I recently published my Income & Expenses Report for December 2014. It was the last one of the year, and subsequently I can now review the year from March to December (10 months). One of the benefits to recording your income and expenses each month is that you can group it all together and generate summaries at the end of the year. I can look for trends or abnormalities. I can see where I spend the most money, or perhaps where I skimped.
I collated all the individual categories and put them into subcategories like Home, Transport, Healthcare etc. I have a total sum for each subcategory and a combined sum of all Income and all expenses right at the bottom of each table.
|Interest from Savings||£78.04||£7.80|
One Off Income
|Stock Sale Profit||£469.38||£46.94|
|Expenses for 2015||Total||Average|
|Oil – Home||£213.00||£21.30|
Food, Alcohol & Eating Out
|Bulk buy – Protein||£70.40||£7.04|
Gym, Equipment & Competitions
|Powerlifting Meet Fee||£20.00||£2.00|
|Olympic Weightlifting Plates||£105.94||£10.59|
|Gifts for Work||£9.16||£0.92|
|Creative Writing Lesson||£10.00||£1.00|
|Kindle Book Course||£38.29||£3.83|
|Work Christmas Party||£5.00||£0.50|
|Euros – Work trip||£22.12||£2.21|
|Camera Battery charger||£9.99||£1.00|
So there you have it, I earned £22,581.62 (£2,258.16 per month) and spent £8,370.47 (£837.05 per month) between March-December 2014. I'm not going to go through every line like I do in my monthly reports, as it would be a very long post indeed. Instead, I've decided to pick out some notable categories in income and expenses and discuss them instead.
On the Income front, I've pretty pleased overall. After tax and charges it's the most I've earned in a year so I can't grumble at that. My dividends were my second biggest 'regular contributor' next to my wages, and I received a fairly consistent income other the months with Topcashback and Ebay.
With that said, it interesting to see that my Birthday money contributed more than both of those side hustles, and my Christmas money was higher than Topcashback and just less than Ebay. I receive money for Birthday and Christmas for being alive, and doing nothing special. It's time that I changed that!
I want to have more income streams that surpass these passive one-off amounts. As I stated in my 2015 Goals, I'm planning on making 2015 about making money. I want to kick my income into another gear. I'm sure most of you reading this post will comfortably make more money than me, not that there's anything wrong with that, but I feel I have the ability to earn so much more if I really tried. I don't want more money to spend, I want more money to invest with - Why? - So, I can get to FI quicker and reach the lifestyle I want sooner rather than later.
I've only just started the Kindle Book creation, and so far I have one book completed, two more almost completed, and another five just started. In 7-10 days I should have close to 8 books completed. This schedule puts me on track with more than 1 x week, and 50 in a year. My plan is to get a head start in January by making 10 books. I'l then see how I get on with them, decide if there is a market to make serious money, and then stay ahead of the 1 x week goal. So far I'm on track. I'll keep you posted with my progress when I'm able to sell my books, which I'm still unable to do until I get my tax code from HMRC which is due in the next week or so.
I'm really pleased with my progress in this area. I didn't keep it below £833 per month which equates to £10,000 a year, but you only have to look at my alcohol, fancy dress, or Powerlifting equipment to appreciate how realistic that amount is for me.
The first section I'd like to review is home. This is one of my best categories. I'm able to live in a 3 bed, semi-detached house, which was built in 2002, is worth over £200,000, with all bills and contents covered for £530 a month. Me and Miss FFBF plan on making overpayments on our mortgage over the next few years, so when we get around to remortgaging in 4 years, we'll have smaller monthly payments. My mortgage is by far the biggest expense I have. That's not going to change in the next 6-8 years, but I'd like to minimise it.
I'm not sure how my Food, Alcohol and Eating Out section compares to most people out there - £131pm - Please let me know! I think my alcohol and eating out is probably lower than most in the UK, as I don't do much of either. I'm going to be stricter on my diet this year, so that could involve me spending more money on high protein based foods like chicken and beef.
My transport costs are probably high for most people that bike to work, but lower than most people that still own a car. For those of you that don't know, Miss FFBF runs the car most days and I pay for half of the major costs like tax, insurance, and MOT. Hopefully, my transport costs will be lower in 2015, now that I bike to work all year around.
I spend a lot of money on Powerlifting, Fancy Dress, Birthday and Christmas! My powerlifting fees should go down over in 2015. I'm not sure if I'll be strong enough to reduce fancy dress, because I love it so much, but I'll challenge myself to keep it down. I would really like to keep birthday and Christmas costs down in general. I struggle with these two sections. I don't like spending money on myself for either, but a lot of people class them as important, and I do find it hard not to shake off the pressure that's associated to each one.
One figure I was disappointed in was my charitable donations. £26 for the whole year is a little embarrassing to disclose to everyone. I'm determined to improve that figure significantly for 2015. I thought putting a zero on the end of the number would be a realistic place to start. I can't have fancy dress above charity, even though I do look great in a He-man bob!
I want to also put more money into Personal Development. Warren Buffet is famous for saying the best investment you can make is in yourself, I'd like to invest more in myself for 2015.
I think that because I haven't set a goal for keeping expenses below a certain amount, I'm likely to spend more in 2015 than in 2014, and I'm comfortable with that. It's nice to have a set of figures over a month and a year to use for future reference and I hope to beat this figure in future years but perhaps not for 2015. I'm more interested and determined to earn more than I did in 2014. That's my priority! I believe my slight increase in expenses will be outweighed by the amount of income I'm looking to generate, but only time will see if that holds true. I've mentioned it a few times on my Blog now, but creating books on Kindle will be my priority for increasing my income. I want to give it a real trial and see if it's worth expanding or not. Some people are earning $5,000 - $40,000 per month doing it. That's insane! I'm not expecting to earn that, but why can't I work out a way to generate £1,000 if they can.
I'm very excited about this year, and the possibilities it offers. Here's to 2015!
Labels: Income & Expenses