Income & Expenses – April 2015


I’m a little behind on getting these Income & Expenses reports out. Thank you for staying with me. The write ups will be a little briefer, as I’m having to test the memory bank on why I bought things and what happened, but crucially I want to get the numbers out there. 

My lack of Blogging has not impacted on my lack of tracking expenses. I continue to track everything! My challenge has been finding time to write up my expenses on top of my ongoing Kindle Publishing. 

Here we go folks:

I started tracking my Income & Expenses in March 2014. By committing to tracking these numbers and sharing them with you all on a monthly basis, I benefited from questioning every single penny I spent. For the rest of 2014, I managed to keep my expenses under £10,000 a year or £833 per month.

I will continue to record my income and expenses for 2015, but I don’t intend on setting a goal for a specific saving % or an amount for keeping expenses below. I noticed that in 2014 my goals were effective in keeping my costs down, but they also influenced me not to spend money on certain things. That might sound good, but it impacted everything, including charitable donations and personal development, which are usually really important to me. 

My priority for 2015 is making money. I want to challenge myself to earn a lot more. I’m hoping that by having more disposable income, I’ll have more money to invest with. This should then speed up the process to becoming FI. Easy right! I want to call Tom Cruise at the end of the year and shout “Show me the money!”

Here’s a quick breakdown as to what goes into numbers below:

Income

I will rarely have the same wage each month as I have a commission based job. I might also be eligible for bonuses at certain times of the year, which will impact on the total of my wage. My wage figure will be the net sum I’m paid after tax, national insurance, company pension, salary sacrifice for pension, and student loan. I will only include one figure for my wage but I will mention if my commission is high or low and I will also let you know if I’ve triggered a performance based bonus.

Expenses

The first two expenses are fixed amounts. ‘Mortgage/House Bills’ is an account where Miss FFBF and I pay into each month (£440 each) to cover mortgage payments, council tax, water, TV licence, telephone, electricity, and broadband. ‘Food Account’ is another joint account we use to contribute a fixed amount (£70 per month) for food shopping. 


Here’s a breakdown of my Income and Expenses for the previous month:

Income from April 2015
Wage £2,377.78
Dividends £101.80
Interest from Savings £2.03
Kindle £51.47
P2P Lending £22.94
Total Income £2,556.02
Expenses from April 2015
Mortgage/House Bills £440.00
Food Account £70.00
Mobile £8.22
Petrol £0.00
Birthdays £1.00
Groceries £26.43
Alcohol £29.15
Eating Out £0.00
Fast Food £4.70
Coffee Shop £9.10
Charitable donations £34.00
Glasses £35.00
Protein Powder (8.8kg) £68.00
Writing course £45.00
Poker £15.00
Total Expenses £785.60

Income

Aprils wage excellent for me. I hit my half-way annual target which triggered a nice bonus. This with my regular commission contributed to a solid month. 

My dividends were around my current average. A lovely £100 for doing very little!

Kindle sales were significant considering it was my second ever monthly payment. This payment was from the book sales I made in February. It took me just over 14 months and £20,000 of investments to get that consistently in dividends. I’m not knocking dividends as I will continue to invest in them as I increase my income, their passive nature and growth potential is most certainly worth the effort. I really like the balance of both Kindle and Dividends as forms of investments. My kindle books might make me £0 in 30+ years, but I can guarantee that my dividends will be making me a very handsome sum at that stage!

I’m hoping that Kindle and Dividends payments are going to provide more than enough money to cover my expenses in time to come. I have a goal to increase the Kindle Income to £1,000 per month by December, which I’m now very confident of reaching. My new ‘unofficial goal’ is to bring in enough income from Kindle to cover my income from my current employer. I’m not sure if I’ll achieve this goal but I’ll give it a bloody good go! 


Dividend & Kindle Income – 2015
Kindle CreateSpace ACX Dividends Total
January £83.47 £83.47
February £56.22 £56.22
March £9.50 £172.36 £181.86
April £51.47 £101.80 £153.27
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2015 Total £60.97 £0.00 £0.00 £413.85 £474.82
2015 Average £30.49 £0.00 £0.00 £103.46 £133.95


To finish up my income, I had a nice sum of money from my P2P lending. 

To summarise, my income overall was the highest it’s been all year, so overall I’m delighted! I wish I could have more months like this, and I’m hoping in the near future I will!



Expenses

Now that I’ve proven to myself that it’s possible to live on less than £10,000 a year, I feel like I can challenge myself in other areas. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to go on a mass spending spree, but I’m not going to decline Personal Development opportunities to keep my expenses below a set figure this year. 

April was much more in line with what people will be used to seeing on this Blog. It won’t be like this for a lot of the year. 


