January Finances

New around here? Why not check out my about me page. For continuity purposes, here is my post from last month: December 2019 Finances

Happy New Year! (better late than never)

I look back with mixed feelings as January comes to close, it felt as if it simultaneously dragged on but flew by at the same time – we all know that feeling right? I’ve very much cracked out whip this month and accepted a lot of additional income opportunities that has increased my income for this month which should hopefully pay off a decent amount of debt I have (PayPal Finance) to my name without it needing to come out of main employments salary.

The Accounts

Holdings06/12/1925/12/19-/+26/01/20
-/+
Total£6,850£8,952

+30.6%

£11,627

+38.9%

Monzo£2,965£2,427-£1,006

-58.5%

Marcus£950-
Revolut£265£79-£465

+488.6%

Lloyds£16£3.73-£33.33

+793.5%

Barclays£37£37-£31.1

-15.9%

HSBC£789£339-£114

-66.4%

HSBC Saver£500-£750

+50.0%

Vanguard£1,070£1,440-£1,621

+12.6%

FreeTrade£615£735-£875.43

+19.1%

FirstDirect£1,200£1,200-£1,621

+35.1%

Triodos£1,500£1,500-£1,579

+5.3%

Cypto (~)£300£300-£300-
Pension (NEST + Prev Employers)-£1,763.13-
Outstanding Invoices£196475.45-£517.55-
Marcus

Throughout the month I did a lot of shifting funds around this month as an addition account was added to my inventory. I created a Marcus easy access account during Jan after taking on board information from Martin Lewis’s site about the current top easy-access accounts. I could of gone for a higher interest but they have notice periods for withdraws, I moved £950 from my Monzo to my Marcus account as the funds were literally sitting in 0% interest pots on Monzo, so doing nothing. With the Marcus account sitting at 1.35% at least as the account grows it will start working for me.

FreeTrade

If I knew some many people were going to be experimenting with Veggie/Vegan products during the start of 2020 then I would of stuck more funds in to related stocks. I remember taking a look at Beyond Meat’s stock price in late December and seeing it being $70~ and now its flown to a solid $120~ in a matter of days. With my mind set on expanding my involvement in stocks and shares, I did add £150 to my account and purchased a few different stocks as well as selling my Segro shares. I’ve got a lot to learn still when it comes to trading, currently i’m trying to not stick all my eggs in to one basket. Within the next 10 years, creating a diversified portfolio with solid foundations is high on my list.

Pension

After searching for and finding a letter I had put away that included info about my previous employment pension pot, I can finally add the total with my current jobs pot and display the total in the table.

Debts

Barlcays Credit : From £153.92 last month to -£150.00 by the close of Jan.
PayPal Finance : From £487.45 last month to £387.11 by the close of Jan.

Bit of a frustrating one with the Barclays Credit, paid off the outstanding balance towards the start of the month and then had to refund the item so got the funds back via credit on the account.

Income / Outgoings

Income
Base Pay: £2,075
Side Hustle: £854.47 (Contracting + AMZ + Moley)

Savings: £984 (Monthly Savings + Monzo Pots)

Outgoings
Monzo Report : £1061
– [£119] Health
– [£42] Entertainment
– [£5.80] Nights Out
– [£108] Transport
– [£170] Groceries + Household Items
– [£105] Eating Out
Bills: £488
Car Maintenance: £24

Being in the midst of winter with the nights consisting of long dark night, I decided to treat myself and purchased a new PC game, Anno 1800 – luckily got the game for £42.99 but have seen it north of £50 on some markets, nuts for a game that has been released for over a year

One of the downsides of picking up contracting opportunities for a bit of extra each month is that the place of work is an 80 mile round trip, it pays great considering the low hours required to work however my monthly miles do creep up extremely fast, this is evident in the high outgoings for transport. On average I drive around 3-400 miles per month whereas in Jan it was nearing 800 miles – though definitely better than prior to October when 1400 miles was the average per month!

Now for the eating out figure, during Feb I plan to flip this number and limit myself to £25 as over £100 is silly for takeaways/eating out as it was no where fancy and mainly consisted of Deliveroos – I wasn’t having the best of months though it was mainly me just being lazy so there are no excuses.

