I would like to take credit for a great saving rate in April, but I need to be honest and admit that this saving rate is mainly because of my yearly bonus that gets paid out every year in April. Additionally there was a large sum of money this month that apparently my company forgot to pay out last year, making sure that my income went to the moon this month.
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Lets go over the different income & expenses for this month
My income went up to an all time high: 18424 EUR after taxes.
Apart from my regular wage and meal-cheques, I also got my yearly bonus and some wage that they forgot to pay out last year. That these last two fell in the same month led to a huge income boost for this month.
What is extra nice is that my yearly bonus is paid out in warrants. When a bonus paid out in warrants you don’t need to pay social contributions on it. You do run the risk that the market experiences a downturn. I sold these warrants the same day I got them, and they even went up 2,5% between receiving them and selling them!
Unfortunately no blog income this month. I did made some money from advertisements, but this is reasonably small.
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Housing: with 947 EUR we see yet another month with high costs. This despite living in a one bedroom apartment. I had quite high costs. 547 EUR of this is my loan, we also placed a garage gate for the road leading to our backyard. Before this was open and this really annoyed me as people left trash there sometimes. I had been asking for this for years. I am happy its finally there but it did set me back 230 EUR. The rest is mainly electricity, heating, internet and Netflix.
I noticed that as soon as I started to work from home and I stopped travelling for work my electricity usage peaked. It got so bad that at some point it more then doubled, and so did my bill.
In March 2021 I decided to install Smart plugs. These turn off nearly everything at 23.30 except for heating and Wifi. This saved me instantly 19% YOY despite it being colder then last year.
In April I replaced the PS3 that I was using to watch Netflix by something much lighter. PS3 is just really intensive when it comes to electricity usage, both when using it, as when its on standby. This saved me another 6% in April. I put it in a graph so you can really see the effect is huge. I will keep checking to see if I can save anywhere else.
There is a good poll on Twitter about another Belgian blogger FighttoFIRE on whether paying of principal is an investment, expense or saving. I currently classify this as an expense as I suspect I will still be paying it when I FIRE so I should take it into account. Still I voted that it is indeed an investment.
Groceries at 320.12 EUR: A big explosion there. One explanation is that I became more lazy and started to go back more to my favorite store Albert Hein instead of to the Aldi. A second one is that I am receiving more visitors and then I go all the way with snacks & drinks. Lastly I ordered 3 local vegetable baskets for 40 EUR, but I realized it will be easier and cheaper to buy it in the supermarket in the end.
Hobby’s 274 EUR: I admit, I used my high income month to spend a bit more on hobby’s. Namely I finally activated my membership at the sailing club. This set me back 170 EUR. My Gym subscription was 58 EUR my second largest expense, since outdoor classes are possible again. I do prefer using the indoor gym so I hope it will be back to normal soon.
Restaurants at 24 EUR: Pretty much all take away. I wonder what will happen when things re-open soon!
Health 17 EUR: just had to buy some medicine
Otherwise just some smaller costs like parking (20 EUR), gifts (5 EUR) and bank costs (4.25 EUR).
This is a bit harder to track, because I also sold some investments, but NET I did invest an additional 10.000 EUR this month
Find all the details on where I invested in, in my monthly portfolio update!
Budget review for 2021
Total Expenses for April = 1679 EUR.
This month I am under the Budget I set for myself for 2021 (1917 EUR/month), but I should try to drop even under it more.
Bellow is the graph between Target & Spend. But I also want to take a holiday and right now it seems there is not much to spare for that if I want to stick on budget! Especially since I expect extra housing costs coming up soon!
I am able to report 90.83% saving rate this month!
2019 saving rate: 45.8%
2020 saving rate: 42.86%
2021 saving rate (so far): 48.33%
- Our apartment block seems to have major issues with water and pluming. I believe there will be major expenses coming our way because of this!
- Of course taking all the above into account I will do my very best not to purchase anything additionally the coming months.
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