Financial Freedom Sloth

achieving financial freedom one lazy step at a time

Category: monthly expense report (page 1 of 4)

Monthly expense report: August

In august I took two weeks of holiday, relaxed and went to a festival in Amsterdam. Let’s see the impact of all of this on my finances,

Income: 2 421,43 euro

expenses: 1 894,60 euro

Savings : 526,83 euro or 21,76%

Income

Income was a somewhat average 2 421,43 euro. This was my normal wage + a birthday gift from the parents. I gave to say that the Belgian system isn’t all that badly organized for your holidays once you are in a fixed contract with a company. You use your official holidays and you don’t even notice it in your paycheck! And on top of that they even pay you some extra holiday money in June!

Expenses

Festivals are expensive! Dekmantel festival cost me 150 euro. And that was only food, drinks and uber to and from the venue. Not included are the actual tickets and our stay in a AIRb&b in Amsterdam. Those two items were another 330 euro. So all in total this festival cost me close to 500 euro. Now I could see it as a remplacement holiday since I didn’t have a real holiday this year. And from that viewpoint it is not that expensive. But if you look at it as just ‘going to a festival’ it is definitely expensive. The main reason for this was the fact that festival was near Amsterdam. Staying in Amsterdam is expensive. And then using an Uber to and from the festival (too far to just walk and no convenient public transport) also added to the cost (damn those surge pricing!).

The festival was fun and it’s a good thing to know one can still properly rave hard at age 45 but Amsterdam is just a too expensive city to visit frequently. Especially because that same weekend there is a cheap techno event in our own town (less than 1km from our door actually).

In august we went to see Once upon a time in Hollywood in the cinema. The tickets were free but a cinema visit always triggers me into buying way too much junkfood at way to high prices. Sigh, not good for the wallet and not good for the wasteline.

And since I was on holiday we also squeezed in a restaurant visit. A Belgian classic: fries and mossels.

Yuo have not lived until you have eaten Belgian Fries with mossels and a good beer

All of the above actually barely broke my budget for the month. It was the purchase of a smartphone that pushed me way over budget this month. For 353 euro I bought a Xiaomi Mi 9t but I’ll give that it’s own post.

To sum it up: Dekmantel festival, a cinema and restaurant visit and a new smarthpone and I still saved 526 euro in August! I really can’t understand how other people succeed in spending all of their money every single month.

Monthly expense report: July

After two incredible months with a 73% and 54% savings rate I spend decided to spend a lot of money in July which had my savings rate drop to 8,8%. Here are the numbers.

Income: 2 382 euro

Expenses: 2 171,80 euro

Savings: 210,20 euro or a measely 8,8%

Income

Not much to tell about the income in July. Only the normal monthly salary this month. Bonusses, unfortunately do not come every month 🙁

Expenses

Personal spending was pretty normal. I did spend 50 euro visiting the festivities at Ghent. Since we used to live in Ghent their annual festivities is always a good excuse to meet up with old friends. The girlfriend usually stays with some of those friends as there are many, many parties to attend during these 10 days.

So where did I do spend all the extra money on? Simple, on a gift for the girlfriend.

Our gift policy as a couple is pretty basic: we don’t exchange gifts. Both of us prefer to have less stuff than more stuff. And if we want something it is usually something pretty specific. Which means you better ask us exactly what we want instead of just buying it. Also, if we want a specific something we, after carefull considering if we really want it, most of the time we buy it. Which means that when a birthday or holiday comes around there is nothing we want. So we stopped exchanging gifts a long time ago. We do try, and do not save, on trying to spend quality time with each other. But that is usually a joint expense.

Why the gift now?

