Killer Lunch Trips
It’s late being mid-April but here is my March spending as promised.
I work on the budgeting philosophy of assigning every pound a task. Budgeting all my income down to zero so that I calculate what I can save at the beginning of the month rather than seeing what is left at the end. This is something I have learnt to do by using a piece of software called You Need A Budget (YNAB)*.
The trick is paying yourself first. Using automated standing orders (bank transfers) I pay my savings accounts, my bills account before anything else happens each month. Anything left in my account is fair game for my expenses.
A few notes on my spending categories:
Expenses – This includes items such as fuel, supermarket, cough*video games*cough, dining / drinking and general going out. Also any projects I wish to do, it was some new plants for the garden this month.
Home – This is all my home bills; mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc.
Personal Electronics – Shockingly large phone bill, Private Internet Access (PIA not an affiliate link, I’m just pleased user) and some iPad insurance which I need to cancel.
Car – My Yaris PCP finance payment and road tax payments.
Savings – The best category! This is currently split £350 wedding / £125 overpay mortgage / everything else to general savings.
It’s not a bad savings rate, 34%, but dwarfed by a fair number of FI bloggers out there, hats off to them. I will work on this, try to raise this as much as I can. I’m looking forward to not having a car loan, there’s an extra ~£150 a month I could contribute. As it stands the savings are not being invested but can be next year after my wedding.
What has taken its toll on my wallet this month was my daily walk on my lunch break, usually to the local high street. I had been lagging on tracking my spending and by mid-March I thought I should catch-up. Turns out my daily walk had been to the Sainsbury’s to buy a drink and snack…every work day (well pretty much). Check out my March log from my budget software (YNAB*).
Can you guess when I caught up with my budget tracking?
It turns out I sleepwalked into having a naughty, little spending habit – The Latte Factor! (more the Pepsi Max Cherry factor for me). Small, regular purchases build up over time and also encourage my impulse spending. Have a read about the Latte Factor and play with the calculator here: financialmentor.com/calculator/latte-factor-calculator, may it bring you some spending discipline also.
Pack-up lunch for me next month!
– Exit Engineer
*YNAB (You Need A Budget) is an amazing piece of budgeting software. I have YNAB 4 and haven’t updated to the latest subscription model, I like this old setup with the mobile companion app. Well worth a trial anyway – try it here: youneedabudget.com/ – this isn’t an affiliate link, I’m just a proud user. Perhaps I’ll do a post on how I use it to manage my finances in the future.
Fancy congratulating me on my saving rate or posting your own?
What’s your Latte Factor?
If people are interested I can break down my spending further into supermarket spending, fuel, going out,etc.
Let me know in the comments below.