Yet again it’s been too long. I am finally in my own flat after almost a year of waiting for it all to go through.
It has been almost 4 months so I am fully settled in now.
I wanted to share with you my expenses.
Essential Monthly Expenses
- Mortgage £510
- Ground Rent & Service equates to around £100 per month*
- Council Tax with Single person discount – £100 per month**
- Electric £71
- Water £30
- Internet £20
- Car Tax £19
- Diesel £30
- Car Insurance/MOT/Repair – £54
- Food £125
- Mobile Sim Only – £12
That’s a total of £1071 per month.
This is just to live and does not include spending money etc.. we will look at that shortly. Let’s break those down a little more first for those who are interested.
Mortgage £510 5-year fix 2%. How lucky was I? It took that long to move my initial rate offered was 1.7% on a 2-year fix.
That offer expired as the seller had a few issues, I decided to switch to a 5-year fix at this point as I could see what was going to happen. So glad I did!
Rather than overpay the mortgage I am putting an extra £50 per month into a Trading 212 Pie with just VUSA in it. After the 5 years if rates are high I will lump sum it off the balance. If they have come back down I shall continue into the pot.
Ground Rent & Service Charge – Equates to £100 per month but both are bi-annually.
A real bugbear of mine. Not a lot I can do about this but having spoken to neighbours they don’t put this price up much (let’s hope this continues). It is a leasehold flat hence the costs.
Council Tax – Currently paying £100 per month on direct debit.
This should be lower in April due to me having to catch up on payments for the first couple of months the council did not open me an account. I’m pretty sure the rates are going up in April, but if they stay as they are this should drop to around £75 per month. Even with an increase if should be less than my current payment.
Electric – £71 – When I first moved in I was paying £108 per month. Another increase was requested to £113 – I refused it.
Having had a smart meter fitted after about one month I was using about £2 or so a day it seemed on average.
No gas in the property it’s all-electric. SSE is the provider, having logged into their app I have managed to keep reducing the payment down.
I had my first quarterly bill and it was only £152 so about £50 per month.
Seeing as I was paying £108 or so I am now £173 in credit and have reduced my Direct Debit down to £71 per month.
Meaning as long as I do not have the heating on – trust I plan not to, it’s not too cold in here. Aside from this, I have been getting the £67 per month sent straight into my bank account.
Effectively giving me £17 per month profit on top of FREE ELECTRIC for 6 months if I can keep the heating off.
Water – £30 – This seems fairly expensive after talking to others. It has been estimated until now, but I took my own reading yesterday so I am hoping to be able to reduce this. It won’t be a lot but maybe £25 or something.
Internet – £20. I am gobsmacked by this one.
All the main providers were quoting me around 3Mbps! Totally unusable for anything other than basic browsing.
I am right in the town centre so can get 5G. Three were offering a 14-day money-back guarantee on their 5G Hub (it’s essentially a normal router with a SIM in it).
With nothing to lose and perhaps a lot to gain I ordered one. I was hoping and praying for at least 50Mbps. To my utter shock, I got a speed test back at 500Mbps. For £10 a month for the first 6 months. then £20. Wow did I get lucky there after what speeds I was being quoted over a wired line!
The lowest I have seen it go is around 250Mbps – A more normal speed is around 300-350Mbps a far cry from the 3Mpbs ey!
Car Tax – An old Diesal works out to £19 per month over Direct Debit.
Car Insurance/MOT/Repair – I use a Chase account (will make a post on it soon). A standing order goes into Chase pot for this.
My insurance was only £240 for the year so this more than covers everything and gives me a nice little buffer should something go wrong.
Food – £125 -This amount per month is plenty, to be honest, I have a big bowl of porridge with peanut butter in the morning and then dinner at night. I can even squeeze in a few takeaways with this amount no problem.
Mobile £12 – It is a SMARTY Sim (Three Network). Included is 5G 100GB, unlimited mins and texts. I do use a lot of data normally around 30-40GB. Very happy with this deal, it’s also a rolling month so can cancel or change your plan at any time.
Summary of Essential Expenses
Well, that sums up all my essential expenses.
I have optimized everything pretty well I think, just the water bill needs some TLC. This includes everything to live and work etc. Including running a car and its associated costs. Now for the rest of my budget.
Currently, I do not think I can better anything on the list, overall I am happy with my current essential expenses.
Non Essential Living Costs
Now for the non-essential stuff AKA the rest of my budget.
- General Spending – £400
- Investing £400
- Mortgage Overpay (Invested in VUSA pie) £50
- Cash Buffer – £200 (Chase pot earning about 2%)
That gives a total of around £1050 for the non-essential stuff. Anything left over each month from my salary will be sent to investing.
General Spending £400 – This I have found to be a pretty decent amount to “live off” eg going out at weekends, playing golf etc… If you break it down per week it’s £86 per week over a year. I try not to spend any money during the week so this is basically my weekend money.
Investing – £400, this is a minimum for me. It does not include workplace pension contributions/matches. I aim for £450 ideally. I will do another post on how I am getting on with investing soon.
Mortgage Overpay £50 – As my 5-year fix is only 2% it makes little sense to directly overpay. So rather I am putting the 10% that I would be allowed to overpay into VUSA. My plan is to lump sum this off the mortgage balance after the 5 years.
Assuming I am in the green that is. Although assuming rates are still high.
IF and that is a big IF. They settle back around the 2-3% mark I shall keep going into VUSA.
Cash Buffer – £200. Currently, I am sending £200 into a cash pot in my Chase account. This is to cover any unexpected expenses etc. The plan here is to maintain around £1000. Some may say this is a little low however in a worst-case scenario. I can reduce my General Spending/ Investing for money should I need more money for something.
If the interest rates keep climbing I will certainly look to make this £2000 at least.
Yeah, so that kind of sums up my budget. I have given every pound a job and those that I have not are an extra floating buffer in my Halifax account. Each payday the remaining money in my Halifax goes straight into my Trading 212 ISA.
Now that I have settled in a got a full understanding of my living costs going forward. I want to focus on building this site out again. It has been neglected severely as of late.
I am lucky, or rather just living cautiously. The cost of living crisis has not really had a great impact on me. Largely because I live well within my means. My car is 16 years old, that’s is one of the biggest factors for me.
Had I followed the crowd and most of my friends then the current UK cost of living crisis would be felt much more firmly.
Thanks as always,