Anyone want to write a money diary?

Discussion in 'How to use Askaboutmoney' started by Brendan Burgess, 5 Sep 2018.

  1. gnf_ireland

    gnf_ireland Frequent Poster

    It is no real surprise that regulars on this site have a spending diary, or have kept one in the past - and in my case for years !!

    However, outside of this site I would expect very different answers and people look at your like you have 10 heads if you said you kept a spending diary for 10 plus years.
    Coldwarrior and Delboy like this.
  2. losttheplot

    losttheplot Frequent Poster

    I do a balance sheet each month, listing assets and liabilities. Using the credit card for everything makes it easy to track expenditure.

    Only ever put 45 litres in the car, so can tell how much fuel I use annually and can work out the fuel efficiency too (since I know the mileage). Shows me how much I would save by switching to an electric vehicle.

    I was surprised by what I spent on take aways.
  3. gnf_ireland

    gnf_ireland Frequent Poster

    Consider getting a fuel card - you normally get a few cent off the listed pump price, but you also get a bill showing the price per litre and the number of litres purchased !
    Coldwarrior likes this.
  4. losttheplot

    losttheplot Frequent Poster

    I intend to be fully electric soon so pumps will be a thing of the past. Total fuel for last year was about €1500 (4.04 litres/100 km).
  5. tallpaul

    tallpaul Frequent Poster

    Last edited: 14 Sep 2018
    I'm another secret spending diary keeper!! Have kept detailed account tracking for over ten years in annual spreadsheets. I categorise my spending so I know each month, and averaged over the year, how much I spend. I find it invaluable as I won't buy anything until I have saved up for it. I will take it as far as if I want something for €200 I will start a mini-savings campaign to save the €200 even though I would have plenty of money already in my accounts. I like the discipline!! :)

    At the petrol station, I always take a photo of the odometer of my car when filling up. I also reset the trip computer to zero so I know how far I travel on each fill. I then put this information into a spreadsheet and keep track of km/l, mpg etc. A bit sad I know!!
    Last edited: 14 Sep 2018
  6. huskerdu

    huskerdu Frequent Poster

    This is fantastic. A safe space for money nerds.
    We have kept a money diary for years ( luckily both of us are data / number nerds, so no tension). Every Jan, we plan the year (income, what work do we need to do on the house, holidays etc. ) I couldnt tell my siblings , they think I am really tight (one car, no budget for tans or nails, packed lunches). However, I have a pension pot, a small mortgage and we go on plenty of holidays so its all a matter of priorities.

    It started when we were saving for our first house and continued when the money was flowing, when the money was tighter (kids, tax increases, unpaid maternity leave) and now that we are more comfortable but thinking about uni fees and the pension pot.

    Seeing as how we are boasting about cheap car costs - the 11 year old car is going strong, we both cycle to work. I fill the car so infrequently that I dont know how much I spend, or how much peterol costs.

    Next year I will pay a childminder for the last time, which will be a major source of celebration.

    Also, I know we were the lucky generation.
    My first rent was 100 a month, my first house was 70K.
    I really feel for people in their 20s trying to save for a house, its shit out there.
    Coldwarrior, Firefly, lff12 and 4 others like this.
  7. Monbretia

    Monbretia Frequent Poster

    My daughter's generation just wouldn't get this money diary thing at all although I have her fairly well indoctrinated, she is great with money and while doesn't keep a spending diary she does have a record of annual/monthly bills and saves weekly to cover these. She started that account off with a lump sum from wedding gifts to cover the first year.

    I worked briefly with a budgeting agency and the concept of spending diaries was just unheard of to most people, again I think we need to get them early, should be a transition year type project.
    so-crates, mugsymugsy and Annie51 like this.
  8. Cervelo

    Cervelo Frequent Poster

    I often wonder now how a person on 50K, which I would have considered a good salary, can buy a house, save for their pension, run a car, have health insurance, enjoy a foreign holiday, pay all their utility bills, save a rainy day fund and still have a bit left over for a social life???
    Coldwarrior and arbitron like this.
  9. mugsymugsy

    mugsymugsy Frequent Poster

    You have inspired me to start making one. Interesting to see and now I hate the ATM transactions as I can't remember what I spent it on which can't be a good thing.

