As I am working towards financial independence and early retirement (FIRE), I decided to track my monthly income and outgoings, starting with this April 2019 Savings Report. If you are not currently tracking your finances, I recommend starting now. Tracking allows you to see where you have the potential to save more and how your income is distributed. It also helps me to stay on track with my grand master plan.
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Since this is my first income report, let me give you some details about my financial background. Having always been the person to save more than spend, I was lucky to never have had a negative balance at the end of the month. While this is beneficial for working towards FIRE, it also means that I do not possess anything of great value.
Overall, all my physical possessions combined probably have a value of about £1,500 (half of that being my car). I also have currently £,1900 locked away in a pension which I contribute to through my workplace. Back in Germany, I also have a private pension but no clue how much is in it–I will check when I visit my mother in July. Everything else going on in my finance life is outlined below.
In the past I have not kept much detail about my finances, all I did was tallying up the money in my bank accounts at the end of the month. I have been doing this since I turned 18, but only have digital records since October 2015 (see graph).
April 2019 Savings Report
My take home income in April was £2,481.82. This includes my regular salary, my matched betting profits of £733.14, and profits from research participation and interest. Note: my actual matched betting profits are higher, but I left some of this in my matched betting bank. I am surprised how much interest I earned given that this is only from my emergency fund.
In April, I spent a total of £1,041.85. As you can see in the graphs, rent accounts for nearly half of my expenses. Yearly payments include everything that is paid only once/twice a year such as car insurance, travel insurances, flights to visit my family, etc. I transfer some money to a separate account each month and when I need to pay my a yearly payment, I use this money. This ensures my emergency fund is not hit by something that is not an emergency but a planned expense.
I set up a Vanguard Stocks & Shares ISA as a new home for my FIRE fund. From the last financial year, I have £631.14 in it. From April’s savings and leftover from last month, I am going to transfer £1,533.46 into it. Currently, I am still waiting to verify my bank account but hopefully, this will be sorted soon.
Apart from my Vanguard Fund, I also have £1,000 invested with Ratesetter for 114.9% interest. If you are interested in opening an account with Ratesetter, please check the Terms & Conditions and do your research before you sign-up.
Steps towards FIRE I took this month
Firstly, I set up the above mentioned Vanguard fund. I also opened a new Nationwide account to take advantage of the 5% interest. With the money I had from the previous month, I filled this account up to the maximum of £,2500. I also transferred my salary to my Nationwide account. Plus, I am keeping my TSB account as this also gives me 5% interest on balances up to £1,500. I filled this right up to serve as my emergency fund alongside the Nationwide account.
April 2019 Savings Report conclusions
Given that I am still learning about FIRE, I think I did OK. There is still potential to save more, especially in the food category. As I am gluten-intolerant I naturally have to pay more; however, I also wasted money on eating out rather than bringing food with me. I have automated my money management but it will need some fine-tuning during the next month. Ideally, all my income goes into the Nationwide account and is distributed from there.
Goals for next month
My goal for May is to adhere to my monthly budget (which I managed this month) and live more frugally. Apart from that, I aim to continue working at Monethalia and my Pinterest account, although I expect no income from this yet. In the more distant future, I aim to have a regular income from affiliate marketing. Furthermore, I am planning to move so I can sell off my car which is a huge money eater.
Let us hope that past performance is an indicator of future success.
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