quick april update
It’s well past mid May already and I haven’t even done an April update yet so here is a slightly shortened version for you.
In total we spent £2464 in April which has crept up from the last two months but is not surprising as we finally started to get into a routine with the little one and could actually go out and do stuff! Here is a brief breakdown of the major categories:
- Groceries £279 – Higher again than last month and also higher than I’d like but I think this includes a few baby clothes bought in one of the supermarket shops which I forgot to split in Money Dashboard. We’re also spending about £30 a month on baby formula now which is going to bump up this bill going forward I think.
- Clothes £94 – This amount seems about standard nowadays 🙂
- Dining and drinking/Going out £167 – Huge increase from last month! We had a couple of nights out each while the other looked after baby and a few lunches out etc… All very pleasant and not really that expensive in the grand scheme of things.
- Holiday £98 – We booked some ferry trips to the Isle of Wight for a couple of cheap holidays this year. We paid for most of it using Tesco we got using the Topcashback/Clubcard hack so this was the remainder.
- Petrol £57
- DIY £55 – Just some residual spending while I finish off a few of the jobs in the bathroom/kitchen. I can see this being an ongoing thing for at least the next 6 months as I tinker around the house whenever I have my two weeks off 🙂
- Golf £80 – The weather is improving and we had one of our comps which are always fairly expensive, still not blowing the budget on this one though.
- Charity £67 – Not a bad month for charity but we’ve decided to ramp up our donations a bit going forward – more of this in a separate post coming soon (basically we have been thinking along the same lines as weenie mentioned here I think!)
- Children £6.80 – Who said kids are expensive eh!?! 🙂 . Actually this is a little off the mark as I’m sure *we* (ahem, Mrs T) bought a couple of cutesy outfits at the supermarket that didn’t get tagged properly. Even so, a very frugal month for little T – well done my girl taking after your father 😉
- Birthdays £118 – Part of Mrs T’s present plus four other big ones meant quite a big month for present buying this month!
In total we bought in £4717 which is pretty good although this should be dropping next month as Mrs T’s maternity falls back down to statutory only. As well as our normal job income this included:
- Cashback Credit Cards £18 – Long gone are the days where we were getting £100+ a year from the barclay card but £18 for what we’d normally be spending anyway is better than a kick in the teeth.
- Solar Panels £119 – With the better weather coming these payments start to rise dramatically. Go solar!
- The House Crowd £65 – Our first dividend payment from The House Crowd! I’ve been with them for a year now and haven’t written much about it so expect a series of posts on this soon.
- Matched Betting £288 – This includes £48 from just “having a punt” and £240 from “actual matched betting”. Time was the biggest factor here but I’m happy with the profit considering I hardly spent any time on it at all.
- SSSH £1099 – Boom! That’s all I can say on this one though 😉
- Child benefit £82 – Thank you Mr Government!
We hit a savings rate of 47.77% which I am very happy with and we’re on an average for 48.18% for the year so far, again very happy with that! In terms of years to being fully FI my spreadsheet tells me it will take 14.8 years at this current rate, not bad for someone working part time 😀
pension and net worth AWOL
The company I work for finally got ripped from the parent company’s teat for good last month which means as well as a new and exciting office in Hammersmith the pension scheme has changed slightly. I don’t know why but it means my contributions plus the employer match seems to have gone up from £289 to £350. This is a good thing I guess but I’ll keep an eye on it! It also means I have no access to the old pension system online at the moment (hoping this is a temporary thing!!!) so I can’t track what that pension pot stands at which makes the Net Worth figures all a bit pointless at the moment seeing as that is/was around a third of our Net Worth. I’ll try to find out how to access the old pot, if we can transfer it to the new pot and if it’s actually worth doing that financially and hopefully have a more concrete update next month.
Having said that, if I assume my pension pot has not dropped since I last could check it a few months ago (very likely seeing as the markets have risen in that period) then our Net Worth without the house stands at £104,666. This actually constitutes a slight drop from last month so I’m thinking a bit of my money has been unaccounted for in matched betting bookie accounts. I’ll try to have a proper audit of my accounts for the May report and make sure I’m not missing owt!
Having said that once more, I found a better way to track our mortgage and it turns out we owe slightly less than I thought. I found out that getting a free monthly credit report from noddle.co.uk (no affiliation) tells me exactly how much we owe on the mortgage. So that beats my crappy estimate which is good! So our house equity jumped by £1,597 simply due to this bring our total Net Worth including the house up to £178,423
Finally (thank goodness, I thought this was supposed to be a quick update I hear you say!) I am also not sure of whether Mrs T will be getting pension additions while on maternity leave so will try to work that one out as well.
Now for the self indulgent bit where I tell you what I’ve been up to. Well I’ve enjoyed another 2 weeks off at the end of April and it’s the first one for a very long while (since my first one in September/October in fact) I’ve had where I haven’t been running around like a headless chicken, even more busy than I would be when I’m working! So that is a long way of saying it was thoroughly enjoyable!
We spent a few nights in the Isle of Wight in a caravan to test out how Baby T was “on the road” and she seemed all ok with it. We are going back with family later in the year. We got lucky with the weather and it was very dry and bright but not quite tops off on the beach weather. We spent most of the time ambling around the sleepy seaside towns, eating ice creams, playing crazy golf, and drinking tea and a few fine local ales. I love it over there and looking forward to going back soon. Who needs £5000+ overseas holidays to relax and unwind eh!?
The rest of the time was spent seeing friends and family, doing a few small jobs around the house and tidying up the garden a bit. I’ve installed my mini green house into the garden (bit late really but oh well!) and need to get planting very soon or I will have missed the growing season yet again… maybe this weekend will yield some more time for that!
We’ve also joined the National Trust (actually a christmas present from Ma + Pa TFS but normally only about £100 for a couple I believe) which is a very cheap way of entertaining yourself and I would definitely recommend it. There are quite a few nice old houses with lovely gardens round our way and if the weather is nice it’s a great way to get out and enjoy it on the cheap. I’m not really one for the history side of it myself but they are easy on the eye and it feels like you are doing a good deed for those of us that do enjoy that side of it by keeping them open.
I’m back at work now for a full 4 week stint, the longest I’ve been at work since January (I know I know, get those tiny little violins out people!) but the good news is that we’ve finally moved into our own office as we’ve broken away form mega-corp. Which has turned out to be great! The new office is much nice, in a better location and they’ve even provided free breakfast in the ample kitchen for us (porridge, toast, cereal, fruit basket and all the condiments you’d ever want). It’s these little things that I think a lot of employers miss, it must cost them jack all but improves worker happiness by a much larger factor compared to the cost. I could go on a rant about companies who cost cut every penny possible in the name of profit but I’ll save that for another day I think.
Sorry again about the lateness of the post, and hope you are all having a terrific May now that the sun is finally out! 🙂
How did you get on in April? Tell me what you’ve been up to, please!?