Are you ready to find out how much I managed to save in October? I sure am! Last month topped all my expectations of how far I could push living frugaly, so it’s unlikely that every month will be as great. Guess what? October turned out to be excellent too.
As most of you have noticed my blog has been much more quiet than usual the past few weeks. I explained in the last weekly round-up that work has been crazy busy. A nice bonus effect is that doing lots of overtime makes living a frugal lifestyle a whole lot easier. If you’re often busy at work you’re happy to enjoy a nice and inexpensive meal at home in the evening before relaxing on the couch.
Here’s October’s income and expenses.
|Paycheck||€ 2,013||As expected|
|Dividends||€ 18||More dividends, awesome!|
|Other||€ 100||Side hustlin'|
Income-wise there’s nothing special to report. The salary from my day-job is in line with previous months. On top of that there’s some income from a side hustle I’ve been enjoying over the past few months. I’m also quite happy with the passive dividend income this month since it’s almost at 1% of my normal paycheck. Only 99% more to go! At this rate I definitely won’t have to retire at 67 like almost everyone else in Belgium in the future.
|Rent||€ 350||As expected|
|Utilities||€ 70||As expected|
|Telecom||€ 18||As expected|
|Groceries||€ 85||Even less than last month|
|Restaurant||€ 17||Sushi and fries (multiple times)|
|Healthcare||€ 16||Haircut, etc.|
|Holidays||€ 41||Cheap-o plane ticket to Ireland for December|
|Subscriptions||€ 8||Google Play Music|
|Entertainment||€ 22||Beers with friends|
Look at that! Only €42 more than last month, which could be attributed to buying a two-way ticket to Ireland to visit my best friend in December. Flying in Europe from one major city to another never has been cheaper though at these crazy low prices.
Discretionary spending still is at an all-time low. Only €39 was spent on entertainment and eating out, even though a quick glance at October’s calendar shows there were at least eleven fun evenings with good friends. That’s an average of €3.5 per evening. Who ever said that having fun is expensive?
October’s savings rate comes out at a nice and round 70%, awesome! That’s only a tad lower than the 72.3% I managed to save last month, so I’m extremely happy with that result, especially when considering that 70% is right on target to reach my 2014 savings goal.
Almost all my savings were immediately invested in a tax-optimized pension fund (€95 monthly) and three dividend growth stocks. With the low oil prices I thought it was a good time to stock up on some more integrated oil and gas companies. After already owning Total and Royal Dutch Shell, the third oil giant in my portfolio is British Petroleum (LON:BP). I’ve furthermore initiated a position in mining company BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) and insurer Aflac (NYSE:AFL).
Considering the amount of money I manage to save each month after moving out on my own, it might be a good idea to bump up 2015’s goal to 60%, like I mentioned last month. After October’s kick-ass results I definitely think that’s the route to go. For 2014, I’ll keep my savings target at 70%, however. Here are my savings rates so far this year:
- January: N/A
- February: N/A
- March: 87.4%
- April: 65.3%
- May: 78.6%
- June: 72.9%
- July: 76.7%
- August: 65.3%
- September: 72.3%
I’m not counting January and February because of a stupid mistake I made in my Excel spreadsheet back then, even though it’s likely that those months were in line with the rest of the year. From March onwards I did manage to save 73.5% on average. For motivation’s sake we’ll round that number up to 74%, which is unchanged from last month. Success!
After you have all recovered from your Halloween hangovers, be sure to put up your income and expenses reports on your blogs so I can fuel my savings rate voyeurism. Motivating each other to stay the course really helps pushing that savings rate higher and higher each month. If you’re not a blogger let me know in the comments if you’re happy with your savings.
Enjoy your Halloween weekend.