Because the girfriend on occasion often doubts herself too much. She has been a big music/techno fan since her youth. But this was always passive: listening to music, going to parties. Which had me often wondering why she never did anything with it as it cleary did bring her much joy. Now I know, it is not because you like something you need to actively do something with it but we are speaking about a pretty obsessive passion here. It also became clear that she didn’t do something with it, not because she didn’t want to but because of to much self-doubt. The ‘what if I suck at it’ fear. I don’t think our talking resolved the self doubt, but she did come to the conclusion that the only real downside of trying was some wasted time (not that big a deal since we would otherwise spend it watch TV shows, nothing wrong with netflix by the way 😉 and a couple of hundred euro’s on DJ gear. Most of it we probably could recuperate by selling the gear. Or we could just keep it and really improve the sound quality of our little home parties.

So once convinced she would try her hand at Dj’ing another difference between our personalities showed itself. The girlfriend is, in my mind, slow to act. Now I am a big fan of taking once time to gather all the relevant inforation and such but for me, once the decision is taken you go for it. No more waiting, no more delays, no more what ifs but go, go, go. And the girlfriend was taking her goddamn sweet time! Talking about december where she and a few friends might take some DJ lessons and then only buying the equipment after…. Given the avalanche of youtube clips that can show you everything you ever wanted to know about DJ’ing and the fact we actually have two DJ’ing friends I found all her justifications for not diving in complete nonsens. So I did a deep dive into the world of DJ gear and emerged a week later with a big order at the bax music shop and 826 euro less in my account.

What 826 euro gets you is this:

1 Denon DJ MC4000 DJ-controller, 2 KRK RP5 G3 active studiomonitors, 1 Audio Technica ATH-M40x headphone

She did wait to buy a laptop and first hooked the set-up to our desktop computer. Something which made for a very full desk. Once she discovered she actually liked dJ’ing she did buy a laptop and I spend a Saturday afternoon constructing a somewhat rude but perfectly usable DJ table. Which now makes for a pretty full living room …

Monthly expense report: June

After the stellar income month of May (where I almost cracked the 6.000 euro income from work) June was a slow transition back to a more normal income.

Income: 3 641,14 euro

Expenses: 1 670,50 euro

Savings: 1 970,64 euro or 54,12%

Yes June was the second month this year of me saving more than 50% of my income. It just shows I need to work on my income side to push the savings rate higher.

Income

Income for the month was my normal wages + the holiday money from work. We didn’t go on a real holiday this year so the holiday money all went straight to my savings account. The bulk of my savings this year actually come from the big pay out last month and this month. The savings account was quicker than I thought back in shape after the big expense of paying for the new car in March.

Expenses

June expenses were pretty average. I did go bowling with friends but at 20 euro that was a pretty cheap night out. I also purchased a house warming gift for friends who bought a house with pool (they are not the frugal kind). I did think the house warming party would turn into a gay orgy near the end of the evening but that did not materialise so with hindssight I definitely should have gone for a different house warming gift 😉

With the first heat wave we also visited a local swimming pond. Not too many people, decent food and a low entrance fee means I didn’t break the bank for this either.

Expect for the holiday money June was a pretty average month. With me still spending too much money on food at work. My wasteline continued to suffer (which perhaps explains why the orgy never materialised .. Surely they didn’t wait till we left … did they?!!)

Monthly expense report: May

I have several months of catching up to do and these monthly reports are pretty easy to write, thus ideal to get in the wing of things again! Expect some more of them …

Income: 5 858,10 euro

Expenses: 1 533,50 euro

Savings: 4 324,60 euro or 73,82%

Yes, the income needs some explaining …

Income

No gift or lottery winnings in May. The high income was 100% me having worked my ass of in previous months. When I told you guys I had to work really hard at my job I wasn’t lying. I also wasn’t lying when I said my boss and the management appreciated all my efforts. The month of May is bonus month at my job so the 5 858,10 euro is my normal wages of 2 298 euro + my normal annual bonus of 1 581,40 euro. And then to top it of an extra second bonus of 1 978,70 euro just for me! I didn’t ask for it but management wanted to do something extra because they did realise I had been working for crazy for several months so they did. I have to say, it is nice to be appreciated!! I also really like the high savings rate and the fact that it put me right on track to achieve my savings goal for the year!

