Welcome to my monthly savings report for August 2019. Not much has changed, and of course, I am still working towards financial independence and early retirement (FIRE). As you can see from the tracker in my sidebar, I am currently 4% there. The goal lies in the far distance but I will continue to walk towards it. Only another ~120 savings reports until my FIRE date! By the way, if you are interested in how I did last month, you can find my report here.
To ensure Monethalia remains free of charge, this post contains affiliate links.
WHY SHOULD YOU DO A MONTHLY SAVINGS REPORT?
I am so surprised about how much Monethalia has grown in the past few months! As many of you may be new readers I just want to briefly recap why I am bothering with savings reports.
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.
Monthly savings report: August 2019
My goals for August 2019 were to restart matched betting and to continue building my Pinterest account.
I restarted matched betting alright. But I think over Summer a new rule has been added that forbids teams to go 2 up. My losses on 2ups are -£80 with zero profit. I have never been that far down but I guess this shows that 2ups are a long term game. Overall, I still made a tidy profit which once again shows that gubbings are not that much of a hindrance.
Pinterest is doing well, too. Because of the UK Money Bloggers Giveaway (now closed), my followers have actually more than doubled in size. This is really good because as my reach increases, more and more people learn about financial independence and take control of their lives.
Monthly savings report summary for August 2019
My income this month was £2,683.90. This is made up of the salary from my regular full-time job, my matched betting profits, income from blogging, interest and research participation. Looking at all of this, I actually have quite a few income streams now. However, most money still comes from my regular job (66.2%).
My total expenses for August were £1,162. I thought for sure I spent less than last month but I guess my bank account does not lie. I want to get my expenses to under £1,000 per month and will try again next month. As I have cancelled my gym membership, I will have one expense less. Hopefully, that will help!
My biggest expense, like always, is rent. I know I have been saying for months that I am looking to move somewhere cheaper but this still depends on when the company I am working for is moving. My housekeeping costs, which includes food, well actually it is mostly food …, still have room for improvement but as I am paying the gluten- and dairy-free tax, it is a challenge to save.
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.
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.
My FIRE fund grew by 14.5% this August. I am so happy to see it continuously get bigger and bigger. The money from my cancelled pension lies still in my German bank account. Just by letting it sit there, I made a profit of £40. This is because the pound has become weaker in relation to the euro. I never thought I would be a currency gambler. Now I think I will leave the money there until Brexit and then transfer it into my Vanguard fund. Maybe I can squeeze a few more pounds out of it but the sum is too small to make a major impact anyway.
My Vanguard fund, invested in the FTSE Global All Cap Index Fund Accumulation, actually fell quite a bit towards the middle of the month but is now recovering. Not that short-term fluctuations matter as I will not withdraw from this fund for the next years. I just wish it would increase slowly and steadily as my monthly saving report would look much better.
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. Brickowner currently has a similar offer (invest £1,000 get £50) when you sign-up with my link. Brickowner’s return is worked out different from Ratesetter and depends on the property you invest in. Please note that while these are great offers, it involves peer-to-peer lending and as such comes with the risk of losing money.
Goals for September 2019
In September, I am going to change gyms, so instead of £54 I will be paying just £14 membership fee. I hope I manage to actually go though! Sadly my car insurance is due for renewal next month and even though, I put aside money every month (yearly payments), this fund will not be enough to cover it completely. Alas, there will be less savings in September.
Other than that, the company I work for is moving so I will be considering moving as well. Otherwise, my commute and my petrol costs would double. One of the advantages of renting is that it is quite easy to move so it does not seem sensible to stay at the same place when conditions around me chance.
Read my savings report for September 2019.
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