I'm a little behind on getting these Income & Expenses reports out. Thank you for staying with me. The write ups will be a little briefer, as I'm having to test the memory bank on why I bought things and what happened, but crucially I want to get the numbers out there.
My lack of Blogging has not impacted on my lack of tracking expenses. I continue to track everything! My challenge has been finding time to write up my expenses on top of my ongoing Kindle Publishing.
Here we go folks:
I started tracking my Income & Expenses in March 2014. By committing to tracking these numbers and sharing them with you all on a monthly basis, I benefited from questioning every single penny I spent. For the rest of 2014, I managed to keep my expenses under £10,000 a year or £833 per month.
I will continue to record my income and expenses for 2015, but I don't intend on setting a goal for a specific saving % or an amount for keeping expenses below. I noticed that in 2014 my goals were effective in keeping my costs down, but they also influenced me not to spend money on certain things. That might sound good, but it impacted everything, including charitable donations and personal development, which are usually really important to me.
My priority for 2015 is making money. I want to challenge myself to earn a lot more. I'm hoping that by having more disposable income, I'll have more money to invest with. This should then speed up the process to becoming FI. Easy right! I want to call Tom Cruise at the end of the year and shout "Show me the money!"
Here's a quick breakdown as to what goes into numbers below:
I will rarely have the same wage each month as I have a commission based job. I might also be eligible for bonuses at certain times of the year, which will impact on the total of my wage. My wage figure will be the net sum I'm paid after tax, national insurance, company pension, salary sacrifice for pension, and student loan. I will only include one figure for my wage but I will mention if my commission is high or low and I will also let you know if I've triggered a performance based bonus.
The first two expenses are fixed amounts. 'Mortgage/House Bills' is an account where Miss FFBF and I pay into each month (£490 each) to cover mortgage payments, council tax, water, TV licence, telephone, electricity, and broadband. 'Food Account' is another joint account we use to contribute a fixed amount (£70 per month) for food shopping.
Here's a breakdown of my Income and Expenses for the previous month:
|Income from May 2015|
|Interest from Savings||£2.10|
|Expenses from May 2015|
|Gifts for work||£1.00|
May's wage was predictably lower for me. It was my second lowest of the year. But there was a silver lining in my lighter wallet....... Dividends!
I hit an all time high on dividend payments in May. £339.89. My previous high was £172.36 a couple of months earlier.
Kindle sales jumped up significantly again, and for my Sales in March I got paid £101.03 in May. This is my third month of payments from Kindle, and I'm close to my average payment from Dividends now. There won't be many months that my dividends will be level with Kindle sales. Perhaps June will be the last month.
I'm hoping that Kindle and Dividends payments are going to provide more than enough money to cover my expenses in time to come. I have a goal to increase the Kindle Income to £1,000 per month by December, which I'm now very confident of reaching. My new 'unofficial goal' is to bring in enough income from Kindle to cover my income from my current employer. I'm not sure if I'll achieve this goal but I'll give it a bloody good go!
|Dividend & Kindle Income - 2015|
May produced the most income I've received outside of my salary - £448.77. This is now over half of my monthly expenses. I can't tell you how pleased I am with this result. I've been Blogging since March 2014, and I didn't think I'd be in a position where half of my expenses would be covered outside of my salary. I haven't done anything out of the ordinary either. It just goes to show what consistent monthly progression can lead to.
To summarise, my salary income was the second lowest of the year, but my total income was helped significantly by my Kindle and Dividends, and is now the second highest payment of the year.
Now that I've proven to myself that it's possible to live on less than £10,000 a year, I feel like I can challenge myself in other areas. This doesn't mean that I'm going to go on a mass spending spree, but I'm not going to decline Personal Development opportunities to keep my expenses below a set figure this year.
May was my highest spending month since I started recording them. Yet I remain calm.... kind of.
My spends were fairly standard apart from 2 significant one off spends. The first one was for heating oil, which we get every year. This amount is my half of the total. It's a must spend and although it's high it does allow us to keep our total electrical bill down over the course of the year.
My second big one off spend was Kindle Coaching. I approached a very successful person in America and asked if he would be willing to coach me. He replied to my email and quoted his rate. Once I had wiped the water up which I spat onto the laptop and thought about it, and I decided I was going to go for it. In the spirit of Personal Development and learning. Why not!
This chap earns over $15,000 a month (£10,000) via kindle sales or to put it another way, my annual expenses in a month!
I have learned so much from him, as far as processes, techniques, how to develop a success mindset, and best of all, I'd like to think that we're now becoming friends (where's the sick bucket?). We have one final coaching session left, which we've both decided to defer until I've put his processes in place. We've decided to keep talking to each other via skype every Friday evening to keep accountable to each other on what progress each of us are making every week, and we help set weekly goals for each other. If I were to stop working or communicating to him now, I would undoubtedly say I'll earn my money back and then some in the long run. The Huw of last year would not have signed up to this coaching rate as I was so keen to keep my expenses low, and unfortunately I missed an opportunity to earn more money last year. I'm glad I'm now more open to develop myself and look at the bigger picture of earning more money in the future.
I also want to point out that I don't regret focusing on driving my expenses down and investing last year. I feel I have a good grasp of 'Money Management' or Personal Finance now, and once my income continues to rise I'm going to be much better placed to handle that money in the right way.
I don't have an expense goal for 2015, but I receive a lot of questions about my expenses, perhaps more than most other things I write about. I thought I would keep tracking them as people are interested, as am I. Whilst I was tracking the average for that, I thought it would be worth doing the same thing for Income, as it's an important goal for me this year.
My average spend at the end of April was £855.04. After a Massive May, my expenses increased to £919.68.
My income average was £2,031.97 at the end of last month. It's now up to £2,050.11.
I know that '2 out of 3 ain't bad', but what do you class 1 out of 2?
I'd prefer it if the income went up more than what the expenses went up by, but it's not too bad. My expenses were both inevitable (heating oil) and an investment (Coaching), and although I'm more free thinking with my spending it should be much lower than this in upcoming months.
Saving Rate Average
|Saving Rate 2015 - %|
I managed to save/invest £1,454.43 in May which was 68.5% of my income. My saving percentage for 2015 is currently 67.6%. I think this figure represents a solid average for me at the moment. In the next few months, my dividend and Kindle income should increase this figure above the 70% mark on a more regular basis up until the point I leave my job and where I'll have to build it up again.
Thank you all once again for your continued support. It means a lot!
Labels: Income & Expenses