Expenses

Just a little bit over my own 1 500 euro mark.

Not bad especially because this month I had to increase my contribution to the joint account because funds were running a bit low there with the new car related expenses + taking the nephew to the efteling.

And off course I spend to much money on food, further increasing the waste line …

Monthly expense report: April

Wow! 7 months of zero posts. I have to say: those months just flew by.

What happened is that the job remained very busy but not as insanely busy as before. You would think that once the pressure got less I would find the energy and time to write/post more. That’s the theory. But in practice, with the pressure gone, the thing proppelling me forward was also gone and I just got lazy. Not at work, work is still pretty busy, but manageable busy. But on all other fronts activity went to zero, zilch, nothing. I didn’t even read other blogs anyore. I guess my mental energy was zero and I needed time to recharge. I am not saying the fuel tank is now full again but I did feel like posting again. And since I have some catching up to do, here are my expenses for April.

Income: 2 302 euro

Expeses: 1 490,50 euro

Savings: 811,50 euro or 35,25%

April was a good month numbers wise. After buying the new car I was motivated to get my savings back up. 35,25% savings rate was the highest for the year but due to buying a car in March the savings rate for the whole year still is negative at the end of April.

Income

Not a lot to say here, standard income from working + 100 euro gift from my parents (probably for easter).

Expenses

Expenses, although low, were not all good during the month of April.

I had to pay a 75 euro speeding ticket (still driving the Vespa too fast all of the time) and spend way too much money on food. The latter is not only bad money wise but an utter disaster for the waste line. This does merit it’s own dedicated post. I have to say, not looking forward to it.

Monthly Expense report: February and March

I normally can sit behind a computer for hours, and hours and hours. February was the exception to this rule. Between work and having more sick than healthy days in March. I had during the evening zero inclination to spend any more time behind the PC. Which explains the zero posts in all of March. So I’ll just put both the February and March expense report in this one post.

February

Income: 2 247,60 euro

Expenses: 1 764,30 euro

Savings: 483,30 or 21,50%

Income was a little bit higher as I am still experimenting with a side gig which made me an extra 53 euro. More on the side gig in a later post.

Expenses in February were also higher. But the 1 764 euro does include 331 euro for a Festival in Amsterdam in August, 26 euro a doctor’s visit. The only expense I really do not like is the 55 euro I spend on sandwiches at work. It’s a waste of money and mad for my weight (and thus my health). I really need to stop it! Anyway, 1 500 euro a month definitely is doable, I just do not seem to be able to get there!

March

Income: 7 280,70 euro

Expenses: 9 474,41 euro

Savings: -2 193,72

Yep, March is where I have some explaining to do.

If you want the short and fast version: I bought a car, paid cash for it and my parents gave me money.

On the income side I had:

2 218,20 euro from my pay check

5 050 euro gift from my parents

12,50 euro income from the side gig

On the expense side I had all the normal expenses.

And then I had 8 113 euro for the car. The car will get his own post but we bought a brand new Dacia Logan for almost 11 250 euro. Deduct the 5,000 euro my parents insistent of giving me to help buy the car left almost 6 250 euro. My half of this came to 3 113 euro. I could have put the 5,000 in our joint account but since I no longer report in detail on that one it wouldn’t have shown up anywhere so I put it here. Basically I out 3 113 euro out of pocket but now have a brand new car which should last us for another 12 to 14 years. Thank you mom and dad.

Annoyingly I am negative for the year by about a 1,000 euro and it will take me till May to get positive for the year. It is one of the reasons I would have preffered the 0% financing but that clusterfuck of a tale is also for another post.

On the buying sandwiches at work front I did not improve and spend 78 euro! Yes, I definitely went off the rails here and my wasteline is paying the price. No more in April!

Monthly Expense report: January

Nothing broke in January! After December, where almost everything broke I count this as a success! January, in my book, is the month where we, slowly, start to rebuild.

