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