Below is a breakdown of the July 2018 Savings Rate. It’s our first month with the new “normal”, e.g. being on one income. How did we do?

July Finances

Where did we spent our money on in July? Well, here is our overview of the various ins and outs of the budget:

  • One income by Mrs CF, but high business expenses that drive down this income. Expense claim should probably come in September. So a very low income for the month.
  • Crowdfunding income was €367, due to early payback of two loans. This income will quickly decline to below €150 month in the coming year.
  • Living expenses were low due to the year end return by the utility provider (€196!). Lowered the new monthly bill to the minimum allowable. Total expenses €580 (mortgage interest, health insurance, utility bills, phone bills, home insurance).
  • Groceries were high, as we had to restocked upon coming back from our 9 week road trip. Total of €476, that’s €100 above the YTD average!
  • Transportation was low at €276, did not drive much and no special expenses.
  • Kid: normal expense for the after school care at €322, no other items this month.
  • Leisure was low at just €13. Couple of trips to the swimming pool. Other outings were free.
  • Other items: €418. This includes a couple of workout related expenses (including a pool access pass for the coming year) and a new (used) office chair. Also includes some gifts and other minor items.

July 2018 Savings Rate

As noted. July was the first month with the new “normal”, albeit income was low due to business expenses. Still, we managed to have a savings rate of 23.4%. Peanuts compared to the previous months, but very much acceptable on one income! Still a YTD savings rate of 52.8% though 🙂

Here are the stats for the month of July:

July 2018 Savings Rate - Overview

July 2018 Savings Rate – Overview

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

July 2018 Savings Rate - Expenses

July 2018 Savings Rate – Expenses

Forecast Coming Months

There is not much new to report compared to what I mentioned last month. I’m happily unemployed and for now only Mrs. CF brings in the cash. The coming months will have higher expenses because of renovations around the house. Busy with improving insulation at various places to lower the heating bill this coming winters. Painting is almost complete.

 

How was your month in terms of savings? Enjoying the summer season?

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After the epic road trip, it was time to start figuring out how much we had spent (and saved!) in the past 3 months. Below is a breakdown of the June 2018 Savings Rate (with catch-up from April and May too).

April – June Finances

April through June were messy months in terms of both incomes and expenses. We received our tax returns from 2015 (final assessment) and 2017 (temporary assessment). The 2017 ones were as planned, the 2015 one was a surprise! The temporary assessment did not show any money being returned. Not complaining here about the payout!

My income still came in in April and partially in May (holiday allowance and final payout). Mrs CF’s came in in April and partially in May and June (4 weeks of unpaid leave spread over those months). The good thing is that we also received some money in April, May and June from our house being rented through Airbnb! All in all, no complaining on the income front.

Expenses were well above average due to the road trip, obviously. Food and fuel costs were much higher too. Because we prepared the car for the trip, we also had some maintenance costs in April. No issues during the trip, so it was money well spent.

Daycare costs were lower, as we took Miss CF out of after-school care for 2,5 months. She started again in July, as she loves it and it give me time to work around the house/start with the side hustle.

A more detailed breakdown of the holiday expenses is still to be completed, but we came in under budget!

June 2018 Savings Rate (and catch up)

With all the extra income from tax returns and Airbnb rental, we were able to stay in the black despite the road trip! This was a big and pleasant surprise. Did not expect that at all. The savings rate for the year is now a very respectable 54.6%, including the entire road trip!

Here are the stats for the last three months:

June 2018 Savings Rate - Overview

June 2018 Savings Rate – Overview

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

April 2018 Savings Rate - Expenses

April 2018 Savings Rate – Expenses

May 2018 Savings Rate - Expenses

May 2018 Savings Rate – Expenses

June 2018 Savings Rate - Expenses

June 2018 Savings Rate – Expenses

Forecast Coming Months

As you are most likely aware. I’m unemployed and for now only Mrs. CF brings in the cash. The coming months will have higher expenses too. This because of renovations around the house. We want to add/improve insulation at various places to lower the heating bill this coming winter (and the next). There is also some painting work to be done.

The new side hustle is therefore on the back burner for the summer. I also want to take it easy during the summer and enjoy the season. The side hustle activities should pick up in the fall. Hopefully by the end of the year there might be some income from this. Otherwise next year, I’m in no rush.

No other exciting things planned for now that cost heaps of money, other than our real estate investments. That being said, the savings rate will drop. We hope to stay within the 20-40% range going forward. December should be a nice one once again with a couple payment for Mrs CF. Might hit the 50% once again.

 

How about you? How was your month in terms of savings and living life?

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I always like that a month-end wraps up in a weekend. All the time in the world to go through the various accounts and find out what the numbers are. Here is what our finances looked like: March 2018 Savings Rate and expenses.

