The road to financial independence

My Financial Diary – December 2016

Considering December is typically the most expensive month of the year, I didn’t do too badly and even managed to put some money into my savings. Here’s a look at what was spent in my December financial diary.

My biggest expense in my December financial diary was my mortgage which is no surprise. This accounted for just under 20% of my overall spendings. Add on utility bills and council tax and this takes my overall housing expenses to 30.2% of my total outgoings (£703).

Grocery shopping was less than usual at around £275, probably because of Christmas; I ate out more (£183.55) and went to visit family for a week (£49.99). The £49.99 was for the cost of airport parking but I managed to get cashback on this of £9.16. Plane tickets were purchased a few months earlier so I’ve not included this cost. Whilst we were there I spent around 100 Euro, but this was from currency I already had. Christmas itself in terms of gift buying cost just over £170 which I don’t think is bad for 12 people. As a family we have an agreement that we don’t spend too much on each other so a spend of under £15 per person was great.

I had one unexpected cost in my December financial diary which was for a new central heating thermostat. My old one stopped working and meant that I either had to have the boiler on permanently and control the heating with the radiator thermostats or turn the boiler off and have a cold house! I opted to have the heating on whilst I found a replacement thermostat. This was a complicated task made more difficult by my temptation to purchase a smart thermostat. In the end I opted for a standard timed thermostat which was 3 times less than a smart thermostat. On reflection it won’t cost me much more money in heating bills in the future.

My other expenses were typical of a standard month with no great variations. I did quite badly in terms of buying lunches though, spending £13. I normally am quite good at preparing my lunch at home and taking it in to work but not this month. I will try to get back on track again in the New Year.

All this meant I was able to save £467 this month. This was helped by some cashback but hindered by the broken thermostat. I’ve put this money into a new peer 2 peer lending account I set up which should earn interest at around 10%.

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December was an OK month. I spent more than I would ordinarily spend, but it was Christmas! January is looking to be quite similar but I won’t be able to save as much as my car insurance renewal is due and I have web hosting to pay for. I’m estimating this to come in at around £430 making savings hard to come by.

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