Budget : November Week 2-4 & Monthly Round Up

Hi guys,

I’m a little behind on posts so I’ve decided to merge the posts together so that I don’t get too behind. November has ended up being quite an expensive month as I splurged on a couple of items >.<

8th-30th November breakdown:

Income: £2061.96 (two incomes+interest on bank account+HMRC refund+remainder of week1+selling my Macbook Air)
Total monthly income: £2416.09 (two incomes+interest on bank account+HMRC refund+Macbook sale)

pie-chart-nov-2-4

Expenditure:

  • £427.75 on groceries and eating out. Totalling £536.02 in total for the month. Big ouch. I’m going to really try and cut down on the take outs next month and maybe eating more at the restaurant. Especially that hits 25% of my monthly budget.
  • £306.64 on work expenses. I will be getting this back in the near future as long as my boss remembers to pay me back.
  • £160 on pension payments. £60 to my SIPP with Virgin Money and £100 to my workplace pension (NEST)
  • £28.91 on iTunes purchases. Enough said.
  • £56.91 on parking and petrol.
  • £33.25 on software. This was a one-off payment for a programme for work and my monthly subscription to use Adobe Photoshop.
  • £400 on savings. £200 to ISAs and £200 to regular savers.
  • £78.92 on Amazon purchases – some Black Friday splurging including a mini hoover for the car, desk lamp and a case/screen protector for my phone
  • £479 on replacing my phone with iPhone 6s (after much umming and ahhing). Partly funded with selling my Macbook.
  • £79.83 on clothes in the Black Friday sale. A few jumpers, pair of jeans and a scarf for the cold weather.

Total monthly expenses: £2427.02 – £304.64 (work expenses) = £2122.38 (remaining £293.71)

A big chunk of money was spent on “spur of the moment” expenses such as clothing, Black Friday purchases and the phone. The remaining £293.71 will be placed in one of my regular savers. I’ve also opened a new M&S Bank Account as it is currently offering a £100 M&S voucher and £10/month every month you deposit £1000 and I can’t say no to free money.

November Goals Recap:
– Re-work the budget and regularly log expenses – success.
– Start thinking about Christmas gifts – plan Black Friday (online only) – fail. No presents bought as of yet as we still don’t know what we’re doing for Christmas.
– Start saving an additional £150/month for house deposit – fail.
– Start saving an additional £150/month for travelling – fail.
– Stick to 3 solid healthy meals a day – fail. I’ve been really ill this month which explains the lack of posts. The really painful abdominal pain stopped me from eating for a few days.
– Drink more water and cut down on fizzy drinks – fail. On the days I wasn’t eating, I was getting through the days on full sugar lemonade.

Until next time.. x

Budget: Net Worth – is it worth measuring? (Net Worth as of 16.11.16)

Hi guys,

So I’ve been reading a lot of personal finance blogs recently (mainly US and Canadian ones – I’ve yet to find a decent UK one that I like to read) in an attempt to a) learn more and b) see what my budgeting blog style is. Quite a few detail their net worth and I was wondering  if it’s something that is vital to keep track of.

Net worth is basically your assets (cash, investments, stocks) minus any liabilities (loans, credit cards, mortgage). It doesn’t give you a full picture on your finances but a snapshot of your financial viability. I guess it’s just like a statement of financial position (or balance sheet) for a company and gives you something to compare. Although not in depth, it does give an indicator of your financial health and it seems that with a lot of personal financial bloggers I have come across, this seems an important thing to keep track of and goal worthy (as in my goal of 2016 is to achieve a net worth of £50K).

After much reading and personal deliberation, I thought I should calculate my personal net worth. One of the questions I had was do I calculate my student loans? In the UK, due to how student loans work out and is subsidised by the government, many financial experts advise this to be the last debt that you pay. As far as I know, this debt isn’t considered when applying for a mortgage or loan as it isn’t on your credit report and if you do not earn over £17495 (Type 1 – £3000/year tuition fees) and £21,000 (Type 2 – £9000/year tuition fees), you do not pay a penny back. Obviously, this is still earning interest but it gets written off after 30 years. My student loan debt as of April 2016 (as they only send you a yearly statement and as far as I can see, I can’t get a “current” balance on my account) is £24,393 – this includes type 1 (my university loan) and type 2 (my accounting diploma).

Therefore, I have decided to be an awkward turtle (as my sister would say) and calculate both. Most American and Canadian blogs include their student loans but I believe that these work differently to ours and they have an effect on their credit reports. I think it would nice to do both as I can see where I am and also my student finance account only gets updated once a year so it can get a little demotivating for it to still sit at the same place despite the fact I’ve made contributions this year (£471 so far according to my payslips but not sure on how much interest is applied).

