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…
New year, new job, new challenges!
I can’t believe it’s already February! The weather is currently quite cold and we’re starting to miss the warmth from a nice sunny summer day. It’s enough from heavy winter jackets.
After just a couple weeks of uncertainty, life is again under control. Between job interviews, our parentes visit and the challenges that my new job got me into, January just flew by. From a financial perspective, it was rough. I bought a Macbook Pro (auch). Thankfully It didn’t took me more than 2 weeks to land a new job and so, there wasn’t a month without any income (from my side, Mrs. WB did pretty well!).
Starting with the new job. Just a few days after the new year’s eve, I got two job interviews lined up. Both wen’t extremely well. One of them was a bit more formal where I was asked to do a 10 minutes technical test, which I nailed it pretty easily. The other – the one where I ended up working – was just a very informal conversation between me and my soon to be manager. A few days later I was requested to attend again to the latter company for a technical interview. As I got there, I had an informal meeting with the IT director where he basically got to know me, confirmed my previous asked salary and basically told me that he was pretty happy to get me on board.
Later on that same day I got a formal job offer on a £35k salary and with a really exciting project to work on.
So my starting date was precisely on the day that our parents came visit us. Luckily I managed to ask to postpone for a few days later.
They’d never been here in the UK before so it was a really nice experience for them. They got really amazed with the housing conditions which we current live in. Back in Portugal, houses aren’t that good insulated. It’s great for the eight months of nice warm sunny days but during those four months of winter you need to get an extra layer of blankets. The switched side of the lanes while driving was another great thing that they experienced. They got really confused as soon as we drove off the airport back to our flat.
So for four days we showed them everything around here. Things like museums, pubs, parks and restaurants. Of course that we took a day to go to Central London. We walked almost 12 miles during the whole day but it was totally worth it. We saw all those tourist spots that is obligatory. Oddly enough, we’re pretty sure that the one they loved the most was actually the squirrels in the Hyde Park. We had so much fun. I really think that that was the highlight of their trip. Back in Portugal, there are just no squirrels other than deep into the forests.
Between taxis for the six of us, food and things that we bought to have them around here for those four days, we spent around £300. However I did withdrawn £400 to give to them. This way, they payed me in my Portuguese bank account the equivalent in Euros and so, no transfer fees were involved. It was totally worth it and we’ll probably do it again next year.
Was really nice to have them around here. At least they now have a picture of where and how we live.
Regarding my new job. I’ve now a great, fun team and I’m working solely on a project with the supervision of my manager. It’s something that I’ve never really done before but it’s going to give me a great job experience. For what is worth, I’ve had some really nice feedback from my manager and produtor manager until now, which I’m really happy with.
With all that said, my salary was raised by 25%. Went from £28k to £35 a year salary, my holidays from 28 to 32 (bank holidays included) and by the time that I get out of my probation period, I will be eligible to join our work pension where I can contribute a minimum of 3% while the employer contributes 5%. Regarding all of this, I love the fact that I can work from home if I want to, have a flexible work schedule and looks like everyone leaves by 5 pm on Fridays(or even earlier!)
I’m really happy that all worked out really well!
For this month our income was a bit lower that the norm. Since I’ve only worked half of the month, I made £1370. Mrs. WB kept her good and steady income of £1860. This totalled £3230 which, if we think that on the previous month I’ve received more than three months worth of salary we’re still in a very good position.
Next month this will get back to a higher level than ever which we’re pretty excited with. I’m expecting an £2333 paycheque which will come in really handy.
January 2018 Expenses
The expenses were really overkill this month. We spent £4450. There was an overspending of £1230, which sucked really bad. The fact that I had to buy a new laptop (since I didn’t had one) was a bit rough. Plus, we bought flight tickets for Mrs. WB’s brother to come visit us in a couple months time. Hopefully we will make up to this during the next few months where we foresee nothing expensive other than a few holiday flights.
Like we promised to ourselves, we did in fact increased our monthly contributions towards our investments. We increased from £300 a month to £700. Being our first time changing the value on Charles Stanley Direct website, we messed up. Nothing to worry about but made us having to invest our new amount, plus the older one. So we ended up investing £1000, which felt actually pretty good. I’m pretty sure that as soon as our emergency fund gets to a level that we’re comfortable with, we’re going to increase our contributions later in the year.
