2014 Income & Expenses – The Whole Damn Lot!


I recently published my Income & Expenses Report for December 2014. It was the last one of the year, and subsequently I can now review the year from March to December (10 months). One of the benefits to recording your income and expenses each month is that you can group it all together and generate summaries at the end of the year. I can look for trends or abnormalities. I can see where I spend the most money, or perhaps where I skimped. 

I collated all the individual categories and put them into subcategories like Home, Transport, Healthcare etc. I have a total sum for each subcategory and a combined sum of all Income and all expenses right at the bottom of each table. 


Income

Income Source Total Average
Regular Income
Wages £18,463.71 £1,846.37
Dividends £583.89 £58.39
Ebay £161.03 £16.10
TopCashBack £124.67 £12.47
Interest from Savings £78.04 £7.80
Peer-to-Peer Lending £44.58 £4.46
£19,455.92 £1,945.59
Income Source Total Average
One Off Income
Sports Betting £44.16 £4.42
Birthday Money £212.16 £21.22
Stock Sale Profit £469.38 £46.94
Christmas Money £150.00 £15.00
Car Sale £2,250.00 £225.00
£3,125.70 £312.57
Total Income £22,581.62 £2,258.16

Expenses
Expenses for 2015 Total Average
Home
House Bills £4,815.00 £481.50
Oil – Home £213.00 £21.30
Plumbing Bill £45.00 £4.50
Boiler Service £62.51 £6.25
Broadband (Annual) £66.00 £6.60
New Hoover £35.50 £3.55
Home Insurance £58.50 £5.85
£5,295.51 £529.55
Food, Alcohol & Eating Out
Food Account £660.00 £66.00
Groceries £264.97 £26.50
Eating out £104.51 £10.45
Fast Food £49.50 £4.95
Coffee Shops £40.35 £4.04
Alcohol £124.61 £12.46
Bulk buy – Protein £70.40 £7.04
£1,314.34 £131.43
Transport
Car MOT £40.00 £4.00
Car Tax £149.50 £14.95
Car Insurance £76.33 £7.63
Car Service £88.00 £8.80
Petrol £80.00 £8.00
Bike Maintenance £47.37 £4.74
Bike Pedals £11.66 £1.17
Public Transport £3.50 £0.35
£496.36 £49.64
Healthcare
Medical Prescription £7.85 £0.79
Dentist £18.50 £1.85
£26.35 £2.64
Entertainment
Books £11.53 £1.15
DVD’s £33.99 £3.40
Snooker £7.68 £0.77
Cinema/Popcorn £21.25 £2.13
Fancy Dress £98.34 £9.83
£172.79 £17.28
Gym, Equipment & Competitions
Powerlifting Meet Fee £20.00 £2.00
Powerlifting Membership £10.72 £1.07
Powerlifting Singlet £53.98 £5.40
Olympic Weightlifting Plates £105.94 £10.59
Lifting Chalk £13.60 £1.36
Powerlifting Belt £45.00 £4.50
£249.24 £24.92
Gifts
Gifts for Work £9.16 £0.92
Birthdays £233.34 £23.33
Wedding Gift £27.50 £2.75
Family Gifts £24.99 £2.50
Charity Donations £26.00 £2.60
Christmas Presents £191.05 £19.11
£512.04 £51.20
Personal Development
Creative Writing Lesson £10.00 £1.00
Kindle Book Course £38.29 £3.83
£48.29 £4.83
Miscellaneous
Mobile £89.14 £8.91
Clothing £45.00 £4.50
Trainers £44.98 £4.50
Toiletries £4.32 £0.43
Work Christmas Party £5.00 £0.50
Hotel Accommodation £35.00 £3.50
Euros – Work trip £22.12 £2.21
Camera Battery charger £9.99 £1.00
£255.55 £25.56
Total Income £8,370.47 £837.05
So there you have it, I earned £22,581.62 (£2,258.16 per month) and spent £8,370.47 (£837.05 per month) between March-December 2014. I’m not going to go through every line like I do in my monthly reports, as it would be a very long post indeed. Instead, I’ve decided to pick out some notable categories in income and expenses and discuss them instead. 