March Finances

No cheesy top tip this month, other than keep steady and continue a winning battle with your finances. Albeit we did not win much this month. The car breaks almost seized (almost, figured it out on time fortunately), so a €180 repair bill here (which is dirt cheap!). The dishwasher broke earlier this month. After three weeks without having one, we finally got a new (used) one for only €100 last weekend. Works like a charm, hope it won’t turn out to be a “penny wise,  pound foolish” used buy. Time will tell! Oh, and we got our roof sorted, seems to work well. Happy with it so far!

Financial Overview

Here is the usual (short) financial overview for the month:

  • Mr. CF’s Salary + Mrs. CF’s Salary – High business expenses for Mrs CF = relatively low income. Mrs. CF has been rather busy and will wrap up her expenses this month (finally). Should get about €2.100 deposited in April.
  • The crowdfunding income was normal at just over €191 in deposits (combined interest and principle);
  • Living and healthcare category was very high at a combined €2.332. This includes costs for mortgage interest, insurance premiums, healthcare premiums and utilities. It also includes the €1.178 bill for the roof and the €100 dishwasher buy;
  • Grocery costs were about normal with €325 in expenses;
  • The transport costs were above average €405 spent. Expenses include fuel, insurance, road tax, ferry fees and works on the breaks;
  • The kid category was normal with €455. This month only included daycare expenses (including after-school care benefits). No other expenses this time around;
  • Travel and Leisure was €0/ Not sure what we did, but time flew by and we did not spent one €. We did have a few birthday parties that were “free” (no gifts required) and we did do a lot around the house; and,
  • The other category was about €222. Money was spend on the gym for Mrs. CF. Domain names for the new business for Mr CF. A new anti-virus/firewall/etc. program for the PC. A photobook for 2017 and some minor items.

March 2018 Savings Rate 

After the high comes the fall! Very much applicable for our savings rate this month. We dropped to a yearly low of …….33.6%! Ouch. The lower income (due to business expenses) and the various house maintenance items killed us this month. Better luck in April! The last month with two full incomes. Still, the YTD numbers are very reasonable.

Here are the stats:

March 2018 Savings Rate - Overview

March 2018 Savings Rate – Overview

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

March 2018 Savings Rate - Expenses

March 2018 Savings Rate – Expenses

Forecast Coming Months

As noted earlier, we will have our last full double income in April. We will also pay property taxes and leave in the second half of this month on holidays, so not sure where this will leave us. In May we will be on the road/holiday, we will have only one income at this point. June will be very interesting as we will virtually have no income at all (outside some Airbnb rental income from our house). We will still be travelling for 3/4 of the month.  In short, the savings rate will likely drop like a brick and become negative in June. Funny note: I don’t care one bit!

We might still get our taxes back before July, this could save us a bit on the savings rate front. Not sure when this money will actually arrive. As noted we have put our house on Airbnb, so might have some income to cover the housing expenses during May and June. So not all hope is lost 😉

July and August we will have high expenses due to some home renovation works and only one income. Plus, we might get a dog again by August or September. In short, the heat is on to make my side hustle actually work and bring some income. On the other hand, we are fine financially and have time to make this new life work. Very much looking forward to our new life 🙂

 

How about you? How was your month in terms of savings and living life?

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We had fun in Leuven and we will have some more fun in Utrecht later this year. But the “funny” thing is, these meetups are not even that expensive! The last one only set us back about €120 for the whole weekend, that’s including EVERYTHING. We were even with 3 people (Miss CF had to come along as we could not find a baby sitter for the whole weekend). Anyhow, it’s already March and therefore time for the February 2018 Savings Rate update.

February Finances

A good and bad thing happened in February. The good thing is that Mrs. CF got her annual bonus, and it was a lot of money. The downside is that her two month paid leave (which she was supposed to have gotten instead of the bonus) is cancelled. Something with “unfair toward other colleagues”, but it was already promised more than 18 months ago. Apparently that is not “unfair” towards Mrs. CF. Lesson learned here (again!), always get stuff in writing that is approved by ALL parties. NEVER accept anything that is verbally promised. Cheesy top tip!

Savings Rate Update

Savings Rate Update

Financial Overview

Here is the usual short financial overview for the month:

  • Mr. CF’s Salary + Mrs. CF’s Salary+ Bonus – Business expenses for Mrs CF = insane income! And we did not even get the expenses from January/February back yet;
  • The crowdfunding income was back to normal with €191 in deposits (combined interest and principle);
  • Living and healthcare category was low at a combined €574. This includes costs for mortgage interest, insurance premiums, healthcare premiums and utilities. Nothing special to report; 
  • Grocery costs were even lower than last month with only €287 in expenses. Still no new beer bought since december 2017, saves a lot ;-);
  • The transport costs were below average again with €234 spent. (couple days off and worked from home a few days). Expenses include fuel, insurance, road tax and ferry fees;
  • The kid category was normal with €455. This month only included daycare expenses (including after-school care benefits). No other expenses this time around (albeit new clothing is coming up);
  • Travel and Leisure was €131. This included some of the Leuven expenses and a new GPS map for the upcoming 9 week road trip. Remainder of the month was basically free leisure or family visits; and,
  • The other category was about €129. Money was spend on the gym for Mrs. CF, some new cloth for Mrs CF too (she is really tall and is having a hard time finding used cloths, go figure), plus some minor stuff.

