June 2018 Financial Update
Life went too fast and we missed a couple of monthly updates.
We’re back on it again and everything is under control. During these last few months we kept the same routine. We didn’t travel and we didn’t got any major expense though. Apart from house dinners with friends and holiday planning, there wasn’t anything exciting.
June was a month where we followed our budget really strictly since we had to pay for our holiday’s accommodation and also save money to spend while while around Italy.
We took one week off where we travel through the picturesque region of Tuscany. We stayed there for six nights and then flew back to Portugal for a pit stop during the weekend before coming back to England. The whole trip went flawless. We did rented a car with the Avis car company and their service was top notch. The car pickup and drop off couldn’t have been any smoother. We got genuinely impressed.
During our stay in Italy, our first four days were spent in the marvellous city of Florence while the last two were in the wonderful but also chaotic city of Rome.
While in Florence, we stayed on the outskirts of Florence, in a lovely villa with a swimming pool and a barbecue. We got to explore the city for two days. It was such a surprise to see how beautiful everything is. Ranging from the impressive pieces of architecture through the city to the stylish, tanned and beautiful Italian people. Even the dirtier alley would be worth to snap a photo.
We also spent a whole day driving through Tuscany. It was even better from what we thought it would be. Every bit of land is filled with vineyards and have their respective wine cellar where you can try and buy not only their wines but also other local products like olive oil and cheese. The driving is also majestic. The roads are all in a great condition, making the driving super comfortable while looking at the breathtaking landscape.
Apart from vineyards, there’s also olive trees which produce a tasty and refined olive oil that the Italians are so proud of. Every time you go for a wine tasting you get a few bits of bread and some olive oil on top of it. As an example, we paid 15€ for a set of four wines and a few slices of bread.
Nothing expensive for such a rich and indulgent experience. I’m sure that we’ll go back in a near future and we can’t recommend it enough.
Our last two days were spent in Rome. We drove towards that marvellous city not through the Motorway but through the secondary roads. It was a seven hours drive but we did stop quite a few times. We had lunch at a small rural village, right in the middle of the Tuscany region. There wasn’t many tourists around which made us feel right in the hearth of the Italian culture.
While in Rome, we got to see a few historic sites. We started out with the Vatican city where we stopped for a lovely dinner just by the riverside. On the following day we joined a tour guide where we payed 30€ each. The tour took around four hours but we got to see the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. Although we knew a few things about the Roman Empire, we were astonished by all those facts that our guide was telling us. It felt really weird being in that place where two thousand years ago there were people building all those monuments!
Regarding food, we ate out almost all the time. We had as much pizzas we could get and we tasted the best doughs that we’ve ever tasted! All restaurants have their own home made pasta. The ingredients are all super flavoured. The waiters are all super kind and friendly and it was not expensive. Even in the center of Rome we would get a proper lunch for under 30€.
Overall, it was a very enriching experience. We fell in love by the culture and we’ll definitely got back very very soon.
Our income for the month of June kept steady. Since i’ve now been working for more than 3 months at my current company, i’ve finally started contributing to my employer pension. My contribution stays at 3% while the Employer adds up 5%. This makes a total of £250 that gets invested in a private pension every month. It is a pension that is only available by the time that I am 55 years old but it’s free money, it doesn’t really matter.
My salary was £2206 while Mrs. WB got £1800. On top of this, Mrs. WB worked three extra shifts making £300 to help funding our extra spending during holidays. This totalled £4306 for the month.
It wasn’t definitely a frugal month though. Apart from our £700 invested automatically on the beginning of the month, we managed to spend the entire leftover, the £3600 that were left.
Out of these £3600, £1140 were solely spent during our holidays. This value doesn’t even include the £350 that we spent in May with the flight tickets. These weren’t cheap holidays but they were definitely worth it. We keep learning on how to budget while traveling. Things like accommodation, if you’re planning to only stay for sleep at night, there’s no need to spend hundreds of pounds on it. A simple room with some good reviews would be enough.
I’m sure that it is something that comes with experience and I believe that we’ll become much better at it.
Anyways, If you would like to checkout out our annual spreadsheet feel free to have a look at it here.
Our monthly contributions were kept at £700 and they are due to increase. This will probably happen after these Summer holidays as we’re still planning a couple more trips to Portugal which a wedding is included.
This is it folks, our June financial update is complete.
Any budget holiday tips for this Summer?