My January 2017 Monthly Cashflow Report

My January 2017 Cashflow Report plus my first financial review

Each month I publish a Cashflow Report where I share my income, outgoings and investment decisions. You can find a list of my monthly reports here.

Welcome to FIDiary and my first post! If you’d like to read about why I started this website, please visit my about page.

One of the reasons I started this website was because I knew sharing my finances online would result in me being stricter with the way I use my money and as a result improve my progress towards Financial Independence.

Financial Review

January went some way towards proving this point. As I’m sure many others do, I started the new year with a full review of my finances. It’s funny how without regular reviews, my finances act a bit like a school locker, filling up with unnecessary things that really should have been cleared out months ago.

My financial review consisted of a number of steps and questions:

I found some old socks in my financial school locker

  1. Checking all direct debits and monthly/quarterly/yearly subscriptions. Do I recognise them all and are they all necessary?
  2. For the direct debits/subscriptions I do recognise – am I getting the best deal with them?
  3. Checking all current and savings accounts. Am I getting the best interest for my money? Do I have any money in these accounts that isn’t working for me?

As I hadn’t done a proper review for at least 6 months, it was unsurprising that I found some old socks in my financial school locker.

Review Results

There were 3 major shifts in my finances as a result of this review:

  1. I found some direct debits that although legit, were no longer necessary:
    • I cancelled my monthly credit report. I subscribed to this about a year ago whilst applying for a mortgage. Now that I’m settled and not looking for credit any time soon, I’m happy not to have the monthly update. Saving: £4.99 per month.
    • I cancelled my flickr pro subscription (I’m an avid photographer in my spare time). Although I enjoy the benefits it brings, this is a nice to have, not a must have. Saving: £4.77 per month.
  2. I finally took the plunge and cancelled my gym membership.
    • With my darling daughter now on the scene, and a house to renovate (more about this in a later post), it’s time to admit that the gym is no longer on my priority list and the amount of time I’ll have spare to use it isn’t worth the monthly payment! Frustratingly the T&C’s for my gym (David Lloyds) stipulate 3 months notice so the saving won’t be realised for 3 months. Future Saving: £63 per month.
  3. I reviewed my work travel costs.
    • I’ve switched from using pay as you go straight to zone 1 and have decided to commit to an annual ticket which gets me as far as zone 2 with a short walk into zone 1 at the end. This not only saves a significant amount per month, but will hopefully make up for the lack of gym membership with the additional exercise as part of my commute. Saving: £78.33 per month!

Total January Finance Review Savings
Per Month: £151.09
Per Year: £1,813.08

These savings represent over 4.5% of my take home pay, not an insignificant amount!

So onto my January 2017 Cashflow report:

Cashflow

Income January
Salary £3,597
Total Income £3,597
Fixed Outgoings
Fixed Outgoings* (£2,116)
Variable Outgoings
Variable Outgoings* (£82)
Structural Engineer (£250)
Christmas Spend (£200)
Leisure (£124)
Total Variable Outgoings (£656)
Total Fixed and Variable Outgoings (£2,772)
Left over £825

Savings and Investments

Investments January Balance
JISA £100 £100
Sharesave Scheme £125 £2,500
S&S ISA £600 £4,637
Investments Total £825 £7,236
Cash Equivalent    
Emergency Fund £0 £5,626
Premium Bonds £0 £597
Total Cash £0 £6,223
Total £825 £13,460

Headlines

23% net salary saved this month
23% average net salary saved this year
£13,460 Wealth

*Fixed Outgoings include: Mortgage, House Bills, Web Hosting, Work Travel, Gym and Annual Savings.
*Variable Outgoings include: Phone and Petrol

Summary

Although a net savings rate of 23%, or nearly a quarter of my take home pay is not bad, I’m confident that with some small changes I can increase this figure throughout the year.

January was a challenging month for a few reasons:

  • My January finance review savings haven’t fully taken affect yet
  • I had some hangover credit from Christmas that I wanted to clear
  • I had a Structural Engineer invoice to pay
  • I was on paternity leave for the first few weeks of January and as a result my ‘leisure’ spend was slightly higher than normal

A few points about my Cashflow Report:

  • I’m not including pension contributions in my savings/wealth figures. My Salary figure is my take home pay, after pension contributions have been made.
  • For now I’m excluding my property and valuable assets (car etc) from my total wealth figure.

So that’s my first cashflow report published online! How did you do this month? Did you perform a new year finance review and if so what did you discover?

3 Replies to “My January 2017 Monthly Cashflow Report”

  1. Hi FIDiary,
    Great to see another London blogger start up – and congratulations on your great start to the new year – even with all the challenges you have to clear from Christmas…

    It was a great relief to see you are including your pension contributions! Something to think of in the future as well as your income changes (e.g. child credit or whatever the benefit is called now..) then you will need to think about altering it.

    Good luck for 2017!
    FiL

  2. Hi TD!

    Congrats on becoming a Dad. Great isn’t it? Although how is the sleep deprivation treating you 🙂

    Nice work on cancelling those direct debits, always great to pick a bit off the low hanging fruit if there is some there. You are right 4.5% of your take home is not insignificant at all, if only most people realised this right!?

    You sound like you have a great story to tell, just read your about page. Looking forward to hearing more about your transformation from spendthrift to thrifty legend 🙂

    One thing – Why not include the pension in your savings rate? It is part of your remuneration and personally I think it should be included. I know everyone has their preferred method of doing this and I respect that, but it seems silly to not include it if you ask me as your pension is and should be counted as part of your net worth in terms of working out when you can FIRE, so it should also be included into your savings rate figures.

    I wrote a big article on the subject a few years ago if you wanted further explanation:

    http://thefirestarter.co.uk/calculating-savings-rate/

    See what you think!

    Cheers

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