February 2018 Savings Rate 

The savings rate for February was ridiculous! It will also be the highest for the remainder of the year, guaranteed. The end result for last month came in at 82.1%. No, there is no typo here. The bonus and very low expenses for the month are a winning concept.

Here are the stats:

February 2018 Savings Rate - Overview

February 2018 Savings Rate – Overview

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

February 2018 Savings Rate - Expenses

February 2018 Savings Rate – Expenses

Forecast Coming Months

You are not going to believe this, but tomorrow we should get our roof fixed (finally, it only took 4 months!) Not sure about the bill, as there are a couple items added to the scope of work. Probably will end up paying more than the originally agreed €1.200. Will take it, as long as those singles go back and are secured!

Still need to work on the taxes, finally got all documents in this weekend. Will be a job for next weekend or the one after that. Not looking forward to the final number as we will have to pay this year (the downside of owning a substantial sum of money).

We also got the bull for sewage, garbage removal and property tax for pretty much all rental properties and our own. Total costs are around €2.800; €300 payable in March, €2.500 payable in May, with more (water management) coming in later in the year. Some of these will end up under the investment costs for the real estate investments. That post is a bit delayed as we are working on interesting maintenance stuff at the moment and should have some updates to report next week.

 

How about you? How was your month in terms of savings and living life?

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Wow, that went quick! It’s already time for the January 2018 Savings Rate update. Feels like it only just turned 2018?! Something with getting older I guess? Or was it just me?

January Finances

Many folks, and primarily those in North America, always dread January. As many of the expenses from the holiday season are to be paid to the various credit card companies. Not here though! Credit Card charges were minimal, most expenses were already booked in December and we were still able to keep expenses in reign. In short, it was a pretty good month on the savings rate side of things.

Savings Rate Update

Savings Rate Update

Financial Overview

Here is the usual short financial overview for the month:

  • Mr. CF’s Salary + Mrs. CF’s salary – Business expenses for Mrs CF = good but below average income. Expense claim to be paid in February;
  • The crowdfunding income was back to normal with €191 in deposits (combined interest and principle);
  • Living and healthcare category was about average with a combined €1012. This includes costs for mortgage interest, home insurance, healthcare premiums, utilities and some minor home maintenance/up keep. Nothing special to report; 
  • Grocery costs were low this month with €311 in expenses. Because we did some major shopping’s in December, this month was bound to be low;
  • The transport costs were below average with €265 spent. Expenses include fuel, insurance, road tax and ferry fees. A normal month with nothing special (very little cycling though!);
  • The kid category was normal with €455. This month only included daycare expenses (including after-school care benefits). No other expenses this time around (who said kids were expensive?);
  • Travel and Leisure was €109. Some expenses were already incurred in December, but were bumped into 2018. We went ice skating several times, visited a Monkey Town (no affiliate link, just to show what it is) and went swimming in a subtropical pool; and,
  • The other category was about €127. Money was spend on the gym for Mrs. CF, going out to diner, cash and some quarterly banking expenses.

January 2018 Savings Rate 

The savings rate for January were good once again (sorry if this is getting boring! In case it is, come back in May!). The end result for last month came in at 64.4%. 

Here are the stats:

January 2018 Savings Rate - Overview

January 2018 Savings Rate – Overview

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

January 2018 Savings Rate - Expenses

January 2018 Savings Rate – Expenses

Forecast Coming Months

We had some more storm damage to our roof…. again. But because we are still awaiting some good weather to fix a few more things, this damage will be repaired at the same time. Fortunately. the roof is water tight even with a few tiles missing. Hoping to (finally) have this all fixed in February or March (weather permitting). But the bill will be much higher than the €1.200 for just the regular works to be done. Storm damage is a “bonus” expense. That being said, because our deductible is about €975. It’s actually cheaper to include this storm damage with the other works than call it in with the insurance company. So that is what we did.

Tax season is coming up in more ways than one. For us this includes property taxes, watermanagement taxes, sewage and water treatment fees and garbage removal. All of which will be coming around in the coming 2-5 months. The first payment is scheduled for March and is around €300 (water management fees = tax for embankment maintenance and such). The rest is still to be received.

We are also anticipating to have to pay taxes this year instead of getting a tax return. No deductibles this time around, so this is going to hurt!

How about you? How was your month in terms of savings and living life?

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What better than to close out 2017 with a bang. The December 2017 Savings Rate was another amazing one. But honestly speaking, I would have rather seen a lower rate. Let me explain.

