High housing costs and Christmas period beat up my savings rate!| December 2019 update

Due to some high unexpected costs my expenses went trough the roof. However as I also had my 13th month this month (an extra months wage you get during Christmas holidays) this month I was able to keep my saving rate somewhat stable

Let’s go over the highlights of this month:

  • Restaurants costs have dropped to 280 EUR in December! If you remember the first month I started tracking my expenses (September 2019) it was at 500 EUR. So I am proud that I manage to slowly lower these, although I can see that compared with other bloggers I am still quite high! Lets go for another try next month!
  • Living costs rose to 1400 EUR this month, this includes paying off my loan and utilities, and an extra 600 EUR costs for paying off the loan of the apartment building. A quarterly cost that comes every 3 months.
  • I spend 220 EUR on gifts, which is not that high considering its Christmas
  • I donated 50 EUR to a charity
  • I spend 209 EUR on hobbys, this is mainly board games, escape games, mountainbiking and dancing. I feel its my most important expense that I hope I will never have to save on as its so important for my mental and physical health
  • My food costs where much higher then usual. I had some people over for dinner during the holidays and I find being a good host very important. This lead to a rise in costs to 200 EUR for Groceries (usually around 100 EUR).
  • I booked a citytrip and paid 285 EUR for the plane ticket. More expenses for this will follow in January
  • I get a end-of-year bonus in December (13th month) this allowed me to still keep a decent saving rate

Again the 1270 EUR seems like an impossible goal unless I plan to live inside a cave and never come out 😉 But maybe there will be one month where I manage to pull this off.

All in all I did get a saving rate of 47.81% this month!

The chart

The moment you have all been waiting for 😉 The graph with my savings rate. This month I am doing worse then last year (eeek!!). This has two causes: last year in December/January I was on a holiday where all expenses where paid with a credit card. The bill didn’t follow until February (explaining the huge dip there), secondly by being on this holiday I avoided all costs that come with Christmas such as dinners, Christmas decorations and gifts. Lastly I had much higher housing expenses this year that are beyond my control.

Average saving rate so far…

As a final note I want to close with my average saving rate. So far I am able to get a 45.85% savings rate in the last 12M, a decrease with about 2%. Next month I start the competition versus myself where I set as goal to have a 5% better savings rate then the year before. I am starting to realize this will be a big challenge.

Its in Red as I feel like anything under 50% should be in red 🙂

Whats next

In January I expect some holiday expenses to pour in, although my holiday this year was just a small citytrip so not as big as last year. I might go look for some new clothes. As I said I try to buy one new piece a month and January is discount month in Belgium so I should not skip this month. I really can use one extra suit for at work.

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