November is the month I really tried to get my side gig off the ground. This effort was reflected in my spending. But since I was busy with that project I couldn’t spend a lot of money on other things. So my monthly numbers aren’t that bad.
Income: 2 287,35 euro
Expenses: 1 625,02 euro
Savings : 662,33 euro or 29%
Income was my regular paycheck from work plus a gift from the parents. Nothing exiting to report here.
As I do every month I transferred 1 100 euro to our joint account to pay the mortgage, utilities and grocery shopping.
Extra food was 71,80 euro because I eat too much pizza. And even eating from home does not eliminate this expense completely it seems.
Gas for the Vespa was once again 8,40 euro. Standing still for too long isn’t good so I on occasion use the Vespa to go somewhere (like to go get exta food at the supermarket, I know, I know …).
Mobile phone was 12 euro, because no calls out of bundle.
I paid for Netflix (Belgium is once a gain in a semi lockdown) this month: 16 euro
Expenses for the side gig : 411,82 euro
The side gig is why I went over budget this month. The amount isn’t only for the side gig. As explained last month I put all of my online – let’s call it experiments – at one place. So 166,82 euro of hosting costs also cover this site. And the domain name fees for a year also cover financialfreedomsloth. But 153 euro was all for the side gig as it was one year of use for Buddyboss. I am really impressed by their offering. A bit of money and a few days of work and you can have your own litle community up and running without knowing any coda. I first tried it with buddypress, bbpress and a 62 euro thema that should tie all of it together but couldn’t really make it work. So that was 62 euro spend to learn what didn’t work for me. Honestely, the stuff you can do online for 500 euro a year baffles me!
I am pretty happy with my expenses for October. Not because how much I spend but on what I spend it. Below are the general numbers and then let’s dive in the details of my spending.
Income : 2 225,80 euro
Expenses : 1 531,70 euro
Savings : 694,10 euro or 31,18%
Income was my regular paycheck from work. With the exception of my end of year bonus income will remain like this for at least a couple of months. But, and this is the exciting step, I did finally started ( a little bit) on the side gig. It only took me almost a full year. Sometimes I am really not happy with my own lazyness …
Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way first.
I had my fixed amount of 1 100 euro to deposit in our joint account as I do each month.
Food during working days was 81 euro. And I am really annoyed about it because I could have stayed below budget If I just had controlled my appetit a bit more.
Mobile phone cost me 14,20 euro because I made a few calls out of my bundle. I currently pay 12 euro a month for 2 giga of data and 150 min calling time. There is a 10 euro one which gives you 1 GB of data and with working form home and using Wi-FI a lot this should probably cover my data use. But with the 2 GB I know I will not run out and frankly that piece of mind is worth the 2 euro for me. Since we in Belgium have entered a new lockdown it might be smart for some of you to check if your mobile phone subscription still matches with your changed needs …
Gas for the Vespa was 8,5 euro because working from home most days …
I spend 44 euro on 2 t-shirts. Because sometimes I push my hobo dress style a bit too much and my girlfriends patience with it runs out.
A grand total of 8 euro was spend sending a registered letter to the Belgian tax office as we are in dispute over some income. Once resolved it will make for an interesting blog post. For now I try to not be annoyed by it. Even with fines the max they can charge me is around 400 euro. My aim is to not have to pay this. But if I do have to pay them I am making sure it will have cost them more in man hours. Victory by attrition!
And then, finally, the fun stuff!
I spend 25 euro to go see Robert Henk’s CBM 8032 AV show and some drinks afterwards. With the new lockdown now in effect I am really happy with this spending. Some entertainment out of the house! Seeing people! Yeah!!
110 euro was spend on some extra weights. And with weights I mean these kind of weights:
I finally was able to buy some extra weights for my exercise equipment! I had been looking since mid August. I also bought extra 1,25 kg and 0,5 kg weights and those were actually the hardest to find. With the gyms having closed in March – April and afterwards all kind off restictions it seems quit a lot of people have started working out at home. My health/exercises deserve their own post but here to I have been a bit too lazy. I used the not having weights as an excuse where I could have ramped up the repetitions more. But now that I have the weights I either increase the weight or add a few more repetitions to at least 1 exercise. That way I make some progress every week. It may not be a lot but just as with savings, over several months all those little improvements start adding up!
Another 106 euro was spend on various little things that should make this second lockdown a bit more bearable. I promise, none of it was spend on steam games!
And then, 37 euro was spend on hosting and domain name transfer. My side gig will be an online gig. And a first step was to get the necessary web space.
