In my monthly savings report, I track my progress towards financial independence and early retirement (FIRE). This month, a new enemy has appeared, blocking my path and trying to turn me into a mindless consumer. Its name is Tesco Extra and it baits unassuming people with its wealth of products. Being used to work in an isolated little village, suddenly finding a giant Tesco Extra next to my workplace, I nearly succumbed!
Also read my monthly savings report for September 2019.
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How your commute is eating you alive
Tesco Extra is a fierce enemy but it least it brightly advertises its presence like poisonous animals do. Now let me tell you about an enemy that silently creeps up and you may never even notice it. People call it “commute”.
As my company relocated from the middle of nowhere into the nearby city, my commute more than doubled. Instead of driving 17 miles daily, I had to do 42 miles. And there is so much I learned from this!
Firstly, people waste so much time commuting. Luckily, for me this was only for a limited time but many people do this kind of commute for years. For me, I spent 70 minutes per day driving or 1,540 minutes (~26 hours) per month. Had I taken a part-time job instead of commuting, I could have easily made an extra £200 in that time. Not to mention all the other things I could have done.
Secondly, my petrol cost skyrocketed. Instead of £75, I spent £150 on petrol. Note that this includes petrol used for private drives but the difference still tells a story. Increasing my commute equaled taking a pay-cut of £75 in addition to the time I wasted.
The bottom line of this: never sign-up for a commute that is longer than absolutely necessary.
Monthly savings report: October 2019
My goal for October was to move closer to my workplace to get my petrol costs under control. Well, to be honest rather than moving to the city in which I currently work, I found a new job. I will still have to move through, as this job is based in London.
Monthly savings report summary for August 2019
This month, my take-home income was £2,862. This is more than I usually earn as the company I worked for paid me for the next month in advance. I am leaving partway through the month and am actually on holiday till then so I guess this was easiest for them. In exchange, next month my income will be lower than usual.
I made £634 from matched betting. This is amazing given that I was all over the place this month trying to find a room in London and sorting out work stuff.
Blogging was also a good income source this month. I made £75, mostly from collaborative posts. It is said that Monzo ended their friend referral bonus as this was another good earner for me in the past.
This month I spent a grand total of £1,144. As shown in the graphs below, rent is still my biggest expense. Transport costs were also abysmal in October as my commute more than doubled and I was travelling to London a lot to sort out my move.
A little bit unplanned, I booked plane tickets to visit my family in Germany. When leaving my old job, I had more holiday than I thought so I figured I might as well make the best of it. As I am writing this, I am actually on the way to the airport.
My sinking fund 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, my index tracker had a bit of a rough period. Gaining a bit, losing a bit–the usual up and down. Of note, I reduced my matched betting fund to £4,000 so I added an extra £1,000 to my FIRE fund this month. Now that there are fewer 2ups (a popular matched betting offer), the money would just lie in my bank account otherwise.
Apart from my index tracker, 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 November 2019
In November, I will be starting my new job so my main aim is to not mess up! I will also be looking into selling my car as I do not really need it anymore. I do not really expect to make much from it as it has a few dents and scratches. Plus, for some parts it is only duct tape that holds them together.
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