Income: 2 202,60 euro

Expenses: 1 661,30 euro

Savings: 541,30 euro or 24,6%

Income

The bonus unfortunately only comes once twice a year so it is back to the ‘normal’ income of around 2 200 euro. I have come to realize that getting to a higher savings rate is only acivable for me if I would increase my income. Then again, I usually am pretty close to savings 25% of my income which actual means I am allready financial free for 25% of my time without taking the stash into account since I only need to work three weeks to earn enought money to live four weeks. I find that a very comforting thought!

Expenses

Expenses stood at 1 660 euro. Part of me wants to say this is pretty good since it also covers 320 euro for a new motor vest and all weather motor pants. For the last year I have been making due with what I had but the broken zipper on my winter vest in December forced my hand and I finally purchased a decent motor vest. When (and that is a definite when, not if) I ever kiss the ground while going 90 km/h I will be very gratefull for the purchase. Meanwhile I am enjoying the added comfort during these winter months! The 1 660 euro also covers 100 euro in birthday gift for the godchild. Something I am happy to give and once our house is renovated am planning to greatly increase.

So that was the good part. The bad part is 128 euro spend on sandwiches at work and snacks for in the evening. The relaunch of the diet is not going all that well. I kind of crash and burned in this regard. I need to write about it. But a big part is the work situation. Which I also need to write about. But actually, the work situation is also THE reason why I have been blogging a lot less the last months because I come home exhausted and have 0 interested in sitting behind a PC at home as well. I will dive deeper into it in the next post I promise.

I actually have a few intersting tid bits to post about:

The work situation.

Buying a car.

Not getting a loan for the car because some credit organization somehow decided I am no good for a 7,000 euro loan. Even if my net worth is close to 350,000 euro and I save 500 euro a month!

And the really interesting one: how last year I lost 90,000 euro in the stock market. I’ll give you a very short recap of that one: leverage can be a bitch and yes it really hurts. Keep your questions for the actual post, even though most of it happened in February last year the wound is still a open hole of pain and misery. But also do not worry, I am fine!

Monthly expense report: December

Stuff broke in December. Actually a lot of stuff broke in December. Like our PC, our car, the zipper on my coat and part of my sanity … For the moment this has had little repercussions on my spending but the big ticket item
(a new car) is coming …

Income: 3 489,83 euro

Expenses: 1 551,50 euro

Savings: 1 938,33 euro of a whopping 55,5%

Income

The much higher income is due to my job paying a Christmas bonus or 13th month as it is often referred to in Belgium.

In April/May we are also eligible for a bonus if we meet certain goals (we will) which will also be close to an extra month of wages. And since I have worked all off 2018 for this company I will have 30 holiday days that year. So in 2019 I will get paid close to 14 months of wages for 10,5 months of work. Ok, why the hell am I striving for early retirment again? O right, I am a lazy weirdo.,,

Expenses

Expenses are 1 551,50 euro and I am particulary proud of this as they also entail 300 euro I personally chipped in to but the new computer. The rest of the purchase is paid from our joint account but I wanted a decent graphics card the gilfriend has absolutely no need for so I paid it myself. So minus this purchase I only spend 250 euro and 45 euro of those went to excellent videosoftware via a humble bundle (25 euro for Movie studio 15 is a steal! ) and a game I have been drooling over for a year but couldn’t play on the old computer. PC gaming wise I am set for the next year as i have some older games on Steam I haven’t played in the last year or two because the old computer was getting so slow …

All in all we end the year with good buffers in the checking and savings account. The car purchase will oblitarate those in the new year and the full year recap for 2018 will tell you how my stash was decimated during 2018. It’s a tale of overleverage and greed that left me battered and bruised at the side of the road but I will try to make it a fun read for you my loyal followers!

Monthly expense report: November

Income:  2 167 euro

Expenses:  1 583,50 euro

Savings:  583,50 euro

November was a pretty standard month form an income and expense point of view.

Income was only the job income. November 15 I was one year at the current company so an update is needed on that front but work has been so insanely busy the last weeks that I really didn’t feel like starting up the old desktop at home. It also explains the lack of posts over the last month. This sloth is tired in the evening.