December Finances

One of the reasons why the December 2017 savings rate is ridiculous again is…….. the crappy weather. We have moved the appointment to do roof work to January or even February 2018! Still no dry weather window when the roofing contractor has the ability to show up and do his work.

On top of this, we also had a storm in January = a lot of roof damage = we are at the bottom of the list :-(. In short, the €1.200 maintenance bill is still postponed until further notice. Just want to get my roof repaired so we can tackle some stuff on the in side. Sigh….

Financial Overview

Here is the usual short financial overview for the month:

  • Expense claim + Mr. CF’s Salary + Mrs. CF’s double salary (13th month payment) = insane income;
  • The crowdfunding income was well above normal with €270 in deposits (combined interest and principle). One project closed out and we received all our principle + outstanding interest = we have a winner!;
  • Living and healthcare category was about €672 in total. This includes costs for mortgage interest, home insurance, healthcare premiums, utilities and some minor home maintenance/up keep. This month was well below average in expenses; 
  • The transport costs were below average with €222 spent. Expenses include fuel, insurance, road tax and ferry fees. Because of the “short” month from a work perspective ;
  • Grocery costs were a record high this month. Something to do with buying beer and other large groceries to start 2018 well stocked. Closed the month with €439 in expenses;
  • The kid category was €1.008, which is consisting of after school care (4 days per week, including benefits), a new large organic matrass (got a nice 50% off deal online) and covers. Miss CF changed from her infant/toddle bed (130cm long) to a full sized bed (210cm long) in December. She’s a big girl now ;-);
  • Travel and Leisure was €26. We decided to skip the Christmas “holiday abroad” and use the funds next year. However, we did some leisure events including ice skating, Monkey Town visit and a few other outings (most of them free or paid for by grandparents); and,
  • The other category was about €192. Money was spend on some cloths, gifts and the gym for Mrs. CF, cash and some expenses for the meetup in Gouda on the 30th of December.

December 2017 Savings Rate 

The savings rate for December was amazing with a final tally of 77.5%! The overall 2017 savings rate is now 66.0% at total expenses of €35.552 (you do the math). We are officially a badass gold saver for a second year in a row. Booya! 😉 

Here are the stats:

December 2017 Savings Rate - Overview

December 2017 Savings Rate – Overview

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

November 2017 Savings Rate - Expenses

November 2017 Savings Rate – Expenses

Forecast 2018

The year of 2018 is going to be one of change, and lots of it. We will be going on a 2 month road trip to southern Europe in the spring. It might look something like this (but it might also change depending on how we feel and what we like along the way):

Mr. CF will quit his job officially around the 1st of May and will become a stay at home dad (amongst others). Which will make a massive dent on the income side of things. The after school care costs should therefore reduce, but the utility costs will rise somewhat.

The plan is to have a savings rate next year in the order of 25-30%. Which is very low for us, but still pretty darn good on one and a third income + a major holiday. Curious to see what the year will bring, but primarily lots of fun I hope!

How about you? What’s the plan for 2018?

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Cool, another month with “just above normal” savings rates. Not entirely expected, but we will take it! Here is the November 2017 Savings Rate.

November Finances

November was another very good month. But also for an less fortunate reason. We wanted to have some work done on our house/roof. But could not due to the crappy weather. We have moved the appointment twice already as it needs to be dry. Dry and November don’t go well together! Go figure…. In short, the €1200 maintenance bill is postponed until further notice (just need dry weather AND availability of the roofing contractor, how hard can that be in December?!).

Financial Overview

Here is a short financial overview:

  • Due to receiving 4 weekly wage payments for Mr CF, you always have one month per year with 2 payments! November was it 🙂 . So we received a lot of money in November. No expense claims though or other extra income. We thus had a well above normal month from in income perspective;
  • The crowdfunding income was below normal with €184 in deposits (combined interest and principle), some payments were received already last month (bank error);
  • Living and healthcare category was high at about €1.016 in total. This includes costs for mortgage interest, home insurance, healthcare premiums, utilities and some minor home maintenance. We also bought 9 “wind participations” through our energy supplier (€440). This is a one-off charge (they use the proceeds to build a new windturbine) that provides a discount to energy consumption for the next 5 years. Call it a prepayment for green electricity use; 
  • The transport costs were way above average with €791 spent. The €500 deductible for the second windscreen this year really hurt (first one was free, but changed he policy earlier this year. Because how big is the chance of having two windows cracked/broken in one year……right?!);
  • Grocery costs were again well below normal this month with just €281;
  • The kid category was above the “new” normal with about €617, which is consisting of after school care (4 days per week, including benefits) and a one-off school fee;
  • Travel and Leisure was €0. No money spent at all? Really?! Strange thing was that is was quite busy on the social front, but all free! How about that; and,
  • The other category was about €170. Money was spend on some cloths, gifts and the gym for Mrs CF.

