As I am planning to save £400,000 (optimum) in ten years for financial independence and early retirement (FIRE), I document my progress each month. Lacking financial support from family and in the absence of any mystery relatives who can leave me large inheritances, I started this January with just £8,000 in savings (£0 in my FIRE fund). I do not own property or have any other valuable assets. Yet I am moving forward each month to eventually reach my goal. Find out how much I saved last month here.
To ensure Monethalia remains free of charge, this post contains affiliate links.
Why should you do a monthly savings report?
A monthly savings report has numerous benefits as you are committed to checking on your finances every month. This can help you to achieve savings goals. If you publish your monthly savings report as I do, my readers will hold me accountable and it would be embarrassing to post about how I spent all my savings on chocolate or how I gave up on FIRE to live on benefits. If you decide to keep your savings report to yourself, looking at the numbers each month will still motivate you and you will keep your eyes on your target.
Looking back at past months may help you to identify money-wasting behaviours and areas that have the potential to save money or gain money. Assessing your income streams, you can find out which contribute the most to your overall income and hence which you should focus on.
May 2019 savings report
My goals for this month were to firstly work on Monethalia and my Pinterest account to facilitate generating income from affiliate marketing and secondly, adhering to my budget. Monethalia has become a decent blog and I finished the set-up, and my Pinterest profile is slowly growing. All is going well in this area. I am even able to offer new subscribers a free workbook Master Money Management Never Be Broke Again. Grab yours here!
I have not been doing as well with staying within my budget this month though. There were a few unexpected events: I had to pay a fine of £100 for driving (which I reduced to £85) and had to travel to London for an appointment (£28 travel costs). Additionally, I spent too much money on food as always!
May 2019 savings report summary
My total take-home income this month was £2,431. This is comprised of my salary from my full-time job, my May matched betting profits, interest, and growth of my investments (see FIRE fund). Learn how you can easily make £500+ per month tax-free with matched betting here.
In May, I spent a total of £1,028 (breakdown in graphs below). As usual, rent is my biggest expense making up half of my total expenses. This really makes me consider moving somewhere cheaper!
To create these graphs, I used Microsoft Excel and data provided by Monzo. Monzo is a genius mobile bank that automatically breaks down your expenses by category. Saves me a ton of work! If you follow my link to sign-up, you will receive a £5 bonus.
Food is another big category and I totally spent too much on this, even taking into account that I buy gluten free. At least I spent less in comparison to last month. Still, me versus the food budget is an ongoing battle which I cannot see reaching a conclusion any time soon.
My yearly payment contribution flows into a separate instant-access saving account. I use this money for expenses that only occur once a year such as my car insurance, flights to visit my family and insurances.
This month, I booked flights as I will visit my family in July. As I overpaid my yearly payment fund in the past, I also used money from it to pay for my Speed Awareness Course (£85) that I have to take because I drove 35mph in a 30mph zone. This money has not been added to my net worth or any other calculation so it does not affect my May 2019 savings report.
I am so excited to see my FIRE fund grow! Note that the massive increase of 175% compared to last month is because I only set this fund up last month. It took some time for everything to be ready so I transferred last month’s savings together with this month’s savings. Obviously the fund is still small so every increase seems huge.
Also, my FIRE fund has brought in its first return. Although it is not much, I am happy to report a 1.23% growth. I was worried that as soon as I opened my Vanguard account, the market would crash and I would be left with nothing.
Apart from my Vanguard Fund, I also have £1,000 invested with Ratesetter for 14.9% interest. If you are interested in opening an account with Ratesetter, you can get a similar rate using my link.
This graph shows us how my net worth is spread between the different asset types. Most money is in my matched betting fund, which is used to generate more money. Over time, I expect this to decrease (as a percentage of my total assets) as my index fund will increase (hopefully).
I keep an emergency fund of four month’s expenses. I recommend you do the same in case you lose your job or your company gets hit by a meteorite. Who knows!
Goals for June 2019
As always, my goal for June will be to keep to my budget. I am likely to go on one or two weekend trips so this may be difficult. Matched betting will likely be less profitable due to football being on-hold so I can use the chance to investigate more alternative income streams. I also want to learn more about investing and different options.
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