The enthusiast package over at one.com gets me 200 GB of space and as an extra bonus the possibility to have 5 seperate websites. This means I can put this blog, my girlfriends DJ site and my project all at the same spot which is cheaper than having it all on seperate accounts. And for me as an European one.com is easier to use than my previuos USA hosting of this blog (tech suport in dutch, whoop, whoop!). So the 37 euro is a small amount but it got me really excited as it is the first step in getting my side project started!
While I paid the air travel and AirB&B part of our Holiday in August, September was actually the month we went on Holiday. We stayed 10 days in the Algarve region of Portugal. So how much did we actually spend during this ‘holiday’ month? The numbers are below.
Income : 2 246 euro
Expenses : 1 7325,50 euro
Savings : 510,50 euro or 22,73%
Income was my regular paycheck from work and a small anniversy gift . Income will remain around this level until I get a side gig of the ground. And since I want to build something of my own and not just work a few additional hours left and right, the side gig is going to take some time.
Yes! Back to positive savings numbers! And actually not bad for a month with a 10 day holiday abroad in it.
I had my fixed amount of 1 100 euro to deposit in our joint account to pay for boring stuff like our mortgage, utilities, food and such.
I also bought (my final, I promise it!) game on steam for 18 euro.
I did spend 70 euro on food during work days. I shouldn’t have because diet, but at the very least it is on a downward spiral. Not working for 2 weeks did help off course.
When shopping for some extra holdiay clothes for myself I saw a nice summer dress (for the girlfriend) which I bought her. We do not do the regular gifts for birthdays, new year and such but occasionaly we spot something we think our partner would like and then we buy it. In this case it was 50 euro well spend.
During the holiday I spend 490 euro. 50 euro was uber rides and the rest grocerie shopping, visiting restaurants and the ferry to a nearby island. I was on a holiday and didn’t really want to keep track of all my spending in detail so I just kept track of the cash I withdrew from the local ATM. I off course only withdrew two big amounts to limit withdrawal costs to a minimum. I do not mind spending money on a good meal (or a really big chocolat croissant) or leaving a nice tip. But even in a holiday mood I seem to hate paying banking fees.
In the name of full transparacy. I did forget to include my mobile phone subscription in the September expense report. But I am too lazy to go dig it up. So yeah, this report is off by 12 to 15 euro. If their is a battle between lazy and accurate, lazy is going to win each and every time. This is after all, Financial Freedom Sloth,
August was the first month since March 2019 where I didn’t save any money. In 2019 the reason was me buying a new car. In August a holiday was the rason for the negative savings rate. Below are the numbers:
Income : 2 212 euro
Expenses : 2 465,90 euro
Savings : -253,90 euro or – 11,48%
Income was my regular paycheck from work and a small anniversy gift from my parents. Small gift because they also helpt with some home renovation costs so I am not complaining.
2 465,90 euro is a big number but I packed a lot of fun in that amount.
I had my fixed amount of 1 100 euro to deposit in our joint account to pay for boring stuff like our mortgage, utilities, food and such. Mid month I had to deposit an additional 200 euro into the joint account because she was running low. We are in the midst of renovation our office room and usually do not keep a big balance on our joint account. I prefer saving on my personal account andmaking additional paiments to the joint account when necessary as opposed to a higher monthly contribution and saving on the joint account directly.
Another purely practical expanes was 36 euro for gasoline for the Vespa and a bit for the car (the car is usually paid from the joint account).
A bad expense was again extra food bought for 76,7 euro. You would think my monthly – shameful – confessions of my overeating would have me quiet this bad habit, apparently not …
A bit more joyeus was the 15 euro gift for a co-worker who had a baby!
And then the really fun stuff for me personally:
83 euro for a sauna visit (and lunch at the restaurant)
58 euro for the truss for my laser and smoke machine (shown in this picture)
22,50 euro for a game on steam
145 euro for a restaurant visit with the parents and the girlfriend
And finally: 730 euro for my holiday in Portugal. This amount covers my half of the plain ticket and our airb&b rental.
Without all the fun stuff i would have actually remained under budget for the month and I definitely prefer spending my money on all of this than on anther maintenance bill for the Vespa!
Let’s have a look at how much a person can actually spend during a full month of lock down.
Income: 2 258,38 euro
Expenses: 1 624,32 euro
Savings: 634,06 euro or 28%
Once again income consists just of my work income + a small reïmbursement from my health insurace. Work income is declining slightly as I work from home and am no longer eligible for the bicycle compensation I used to receive.
These are mostly the matras I bought at Ikea in March just days before all shops in Belgium closed. Using my debit card the expense showed up on my bank account only in April. A good nights rest is important so I spend 450 euro on the matras. Unfortunately the lockdwon came into effect the day of delivery and I am still awaiting delivery.