November 2017 Savings Rate 

The savings rate for November was a very good 71.7%. The year-to-date savings rate is now up to 64,5%. We are definitely not going to make platinum for 2017, but the badass gold saver category “winner” is in the bag! 

Here are the stats:

November 2017 Savings Rate - Overview

November 2017 Savings Rate – Overview

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

November 2017 Savings Rate - Expenses

November 2017 Savings Rate – Expenses

 

How was your November from a savings perspective?

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And we are back to “just above normal” with out October 2017 Savings Rate. After the unreal savings rate of September, we were bound to get off our new record high. But we did surprisingly better than I thought. So let’s look at the month of October form a household finances perspective.

Savings Rate Update

Savings Rate Update

October Finances

October was a very good month. Here is a short financial overview:

  • We received our regular incomes this month, the expense claim up to September was also recieved. We also received the quarterly childcare benefits (~€200). Still, the October income was slightly below the YTD average monthly income;
  • The crowdfunding income was back to normal with €207 in deposits (combined interest and principle);
  • Living and healthcare catogery was about €737 in total. This includes costs for mortgage interest, home insurance, healthcare premiums, utilities and home maintenance. November will be expensive as we have roof improvement work planned (totalling €1200); 
  • The transport costs were about average with €295 spent;
  • Grocery costs were again well above normal this month with a total of about €405. This included some shopping from the holiday in Germany that was booked in October;
  • The kid category is now at the “new” normal with about €570, which is primarily after school care (4 days per week) and some randon items for Miss CF;
  • Travel and Leisure was about €115. This included costs for a hotel we used on the last day of our holiday and a few outings for the remainder of the month; and,
  • The other category was about €260. This was very high due to a €95 restaurant bill (which was so worth it after 4 years of not going out to dinner with the two of us). Other expenses include a gym membership, some cash purchases and shoe repairs.

October 2017 Savings Rate 

The savings rate for October was a very good 68.2%. The year-to-date savings rate is now up to 63,6%. We are not going to make platinum for 2017, but we remain solidly in the badass gold saver catergory. 

Here are the stats:

October 2017 Savings Rate - Overview

October 2017 Savings Rate – Overview

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

October 2017 Savings Rate - Expenses

October 2017 Savings Rate – Expenses

 

Did you also have a great October? If you did, what made it a success? If not, what went wrong?

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Savings Rate Update

I’m going to keep the posts short in the coming while to continue my reduction in RSI symptoms. That being said, our September 2017 Savings Rate was insane, despite our Holiday in Germany!

September Finances

September was a great month, both financially as well as personally  (the holiday helped big time). Here is a short financial overview of the month:

  • We received our regular incomes this month. Mrs CF’s large expense claim was delayed to October, so overall income from labour was slightly lower than normal;
  • We finally received Mrs CF’s 2015 tax return! Glad to have this sorted and the extra almost €1600 was a very nice to have;
  • The crowdfunding income was a whopping €515 in deposits (combined interest and principle), which is way above normal. This is due to a repayment of a one year loan + interest;
  • Living and healthcare was uhm, negative this month (i.e. we “got money” instead of paying). Main reason is the repayment of surplus paid money for gas and electricity for the last year (got almost €900, despite having lowered payments twice last year). The repayment combined with low expense led to a expense of €-314 this month; 
  • The transport costs were well above average with just under €300 spent. But this was purely due to the holiday travels;
  • Grocery costs were also above normal this month with a total of about €400. Also the result of the luxury holiday shopping;
  • The kid category was very low this month due to the switch to going to school and after school care. We also to a bit too much reimbursement from the government, this will be corrected for October. Total costs were under €200;
  • Travel and Leisure was only about €110. The main costs were covered last month and some will fall into October. Costs for fuel and food have been covered above; and,
  • The other category was about €125. This was mainly expense for a gift, workout costs and some minor random expenses.

September 2017 Savings Rate 

The savings rate for September was an insane 90,0% (no this is not a calculation error!). The year-to-date savings rate is now up to 63,0%. We are now solidly in the badass gold saver catergory. 

Here are the stats:

September 2017 Savings Rate - Overview

September 2017 Savings Rate – Overview

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

September 2017 Savings Rate - Expenses

September 2017 Savings Rate – Expenses

Please note the negative percentage for living and healthcare, this is caused by the major return for G/W/E. Won’t happen again 😉

 

How did you do in September? Any unusual numbers for you too?

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Savings Rate Update

We are back on steam with our August 2017 Savings Rate! Great result overall and we even have booked most of our holiday accommodations for September this month as well.

