A recap of the latest month and a look at my income and expenses.
First of all I should apologise for the late post. I only got back from my holiday a few days ago, and have been catching up with life since!
June was busy busy. I went to Spain for a few days at the beginning of the month. It was only a fleeting visit for work, but it was still good to have a look around. The city was very quiet and laid-back; I couldn’t help but think about the possibility of retiring there and enjoying the life. I’m not ready to up sticks just yet, but it’s good to fantasise!
Then my girlfriend and I went to America for two weeks at the end of June. It was good to meet some of Ms FIRE’s family (naturally, they all loved me). It was my first time in the US, and it was awesome! We went to see a baseball game, which was fun. I’m not really a sports fan, but I can appreciate the act of going to a game with friends and hanging out. I got the impression that everyone treats it like we do cricket in the UK; no one pays attention to the entire match. You can zone out for a bit, go buy a snack, etc, and it’s pretty easy to catch up when you’re back.
It was fascinating to see some of the differences between the US and the UK. One thing that struck me over the two weeks was how far away everything is, and how public transport was practically non-existent. Living in the UK, I haven’t owned a car since I was 19. I either simply walk, or get the bus/train everywhere. In the US though, I definitely get the impression that, unless you live in a city like New York, a car is almost a necessity to get around. Also, I only saw maybe three roundabouts the entire trip. Coming from the UK, this was very odd. We seem to love sticking a roundabout at a junction if we can!
The final thing of note was that my girlfriend and I got engaged. We’ve been talking about marriage for a while, and already had a date in mind, but I finally went out and bought a ring. It’s still taking me some getting used to to call her my fiancee, rather than my girlfriend!
On the personal finance side, Tesco have finally cut the interest rate of their current account from a decent 3% to a miserable 1%. I was just using the account as a place to store some of my emergency fund, whilst still earning a good return and not losing money to inflation. The account is now worse than simply using a Marcus account (which pays 1.5%), so it’s pointless to keep it. I switched the account to First Direct to take advantage of their free £100 offer. First Direct also offer a Regular Saver that pays 5% after 12 months, so I’ll probably open one of those in the next few weeks.
Anyway, onto the numbers!
Everything here is pretty much the same as last month, except for that awful matched betting income! Makes me wonder if it’s even worth putting down, but in the interest of transparency, I’ll leave it there. As exciting as it might be to blame it all on a terrible run of bad luck, I just had no time! I only placed 6 bets the entire month. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if July is the same. We’re halfway through the month already, and my remaining weekends are looking like they’ll be filled with meeting a few friends.
|Category||Amount spent / £||% of Income|
Rent was the same as ever. Expenses are finally stable; when we first moved into our new flat, something new seemed to be added every month. Now, however, I’m expecting them to remain consistent going forward, which makes it easy to plan and automate everything.
Groceries were pretty low, which isn’t surprising when you consider that we were using everything up before our holiday. I have a feeling that July will be the opposite, as we now have to restock the fridge and freezer!
Spending in things like eating out and alcohol looks lower than it actually was. I decided to take a break from tracking everything religiously whilst I was on holiday. Instead, I made a note of how much was in my Starling account before we left, and how much was there when we got back, and just lumped it all under holiday. Even then, it doesn’t look like I spend that much! Seeing as the holiday was split evenly over the end of June and the beginning of July, I’ve split it accordingly in this report. The other half will be accounted for in July’s report. We were lucky enough to be able to stay with my fiancee’s family the entire time, which meant accommodation was effectively free.
Fun comprises of £50 for a pair of tickets for a concert later this year, and three books on Amazon Kindle, which I’ll talk about further down. I can’t resist if a book shows up on the Kindle store for just £0.99!
My savings rate for June was 18%. All thing considered, a pretty good month as far as savings are concerned. I actually spent pretty much the same as last month; the only reason that the savings rate is lower is due to that abysmal matched betting income! The total amount saved this month was a smidge less than £500, all of which I stuck into my stocks and shares ISA. Speaking of my ISA, the markets right now are crazy! My “loss” of ~£500 last month has been cancelled out and then some by a “gain” of ~£2.5K. Obviously this is all imaginary money until I decide to sell, but I can’t deny that a gain of that magnitude feels better than any sort of loss.
One of my goals for the next five years was to read at least one book a month. To help keep myself accountable to anonymous people on the internet, I’ve decided to track my progress here in these monthly reports:
I think I found every book I finished or started this month for sale on the Amazon Kindle store. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading and holding a physical copy of a book, but £0.99 for such a range of excellent books is amazing! Highly recommend that you sign up for their daily email if you have a Kindle.
First of all, I finished A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. It’s written fairly well; Hawking obviously knew his stuff, and he does well to explain it to an audience that knows very little. It’s still a very dense read though. I then read I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson. It’s a good, fairly short and easy read.
I’m now reading the following three books:
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman – I’m one third of the way, and so far I’m enjoying it.
The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas J. Stanley – I’m not far enough through the book yet to comment properly.
4 hour work week, by Tim Ferris – A book with a number of useful tidbits of advice, but Ferris comes across like an egocentric know-it-all. Nonetheless, I intend to push through the rest of the book.
Now that I’m back from my holiday, the rest of July will just be relaxing, and maybe going to visit a few friends on each of the remaining weekends. Got to make the most of this great weather; autumn will be here before we know it!
Thanks for reading. Now that I’m back from my holiday, I’ll attempt to post with somewhat greater frequency. I hope July is going well for you all so far!