Savings rate challenge results – August 2019

Two months down, ten to go!

As expected, with only two pay days in August the figures don’t look quite as rosy as July’s, but a chunky tax return thanks to the LMITO (Low and Middle Income Tax Offset) helped things along in the income department. The tax return was directed straight to my Mojo savings.

A big win for August was scoring a 30% discount on my home and contents insurance, thanks to the Union Shopper – and I didn’t even have to change insurance companies, as the union’s deal is with Budget Direct. This saved me just over $171 on my renewal, and helped to keep me more than $300 under budget for household expenditure.

Sadly this saving was more than offset by a fair amount of socialising during the month, resulting in a much higher than budgeted figure for discretionary spending. Things should hopefully settle down a bit this month, with the majority of friends and family birthdays and suchlike now out of the way for the rest of the calendar year. Mind you, this category included $180 for a ticket to the Pentatonix concert next year – I don’t think they’ve been to Australia before, and the choir nerd in me couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see (and hear) them live. 🙂

The other category that was well over budget was pet costs. Readers of last month’s post might recall that my cat is quite geriatric and therefore experiencing a number of health issues. The vet runs blood tests on her each year now, primarily to check her liver and kidney function, and she also had a urinalysis done as I thought she might’ve had an infection. Happily, there was no infection and, when she called me to discuss the blood test results, the vet said if she hadn’t known how old my cat is, she would never have guessed from the results! Apparently, given her age and health to date, things are actually looking quite good. Between the tests and her medication, pet costs were over budget by $360 😦 .

Other than those major variations, the only other categories that were a little over were food and groceries, car, and miscellaneous/subscriptions. Food and groceries was over due to my periodic purchase of loo paper and tissues in bulk from Who Gives A Crap. (For those who haven’t encountered this company, they produce eco-friendly, recycled TP, tissues and paper towel, and they pump their profits into building toilets in developing countries to help improve health through sanitation, and they’re Australian to boot. It’s nice to think that my purchases contribute to doing some good in the world, and it doesn’t cost me any more than buying from the supermarket.) Car costs were up because I needed to fill up just prior to the end of the month, and misc/subs was a little over due to making a change to my payment arrangements for my union fees.

The wash-up

My regular savings represented a whopping 51.38% of August’s income, however the variance between budget and actual spending resulted in a negative cash flow of -17.11%, resulting in a net savings rate of 34.27% for the month.