Friday, 26 August 2016

#31 Feeling Positive

Feeling very good today. I received my first paycheque since paying of the student loan and receiving the 3% rise. I didn’t allow myself to get too excited until the money was actually received but now it feels very good. Take home pay now after pension, childcare vouchers and season ticket loan is £3,218.31. This is up almost £500. But there are still multiple expenses which over the coming 24 months or less can and will be removed to increase this.

Currently my monthly budget if stuck to, and I’ve only done that once in the last year, has me having a surplus £532.15 per month.

We’ve booked a foreign holiday (it was one of our 2016 aims) which will need to be paid for over the next few months, plus using up our savings but after that should quickly be able to stockpile some money.

Because we’re close to actually having money to save I’ve also been looking at how and where to save. I have minimal invested in shares and considered buying an index tracking ISA, but have decided upon one of the 6% regular savings accounts instead. These are ideal as we do not, yet, have a large sum of money and wil instead be adding monthly and the interest rate is great. To get this will involve another bank transfer, this time to M&S but I’m very used to that – been moving around all over the place to get hold of free cash incentives over the last 18 months.

What really excites me now though is that this is the start. For the past 2/3/4 years I’ve been thinking and planning and noting when we’ll actually start to have money. We have multiple avenues where we’re spending money currently which will be removed in the coming 2 years.

  • Student loan = £330 a month 
    • Complete
  • Childcare vouchers = £80 net a month = only until son is old enough for the free lessons, 6 months left. 
    • Total surplus should rise to £600~
  • Credit card = £120 a month = only £2k left, expect complete no later than 12 months’ time. 
    • Total surplus should rise to £720~
  • Tax. Currently paying about £130 per month in repayments = 8 months left. 
    • Total surplus should rise to £850~
  • House loan = nearly £300 a month = 24 months left max. 
    • Total surplus should rise to £1150

Now we just need to start sticking to the budget more regularly, do all we can not to increase spending in line with saving and also save up for things ahead of spending, such as the holiday.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

#30 Tidying up accounts

I want savings accounts for the below...

  1. Emergency funds - aim is to have £2629.29
  2. France 2017 holiday - £56 per month for 12 months
  3. Account for bills - £60~ paid in each month to cover bills over 12 month period
  4. Another account for savings which aren't emergency - which are for fun and/or long term... TBD 
Currently I have:
  1. Halifax Web Saver - Interest rate 0.25% - Nil - not used
  2. Halifax ISA Saver - Variable Interest rate 0.6% - £1,648.56 - used for Emergency and France funds
  3. Lloyds Classic Account - Interest rate 0% - Nil - used for bills
  4. Lloyds Standard Saver - Interest rate 0.25% - Nil - not used

Possible upgrades: 

The Lloyds Standard Saver can be updated to a Monthly Regular Savings account with an interest rate of 2%. This still allows for withdrawals to pay for the bills, it'll be pennies earnt but better than nothing.


- Upgrade Lloyds to higher rate savings account. 
- Update standing order to direct the bills money to the new Lloyds account.
- Separate the emergency funds and France 2017 holiday savings. Do this by moving the France savings to the Halifax Web Saver and changing the standing order to go to here automatically.

Soon I will be switching my current account provider to Coop. When this is set up I will set up a standard savings account to add any excess money into. When we do with that money is a discussion for another day.

#29 July 2016 Summary

So, did we stick to the budget?

No. Sadly - following June's great result of sticking to budget - July has been our worse month. We were £954 over budget.

If not, why not?

The stag do cost over £400 which is far more than expected. We also had a range of one off purchases not planned for. Wife and kids passports - £160, work cycle annual hire pass - £90 were the main ones.

We also spent £180 over budget on groceries this month. 

Any positives?

A giant positive this month was receiving my bonus and paying off my student loan. We've also got enough left over to save £1000, have a weekend away and put £3000 towards my credit card debt.

This is great news but is somewhat overshadowed by our poor performance in the monthly budget.

Actually it shouldn't be overshadowed. I have paid off my student loan!!!! That's £330 per month which I will now be able to keep.

Total debt has now dropped below £10,000.

Lessons / thoughts?

Don't go on another stag do for a long time.

Make sure we rein in grocery shopping again.

The extra spend required reminds me of the need to have an emergency fund so need to ensure this is racked up fairly quickly with the new additional income.

Expectations for next month?

August we have a weekend away as a family. Not abroad but we're still super excited. I suspect it will be fairly expensive.

Car insurance is due but that will be looked after by the bills account which is topped up on a monthly basis.

We're also looking to purchase a laptop, a cheap one.

Effect on overall finances?

S    Student loan – £0
·         House loan – £298 was paid off direct debit. Total remaining now is £7,143
·         Credit Card -  £3000 was paid off. Total remaining now is £2,213.40

Total Debt = £9,356.40


Removing the bills account as those aren't savings they are known bills broken down into monthly payments.

Emergency savings / Savings for France 2017 family holiday

Currently this is just one account and needs to be split into two soon.
  • £1,648.56
  • Current value is £329.60 (increase of £22.98)
Total savings =  £2,001.14

  • Current value is £10,995.56