Three months down, nine to go.
Things worked out a bit closer to budget this month, with a little more income than expected thanks to a couple of weeks of higher duties and a small dividend payment, and expenses overall being a little lower than budget (only by a minimal amount, but hey, that’s a win in my books!).
The main variance from budget came from discretionary spending (i.e. the usual suspect) – primarily eating out and alcohol (although the alcohol purchase will last quite some time). The discretionary category is difficult to budget for, though; while I can predict some things (e.g. birthdays, upcoming outings, etc), other things are a bit harder. I have been working to limit the eating out/takeaway food, but it’s surprising how quite small amounts here and there add up. There have also been some very large Lotto prizes on offer lately due to jackpotting so, although I know I’m wasting my time, I still feel the urge to be ‘in to win’ just in case my numbers come up. I plan to give the Lotto tickets a rest for a while. Other than that, it’s the personal expenses – I had to have an old filling removed and replaced due to some decay underneath. I refuse to pay for private health insurance (I think it’s a rort), so I have to pay out of pocket for this.
On the plus side, I came in well under budget for (supermarket) food and groceries and pet costs, so that was a good result. I’ve been focusing on limiting my supermarket shopping to what I need, and avoiding buying discretionary foods, so I’m happy with that result. Utilities was also in the black, but offset by last month – one of my bills comes due near the start of the month, so sometimes the debit goes through in the expected month, but sometimes it goes through right at the end of the month before.
I ended up with a small positive net cash flow of 8.845% which, when coupled with my regular savings of 39.652%, gave me an overall savings rate of 48.497% for September.
After three months of reining in the spending, I’m also pleased to discover that I’ve lost 3.9kg. 🙂