I must admit I did not do a great job at tracking down my outgoings in the month of January. January was a very busy month for me and it was also full of surprises: my new job (let’s just say things turned out much better than I’d expected), my sister announcing her pregnancy, cancellation of my planned trip to South America as well as preparations for my birthday celebration with my family and friends back in my hometown.
I was feeling extremely guilty about constantly forgetting to track down my spending and updating my spreadsheet. My spending was higher than usual in the month of January (this is putting it mildly, January was a very expensive month for me), but I didn’t really know the exact figures. Until today, that is. I have spent a couple of hours this morning going through all my receipts from January (I keep every receipt so I can update my spreadsheet), looking through my bank statements and adding up the numbers.
I have also created a monthly spending chart and from now on I will be sharing it with you on my blog every month. I will keep some numbers private for the time being: my rent including utilities and my savings allocations. I share my debt repayment numbers at the end of every month in a separate post so these numbers will not be included in my monthly spending chart either.
Okay, without further adieu, below are my January numbers –
Now, let me explain by looking at each category individually.
Transportation: I paid for my monthly rail card myself in January. I have now arranged for an annual travel card through work (interest free loan) which means that my monthly payments will see a slight increase since this interest fee loan is for 10 months as opposed to 12.
Groceries: I normally spend less on groceries. I was eating a very healthy diet of fruit and vegetables in January (trying to lose a bit of weight and shape up to be able to fit into my birthday dress) and these things are expensive if you buy them on a daily basis which is exactly what I was doing.
Travel & Holidays category includes any flights, domestic and international rail, accommodation and pretty much everything else I spend money on while travelling (including spending money). January has been an exception, and I have created a separate graph (Special Occasions) for expenses associated with my trip back home and my birthday celebration in my hometown. Now, £325.00 is not a conclusive figure on this occasion, it only reflects money spent on this category from my January salary (I took another £900 from my travel fund; after all, my birthday trip to South America never happened). I spent a total of £129.17 on my forthcoming trip to Istanbul (again, this is not the final cost of the trip, this is the amount that I spent on travel from my January salary).
Mobile phone: my mobile phone bill is high and I know it. I have two phones which does not help the matter, and one of them is still on contract until August 2014. I cannot wait to see a drop in this number in September as I refuse to spend more than £20/month on my mobile phone bill.
Wardrobe: I spent a total of £160.00 on a gorgeous dress from French Connection (however, the remaining amount was taken from my flight refund money and not my January salary) – the last dress purchased in my twenties, it had to be special 😉 I will not be buying many items of clothing, shoes, bags or jewellery in 2014, so this category is there to account for the purchase of my birthday dress.
Entertainment: this category includes any fun activity I spend money on (cinema, concerts, etc.), but excludes Eating out & Alcohol (I don’t drink much at all, but I did buy a bottle of champagne in January and needed to account for it).
Perfume & Fragrances: I did not buy a single bottle of perfume in 2013. Throughout the year I have been using my old supply. Enough is enough though, and I decided I desperately needed Coco Mademoiselle perfume. Mind you, I saved some cash by buying it in a duty free shop at Gatwick airport.
Personal Care & Make Up: shampoos, conditioners, body scrubs, lotions, toiletries and so many other things that we, ladies, desperately need.
Beauty & SPA Treatments: I have separated this from the previous category since I want to account for visits to hair salons, manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, etc. separately. I went to a hair salon twice in January and spent a total of £76.54.
Healthcare & Vitamins: I get my contact lenses on a monthly basis. I also buy vitamins and detox tea from Holland & Barrett on a regular basis. Prescription charges also belong in this category (none in January).
Gifts & Donations: I spent a bit of cash on gifts for my family in January. I also want to add any donations to this category. I don’t give enough to charity, I know, but once my debt has been paid off I plan on allocating more funds to charitable giving.
Sport & Fitness: I don’t have a gym membership and I am not planning on taking one out any time soon. I exercise at home in winter months when it is too cold and dark outside to go jogging. I desperately needed to buy trainers as it was time to get rid of my old ones for good (I got them in 2005 after all).
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 have also added such categories as Cleaning Products (any cleaning products I buy for the house), Household & Electronics (big purchases for the house, i.e., furniture; also I may need to buy a new laptop this year as my netbook has been playing up recently), Dentist (no visits to the dentist in January but I have a visit planned in February), and Newspapers, Books & Magazines (I try to avoid these purchases as I can read online or borrow from the library, but I am a sucker for travel guides).
This is it. I hope you enjoyed my first monthly spending report. Naturally, I expect the amount I spend to be lower in the coming months. Much lower.
Do you account for all your purchases and keep track of your expenses?