. Good job I didn’t overestimate eh 🙂
  2. Consists of 3 different ISAs, a SIPP, mine and Mrs TFS’s work pension fund, cash savings, and the total saved in both of our sharesave schemes.
  3. Last month when Cerridwen pointed out in the comments that the pension savings categories looked a little off, I realised I wasn’t counting Mrs TFS’s employer match, and so I’ve updated that on the spreadsheet.. It turned out that her employer match is pretty generous, she puts in 2% and they top with another 5%. I also double checked my contributions and was off by about £150 (not sure how I worked that out!?), so another little positive there as well! I have updated the spreadsheet retrospectively but have left last months post unchanged. As you can see it changed our savings rate up to 37.58% (from 34.98%) so definitely a welcome boost!


Final Thoughts

If we can maintain this kind of savings rate my spreadsheet tells me we are FI in “just” 12.84 years which would be pretty fantastic, however whether my income will remain this high when I fully quit my job later this year will remain to be seen (or maybe I’ll score some freelancing work and it will even go up!?). There is a long way to go on all accounts and in the words of my blogging buddy Huw – It’s too early to tell yet 😉


Personal Goals and Updates


Keep On Running 2


Other personal updates, I did two half marathons and they couldn’t have been more different. The first one at Tunbridge Wells I ran a PB 3 of 1:32:08 which I was naturally very happy with, especially considering it wasn’t an easy course by any stretch, with a very big hill half way through it. The second one, just a week later, not only were my legs still tired from the first one, but I also had my friends 30th the day/night before so I had about 6 pints of ale. Rude not too! To compound things the course turned out to be even harder with an even bigger bloody hill right at the start, and 30MPH winds gusting along the Eastbourne coast in the aftermath of the storms we had that weekend. Anyway I took this one less seriously and trotted along with my Bro-in-law who was also worse for wear from a wedding the day before… 🙂 so we both came in at just under 2 hours. Overall good fun was had on both occasions, and I can’t wait to find another event to do mid-June.


Booze Watch

Although I haven’t written my 2015 Goals down on here yet… (slacker, I know!) I have decided one of them is to track the amount of alcohol I drink and report it as part of my monthly report each month. I’ll try to do the same with any other goals I have, in one nicely packaged monthly update, so as not to distract too much from the other shit hot content I am producing for y’all (</sarcasm>).

By tracking my alcohol intake, I am certain this will make me drink more sensibly! I know you can have just as much fun on nights out/in if you are just a little bit drunk and not stone cold on the floor plastered (in fact that’s no fun at all!), so that is why I am setting this goal. I am aiming for more of the fun, and less of the pain the next day! Anyway drum roll please… This month I drunk:

52.3 Units!!!

I think my goal willl be to stay under the weekly recommended rate of 21 per week, so I have beaten that quite easily and don’t really feel like I tried that hard, so maybe this one will end up being a breeze!


I’ll get my other goals out in the public domain ASAP. Goal 1: Set some goals and write a blog about it!!! 🙂


How was your February!? Anyone score highly with the savings, personal goals or anything else like that? Shoot me some comments people! Tell me what you’ve been up to! Cheers!


  1. Remember you are free to copy this to your own google drive and edit to put your own figures in there! Let me know if you do so and make any decent additions and I can graft them onto my own one? Or any suggested additions, again just let me know.
  2. I have said that too many times already in this post, I’ll get the thesaurus out next time I’m about to write it!
  3. Personal Best