Any plans to increase your monthly contributions this year?
We’re on the right direction.
That’s what it looks like from the second month tracking our finances. October was a good month. The Autumn finally kicked in and so did the cold weather. Between the morning mist and the smell of burned wood from people’s fireplaces in the evenings, it gives you the feeling that Christmas is just around the corner. I’ve always loved this season back in Portugal but it definitely gets prettier here in the UK. The only drawback is that it gets five times harder to leave our cozy place to go to the gym (let alone the Winter!).
It wasn’t until October that we finally celebrated the beginning of our investment journey and also our first publication on this blog with a nice dinner night out. It wasn’t a milestone but it definitely felt like it. The first of many that we plan to achieve in the upcoming years and it feels great to celebrate our success.
Since we are still furnishing our flat, it was about time for us to get a proper wooden dinning table. It took us a few months to figure out which one would fit in our dinning room but we ended up choosing one that we are quite pleased with. To test out it’s endurance, after Mrs. WB spending six hours on her day off assembling it (while I was at work), we had a great dinner house party for a few friends. There was a good variety of wines and a few dozens of beers that didn’t make it through the night. For appetisers, we had curated meats, cheeses and homemade bread that I baked myself. As for the main course, Mrs. WB made a Portuguese seafood cataplana, which is one of the best dishes you can have in Portugal. By the time that everyone was getting tired and the only drink left was water, it was almost 5am in the morning.
Live’s looking good and I already have all my 20 days of annual leave (28 if I work on back holidays) with something scheduled for the whole next year of 2018, whether it’s travel destinations, travel back home to see our family or music concerts. Since Mrs. WB can easily switch hers work shifts and has 35+ days of annual leave, she doesn’t need to worry about it.
Regarding our income, both me and Mrs. WB got some good paychecks. In fact, they were the highest that we have ever received. For me, it was a small bonus for some extra work that I did at the company I work for. For Mrs. WB was some well payed shifts that she worked a month earlier (yes, it takes NHS one month to process your extra working hours). Our earnings rose 10% and totalled an income of £4033, which we were very please with. Hopefully within the next few years we will find more ways to passively increase our income and raise this number while keeping our lifestyle as it is now.
Although our income was higher this month, we ended up spending far more money than we should. It’s true that we needed a proper dinning table, we just couldn’t spend more time with our small old one. The table cost us £210 which wasn’t that bad, regarding it’s size and style but it added up quite fast. There was also a Juicer in our expenses this month, which cost us £35. It has been great making our own healthy juices. Since we tend to forget to eat fruit during the day, we thought that it would be a good way to fix that. So far it has been great and it’s really easy to clean. The only drawn back in it’s the fruit waste that we get after making a small jar of juice and they get a little expensive. We did look up for recipes to make with the fruit leftovers but they aren’t that good.
As for the entertaining bit, there was also £80 in tickets for a concert in London, early in the next year, which we weren’t counting on.
Currently we are still trying to figure out how to sort the ‘Everything Else’ category problem but it looks like YOLT, an mobile app pretty much like PersonalCapital it’s here to help us out. We will give it a try this next month and hopefully write a great review on it. It definitely looks promising. It’s just impossible to track all our expenses, even though we never use cash to pay for anything.
As for our investments, we kept our small £300 contribution while fuelling our emergency fund. It’s crazy knowing that in a few years, these 2/3% market oscillations that we had these last weeks will mean changes on our net worth in the order of thousands. It should be pretty uncomfortable looking at it when it’s going down the hill. We’re really looking forward to get into the 4 digits club in the upcoming months and hopefully not too long after that, into the 5 digits one.
And that’s it. Our October financial update is ready. For now, lets keep working towards our monthly budget improvement while enjoying life. We’re pointed in the right direction, time will take care of it.
We made it. After a few months of unexpected expenses, house moving and expensive (but great!) summer holidays in Italy, we finally setup our monthly deposits into our ISAs. As this was our first month as officially investors and since we are still funding our…
It all started at my job’s desk. During lunch time I usually dive into Reddit.com for my daily update on what’s actually happening with the world. One day, while going through all those subreddits I ended up on /r/personalfinance, where thousands of redditors ask for…