Expenses

Didn’t buy a new laser, still want to! I did buy some new graphic novels so the itch to buy something ‘fun’ is satisfied for the time being. The graphic novels came to 88 euro.

We also visited a friend in Brussels, The friend is a big Asia nut so we visited a -cheap- Japanese restaurant. I went to talk about an online side gig idea I have tumbling around in my head for some time now. Turns out the friend is even more skilled than I thought! I tried to nudge him into starting his own thing as he could do all the work himself and he does like to travel Asia for months on end. I wasn’t really successful as he has witnessed in his immediately family the high price that comes with building out a business empire. He is part too smart and part too lazy (there is a reason I get along with him!) to go down that rabbit hole …I would still over to convince him that there is a middle ground. Anyway, the visit did cost me 43 euro but was money well spend.

On a more practical front I also spend 72 for some new underwear and 21 euro on new swimshorts. Both things desperately needed. Well, desperately needed according to the misses, a sloth knows no shame …

On the’ bad’front: also spend some money on sandwiches at work. The diet is still not going that good. I actually even started skipping some of my swimming!! It merits its own post. But I am a stress eater and did I mention that work has been insanely busy? I am recognizing the signs from my time at the back office for the trading floor of the big bank. Luckily management is aware that there is a ‘support-situation’ at the moment. Management also knows that I have been putting the pedal to the metal for the last couple of months. So I have told them that this will only last until after new year. And to not take my current productivity as something to count on long term. I’ll see how it goes.

I do not envy them as some tough decisions will need to be made. I also need to bite the bullet and not only keep up the insane work volume at work but in my free time actually start working on one of those ‘fun-to me’ work projects that needs to be done but nobody at work has the time to do. For once in my life I want to be strategic about it and leverage my current strong position into something that has long term benefits for me. Fortune favors the well prepared…

On a totally unrelated note. Cheesy finance and geldnerd have a very different definition of a backyard. To parafrase an old australian saying: that’s not a backyard, this is a backyard …

Our backyard, and yes that is a pig on the right …

Monthly expense report: October

Income: 2 195 euro

Expenses: 1 656,50 euro

Savings:  535,50 euro

With no more birthday presents and tickets to sell, income fell back to the usual amount earned by working. This might drop a little bit going forward as from 1 November we got hospitalization insurance via work! This will cost us around 12 euro a month but will cover any costs above 250 euro if we end up in a hospital for any reason. Yes, the girlfriend is also covered with those 12 euro! So we are pretty happy with it as work from the girlfriend does not offer any and we didn’t have this insurance since I got fired at the big bank in March 2016.

I do -finally- have an idea for a website/on line community that might  be profitable to run. We’ll see but hopefully it is successful and I can boost the income a bit next year. At the very least I’ll pick up some new skills in building it.

Expenses

The problems with the Vespa seem to be in the past! Joehoe! And very glad this money drain finally ended.

The 1 656 euro spending is actually pretty good when you take into account the fact that this month I needed to pay for my swimming pool subscription for the next year. Going swimming costs me 270 euro. This comes down to around 2 euro per swim. Which is pretty reasonable. Even if it wasn’t, there is no other way to swim cheaper than this. And it is the exercise I enjoy doing the most. I view it as a small price to pay for a better health.

I did spend a bit to much for sandwiches at work. It is not really a big amount but since it is bad for the diet any euro spend on it is not good. I need to step up my game in that area but I’ll go deeper into it in the upcoming health report.

Curious thing also happened. I felt to need to spend money on fun thing. I still have it actually. After the Vespa soaking up money, and now the swimming abonnement. Plus a decent amount spend on renovation the utility room I just want to spend money on something frivolous. Like another party laser for in our house. Or these music reactive lights. You now, completely useless crap. It has been a pretty long while since I had this urge. At the moment I can still fight it back but if I am below my 1 500 euro spending goal at the end of November I might just give in .. Because, well, shiny lights and such. …

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