    Easy to download from bank and then quick bit of excel work. Should only take 15 mins every month.

    Another nerd has joined the club
    gnf_ireland and tallpaul like this.
  10. gnf_ireland

    gnf_ireland Frequent Poster

    First step is keeping a spending diary
    Second step is coming up with a budget
    Third step is slowly squeezing the budget to direct money into savings/expensive purchases

    after that, it gets dangerous !!
  11. Blackrock1

    Blackrock1 Frequent Poster

    well in Dublin they cant. but 50k isnt really a good salary any more
  12. David1234

    David1234 Frequent Poster

    Last edited: 17 Sep 2018
    I agree that it would be quite difficult to do all of this at once on 50k but it is all a matter of priorities in my opinion. A lot of what you list above are luxuries. Some of these will need to be sacrificed in order to achieve whatever financial goals you have. A salary of €50,000 is enough to purchase a 2 bed apartment in some areas of Dublin if you cut back on all of the luxuries. As per daft today there are 412 properties for sale in Dublin for under €200,000. This will require a deposit of at least €25,000. The maximum mortgage to someone on €50k without an exemption is €175k.

    A €50k p/a salary will net you roughly €3,050 per month. If you cut out all luxuries and rented a room in a house you should have no issue saving €1,250 per month. In 2 years you will have a €30,000 deposit saved.

    Once the apartment is purchased you can rent out the spare room tax free. The additional funds could then be used to loosen the purse strings a bit, contribute to a pension, lead a more active social life, have private health insurance, save a rainy day fund and take a modest holiday.

    Obviously this all would require some sacrifices but nothing too outrageous.
    Last edited: 17 Sep 2018
    MugsGame likes this.
  13. lff12

    lff12 Frequent Poster

    If your net income is 3000 a month, with a probable rent of 700-1000 a month, if not 1200-1400, regular bills of 100-200, car/transport of about 100 a month, unless you live on dried lentils, you will struggle to save about 1000 a month.
    Also bear in mind that many of the sub 200k properties in Dublin are 1 bedroom units, for which lenders demand 20% deposit, so the cost of borrowing for the smallest units demands a 40k deposit, not 20k. This is why so many are unable to even apply for mortgages they cannot qualify for, not to mention other conditions like having no other borrowings, a full time permanent role for more than 2 years etc.

    Even an income of 70k or so is not enough, when you take into account all of the above. Also I notice that my bank demands 15% deposit minimum so not sure where you are getting the 10% quoted above.

    And by the way, that doesn't include conveyance fees, stamp duty, solicitors fees and management fees - about 5k for the first 3 items and management fees typically 1200 to 1800 pa in Dublin right now.

    This is based on my own experience of trying to buy earlier this year, not some theoretical idea of what anyone can afford. I am no fan of the housing hysterics, but it is quite difficult for those trying to housing themselves right now.
    so-crates likes this.
  14. David1234

    David1234 Frequent Poster

    I never said it would be easy- sacrifices would have to be made while saving. Even using the unnecessary rental figure of €1,200 a month + €200 bills + €100 travel you still have €1,550 left per month. Take a generous food allowance of €250 and you have €1,300 left. If you cannot save a for a mortgage as a single applicant in the medium term on €70k you are overspending in some areas.

    According to daft there are currently 271 2 bedroom + properties on the market for 200k or less as of today.

    The 10% came from the first time buyers requirement as per the ECB regulations. The requirement to have over 10% seems to only apply to 1 bed apartments. A quick search shows that a number of banks will lend 90%. If yours requires a 15% deposit perhaps look at other banks, the mortgage market is quite competitive at the moment.