Monthly Savings & Net Salary Saving Rate

PlatformProductJanTerm Length
Monthly Saving Total£884
Emergency FundMonzo Vault+£84Ongoing
VanguardLS100+£87.5Long Term
VanguardOther+£87.5Long Term
TriodosSaver 1.75%+£751 Year
First DirectSaver 5%+£3001 Year
HSBCSaver 2.75%+£2501 Year

Following on from last months finance summary blog post, I mentioned that over the first few months of 2020 I will be working on adjusting my contributions to help find a good balance for my net salary saving rate. This month I have greatly reduced my regular saver deposit into my Triodos account from £500 down to £75, with there being other accounts out there that have the same max per month deposit allowance but more interest (Coventry BS – 2.5%) I chose this account to make sacrifices from when making adjustments.

The funds that were not utilised for my Triodos regular saver was added to my emergency fund. I’ll be happy when this safety net grows to become 3-6 months worth of outgoings, the number of which I have yet to fully define – I have set a placeholder goal of £3000 on my Monzo emergency fund pot.

My net salary saving rate this month is 42.7% down from 65% last month. I have most definitely felt that I had more wiggle room financially towards the end of the month which made me more relaxed when spending as I wasn’t counting pennies as the end of the month approached – I sometimes find even if I have X amount saved in another account, if my main spending account gets low on credit then my stress levels increase despite the back of my head knowing that I have funds else where.

Please note that currently, yes my side hustle game was fairly strong this month however, only my base salary is factored in when crafting this figure.

February

In regards to the regular saver accounts I have set up, its great saving in large chunks however till my emergency fund is built I realise its not sustainable to keep putting the majority of my savings in accounts that have interest forfeits or access limitations. Starting February, I will be adding more funds to my Marcus 1.35% easy access account to help remedy this and continuing to build on the process from the micro goals I set last month.

Reflecting on December’s micro goals:

  • Prioritise Emergency Fund
    – I made good process on this during Jan, I contributed more than I typically have done in recent months but will commit further in Feb.
  • Provide more details on outgoings
    – I collected 90% of my receipts however did a poor job of making the time to correlate the data properly. Any ideas on the best practices for keeping a track of weekly expenditure on food?
  • Monitor certain outgoings
    – The main one last month was the amount spent on nights out, all in all I went out a total of one time during Jan for social drinks with a friend who came down to visit – that costed a solid £5.80 at the local pub, a positive improvement over the £170~ from last month.
  • Adjust saving rate to find perfect balance
    – Progress made.
  • Zero Debt
    – Progress made.

How has your January been? Have you hit the ground running, or are you trying to pretend the month didn’t happen?

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2 thoughts on “January Finances”

  1. Hey nice work on those savings rate again! How do you find the Monzo app in general to use? I’m tempted at looking at setting up an account, so all my ‘weekly’ type purchases goes through it for full tracking etc.

    Also Anno 1800 is a fantastic game – you’ll love it!

    Cheers Jase

    1. Thanks Jase, I think the secret to having a saving rate which is above average is to literally stick the money away at the first sight ! If I didn’t do this I’d be hopeless at putting it away.

      I really do love using Monzo, I used Revolut before but both are great and I find them both far more useful that your average bank app. Don’t get me wrong, the apps that banks provide starting to catch up with the times though Monzo especially is really ahead of the curve.

      I wouldn’t use it for the purpose of high interest rates because they simply can’t compete however for analytical data its a no brainer and they are always improving their platform – for instance i’m really hyped for new automation feature mentioned in this community forum post ‘We’re automating your finances!’ that allows a user to create a chain of simple conditional statements that triggers certain events to occur. For example if you always buy a newspaper from merchant A always pull the money from pot B etc. Monzo already has Flux integrated which creates digital receipts for support businesses.

      One thing I will mention with Monzo is for the first month or so you may need to correct what categories some merchants get put into for instance, I’ve got fuel from a big Tecos before and it thought it was a grocery shop. Not the end of the world and easily corrected but if I didn’t notice it then it would obviously have impacted my budget for that category.

      Oh my Anno is a very addicting game, have had to give myself a break from it as I was spending far to many hours on it! Really one of them games that you blink and its 3am >.< - MW

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