It’s that time of the month where I disclose my finances to you, in full and update you on my progress towards financial independence and early retirement. Spoiler alert: still not there. However, I made some huge jumps towards my goals this month.
Having been promoted, I’ve seen my salary jump by 13%. As a result, I’ve increased my company pension contribution by 2%. So, I’m now paying in 6% of a larger amount and my employer still contributes 4% of this new number, plus a National Insurance rebate! I’ve also topped up what I’m investing into my investment ISA to £300. With these contributions, plus our regular savings for our rainy day fund, car maintenance and other, regular savings, my current savings rate sits at around 40%! Which is way higher than I expected it to be at this stage of my life. A nice win, early on in my journey to FI! Anyway, without further ado, let’s get into the screenshots of my finance tracker spreadsheet. Follow the link at the bottom of the post if you want to download the template yourself:
Our expenses for April:
With being in lock-down, this month was a bit of a weird one. Obviously, we’re not doing any driving, can’t get hair cuts, our dog can’t get a hair cut, or be walked by her paid walker. And, for some reason, our direct debit for our waste water didn’t come out… 🤷♂️. Also, I’m no longer paying for my car (Wahoo!). Can’t tell you enough how good that feels! However, we seem to have spent a decent chunk more on shopping (consumer purchases, mainly stuff for the baby, some scissors for the dogs hair etc). I also took the decision to take the money I’m no longer paying on my car and put it away so we can buy my wife some more time off work with the baby by extending her maternity leave. Worth every penny! So, all-in-all, a very different month. It’s nice to see there’s some big chunks of money going into savings and yet we’re still able to afford the things we want and need.
Our Retirement Expenses:
I actually made quite a considerable change to our retirement expenses tab and added an additional £500 per month in ‘pocket money’ (£250 each). The reason is that I’m finding we’re spending around £250 a month on consumer purchases currently. So, with inflation and additional time on our hands in retirement, I feel like I want a worst-case scenario covered. That way, if we want to buy a new barbecue for the garden or redecorate the lounge, I’m happy we’ve got a bucket of cash set aside each month that can cover most of these situations.
This has meant our FI number has now jumped to £1,326342.50 🤯. Or, £663,171.25 each. As you can see from the below, with my increased pension and ISA contributions, I’m set to achieve this with a surplus of £371.95 per year, if my calculations are accurate. You can see I’ve based my compound rate at 7% for both my retirement savings accounts, which I consider worst-case. Obviously, depending on how much I exceed this rate by, I may be able to retire earlier than 55. We’ll see 🤞.
Praise the stock market gods!! My pension savings have gone up this month! Although, temporarily, I have no doubt. Follow me on twitter for more commentary on this insane stock market we’re experiencing right now.
Nothing much else to report on this one. Only that our car maintenance has decreased as we had an MOT to pay for. So, fully serving it’s purpose there. I can’t tell you how reassuring it was dropping a car for it’s MOT knowing that we had all the money we needed in case of a fail. I can’t recommend enough putting some money away each month to cover things like this. It means, if we did have to pay out for anything that we likely wouldn’t have been able to save as much as we did this month for other important things, like retirement and maternity cover. Consider the consequences of not saving and you’ll quickly realise its worth.
Equity & Assets
We dropped below £220,000 this month! 😁 And the value went up £1,000. This has bought us below 70% on our LTV% which is good news for our remortgaging, due in a couple of months as it should give us access to slightly better rates, which means either lower monthly payments or a decreased term!
As you can see, debts are falling, slowly but surely! 😊 No more cars to pay for, did I already mention that? 😂 And my wife got a huge refund for a cancelled trip which was a group contribution. So, because it went onto her credit card, she needed to refund everyone with her pay and we’re using her credit card to cover her share of our expenses. We’re keeping a close eye on this to make sure we can pay a good chunk off it at the same time! However, this amount will likely jump a bit in next months report!
A nice jump in net-worth this month! Supported by our increased house equity, increased savings, a jump in the stock market, and a part-artificial drop in our debts, which will go up slightly next month. However, the trend is looking good!
That brings me to the end of the report for April! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below, or via the social media links at the top of the post! I’d love to hear from you!
As always, if you want to download the template for the tracker spreadsheet you see in the above images, you can download it here:
My Path to FIRE Spreadsheet Template
There are instructions on each tab so you know what information to put where. The formulas 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.
If you’re getting value from these posts and want to support this blog, subscribe below to join the FSD notification squad to get new posts straight to your inbox! Thank you!