This is the first instalment of my monthly reports, where I’ll be disclosing my financial circumstances as of the previous month, with snapshots of the spreadsheet I use to track everything! You can download your very own template of my spreadsheet at the bottom of this post. I’ll go into a bit of detail on each snapshot to give you some context. My hope is, that this will highlight to you that I’m very much similar to a lot of people my age, I don’t make a ton of money, I live a relatively average life, and yet I’m able to retire many, many years before most of my peers who are of a similar age. Simply by applying the tools and the knowledge I’ve picked up from those in the FI community. By sharing this, hopefully you can draw similarities to your finances and see where you might be able to make some positive change to help you get your finances in check and maybe retire early yourself!
Anyway, let’s get stuck in!
Our Expenses for March:
As in a previous post, I’m blocking out the names in the gifts section so as to remain anonymous. But in summary, last month was a pretty average month! The only thing I’d point out on this tab of the spreadsheet, is that our ‘Shopping’ in the ‘Luxuries’ table is a little higher than usual. We’ve had to accept that having a baby in the house who needs new clothes and new toys and everything in between on a monthly basis makes it difficult to stick within our previous average monthly shopping spend. Also, I made my final payment on my car this month!!! SO HAPPY about that. That’s £190 extra I have per month to save towards retirement and our other pots. The overview of his month’s spend is put into a nice chart in my spreadsheet, which looks like this for March:
Our Savings for March:
So, we managed to save just under £500 this month. Not bad considering my wife is on maternity pay right now. Also, this doesn’t include our salary sacrifice pension savings, which together, more than double this! I only count on this tab what comes out of our take-home pay each month.
You’ll notice, since January my total savings in the top table (our pension savings) has gone down in value 😒 this is due to the current volatility in the stock market because of Coronavirus. So, despite adding £hundreds each month in additional savings, it’s STILL going down. However, I’m comforted by the fact that I’m in a better position to buy shares now than I ever have been. And deals in the market have never been this good for me! So, take my advice here, if you’re in a similar situation, seeing your investment account go down month after month. Fear not! It WILL bounce back. I think it’ll get worse before it gets better, if I’m honest. So I plan to take full advantage of that! Then, when it does bounce back, you’ll see the total row in that top table start to shoot up! And the graph below will look a great deal more promising!
Side note – I need to remove the row for my wife’s pension as hers is based on average earnings rather than a total pot to draw down on like mine.
Equity & Assets
So, I dunno if it was something to do with the current market volatility resulting from the global pandemic. But our house value shot up last month from £309,000 to £314,000! Giving us total equity of £93,550.12. This, in addition to our other assets, comes to a total of £100,159.
Our total long-term and short-term debt for March was £230,736. We’re only three-and-a-half years into our mortgage which forms the bulk of this. I’m looking into the benefits of overpaying on the mortgage vs investing what we would be overpaying to see which route to go down. I’ll write a separate post about my findings as I’m sure others want to know how the most efficient option, too!
Finally, this is where our net-worth stands as of March 2020 – £115,113.35. It’s not going up as much as I’d like at the moment due to all the Coronavirus stuff impacting the markets which has seen our investments go down in value. However, like I mentioned before, this is only temporary and I expect to see this pick up towards the end of the year!
That brings March’s monthly report to a close. Subscribe below to ensure you don’t miss next months report! If you like the look of the spreadsheet I use to track all of this, you can purchase the template below.
My Path to Fire Spreadsheet Template
There are instructions on each tab so you know what information to put where. The formulas within the spreadsheet work out everything else for you! Once your payment has been processed, you'll receive the document to your inbox within 24 hours. If you need any help with it, reach out to me via Twitter or Facebook using the links at the top of this page.
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