Income

On the Income front, I’ve pretty pleased overall. After tax and charges it’s the most I’ve earned in a year so I can’t grumble at that. My dividends were my second biggest ‘regular contributor’ next to my wages, and I received a fairly consistent income other the months with Topcashback and Ebay. 
With that said, it interesting to see that my Birthday money contributed more than both of those side hustles, and my Christmas money was higher than Topcashback and just less than Ebay. I receive money for Birthday and Christmas for being alive, and doing nothing special. It’s time that I changed that!

I want to have more income streams that surpass these passive one-off amounts. As I stated in my 2015 Goals, I’m planning on making 2015 about making money. I want to kick my income into another gear. I’m sure most of you reading this post will comfortably make more money than me, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I feel I have the ability to earn so much more if I really tried. I don’t want more money to spend, I want more money to invest with – Why? – So, I can get to FI quicker and reach the lifestyle I want sooner rather than later. 

I’ve only just started the Kindle Book creation, and so far I have one book completed, two more almost completed, and another five just started. In 7-10 days I should have close to 8 books completed. This schedule puts me on track with more than 1 x week, and 50 in a year. My plan is to get a head start in January by making 10 books. I’l then see how I get on with them, decide if there is a market to make serious money, and then stay ahead of the 1 x week goal. So far I’m on track. I’ll keep you posted with my progress when I’m able to sell my books, which I’m still unable to do until I get my tax code from HMRC which is due in the next week or so.

Expenses
I’m really pleased with my progress in this area. I didn’t keep it below £833 per month which equates to £10,000 a year, but you only have to look at my alcohol, fancy dress, or Powerlifting equipment to appreciate how realistic that amount is for me.

The first section I’d like to review is home. This is one of my best categories. I’m able to live in a 3 bed, semi-detached house, which was built in 2002, is worth over £200,000, with all bills and contents covered for £530 a month. Me and Miss FFBF plan on making overpayments on our mortgage over the next few years, so when we get around to remortgaging in 4 years, we’ll have smaller monthly payments. My mortgage is by far the biggest expense I have. That’s not going to change in the next 6-8 years, but I’d like to minimise it. 

I’m not sure how my Food, Alcohol and Eating Out section compares to most people out there – £131pm – Please let me know! I think my alcohol and eating out is probably lower than most in the UK, as I don’t do much of either. I’m going to be stricter on my diet this year, so that could involve me spending more money on high protein based foods like chicken and beef. 

My transport costs are probably high for most people that bike to work, but lower than most people that still own a car. For those of you that don’t know, Miss FFBF runs the car most days and I pay for half of the major costs like tax, insurance, and MOT. Hopefully, my transport costs will be lower in 2015, now that I bike to work all year around. 

I spend a lot of money on Powerlifting, Fancy Dress, Birthday and Christmas! My powerlifting fees should go down over in 2015. I’m not sure if I’ll be strong enough to reduce fancy dress, because I love it so much, but I’ll challenge myself to keep it down. I would really like to keep birthday and Christmas costs down in general. I struggle with these two sections. I don’t like spending money on myself for either, but a lot of people class them as important, and I do find it hard not to shake off the pressure that’s associated to each one. 

One figure I was disappointed in was my charitable donations. £26 for the whole year is a little embarrassing to disclose to everyone. I’m determined to improve that figure significantly for 2015. I thought putting a zero on the end of the number would be a realistic place to start. I can’t have fancy dress above charity, even though I do look great in a He-man bob!

I want to also put more money into Personal Development. Warren Buffet is famous for saying the best investment you can make is in yourself, I’d like to invest more in myself for 2015. 


Summary

I think that because I haven’t set a goal for keeping expenses below a certain amount, I’m likely to spend more in 2015 than in 2014, and I’m comfortable with that. It’s nice to have a set of figures over a month and a year to use for future reference and I hope to beat this figure in future years but perhaps not for 2015. I’m more interested and determined to earn more than I did in 2014. That’s my priority! I believe my slight increase in expenses will be outweighed by the amount of income I’m looking to generate, but only time will see if that holds true. I’ve mentioned it a few times on my Blog now, but creating books on Kindle will be my priority for increasing my income. I want to give it a real trial and see if it’s worth expanding or not. Some people are earning $5,000 – $40,000 per month doing it. That’s insane! I’m not expecting to earn that, but why can’t I work out a way to generate £1,000 if they can. 