August Finances

August was about as much fun as July. Summer months are really a great time of the year. Funnily enough the second half of the summer was considerably better financially. Here is a short financial overview of the month:

  • We received our regular incomes this month, nothing special to report. Next month there is another expense claim awaiting payment;
  • The crowdfunding income was €180 in deposits (combined interest and principle), which is below normal. Mental note, check the numbers!;
  • Living and healthcare spending was very low this month. It was literally a third of that of last month! But July had a major repair bill included. This month we had no quarterly payments for insurance or any taxes due;
  • The transport costs were also well below average with over €213 spent (again, about a third of last month. I see a trend….). Only some fuel, insurance and ferry tickets :
  • Grocery costs were also below normal this month with a total of about €263. Guess the high number for last month averaged out. No special purchases;
  • The kid category was, as per usual, really stable. But we have now paid the final instalment of the daycare fees. Still awaiting the new costs for after school care (they do already have our account number, oh boy). It should be less, but we don’t know by how much just yet. This will start as of October 2;
  • Travel and Leisure was about €316. This included all the fees for 7 nights stay in 2 different locations. We booked one via AirB&B, one via a regular travel site. We also booked one night directly at the hotel, but we will pay this one at arrival. There were also a few minor costs for day trip items for our Miss CF; and,
  • The other category was about €136. This included some swimwear, couple of small gifts and some random small expenses.

August 2017 Savings Rate 

The savings rate for August was a whopper again with 64,4%. The year-to-date savings rate is now back up to 59,3%. We are holding on to the badass gold saver status 🙂 

Here are the stats:

August 2017 Savings Rate - Overview

August 2017 Savings Rate – Overview

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

August 2017 Savings Rate - Expenses

August 2017 Savings Rate – Expenses

Looking forward to September, it will likely be another good month. No major expenses anticipated and we are even expecting a back-payment of the utility provider. This extra money will help offset some of the holiday expenses.

 

How did you do in August? Any holiday expenses that affected the numbers?

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Savings Rate Update

As noted last month, the July 2017 Savings Rate was bound to be significantly lower. Still, kind of (positively) surprised about the final result 🙂

July Finances

July was a fun and surprisingly busy month, both at work as well as socially. A financial overview of the month:

  • We received our regular incomes this month and the expense claims and costs cancelled each other out.  Nothing more, northing less;
  • The crowdfunding income was €196 in deposits (combined interest and principle);
  • Living and healthcare spending was (very) high this month due to the payment of the €977 deductible for the storm damage to our roof. Take this one expense out of the equation and we only had a slightly above “normal” month;
  • The transport costs were also well above average with over €630 spent. The primary cause was obviously the major maintenance service done on our practical family car. There was a “positive” note side to this bill, as it came in lower than expected. Primarily caused by the fact that there was nothing found during the maintenance. We like that!;
  • Grocery costs were also above below normal this month with a total of about €382. Not sure where this came from, as we did not do any special grocery shopping. Probably just how the weekends fell this month;
  • The kid category was, as per usual, fairly stable. We only paid for day-care fees (net fees are about €953). We cancelled the day-care per the third week of September. As of October school and after school care will commence for Miss CF. We therefore have one more (higher) day-care bill and than it should drop significantly (albeit we don’t know by how much, still need to get the new prices);
  • Travel and Leisure was about €122. Amongst others we took Mrs CF’s dad out for bowling and a pancake dinner (Miss CF loved it too), but there were many daytrips (think Amsterdam) and small (and frugal) events; and,
  • The other category was about €184 (think cash, gym, computer related expenses, birthdays, etc.).

July 2017 Savings Rate 

The savings rate for July ended up being 42,0%…ouch. The year to date savings rate is now 58,6% Still a badass gold saver

Here are the stats:

July 2017 Savings Rate - Overview

July 2017 Savings Rate – Overview

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

July 2017 Savings Rate - Expenses

July 2017 Savings Rate – Expenses

August will again be relatively uneventful from a financial viewpoint. The only exception might be that we will make reservation for accomodatoin for a holiday at the end of September. We will likely go to Germany by car (perhaps it will also turn into a business trip too to check out Real Estate…but that’s not the primary plan!).

 

Did you also have a tough(er) month? Share your story!

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Savings Rate Update

Wow, the June 2017 Savings Rate is a complete turn around from a month ago. Low expenses and high income (we received a tax return, which is probably the last one we will ever get!) made this month a winner. We actually got the highest savings rate for the year, which was a bit unexpected but very welcome.

June Finances

For June 2017 we ended the month at a savings rate of 75.7%. This is insanely good and primarily the results of a perfect storm of high income and low expenses. 

A financial overview of the month:

  • We received our regular incomes and the tax return for 2016. The  anticipated expense claim got moved to July. We had no major business expense this month either;
  • The crowdfunding income was €196 in deposits (combined interest and principle);
  • Living and healthcare spending was very low this month with just over €700. No maintenance works, no taxes and no insurance payments, makes for a cheap month;
  • The transport costs were well above average with over €300. The main reason was the maintenance on Mr. CF’s road bike, which got a new chain and cassette. Fuel was also low for the month (one fuel up only) due to the amount of cycling done;
  • Grocery costs were just below normal this month with a total of about €290. Did well on frugal shopping I guess;
  • The kid category was again fairly stable, we only paid for day-care fees (net fees are about €953);
  • Travel and Leisure for this month was nil. We still had a lot of things going on (including the Meetup in Antwerp – costs are in the Other Category), but apparently this was not very expensive :-). We are however planning a weekend get away in July and another holiday in October if possible ; and,
  • The other category was just under €70, guess we had nothing important to spend money on.