The other expenses were a doctor’s visit. This was not for Covid-19. I have been having an issue with the right leg after a bad movement while swimming and since the swimming pool is closed due to the lockdown this seemed as a good time as any to have it checked out. Treatement will be for after this pandemic as non-essential health care has not yet started up again in Belgium.
USA readers prepare for a shock: doctor’s visit + photos of the leg came to a grand total of 47 euro. My health insurer reimbursed me 23 euro so the actual out of pocket cost was 24 euro.
There was my usual cellphone bill of 12 euro’s.
O, and I bought a game at discount on steam for 17 euro. As a side note, Total war: shogun two is free to own at the moment on steam! Go pick it up if strategy games are your thing.
And that is it! A lockdown really lowers your spending even for a frugal sloth like me! Without the matras I would have only spend 75 euro! Well, 75 euro and the 1 100 euro I transfer to our joint checking account for stuff like our mortgage, utility bills and food.
My job has already informed me we will continue to work from home till the 8th of June at the very least. Shops in Belgium will be re-opening 11 May but I don’t really need anything. With the swimmng pool still closed and social interaction with family and friend still a no go it looks like I have another month of lockdown to look forward to. Who know, perhaps I will spend even less than 75 euro in May?
Ouch, April has already passed us by and I haven’t even posted my March report! The reason is simple: the Covid-19 lockdown in Belgium has me working from home. And after working 8 hours behind my desk at home I just don’t feel like sitting more time behind that same desk!
On all other accounts the lockdown doesn’t post any problems for me. I have never been a ‘people’ or ‘shopping’ person. So no big changes for me on that front.
The weather in March was not all that good either so I didn’t really miss being able to go somewhere or invite friends over.
Health wise I definitely ate way too much crap during the first weeks of the lockdown (which started the second half of March in Belgium).
But this is the financial report. So how are my numbers for being half a month in lockdown? Pretty good!
Income : 2 385,20 euro
Expenses: 1 433,45 euro
Savings: 951,75 euro or 40%
Income is once again very boring. Just my wages from work + 66 euro from my health insurer.
Wohoo, inside of the budget of 1 500 euro!
But I have to admit, I did cheat a bit. I bought a 400+ euro matras at Ikea that I put on my debet card and that cost will be coming in April. The reason is mostly smoothing out spending. With the lockdown approaching I knew I wasn’t going to be spending a lot in April. So instead of having a big bump in March and then a big drop in April I used the debit card to even that out.
Anyway, enough talk about my cheating ways: I only spend 333 euro above my fixed 1 100 euro contribution to our joint account!
And I even had about 120 euro health insurance costs (53 euro for a forced government plan and the rest for my personal insurance).
Not good was my increased spending on bad food once again. I really went all out on that front and I am really happy I was succesful in turning this around in April. But that’s a story for next months expense report.
A short month should mean a cheap month, right? Let’s see if the numbers reflect this as well.
Income : 2 355 euro
Expenses: 1 509,12 euro
Savings: 845,88 euro or 36%
If my January income was boring, February income is even more boring! Only my wage from working, that’s it! It can not get any more simple than this. I am still hoping to be able to unsimplify my income by adding a side hustle. I have a few ideas …
Oh damn, just outside the budget of 1 500 euro! Well, not really …
I actually did better than the numbers show. Knowing I was going to be pretty close within my budget I went on a little shopping spree.
I stocked up on some anti-abrasive gel for all the swimming I am doing again. 3 times a week in the water for 45 minutes + and skin starts to hurt in some places. I stoked up not only because of the left-over budget but also to avoid any delivery fees so I am now good for close to a year.
With still some money left over I also purchase a fine single malt whisky. The Glenlivet 15 years, french oak reserve is worth every eurocent it cost me. And it did cost me 5 350 eurocent. I do not drink a lot of whiskey, but when I do I like it to be of excellent quality. And over the past years my stock has been slowly dwindeling down. If I keep staying within budget as I have been for the last two months I will use those opportunities to replenish my supply …
Also in the fun category was carnival which set me back 68 euro. Which does proof that you can be both frugal AND anti-semitic 😉
I also paid the last part of the glasses I bought in January: this cost me 47 euro but I will be getting a 60 euro refund from my health insurance. This refund unfortunately was not paid into my account in February.
In the bad category:
I did spend 67 euro on food I shouldn’t have bought. I really need
to remind myself that this could have gone to another bottle of fine
Concerning the drop in stock values which, by a wild guess off me, had my net worth drop by around 25,000 euro in less then a week I refer to this great post of JL Collins.
Bottom line is I really don’t care and neither should you,
With Februari half gone, and me finally being caught up, I better hurry up with the my January expense report before I fall behind again. Especially because January was pretty good.
