April 2018 Review

It’s going to be quite a quick update this month. Life is flying by and I only have a couple of days before I go on holiday. Work has been crazy busy and I’ve been working longer hours to keep on top of things, read more about that here. Outside of work I spent a lot of time (and a hefty wodge of cash) redecorating my study. I also went to a stag do up in Newcastle which was fun, though I suffered for it afterwards.

When you go up north you’re greeted by this big wooden person with aeroplane wings. We decided it’s female, because look at that shapely derriere.

Financially speaking there were three main hits this month.

Firstly, at the start of the month I splashed out on a new TV. I’d been talking about it for the best part of a year, and the girl I’m seeing told me I should just go and buy one so I could shut up and talk about something else. So I went and bought one. Bit frivolous but there you go, you got to treat yourself every now and then right? Right??? Okay maybe this was a bad move. This set me back about £780 and my savings rate took a hit.

Redecorating my study was expensive too. A new carpet, plug sockets, paints, lamp shade, blinds. It all adds up. To £310.

And then there was the stag do. All in all, with advance payments for hotels, travel, an Indian meal, an Italian meal, a Turkish meal, go karting, an escape room, and then of course a lot of drinks, I spent around £350. Ouch. It was totally worth it though. As a southerner I did feel a bit like one of those intrepid explorers studying the local fauna. Who are these strange orange people? Why are some of them talking to me in a friendly way? What drives them, what is the purpose of their lives, so far away from London? It’s a mystery.

Anyway, without further ado (because I don’t have much time for adoing), here is the breakdown:

Spending and Income Breakdown for April 2018:


  • Mobile phone – £23.40. This will go down to £10 a month as of next month (in theory) as I’ve moved to a new provider.
  • Rent – £550  – I own my house (with a mortgage) but I pay myself rent. I don’t actually move any money around, but for the purposes of my spreadsheet and my savings rate I treat my house as though it were a rental property and I am a tenant in it.
  • Food, drinks, toiletries – £253.84 – This seems high but I bought a £100 shopping card at the end of the month (I get 5% off through work). So basically I paid £95 in advance for £100 of next month’s food shop.
  • Eating/drinking out, takeaways – £230.24 – Stag do.
  • Petrol/travel – £111.19
  • Car expenses (insurance, repairs etc) – £0
  • Gym/Sports – £30
  • Music/gigs/cinema – £14.18
  • Cash Withdrawals – £120.00 – More stag do.
  • Miscellaneous – £1505.49 – As mentioned above, mostly this is TV, decorating, advance stag do costs. And a new TV stand.
  • Bank charge – Negative £9.01 (ie they paid me).

Total: £2829.33

Yeeesh. It was an expensive month. Especially after the revelations at work and my new found resolve to FIRE as soon as possible, this month looks poor. Though in my defense I bought the new television before that all went down. And you can’t skimp on a stag do (IMO). Next month will be better .It needs to be better.


I split out my income into active and passive – passive is basically my rental income, active is everything else.

  • Salary (after pension/sharesave removed) – £2289.50
  • Pension payment – £899.13 – I put in 6%, my employer puts in 20%
  • Sharesave – £250
  • Matched betting – £0
  • Rental Income (after bills, expenses, council tax and mortgage interest removed) – £785.60. Started paying council tax on both houses again, and there was the small matter of house insurance for my rental property. I had a new lodger move in 1st May so my rental income should start to look a bit more rosy next month.

Total Active Income = £3438.63

Total Passive Income = £785.60

My Savings Rate

I’m not going to do all the usual spiel because I’m getting a bit bored of it (!). Basically I work out my savings rate by using passive income as an expense reducer. So in this case my spending is £2829.33 minus £785.60 which equals £2043.73. As my active income is £3438.63 and my spending is £2043.73 that makes my savings rate 40.6%.

See my earlier post here if you want a bit more explanation on this. I do think it is an accurate way of measuring the savings rate (until someone tells me otherwise).

This year I’ve started doing a graph of my savings rate from month to month and for the year to date. Here you go:


My savings rate for the year is currently sitting at 71.7%. The graph is starting to take shape, I reckon I can keep that savings rate about 70% but we’ll see.

My Net Worth Tracker

My net worth increased in April from £205,731.21 to £209,342.27, a £3,611.06 increase. This is based on the estimated values of my properties minus my debts (mortgage/loans etc), plus my savings, plus my investment accounts (including pension) and the total of my bank balances.

About £1.5k of this increase is thanks to me saving my income (well, not spending it all is perhaps a better way of putting it) and the other £2k is thanks to the value of my properties increasing in value according to Zoopla.

(I’ve said it before – I realise Zoopla isn’t the most accurate way of measuring a property’s value but based on my rental yield I don’t think it’s too far off – actually I’m probably being quite conservative in my valuations.)

Since this time last year I estimate my net worth has increased by £62,492.49. Here’s a lovely graph to show how my net worth has increased since September 2012:


And that’s about it for April. As I mentioned I’m going on holiday next week, to Sorrento in Italy for 5 days. I cannot wait.

As always thanks for reading,



4 thoughts on “April 2018 Review

  1. Not a fantastic month based on your usual standards; however you did still manage to save and many people in the UK would love £750+ after expenses for a ‘normal’ month.

    What I think is important for all FIRE hopefuls to remember is that they do need to also live in the present! It has been heard many times about ‘normal’ people saving for ‘normal’ retirement, putting off life dreams until they are retired only to die a few days after 55/60/65. As with most things it is all about balance and finding a balance that you are happy with short,medium & long term.

    On holiday again? You only just came back for a 2 month stint didn’t you? Hahaha.

    Have a great month.


    1. Thanks Marty,

      Yes I guess I have high standards for myself, but I agree it’s good to take your foot off the pedal a little from time to time, to smell the roses as they say. You’ve got to live your life at the same time as looking to the future, it’s finding that balance as you say, and making good decisions over what is really important.

      Ha yes, actually thinking about it, this year I’ve been to Thailand for a month, skiing in France for a week, Germany for a weekend, Newcastle for a weekend, and Italy for a week! Which is a lot, more than what I’d usually do. I do think it’s possible these days to get a decent holiday relatively cheaply, only spending a bit more than what you’d spend anyway in a week. And in retirement I’d like to think I’d be doing similar things so it’s good to factor those in.

      Cheers, you too.


  2. Hi Wephway,

    Not a bad month considering. Don’t scrimp on things like stag do’s. You will only ever go on a certain amount of them and to be worrying about money when you should be having a good time is pointless (you’d be better off just not going!).

    Also the TV will last you years I am sure so may well turn out to be a great purchase. Ours costs us £550 and still looks great in HD crispness a good 8 years later.

    Enjoy the holiday and I look forward to reading about it when you get back 🙂


    1. Hi TFS,

      Thanks, yeah I agree, there are some events in life that should just be enjoyed without worrying too much about money (within reason!). It helped that it was Newcastle which is relatively cheap anyway so I wasn’t too concerned.

      I had my last TV for about 6 years but it was only £350 when I bought it and I was ready for an upgrade. I think generally speaking technology is cheap these days, assuming you don’t go for really high end stuff which probably is overpriced. I found myself looking around at all the different TVs and thinking, why is this one an extra £200? Will I really notice the difference? And so on. There’s so much choice and so many wildly different price points it is hard to decide what to get. But I’m happy with my choice, and now I don’t have to think about it for another 6-10 years (hopefully!)

      Cheers, W


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