I’m very excited about this year, and the possibilities it offers. Here’s to 2015!

0 Comments

  • Tawcan

    Reply Reply 11th January 2015

    Looks like you were able to set aside ~65% for saving. That's pretty awesome. It's awesome that you're creating eBook to sell. That's a great side hustle, maybe I should look into that too. Noticed that you spend a little bit in sports betting, do you get a great return on that or is that something you could consider cutting back?

    It's always an excellent idea to take some personal development courses. You need to continue developing as an individual. When you stop learning, you die. Simple as that. 🙂

  • Theres Value

    Reply Reply 11th January 2015

    Yeah your food is low-ish I think compared to the average, but then most people waste so much food, and waste money on buying a lot of pre-made or processed/packaged goods instead of cooking from scratch.

    Re your mortgage, not sure of your rates and what type of mortgage it is etc. but for me and Mr. There's Value, we worked out that it was more profitable to invest our money than to pay off the mortgage quicker. This is due to the weird quirks of the economy, in that you can actually get a lifetime tracker mortgage for 1.99% (BBR+1.49%), whereas inflation is higher than this. So, we're making above inflation interest and profits/dividends/etc. at a faster rate than putting that money towards paying off the house quicker.

    Congrats on getting the kindle stuff off to a seriously flying start!

    cheers

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 11th January 2015

    Hi M,

    Yes, I would guess that that food bill is perhaps lower than average, but I've never really looked into it to find out.

    I came to the same conclusion on overpaying the mortgage a few years back. My initial goal back in the day was to pay my mortgage off by the time I'm 40, investing has changed all of that for me. As of right now, there are more investment opportunities that will give a better return than overpaying your mortgage will. However, if rates increase that will change things. 2 years before we bought our house the rates were at 6% (that was good), That's a debt that's worth paying off. My strategy to overpaying the mortgage is to drive down my monthly spending, to free up more money to allocate to investing when we come to remortgage, and as a safety play against the rates going up to previous levels. My dad still reminds me of the days when I was growing up and his mortgage was 15%….wow! I don't intend on using large sums that I could be investing with, but small chunks of change to chip away.
    The tracker you mention is hugely attractive at the moment. Me and Miss FFBF went with a fixed option, as we wanted to know what we were paying, we signed up to a 5yr fix last year. We're fixed at 2.6% for another 4 years. The BOE may keep the base rate at 0.5%, which would mean your mortgage is fantastic. We wanted peace of mind in case it went up by 0.5% or 1%. There's no right or wrong. The buyer has to be comfortable with the risk of it going up, or take a slightly higher rate but knowing it'll stay there for a set period.

    I'm really pleased with the start of this Kindle process, there's still a lot to do, but I'm getting there. Thanks for stopping by!

    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 11th January 2015

    Hi Tawcan,

    Yes, I'm really pleased with my saving rate for the year. It was significantly higher than I anticipated at the start of the year. I'm hoping that the Kindle Books will lead me to FI a lot sooner, but only time will tell how I get on with it. I'll be sure to keep you posted.
    I didn't put any money into my betting account for 2014 (so there was zero expense for it), and I withdrew money once, so my income was very limited (£44 for the year). I can't say that's a great return, but I do enjoy the process!

    I agree with you completely on the personal development front. I'm a big believer in it, I just haven't lived by it as much as I would like over the last 12 months,

    All the best
    Huw

  • Theres Value

    Reply Reply 11th January 2015

    2.6% for a five year fix is EXCELLENT! We started on around BBR+1.89%, remortgaged to BBR+1.69%, then managed to change it AGAIN to BBR+1.49%. If we'd have seen that 2.6% for five years, we might've gone for it! My friend is paying a lot more like 4% for 5years, so well done on finding a great rate.

  • weenie

    Reply Reply 12th January 2015

    Great round up Huw, really enjoyed reading it as it's interesting to see all your incomings/outgoings.

    I'd say that your food is on the low side as you've got that well budgeted but I'd also say that your eating out and alcohol is very low! I go out once a month (sometimes twice) and each time, I will blow between £80-£100 and this is me and my friends using restaurant vouchers (so no high end places!) and not ordering expensive cocktails! I don't know how I did it when I used to go out EVERY weekend, no wonder I was in debt!