    I too bought a property in the last few years. Does this make my point any more valid?
  15. Ceepee

    Ceepee Frequent Poster

    I recently completed an Affidavit of Means, due to an impending separation agreement. I've been separated a couple of years, but we still have joint mortgage, a couple of joint accounts, and have to date been assessed jointly for tax.

    I have found reading this thread very interesting. But what I found very interesting was reading my ex's Affidavit of Means, completed since we separated a couple of years ago. I have a fairly accurate and unexaggerated version of how I have spent money for the last few years, and what with the shock of the break-up and all, I have been living a fairly frugal and unexciting life (children-related expenses aside). I was also afraid to spend money in case this would be viewed negatively by a judge.

    I was really shocked at how much he has spent on non-essential items in the same period, whereas I was really cautious. The outcome is that I have savings, and he has none. I wonder if a judge will see that as me being capable of living on less?
  16. mugsymugsy

    mugsymugsy Frequent Poster

    Just wanted to update my part story on this. I got organised fullu all in excel spreadsheets... organised my health expenses claims over last 2 years, calculated my yearly health expenses - insurance rebate worked out, got my med 2 in for 2017, got my med 2 for 2018 ready. Reckon all in will get back 1500 euro between revenue and health insurer - already got back 700 euro. Thanks for the inspiration to get things in order. Next up is energy companies - already sorted out broadband and cutting the chord of paid TV.
    DeeKie, Romulan and Leo like this.
  17. Romulan

    Romulan Frequent Poster


    Excellent News. Well done.

    I go to a well known health insurance expert (he is very good.....:) every couple of years and check policies. Costs a few bob but still well in the black
    from the first consultation. and change electricity supplier every year without fail.
    Got a good deal on mobiles and did all the Saorview stuff so keep a general eye....Virgin rising every year well in excess of inflation.

    Wait till you get to Savings and Pensions...............
    mugsymugsy likes this.
  18. mugsymugsy

    mugsymugsy Frequent Poster

    Spoke to energy company I'm out of contract got the price per unit been on bonkers and can save a good bit switching up to 20% on rates.

    Health insurance get it through work so all good.
    Got mortgage rate fixed at a good rate after advice on here / what's best for our circumstances.
    Pension have been putting in extra 5% avc on top of what work matches for past year will look to increase that % once i increase the rainy day fund. Bit of car trouble recently but got it through 2 year NCT so just keep that ticking over.

    Thanks to all on AAM :)
    so-crates and elcato like this.
  19. Firefly

    Firefly Frequent Poster

    Thanks to all for this thread! We started a basic spending journal at the beginning of October and we've saved a lot of cash already. Any frivolous expenditure like a coffee has stopped as you know you will only have to write it into the book. "The Book of Shame" we've started calling it.
  20. MsCutha

    MsCutha Registered User

    This is a very interesting thread.
    I don't have a spending diary but use an 'envelope' system for the last 19 months. My other half is a spender and I am the saver. I basically make a list of the expenses for the month with the exception of direct debits/standing order and take out the money into separate envelopes. So childminder, petrol, groceries, kids extracurricular,even his spending money for the month I make him take it out with the rest of the cash. If he doesn't do that he will be back and forth to the atm and he hasn't a clue of how much is left. We have an agreement not to use bank cards and tend to stick to it most of the time. We are both early thirties with a 3 year old and a 5 year old and recently bought our first home. We saved like mad cutting out all non essentials and saved appro 15k in one year. This may not sound like a lot but we are on just under 80k gross combined, 3 year old needs ft childcare and 5 year old needs after school care, rent was 1130 and after essentials we ploughed every spare cash into savings. We haven't had a family holiday since my 3 year old was born apart from a quick visit to Thomasland htis summer gone. It should get a bit easier now we're no longer paying rent whilst saving but there's more saving and planning to be done for the future (other half doesn't really understand unless you spell it out like hey rainy day, future saving etc).
    It is early morning boxing day and I'm sure loads are online looking for ways to spend money whilst I'm sort of the opposite :)