Monthly Savings Rate- September 2017

September was our worst month of the year for savings rate.

As we revealed last week, we are paying for a wedding and a honeymoon, but that’s definitely not the only reason we had a low savings rate.

Our water, electricity and gas bills were all due. We have recently switched electricity suppliers in an effort to lower costs and this was our first full bill from them. We are very pleased that the overall cost is down and sometime soon, I hope to do a comparison post between the two companies we used.

Groceries were astronomical. Gone are the days when we tried to spend $400 a month! This month, we spent $812! For two people! We are very unhappy about this and, to make matters worse, we can’t actually figure out why we spent so much. There was no strange event, almost no alcohol purchased (just one $6 bottle of wine) and we didn’t eat any differently than we normally do. A few months ago we did reintroduce some meat to our diets, particularly chicken in our salads for lunch. But that certainly does not account for a $400 difference. We’ve obviously gotten too lax and need to work on this.

This month we bought a new coffee machine. There will be a post on this coming up because Poopsie is very excited about this purchase, and you’ll see why when he writes the post. He also bought some new cologne. He has been searching for one for close to a year, so I am relieved he finally settled on one.

Earlier this year, we took Poopsie’s mum out to brunch for Mother’s Day. We went to a lovely French place and we knew we wanted to return for dinner. In September, we did. We had a five course degustation dinner, plus a couple of glasses of wine. The dinner was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We both noted it had been a long time since we’d gone to a fancy dinner with each other, which we think makes it more special when we eventually do go. We spent a couple of hundred dollars on the evening, but we did enjoy it.

Clothing was unsusually expensive this month. I bought two swim suits for our upcoming honeymoon (there’s your first hint as to where we’re going!) They were both 60% off, but 60% off a lot of money is still a lot of money. I also bought a new jacket which I won’t actually use until next winter, but I again took advantage of a sale. While we don’t buy clothes very often, when we do they do tend to be quite pricey. I like to buy quality clothes and I have found they last much longer than if I didn’t. The initial outlay can seem high but, in the case of this jacket, I know I will have it for years and won’t need to replace it for a very long time.

Travel was also very expensive this month. We spent a week in Newcastle in September. Our friends were travelling overseas so we looked after their house and dog for the week. This was a very frugal way of doing it, as we didn’t have to pay any accommodation costs. We got in lots of beach walks and we really enjoyed being back in Newcastle. The only real cost there was two tanks of fuel, some groceries and a coffee out.

I had to renew my passport, as by the time we leave on our honeymoon I will not have six months of currency on it. While I cringe at the $277 price tag, that’s really less than $28 per year. Given we like to travel, this is definitely worth it to us.

In January, I am turning 30 and Poopsie had planned a special weekend away. At the time he booked it all in, we did not know we were moving to Sydney. Unfortunately, the place he’d picked for our weekend away was Sydney! He decided to keep the commitment and, while I now know it’s in Sydney, I don’t know where we’re staying or what we’re doing. This will be during our second weekend in Sydney, so it will be a good introduction to our new city. A large chunk of this weekend was paid for in September.

Finally, we did pay for half of our wedding rings (the remaining half paid on pick up) and a large chunk of our honeymoon. We still have one last payment on the honeymoon which will either be made in October or November.

Before getting to the abysmal savings rate for September, we did have one positive for the month. Our mortgage interest is now officially below $700 which we’re thrilled about.

Here’s our September savings rate:

I told you it was a bad month! We certainly will not retire in six years time if we continue to have savings rates like that.

How was your savings rate in September? Was it as bad as ours?

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4 Responses to Monthly Savings Rate- September 2017

  1. Miss Balance says:

    That French restaurant sounds amazing! It is experiences and good food like that that are worth the spend.

    I’d be very interested to know what you got for the $800 grocery spend. Was it extras that you will use beyond the month from buying in bulk, or more towards buying premium products?

    Your 1 week trip to Newcastle house sitting sounds like a great frugal getaway. I hope I can do a house sit by the beach for my next ‘holiday’

    Best of luck tweaking your expenses to improve your savings rate for next month 🙂

    • We can’t really figure out what the grocery spend was from. I don’t keep receipts (unless conducting tracking for this blog), so I’m unsure. Certainly nothing jumps to mind, we don’t feel like we had anything unusual. If the trend continues, I’ll definitely have to start keeping receipts.

  2. Mrs. ETT says:

    I’ve really noticed the difference in our daily spending rate when the big bills don’t fall in a particular month, particulate those paid annually. That’s why it’s important to look at your annual savings rate – like investing, the in-year fluctuations can be depressing!

    How weird is the grocery spending? Sure that some wagyu, truffles and beluga caviar didn’t sneak their way into your trolley? At least you’ve picked up on it and this month will be heading back to normal.

    Your birthday weekend will still be special, and think of it this way – you’re kind of saving on flights for two… that’s a win?

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