June 2017 Savings Rate 

The savings rate for the month of June was thus 75.7%. Resulting in an overall savings rate for YTD 2017 of 61.1%.

Fun facts for the month, our Living and Healthcare expense for the month were a fifth compared to May. Primary is of course the absence of any maintenance items, taxes or insurance. Resulting in the daycare being the single largest expense for the month, at 40% of the total expenses. Just 3 months left before Miss CF goes to school, yay!

Here are the stats:

June 2017 Savings Rate - Overview

June 2017 Savings Rate – Overview

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

June 2017 Savings Rate - Expenses

June 2017 Savings Rate – Expenses

July won’t be nearly as good as June. The taxes return is one reason obviously, but we also received the bill for the roof repairs of the storm damage. The “damage” was actually €977 for one roof tile! Insane…..but accessibility was indeed an issue and the specific tile was very hard to reach.  The car is also due for a large maintenance service, costing around €550-ish and includes a airco clean (gosh it smells). But more on this next month.

 

How about you, how was your month? Did you get a tax refund too, did it help your savings rate?

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Savings Rate Update

The horror! The pain! May was a brutal month from a Savings Rate perspective. It’s one of those months where all the bills come in at once. But whom am I kidding, we should still be happy with the results as we are still in the black this month. We probably still beat about 95% of the country too (completely pulled that stat out of my a$$). Gotten curious? Let’s have a look at the May 2017 Savings Rate!

May Finances

For May 2017 we ended the month at a savings rate of 29.7%. Really not happy with these results, but you cannot win them all! 

A financial overview of the month:

  • We received our regular incomes and the holiday allowance for Mr CF (at 8.33% of gross income). Mrs CF gets hers paid every month in her salary. We also made a payment for Mrs. CF professional registration fees and costs for a business trip. Reimbursement is scheduled for June;
  • The crowdfunding is now down to just €190 in deposits (we currently have had 4 out of 33 projects with some sort of issue, 2 resulted in a complete loss of payment other are delayed or paid off completely);
  • Living and healthcare spending was insanely high this month due property taxes and waste/sewage fees (~€1000) and the bill for the new windows and associated works (~€1630). Other costs include a new Grohe tap and showerhead for the shower (both broke within just 3 years!) – cost €225. We decided to spend some extra money here in the hopes that it will last longer in our hard water area;
  • The transport costs were above average with about €210. One fuel-up from the holiday was included here. Besides this charge, the overall fuel consumption was pretty low due to all the cycling to work in May;
  • Grocery costs were above normal this month with a total of about €322. Not sure about the reasons actually, did not do anything special, albeit we did by lots of nuts, dates and figs at the market a couple weeks back;
  • The kid category was again fairly stable, we paid for day-care fees (net fees are about €953) and some clothing again (kid is growing fast!);
  • Travel and Leisure for this month was about €110. Had a few day trips and some charges from the holiday in Belgium; and,
  • The other category was about €336 with some cash withdrawals, charges for the gym for Mrs CF, and costs for the reservation of the Meetup room in Utrecht!.

May 2017 Savings Rate 

The savings rate for the month of May was thus 29.7%. The overall savings rate for YTD 2017 is now 57.5%, but we are trending towards losing the “Gold Badass Saver” status this way. Are we worried? Not really :-). We have no major plans for the rest of the year, albeit we are still awaiting the deductible for the work done of the roof earlier this year. This could be up to a €1000 bill (no news yet). We are planning for another vacation, which could be a bit more than the €642 we spend in Belgium. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves too much.

Fun fact for the month, the expenses in May were bigger than that for March and April COMBINED! The only reason why the Saving Rate is still pretty good is because of the Holiday allowance that was paid to Mr CF (in the Netherlands this is a mandatory 8% of income!).

Here are the stats:

May 2017 Savings Rate - Overview

May 2017 Savings Rate – Overview

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

May 2017 Savings Rate - Expenses

May 2017 Savings Rate – Expenses

How was your Savings Rate? Did you have a bad month too? Was it for similar reasons?

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Savings Rate Update

I’m happy to report no calculation errors this time around for the savings rate 😉 That being said, we did have another pretty good month on the savings side. We are therefore very happy to present to you the April 2017 Savings Rate.