Assets
£19404.59 (cash, current accounts, pensions, car)
Liabilities
£6486.55 (house deposits, current credit card bill balances which are paid in full)
Net Worth (not including student loan): £12918.14
Net Worth (including student loan): -£11475.09 Yikes!

So, I definitely think this gives me something to work on. I’d like to be out of the negative numbers, despite paying my student loan via PAYE and not making additional payments. Maybe that’s a 2017 goal?

Until next time.. x

Budget – November 2016 Week 1

Hi guys,

Hope you’re well. So, I realised I do have quite a few expenses throughout the month so I’m breaking it down week by week with a monthly summary 🙂

1st-7th November breakdown:

Income: £566.46 (two incomes)

budget-nov-16-week-1

Expenditure:

  • £108.27 on groceries and eating out. Ouch. I’ve just been buying as  I need and had a couple of dinners out this week. I need to work on what I eat when I’m working from home as the takeaway is just too convenient when staying in a hotel.
  • £111.25 on professional accounting fees. More ouch. I made the decision to continue my studies and start the CIMA professional certificate in January. They have a special offer of free exemptions this month so £77 is my joining fee and the remainder is my final direct debit for my full membership with AAT
  • £46.94 on stationery – so not a necessary purchase but I haven’t made a purchase in months and this makes me so happy!
  • £30 on unlimited hotel wifi for a month. My iPad’s 3G punked out on me and I couldn’t spend all that time in my hotel room not doing anything at all. Worth it as I’m in hotels every weekend until Christmas.
  • £7.49 – Netflix. Enough said.
  • £9.99 on CreditExpert. I like regularly checking my credit file. I also check Noddle and ClearScore which are free but I tend to find that CreditExpert update pretty regularly and is the most accurate. I get a cheaper rate as I’ve been with them for a while.
  • £51.99 on a foot massager. With being on my feet all the time at my second job, this was much needed. I was spending around £70-100 every other week on full body massages as my body is crying so hopefully this will cut this expense right down.
  • £10 – savings. Most of my savings is done towards the end of the month so this was just one of my smaller accounts.
  • £212.33 remaining for the month

A few large expenses this month. Hopefully I can work on reducing my food spend, though this week (15th Nov) I did spend a small fortune on Christmas jumpers in the Colleague 20% sale at Asda – it’s a work expense of course (my December uniform at the restaurant).

Until next time.. x

Hospital Update – November 2016

Hi guys,

Hope you’re all well. As I mentioned in my last post, I was referred to the hospital by my diabetes nurse and I had the appointment last Thursday. Originally, I didn’t quite understand why I was being referred – my nurse mentioned that “there might be a third type of diabetes” – I can say that after this appointment, I’m pretty sure she was wrong.

I headed up to the hospital and they took my blood pressure, current blood sugar levels, weight and height. I then saw the specialist diabetes nurse who then explained that the reason why I was referred was because I wasn’t exhibiting classic diabetes symptoms. I have also been diagnosed with high blood pressure and she had asked if either had been fully investigated, which I was honest and said I had a bunch of tests done when I was about 18/19 but all I remember being told was that I had PCOS and when I wanted to try for kids, I should be re-referred back to them.

Having this appointment was actually really useful. Since my diagnosis about 4 years ago, I hadn’t actually had everything fully explained to me and what the tests were and what the preferred number ranges were and how I compared. After going through my health history (though they didn’t seem to have any details before my move in 2011, which is when I did all those tests – very reassuring!), she then explained that because I didn’t have all the symptoms and my results didn’t seem consistent, she thought that maybe I didn’t have full on diabetes – that it was possible that something else was causing my blood sugars to rise to look similar to it but that it was a symptom rather than the cause.

She then asked the endocrinology nurse to come see me and basically because I have had eczema since I was a baby and had been prescribed steroid cream (e.g. hydrocortisone, elocon) to help during flare ups and infections (more so when I was younger; I tend not to use them that often now), I may have something called Cushing’s Syndrome. This is basically a build up of cortisol in the body and my symptoms seemed more in line with that.

This made sense and so I’m going to be under investigation and hopefully will have a better idea if I’m affected by this or not in about a month or so. I have done a few blood tests and I have to do two 24 hour urine tests (not fun, I can tell you) and submit those to my GP this week. I will probably do a more detailed post on Cushing’s Syndrome as it is something that I hadn’t heard of until last week and on reading about it, it seems difficult to diagnose.

So all in all an eventful appointment. I have a follow up appointment with the diabetes nurse in January. She has asked me to do blood sugar readings twice a day (rather than just before I drive) so she can see how I’m doing as when I took the monitor in last week, the readings were a little sporadic. I was really nervous to go but I’m glad I did as the hospital nurse seemed to have a lot more time for me and was willing to go through everything I wasn’t sure of and reassuring me that what I was doing was right. It was a nice change from the blind panic of my annual check up at the doctor’s a couple of months ago.

So, until next time.. x