March Spending

We now own over 80% of our house

It feels as though we have made progress on both the mortgage front and the savings front this month. We made an overpayment of £850.00 on the mortgage and the balance now stands at £81,183. Like last month there was no council tax to pay, hence the large mortgage overpayment. It will go down next month to our usual overpayment of £500. This morning we were reflecting on how much we have paid off in the three and a half years that we have had the house – a grand total of £50,000!

Having changed electricity suppliers to Octopus a few months ago we finally got a refund from Good Energy of £70.27, which contributed to the mortgage overpayment.

One off payments I made this month included:

House insurance £282.58

Holiday deposit for a few days away in April £158.79

MOT £44.99.

We also had our first staycation this month and I spent £95.64, which breaks down as follows:

Sunday £0

Monday Train £2.90

Tuesday Train £12.40, Coffee and cake at the museum £8.30, Lunch £48.60 – two courses for me, three for him and two glasses of wine

Wednesday Lunch in the café during our walk £26.75

Thursday Petrol £20 Lunch at Slimbridge £19.15

Friday Lunch £53.17 – three courses each, 2½ pints of lager (only got charged for half a lager by mistake)

Total £191.27 or £95.64 each

I saved £435.00 to my savings accounts and I paid £100 into my Vanguard ISA. My savings increased by £717.26 (partly due to an increase in the value of the ISA), taking the total up to £32,154.98. I now have enough money in my instant access savings account to buy a new (well new to me) car and so I plan to start paying into my Vanguard ISA each month. I will still pay into one of the savings accounts which is offering 5% interest for a year. After that I will probably transfer it to the ISA.

My other expenses were:

Food £160.74 – over £50 more than last month when Mr Simple was away for two weeks.

Petrol £103.35 – very similar to last month

Toiletries £38.72 – when I went to buy some items e.g. hair dye, there was an offer on if you bought two, so I did, knowing that it would save me money in the long run.

Miscellaneous £142.41 – includes mother’s day present £32.95, books £45.13, team away day activity £14.00

Despite being frugal I know that there are other savings that I could have made

Looking at areas where I could have saved money they were mostly around food e.g. not buying so many lunches during our staycation. I have also bought a sandwich some days, usually towards the end of the week, when the fridge is looking a bit empty. I need to work on this next month. It may be the traditional joke in the FI world that if we forego our daily coffee we can get rich, but I do honestly think that these small changes can make a great deal of difference in the long run. I was on a training course today and as I work for the public sector refreshments are not provided. Several attendees bought a coffee on arrival, one during the mid-morning break, their lunch and then another coffee during the afternoon. I arrived with my bag of provisions, spent a total sum of £0 and sat there feeling very smug.

So how was your month? How is your progress towards paying off your debts and increasing your savings going? What are you going to work on next month? Let me know what changes you’re making to your spending.

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