April Finances

For April 2017 we ended the month at a savings rate of 62.4%, pretty satisfied with this result (as we should be!). A financial overview of the month:

  • We received our regular incomes and there were no major expense claim deposits;
  • The crowdfunding was normal with just €200 in deposits (that being said, two more project appear to be in trouble and missed payments are starting to go up!);
  • Living and healthcare spending was relatively high this month due sewage fees (€301). May is going to really painful as property taxes are due, and we are expecting the bill for the renovation works done on the windows (see below). But that last bill is one that I’ll be happy to see, as the result is a newly placed and well insulated window unit;
  • The transport costs were below average about €136. Main reason is that I only worked half the month, so less fuel consumption. The car is coming up for major service in June or July (mental note, make an appointment….);
  • Grocery costs were way above normal this month with a total of just about €365. The main reason of course is the holiday in Belgium;
  • The kid category was again fairly stable, we paid for day-care fees (net fees are about €953) and some clothing;
  • Travel and Leisure for this month was €57.5. The main bill for the holiday accommodation (€400) was already paid in February. We also had some spare cash we used for the holiday and some other charge shifted into May. Overall a low spend for actually being on holidays; and,
  • The other category was about €139 with some cash withdrawals (which were subsequently used for the holiday), tools for our record player (actual vinyl records), some dining out and bank fees.

April 2017 Savings Rate 

The savings rate for the month of April was thus 62.4%. The overall savings rates for 2017 is now 64.5%. That being said, expect a plunge in both the monthly and overall savings rate in May. Main reason, as also mentioned above, is several pending bills and stable income (perhaps except for the May vacation money payment for me).

April 2017 Savings Rate - Overview

April 2017 Savings Rate – Overview

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

April 2017 Expenses Overview

April 2017 Expenses Overview

How was your Savings Rate? Was it all pretty basic for you too, or did you have some interesting items?

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I’m an idiot, as I don’t seem to be able to properly add and subtract numbers. Sigh. What’s happened? Well, I had made an attempt a while back to automate part of our finances for tracking and blogging purposes. Turns out that this was not going entirely perfect. The short version of this story is that charges to the credit card of Mrs CF were not properly transferred into the budget. She uses this credit card primarily for business purposes and gets reimbursed by her employer. So for certain months we over estimated the total income and thus savings rates (we use net income corrected for business expenses).

Why did I not spot this sooner? Because the month for which I had set this up originally had no credit card charges, so the totals matched. But I got weary lately due to the series of exceptionally high savings rates. Most are easy to explain due to high incomes/bonusses and no crazy expenses. But I could not explain all of them. Some financial forensic digging this weekend found the issue, and it has now been corrected all the way back to last year August when the problem started.

The effects were not too drastic, but still noticeable. The overall savings rate for 2016 dropped from 61.4% to 60.6% (but we are still a Gold Badass Saver!). Not the end of the world, but still sloppy. The savings rate for January and February of this year also dropped by a about 5% percent each! Our savings rate is still pretty darn good, so we are not worried. The errors also don’t affect the Cheesy Index, as this is a summation of all month end account totals, which I do seem to be able to calculate correctly……

March Finances

Ok, back to the March 2017 savings rate, which is actually (I double checked!) rather spectacular. We ended the month at a savings rate of 74.4%. Almost a record high. A financial overview of the month:

  • We received our regular incomes and a major expenses claim (for which the expense are now properly included in January and February);
  • The crowdfunding was normal with nearly €200 in deposits;
  • Living and healthcare spending was a record low this month due to no major (maintenance) bills, insurance or taxes to be paid (total expenses were about €650). This expense category will go up significantly in April and May due to a series of bills to be paid as well as major maintenance scheduled for late April (window replacement);
  • The transport costs are in line with expectations at about €200. Fuel is by far the largest expense with a total of €172;
  • Grocery costs were back to normal this month with a total of just about €290;
  • The kid category was again stable, we only paid for day-care fees (net fees are about €953!);
  • Travel and Leisure for this month was nil. We had several birthdays and events, but all were paid for by grandparents and/or friends. However as part of the credit card mishap, the €400 bill for our planned holiday in Belgium (April) is now properly entered into February (therefore also the massive drop in the February savings rate); and,
  • The other category included some negative expenses for sales of stuff on Marktplaats (local eBay), but also some expenses for birthday gits and minor items for around the house.

March 2017 Savings Rate 

The savings rate for the month of March thus end up being 74.4%. This is obviously a ridiculous savings rate and won’t happen again for the coming months due to pending expenses. None-the-less, we are very happy to see that our frugal habits are definitely paying off. There does not seem to be much lifestyle inflation despite the growing income in the last year. The correct savings rates for 2017 look like this, note that our year to date savings rate is now 65.1%:

March 2017 Savings Rate

March 2017 Savings Rate

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

March 2017 Expenses Breakdown

March 2017 Expenses Breakdown

How was your Savings Rate for March? Did you have a good month too? Do you incidentally also suffer from momentary lapse in IQ and forget how to add and subtract?

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