August was less of a failure than July, so that’s the good news to kick off with – hooray! Budget-wise, I was expecting a negative cash flow for August, but it wasn’t as far in the negative as expected, so that’s nice to see.
As usual, Food & Groceries was over budget, however in comparison to July it was only half as much over, so I’m considering that to be a level of progress. The only other category that was also over budget, although only by a small amount, was General/Miscellaneous. Car-relating spending also came out ahead, thanks to continuing Coronavirus requirements extending my working from home arrangements and thereby keeping my fuel bill low. (I am going to work a couple of days a week now, on alternate days to those sitting closest to me so that we can ensure the requisite physical distancing. I’m finding I quite like having a couple of days a week at the office – it’s good for catching up with people and the workplace gossip, and finding out a bit more about what’s going on for other teams around me. Working at home is still more productive, though.) Personal, Health & Wellness also came out well ahead, but that’s because this category now includes a small amount each budgeted for clothing and shoes, based on annual expectation and divided equally across the months. Not that I’m spending on these items at the moment since there’s little point when I’m at home most of the time. However, this month’s dental checkup found that an old filling is starting to come away so it will need to be drilled out and replaced, so my budget for this area for next month has had to be adjusted. Most other categories came out a little under budget, so I’m happy with that.
As mentioned in the July update, I reached equilibrium between my mortgage and my offset account this month, just under a week ahead of schedule thanks to my tax return coming through. It’s nice to know I won’t be paying any more interest on it; it’s all principal from here on in. In a way, ME Bank’s little debacle with the clearing of people’s redraw funds against their loans actually did me a favour, as it motivated me even more to get the mortgage out of the way as soon as possible.
Other than that, there’s little to report. Which is probably a good thing, as it means that things are just trucking along as expected. 🙂
4 thoughts on “Reducing the discretionary spend – August 2020 results”
Well done on some good progress.
Sorry to hear about the dental situation – I absolutely HATE getting fillings done 😐
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It’s all good, Shaun – my dentist is lovely so the main thing I mind is having to fork out the money!
I’ve just discovered your blog, and find it inspirational as I am also an older person who has just found FI.
What I wanted to understand is if you have enough in your offset to equal your mortgage, then why not pay off the mortgage now and then start saving up for investing?
Welcome to the FI community, and best of luck with your FI goals!
Yes, it might seem like a no-brainer to pay off the mortgage, but at the moment that’s not an option as 1) some of the money in it is family money, so not mine to do with as I please, and 2) what is mine is my Mojo fund. And I will never spend that for any reason other than an emergency. If there’s anything the coronavirus pandemic has made very obvious, it’s that three months worth of living expenses is not enough.
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