Income: 2 512 euro
Expenses: 1 505,90
Savings : 1 006,10
euro or 40%
January income was pretty simple. My normal wage from working and a 200 euro end of year gift I got on the 1st of January.
January is boring in this regard. But if boring means a 40% savings rate boring is good!
In January I was almost within my self imposed budget of 1 500 euro.
It is especially impressive if you know that I had to pay a 130 euro speeding ticket. I blame the Vespa, the Vesap blames me. What can I say, we have a toxic relationship in this regard.,,
I also paid 100 euro for new glasses because well, I am getting old.
A dentist visit cost me 13,50 eur (did I mention am getting old?)
On the fun side, I visited a friend in Ghent and went to see the
latest Star Wars at the Cinema. The grand cost for all this fun was
And then the expenses I am most proud off: 32 euro for our locale swimming pool as I have been ramping up my swimming (I do not trust myself enough to pay for a yearly subscription – yet). And only 45 euro spend on food stuff I shouldn’t have bought. The diet is going more or less well. Not perfect but I have let go of ‘perfect’ in this regard. ‘Good enough’ will do. If I keep up the ‘good enough’ food wise and ramp up my swimming I should – eventually – be alright weight and health wise.
Which reminds me that I own you guys a health report …
Income stood pretty high in December mainly because of work. There
was the normal wage of 2288 euro but in December we also get
our end of year bonus. The bonus amounts to 1 426 euro.
This end of year
bonus is in many compagnies, mine included, described as a 13th month
of pay. Personaly I really like this description! It is a bit like
being paid extra work time without needing to do the extra work! I
have even started to look at our performance bonus and holiday money
in that way. The nice thing about loking at it from that perspective
is that it makes me realise I am actualy paid for 14,5 months of work
but I only need to do 10,5 months of work (I have 30 days of holiday
at my workplace).
Profit from ticket arbitrage and a small christmas gift make up the difference. When I was writing the post about my search for a side gig and how I tried my hand at ticket arbitrage I noticed a good opportunity. So I decided to give it one last spin and pocketed a quick 60 euro profit.
The higher income
did push my savings above 50% for the third time this year. It just
reinforced my decision to find a money making side gig (perhaps one
which some of my readers will not hate) in 2020.
Expenses this month are all boring. There was some gift buying for people. A health insurance thing that needed to be paid (Americans will get a laugh out of it: it was 46 euro and covers 6 months). A visit to an eye doctor which thanks to the health insurance only cost me 20 euro and I bought new shoes (30 euro).
And yes, I once again spend to much money buying food at work. This is bad financially and health wise. One the plus side, in the last week of Decembre I finally seemd to have relaunched myself into the diet and swimming. Only two weeks in so we will see what the future will bring for my big butt belly, but it is going smooth for the moment.
I had all intention
to be all caught up with these monthly expense reports by the
beginning of the year but that turned out to be a very nice theory. I
used decembre mainly to relax and charge my batteries so I could
finally restart the diet and swimming. A more disciplined healthy
life style will actually be beneficial to my finances both in the
short term as the long term. So it is really something I need to
tackle. But more on that in the December expense report. Let’s get
the November one done first.
Income: 2 387,10
Expenses: 1 622 euro
Savings : 765 euro or 32%
Not a lot to say
about the income of November, just my normal wage + a 100 euro gift
from the parents.
Expenses would have stayed below the 1 500 euro mark were it not for
black Friday at the end of the month. But I feel I got some nice
frugal purchases, so no regrets there.
For the royal sum of
28 euro I got three steam games at black Friday and a fitbit charge 3
set me back 89 euro thanks to the black Friday promotion. The fitbit
is off course a desperate attempt to try and get a bit more
discipline health wise. Buying food at work was improving in November
but the transition to full on diet was not yet made.
* sigh *
expense was 30 euro for a 10 turns card for the swimming pool.
Swimming is still too infrequent to justify an annual subscription.
* hangs head in shame *
Also in the fun part of the budget: a cinema visit (the joker) with the girlfriend for a total cost of 34 euro. Yes, expensive candy was purchased at the movie theatre …
* hangs head in double shame *
More practical expenses were website hosting costs (150 euro) and 2 sweaters (61 euro). When three female co-workers gang up on you and demand you start wearing better clothes at work you know it really is time to update the wardrobe a bit. Dress code might be nearly non existing at my work place but I was apparently pushing the hobo look a bit too much…
That is it for November, one more of these for December and we can get to the full year recap which I personaly always find the most interesting to read from other bloggers.
I am not a certified financial advisor and do not hold a license from the FSMA. Everything written on this blog expresses my own personal journey and opinion and is pure entertainment. It is never an advice on what how and where you need to invest. If you need this advice, then please reach out to a financial service expert
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