    Still, I'm going to suggest the odd eating in instead of going out – the last time we did this, I had everyone round at mine and I cooked. I think they're all waiting for me to invite them again but it should be someone else's turn haha!

    Great to see that your exercising doesn't cost you much – it does make me think twice about my own gym membership but I don't want to give that up and also don't feel that I need to financially, not yet anyway.

    Anyway, sounds like this will be a great year and I look forward to reading about your successes!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 12th January 2015

    Yes, we were very pleased with the mortgage. There were better rates available for a tracker by just over 0.5% if I recall. We were keen to lock in and benefit from the rate for a good chunk of time. I'm not sure what I'll do in 4 years time. My decision is likely to be impacted by the market at the time. I'd like to have the option of paying off more than the allocated 10% a year if we want to.

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 12th January 2015

    Hi Weenie,

    If I were to guess what my food, alcohol and eating out spend is compared to others, I'd go along those lines – Below average food costs and low alcohol and eating out. I know what you mean Weenie, I dread to think what I used to spend on those areas between the ages of 18-24! I went out every weekend at home and at least 3 times a week at Uni.

    I really like the house gatherings you suggest. I had one this weekend, I invited the guys in my office over to play poker. It was a great evening, and no-one spent a lot of money, but we drank, snacked on food, and enjoyed ourselves.

    I thought my Powerlifting expense was expensive! I don't think people need to spend the money I did, but it is important to me. I suppose if I trade that for monthly payments compared to a gym it comes out good. The good thing is it doesn't cost me anything on a monthly basis. Only when I decide to buy something for the gym or compete, which is my own decision. I'm sure it doesn't compare to your gym's facilities though. Mine is a little rough and ready.
    I don't think you need to give the gym up if you get a lot from it. Ultimately, if it keeps you active, and you get joy from it, carry on (why change a winning formula?). I get approx 80% of the happiness from training on my home at home. I love the convenience, I can use all of the equipment when I want, play the music I want, and after the initial costs it doesn't cost me anything now etc. But I LOVE working out and I would do so anywhere. Only you know how important it is to you. You could also be spending that money on far worse things!

    Thanks again for the support Weenie!

    Huw

  • Dividend Mantra

    Reply Reply 13th January 2015

    Huw,

    Awesome job with the income and expenses over the course of 2014. Your savings rate is admirable, as is your low spending. The great news is that since you're working with such a low base, any modest increase in spending is going to have a huge net effect on your lifestyle. Very different for someone already spending a ton of money. Hedonic adaptation is funny that way. Those of us who don't spend a lot of money appreciate it much more when we spend on things that have a meaningful impact on our lives.

    Keep up the great work!!

    Best regards.

  • Dividend Dreams

    Reply Reply 13th January 2015

    Fantastic job at managing your expenses. Your example goes to show that it is not how much one makes, but how much one saves and controls costs that makes a difference. Best of investing luck in 2015.

  • Ben dove

    Reply Reply 13th January 2015

    Well done on 2014! All of your expenditures are amazingly low. My food bill is over £500 per month (2adults and 2 kids) and that's being careful with where we shop. So really well done. Out of interest does your household bills include your mortgage, council tax, gas, electricity, buildings and contents and life insurance, water rates and tv licence? My council tax is nearly £200 per month, maybe I need to move!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 13th January 2015

    Thanks DM!

    I was really pleased with the end result of my expenses and saving rate. Far better than I expected to achieve 12 months ago. You're right, my spending is generally pretty low so any increase I make should have a larger impact than it would with most people. It's so true!

    Thanks again for stopping by!

    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 13th January 2015

    Hi Ben,

    Thank you very much! Wow, that does sound high. Mind you, I don't have two kids to look after!

    Yes, my household bills contain the following – Mortgage, council tax, electric, telephone, broadband, TV licence and water. It doesn't include insurance or the Oil we buy for heating once a year.

    I live in Herefordshire which is a cheaper area to live than most. It's a lovely area, and we're also very happy here.

    Thanks for stopping by!
    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 13th January 2015

    Hi Dividend Dreams,

    Thank you very much. You're spot on.I do't earn a lot of money and I think I've shown you don't need to have a big income to make big savings. Thank you for the kind words and the well wishes!

    Huw

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