One of my financial goals for 2014 was to track down my spending on a monthly basis. When I started this blog in May 2013, I was tracking down my spending on a weekly basis. I would occasionally add my weekly numbers together to see what the total was for the month. This year though, I want to know my figures for each month, but most of all, I want to know what I live off annually and what exactly I spend my hard earned cash on.
I have shared my January spending report with you last month. It is now time for the second report of the year – my February numbers. My monthly budget looks something like this: fixed expenses aside, I have a £100 food budget, £25 personal care budget and £25 entertainment budget. I was celebrating my big birthday in January and February (I promise, this is the last time I mention my birthday 😉 ) which basically means my expenses have been much higher than usual. I expect a significant drop in the coming months.
I keep some numbers private (my rent and my savings allocation). I feel I share enough as it is. I dedicate a separate post to my debt repayment progress so I do not include this figure into my monthly spending report either. You can read my February Debt Repayment update here.
Transportation: Back in February I arranged for an annual travel card through work (interest free loan for 10 months). It took quite some time for this arrangement to kick in, and as a result the first payment of £125.60 came out on 01 March (the last payment will be on 01 December 2014 but my travelcard will be valid until 01 February 2015) which means my transportation costs for February were £0.00.
Groceries: My grocery spending was £93.63 last month. This is a 3-week-figure with an average of £31.21 weekly spend. I was away travelling for one week in February and had a separate budget. I should really try and stick to my £25.00 weekly budget on groceries.
Travel & Holidays: I spent quite a bit on travelling in February. My trip to Venice set me back £505.13 total including flights, accommodation, transfers in London & Venice as well as spending money. The rest was spent on my trip to Istanbul. £801.38 is my total spend on travel & holidays in February and does not include what I had already spent on these trips in January.
Mobile phone: I have two phones and I get two separate bills from my two network providers. This is my total bill for the month. This figure will see a huge decrease in September this year when my contract on one of the phones comes to an end. I cannot wait!
Wardrobe: I did not buy a single item of clothing in February. I have not planned any purchases in this category which means that it should remain at £0.00 (or very close to it) in the coming months.
Dentist: I went to the dentist in February to get my wisdom tooth checked (and removed). Since it was a hospital appointment, NHS covered the check up charges, X-rays, etc, and I did not have to spend a penny.
Entertainment & Eating Out: I have combined Entertainment and Eating Out & Alcohol into one category. To me, eating out is entertainment, so it only made sense to combine the two. I had a few inexpensive meals out with my friends in London in February. I would ideally like to see a drop in this category in the coming months. My entertainment budget is £25/month and I shouldn’t be spending any more than that!
Perfume & Fragrances: £0.00 and I expect it to stay this way for at least 6 months.
Personal Care & Make Up: It looks like I bought too many bottles of shampoo in February. £32.41 is a lot on personal care items each month, so I really need to stick to my £25/month budget.
Beauty & SPA Treatments: I had a manicure before leaving to Istanbul. I guess I wanted to treat myself since February was my birthday month. Now that we are in March, no more manicures, pedicures, hair cuts, etc. Well, maybe in 6 months or so.
Healthcare & Vitamins: I needed prescription pills and I also bought herbal tea from Holland & Barrett.
Cleaning products: I bought some cleaning products for the flat in February. I still need to buy a couple of items, but hopefully will not spend more than £5.00 in March.
Gifts & Donations: It was my Mum’s birthday right after my own. I paid for our accommodation in Istanbul, airport transfers and did not let my Mum pay for anything while there (my Mum only paid for her flights). So I guess this counts as part of my birthday present to her. I also got her a present which cost just under £50.00, the rest is my contribution to my colleague’s maternity leave gift.
Family Support: I transfer money to my Grandmother every month. This amount is not as high as I originally planned for 2014, but it is better than nothing. One thing for sure, this amount will increase over time.
I did not spend anything on Sport & Fitness; Newspapers, Books & Magazines and Household & Electronics. I call it a win! 😉
Overall, I am happy with my spending in February. A huge chunk of my salary was spent on travel but this is one thing I never regret spending money on! I have another trip planned to Croatia and Montenegro in May (and I may have already bought my flights), but I will tell more about my travel plans for 2014 in a separate post.
I have now switched on my debt repayment & savings mode and it’s on full! My March spending has so far been pretty low and I intend to stay within budget in each category in March!
How was your spending in February? Have you managed to stay within your budget?