October 2020 – What I spent in a month

Since starting this blog about six months ago I’ve avoided sharing actual figures. I realised though that it’s the one of the things I find most interesting and helpful when reading other people’s blogs so here they are.

This is the budget for a family of four in the UK but only my spending. My partner gives me a contribution towards bills and then covers most of the groceries and petrol. Almost everything else comes from my account, including all our savings and investments.

October was a lovely month as it was my daughter’s birthday and I also felt the kids startled to settle nicely back into nursery. There were some extra childcare costs this month as I pay an annual subscription to a payroll company for our childminder. Also, birthday presents for my 4-year old including this fantastic Toniebox…

We managed not to go over budget as I have a contingency amount which I put towards extra investments if I can or spend on unbudgetted costs if not. I also had a little bit of side hustle income from selling some baby things on Gumtree and some online surveys (Prolific and I-Say).

As a result, we didn’t manage to put any extra aside other than our regular investments and mortgage overpayments. I’m really happy with that though as I realise this isn’t a time in our life where we can make rapid progress towards FIRE, as we have high childcare costs until my youngest qualifies for pre-school funding.

Here’s the run down…


Income typeBudget (£)Actual (£)Comment
Net salary44294229£350 pension deducted from payslip (which employer matches) as well as tax for our rental income
OH contribution to bills17001700
Rental income13731373This is after agency fees
Child benefit140140
Banking rewards88
Side hustle income053.8Always treat this as a bonus


CostBudget (£)Actual (£)Comment
Rental mortgage403.9403.9Interest only
Rental service charge278278
Main property mortgage22252225Includes overpayment of £250
Council tax281281This is for Edinburgh, UK
Gas and electricity160160
TV licence1313
Mobile phone1010
Car insurance40.6940.69
Annual car tax10120Budgetted £10 is for the sinking fund
Window cleaners2040Didn’t pay last month
Factor fees8282Sinking fund
Childcare17872231.65For 5 mornings nursery and 5 afternoons with childminder a week. Extra costs this month.
Apple icloud subscription2.52.5
Historic Scotland membership7.257.25
Household costs (nappies, wipes, milk, cleaning products)5031
Grocery contribution100100My OH pays for most of the groceries but this is my contribution. We spend around £500 a month.
Other food (e.g. take aways, cafes5053.552 x fish and chips and other treats
Regular Stocks and Shares ISA payment12101210
Extra ISA payment5887.50
£588 is the max I could make in my lockdown budget – normally this goes towards commuting cost and other “old normal” costs
Donations2020Unicef and Trees for Life
Total cost74507503
Income and outgoings difference00The side hustle income kept our budget balanced

What I learned from this month is:

  • To start a new sinking fund for the annual payroll subscription I forgot about (£37 a month). I have one separate account for these quarterly and annual expenses – like car tax – but I had forgotten about this one so will start from next month.
  • The difference that even small side hustle money, like surveys, can make.

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