Monthly summary: December 2017

And time has come to post my 2nd monthly update. If you’ve missed the first one, it’s available a few posts down the line. Apologies for posting it a full week after the end of December.

In order to make this kind of content more genuine, I have not prepared any notes before writing this post. I will go section by section, check my accounts, and add the amounts to the article.

The bad news: Debts

Since the last update, I have been more aware of my debts, and what a burden they are! Psychologically, and financially. I have been paying at least £500/mo towards debt reduction, so looking forward, once they are gone, this money will be available for something else.

Earlier this year, I’ve managed to pay off a long-term debt. Aside from that, I have debt on two credit cards. As planned in the last monthly update,  one of them has been paid off as well, and the other one decreased.

  • Credit card : £3757.45 (down from £4383)

Fortunately, it’s Christmas/winter holiday time. Unfortunately, this means I could not allocate as much as I’d like to debt reduction.

The good news: Savings & investments

  • Investments (Cash Savings): 5496.59 (up 200)
  • Investments (Funds): £5982.66 (up from 2652, but not due to my brilliance)
  • Investments (P2P): £1983 (down from 3342)
  • Investments (P2P): £10 (need to close this guy down)
  • Investments (Property Crowdfunding): £49.5 (up from £49)
  • Old pension account: £18067.26 (up from £17841)
  • Work pension: £900 (rough approximation, since the pension provider’s website is down. Again)

Total: £32489 (again, rough approximation. Will get better, I promise!)

The overall picture for December

December was not a brilliant month, for a number of reasons. Having my parents over has definitely put a dent in my finances. I don’t yet have a precise way to track this, but I’m almost sure I’ve used some of my savings to pay for my expenses. Another reason was taking a NYE weekend trip to France – I estimate the overall cost of this to come to £1000.

However, the bright side is that my parents gifted me some money to add to my investments. As per my mother’s words: I’ve finally started trusting you with money.

Only took me 27 years to achieve this!

Should I change this post’s format?

I’m reading a lot (116) different blogs around financial independence, early retirement, debt reduction, and I notice something I like every day.

What has already changed in this post’s format, from the last one, are the tables. I’ve tried the TablePress plugin for WordPress, but we are not friends. I am debating between using bullet points, and trying our Google Spreadsheets – will probably end up using a mix of them, depending on whether the content is static (monthly updates) or dynamic (live portfolio tracker).

Speaking of ideas from different blogs, one particular format change that I’m thinking about is separating the income statement post from the balance sheet post. The first one would track my discipline (income, spending, savings ratios), while the second would track asset growth, and the progress towards FIRE.

To give credit where it’s due, I’ve sourced this idea from Planting our Pennies (sample IS post, sample BS post).

I’m curious to get any suggestion or idea on the changes described from people who know better – so please feel free to drop them in the comments!

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