This year I am going to try to focus more on the expenses. So no more joint account overviews or savings rate. Savings rate was pretty useless in my case anyway as I was not saving to put into the stash but am saving to finish our home renovations. We estimate to have another 50.000 euro renovations to do before the house is finished. We will not count the big renovations to our expenses as we want them done before we stop working. We will keep count of normal maintenance costs as that is something that will happen during our ‘retirement’.
Income: 2 354,55 euro
Expenses: 1 496,45 euro
Savings: 858,10 euro
The income is wage and 230 euro in new year gifts. Good news for next month as the tax reform came into effect and I will be receiving around 50 euro more net wages! Yeah, something to look forward to!!
Expenses were just, barely, under 1.500 euro! Yes!! The first month is in the bag. Next month will not be that good as one of my hard drives in my Synology NAS died and replacing it will cost 200 euro. D’oh!
But this month I limited my spending to 1.500 euro so for the moment I am going to enjoy this good feeling of a mission accomplished!
The bulk of my spending goes to the joint account. 1.100 euro that serves to pay for our mortgage, electricity and gas, fuel for the car and food for our bellies.
So that is 400 euro left for real ‘personal spending.
I did still spend 145 euro on food for myself. But half of it is for protein bars as most mornings I am in too much a rush to get a proper breakfast so I just grab a proteine bar which I then munch down at my desk. Not the most unhealthy choice but it isn’t particualry healthy either. I should make it a project to build up a healthy morning routine. In all honesty: at the moment I am too lazy to do it …
I have made some progress as the girlfriend makes me a healthy seaweed bread once a week. That covers breakfast and lunch at work for three days. It is both healthier and cheaper than the two sandwiches I normally order at work. So that is about half the week taken care of. And it did limit my work food expenses to 70 euro this month. Now I just need to find something to cover the other half of the week. We are looking for something healthy, cheapisch (anything under 5 euro a day is a winner) and quick to do.
Gas for the Vespa was 40 euro. That is about 10 euro a week. This gets me to work every day and to the swimming pool 2 to 3 times a week. I could eliminate soemof this cost by biking more to work. It would take longer but give some more exercise which I do need. But once again my lazy side wins out and I have used the vespa all the time.
A cinema visit + some snacks costed me 33 euro + 17 euro for the train to get me to Ghent. This was to meet up with a friend and I always enjoy my time with him so money well spend in my book.
The remainder of the money (all 147 euro) was spend on an excellent bottle of Whisky. That stuff has gotten expensive! Last time I bought it I think it was around 94 euro. But winning some prices and nicer packaging apparently made it a lot more expensive!! Still, we quit enjoy it and usually it lasts us a long time (last time I bought this bottle was over 8 years ago, so there is that …)
To keep our cost down, this is are go to whisky, very nice and a lot more affordable.
To be honest, the 150 euro spend on the Whisky is realisticly the only real wiggle room I have in my personal budget. I could get my food budget down a little bit. And the gas cost for the Vespa by biking more. But we are talking 20 or 30 euro a month here.
At 1.100 euro the joint account gets most of my spending and htere is definitely some savings possible there but even if i realize some savings there they will go to home renovations and I will not feel it in my personal spending.
But there are some expences I really want to get lower.
We spend 20 euro at the fries shop. That is two visits. Since I really need to lose some weight I am going to limit this to 1 visit a month.
Groceries for us two came to 525 euro. Which is too high. I think we should be able to reduce this with at least a 100 euro. Big part of it is not enough planning.
Wen we purchased the chest fridge the plan was to do some more food planning, cooking bigger batches and reducing the grocery shopping. And we did do it. For a while. Now we have reverted back to old habits. Shopping two or three times a week and not always at the cheapest place but at the most convenient place. Our grocery bill reflects this.
So things to improve upon are:
– on occasion bike to work (weather will need to be nicer for this)
– limit fries to 1 x month
– improve our meal planning/grocery shopping