Hello! Hope you are doing well.
Welcome to my no spend report January 2021.
I started by downloading a money dashboard app to see where my money was going each month. Its been a slow month with some unexpected costs crop up, as there is to be expected throughout the year. I was determined not to buy the usual stuff like beauty products I don’t really need and endless items from Amazon. I miss the Amazon driver, I hope he is ok! It’s been quite nice to use what I already have in rather than buying more.
Its been quite an eye opener and easy to spot where my spending was creeping up to the point of using my credit card. After I was paid I decided to transfer my money into my savings account. Apart from the money for bills, which come out just after payday. This way, if I was tempted to spend I would need to transfer the money back to my current account. This allowed me to re-evaluate the payment and decide whether it was necessary.
You’d be surprised how much you spend without thinking about it. Its easy to scroll social media and be tempted by all the purchases each time you log on. I’ve bought some daft stuff because of social media, some shampoo with my name on, a flappy fish toy for the cats which they looked at and walked off in disgust, some blue fizzy wine from Italy last summer. Madness!
Here’s what my money went on and details of how you can earn extra money:
41% of my monthly income went on bills. This didn’t surprise me, not sure what the average is but I think this is about right. This included things like household and car bills, Netflix (need that in lockdown), phone bill, and debt payments. There was a small amount left on a credit card which is factored into this figure, I was then able to close that card account. Both monthly debt payments are above the minimum repayment level to allow me to pay them off quicker. Its worth paying off more of your debt with the highest percentage debt first. Check your APR rate across each debt. Debt consolidation may also be an idea, I did this and now my debts are with the same bank on the same login to allow me to keep an eye on them easier. This figure also included a small payment towards my holiday in July, this is a pre-agreed amount that I’ve been paying since last year.
26% of my monthly income went on food shops. As there are just two of us this is about right for what I thought it would be. We have a weekly Gousto box which lasts four days a week and limits the time and money spent in supermarkets. The rest is for fresh food like milk and bread once a week, plus food for the other three days a week we don’t have Gousto. Subscription boxes can be costly but they work out better for me, each time I go to the supermarket I don’t just buy food, and it costs me a fortune! I can only imagine how much higher this figure was when I was drinking each week.
22% of my income went on one-off costs. This does happen from time to time and its best to factor this into your dreams of a debt free future. Some went on car expenses as my annual MOT and service is in January and some went on another bill. Hopefully this extra 22% I spent this month will go towards paying off more debt in the months to come. This was quite a high figure and I guess this is where the money is, that I would usually use to buy the shopping that I banned myself from.
6% of my income went on household expenses, this includes cat food and household cleaning items. We needed extra cleaning items as we had some work done to our home and the tradesmen left a bit of a mess. This should be lower next month.
This is where I went against my no spend month and 3% of my income went on items that I weren’t supposed to have. I did buy a book as I couldn’t resist and two learning e-books. Look out for the book review in this months book reviews post. For now, here’s last months post. I also counted my monthly Glossy box into this as I did want one beauty treat a month. I also bought a small piece of second hand furniture to make working at home a bit more comfortable.
2% of my income went on savings, I have an ISA that I pay into each month. I’m hoping to grow this so eventually I’ll have a big chunk to withdraw and pay off debt. The rate on this is much better than a savings account and I only put a small amount in each month and barely notice it gone. If you don’t do this it may be worth looking into. I would like to save more than 2% in the months to come so may put this up slightly.
Its worth looking into options to earn extra income to pay off debts quicker, maybe you could sell unwanted items online or have a bit of a side business. At the moment I have a bit of a side business which allows me to earn an extra amount in my spare time during the weekend. My customers are great and every little helps.
Although I’m not excusing my spending, the amount from this bit extra income covered a little bit of that spending.
If you do look into a side business, just be sure to check that the agency organises your tax returns, or you may have to do this yourself (if you go above the tax threshold). Luckily my agency do the tax return for me and charge a small fee per booking for this reason, it also covers me for insurance reasons and some help in case something should go wrong.
Anyway, I need to go as I need to pay the window cleaner. Forgot he was due, that’s another bill to add to the list 🙂
Don’t forget to check in next month for another no spend report and thanks for reading!
Have you done any no spend months? Have you noticed any spending patterns?
Let me know in the comments.