Income/Expense Average

I don’t have an expense goal for 2015, but I receive a lot of questions about my expenses, perhaps more than most other things I write about. I thought I would keep tracking them as people are interested, as am I. Whilst I was tracking the average for that, I thought it would be worth doing the same thing for Income, as it’s an important goal for me this year.


2015 Expenses Income
January £728.45 £2,030.19
February £725.03 £1,793.69
March £1,181.06 £1,747.98
April £785.60 £2,556.02
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2015 Total £3,420.14 £8,127.88
2015 Average £855.04 £2,031.97


My average spend at the end of March was £878.18. After a tight April, I’ve dropped the average spend  to £855.04

My income average was £1,857.29 at the end of last month. It’s now up to £2,031.97. 

I’m not always going to find a nice increase income and a decrease in expenses, so I’ll certainly take that!


Saving Rate Average

Saving Rate 2015 – %
January 67.3
February 62.8
March 65.5
April 74.6
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2014 Average 67.6%
I managed to save/invest £1,907.82 in April which was 74.6% of my income. My saving percentage for 2015 is currently 67.6%. I think this figure represents a solid average for me at the moment. In the next few months, my dividend and Kindle income should increase this figure above the 70% mark on a more regular basis.

Thank you all once again for your continued support. It means a lot!

0 Comments

  • Hey Huw,

    Great to see this report, even if it's from a little while ago, it's still encouraging and inspiring!

    One quick question, your food bill always seems really low, so I was wondering how/where you buy, whether you or Lou ever ready at work, and whether the protein powder makes up for some of your meals, which might also be keeping your costs down?

    Cheers

  • EarlyRetiredGuy

    Reply Reply 27th June 2015

    Ditch the protein powder! ….

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 27th June 2015

    Thanks M!

    We shop at Morrisons and Aldi mainly. We buy food in bulk. Plan meals in advance. Cook extras for lunches. Buy a lot of 'Value' brand goods as opposed to branded, and I think that's about it.

    We used to put in £50 each a month, and I've agreed to increase my stake to £70, and Lou keeps hers to $50, as I eat a lot more than her. I still end up spending £20-£30 on extra food that's just for me.

    I have Protein as a supplement, sometimes for breakfast, and after workouts. It does help to keep costs down. the cost of a protein shake is very low, but I don't live on it.

    I hope that helps? How much do you spend?

    Cheers
    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 27th June 2015

    Ha ha. I'm afraid I do use it, and I rate it too. I wouldn't suggest living on it, but it's a great cheap way to top up my daily protein.

    Cheers
    Huw

  • Thanks for that, I always find it interesting to see how different people do their grocery shopping. We shop at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, and Aldi depending on who's got what on discount. We spend up to £230 power month, which includes entertaining, as we have people over very frequently. I'd say if it were just us 3, we'd be spending about £170 per month. We also make extra for lunches and that sort of thing

    Cheers

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 28th June 2015

    Hi M,

    No problem at all. I think you've hit the nail on the head there. We don't host people very often, and it's one of those things we keep suggest doing but rarely deliver. Truth be told the extra cost for hosting is likely to be worth the value you gain from the time with friends/family. Only you will know if you're spending too freely with food on a regular basis. I would say the vast majority of people could curb their food spending, myself included. It's just asking the question whether you're happy to or not. I've chosen to spend an extra £20 a month, because I train a lot and eat a lot of meat, which is expensive.

    All the best!
    Huw

  • Clare

    Reply Reply 29th June 2015

    Aw man! I wrote a really long comment and when I logged into Google it deleted it! Wah! Anyway, the essence of it was a big thank you to you for your inspiration! I am a mum of 2 kids, 2 pets and one husband from NZ and I LOVE how few expenses you have and how focussed you are on your savings goals. I don't think (with two very tall and constantly growing children) that we could pull off your teeny tiny grocery budget, but grocery budgeting is one of the areas that I need to make drastic improvements too. Thank you for your inspiration, and hopefully I can share a successful July budget with you in a month!!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 29th June 2015

    Hi Clare,

    Thank you for stopping by. It makes my day when I read comments like this. Thank you so much!

    Sorry to hear about the long comment deletion. I've had that happen to me a couple of times, and it's bloody annoying!

    I still find it slightly strange when people say they're inspired by me. Your the mother of 2 kids and 2 pets and you also have a husband to feed. That's inspiring!

    The good news is that there re plenty of options out there for reducing your grocery spends. Please feel free to use my Blog comment section for accountability. I'd love to hear what you managed to spend in July vs our spend in June. Remember, it's not important what you spent vs me or anyone else. It's all about improving your own situation for you and your family.

    I wish you the best of luck!
    Huw

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