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My monthly Savings Rate report: August 2020

Monthly Savings Rate Report
1. My monthly Savings Rate report: October 2019
2. My monthly Savings Rate report: November 2019
3. My monthly Savings Rate report: December 2019
4. My monthly Savings Rate report: January 2020
5. My monthly Savings Rate report: February 2020
6. My monthly Savings Rate report: March 2020
7. My monthly Savings Rate report: April 2020
8. My monthly Savings Rate report: May 2020
9. My monthly Savings Rate report: June 2020
10. My monthly Savings Rate report: July 2020
11. My monthly Savings Rate report: August 2020
12. My monthly Savings Rate report: September 2020

Last Updated on September 2, 2020 by Mr. FightToFIRE

This page can contain affiliate partner links to products that I purchased this month.

August was a bit more expensive than expected. Mainly because the summer sales got moved to this month. I tried my best not to fall for the tricks they try to apply every year and I think I succeeded very well. But even then, I did buy a few things I needed.

As a result, my monthly Savings Rate took a beating again. I’m lucky I’m still in green. Thanks to an abolished savings plan, called ‘pre-marital savings’ (NL: voorhuwelijkssparen) through my national health insurance. I was able to cash-in 1800 EUR.

Income

Leading with the income, I received a delightful gift from my parents through the Belgian National Health service. My parents started with what we call pre-marital saving or ‘voorhuwelijkssparen’ in Dutch when I was 14 y/o.

Pre-marital saving saved the month

Your parents put aside a little something for when you either get married or turn 30. Parents can start it when you are 14 years old. This will remain the case until one is 26 years old. The parents can deposit 48 EUR annually. That doesn’t seem like much, but at 30, it can still lead to a capital of over 1,800 euros incl. interest. How does it get so high?

Pre-marital savings rate table
These are the last interest rates for pre-marital savings for my national health insurance.

Those who have been affiliated for 10 years will receive a premium of 82.50% or 85% on top of the amount saved, depending on the health insurance fund. Consistent deposits for 16 years increases the rate to 123.75% or 125%. If you saved the max amount of 16 years and you get married at 30 the interest is even 165%! But the ultimate proceeds from pre-marriage savings depend on the number of years spent on pre-marriage savings. In my case, I received a nice little extra of 1,836 EUR.

Turning 30 during quarantine
Turning 30 during a pandemic. Awesome. Original from https://www.vectorkhazana.com

 

To top things off, it was my birthday this month! 🙂 Because a fancy dinner with family wasn’t possible, my parents gave 100 EUR plus the dessert resulting in 150.39 EUR from them.

Adding it to my salary gives a total of  4,708.41 EUR.

Dividends

I didn’t receive any dividends this month, unfortunately.

Expenses

Luxuries

For a change, my main expense isn’t food or my rent but luxury. After 4 years of service, I had to retire my S7 edge. Due to a broken screen and a dying battery, getting it fixed wasn’t worth it. I decided to continue with Samsung and get the S20+ 5G.

While new it’s without a doubt expensive (~900 EUR) I was able to get an amazing deal and get one for 768.44 EUR. This did mean getting new USB-C cables and a connector USB-A to C. This set me back another 31.48 EUR. Of course, a new phone needs a solid case and screen protector. I ended up going for the Spigen Neo Flex protector and Spigen Slim Armor. This combined was 31.32 EUR.

Next to that I also had my yearly credit card Flying Blue fee of 75 EUR. I finally went to the cinema again with my wife to go see Tenet (a must-see btw!), and paid my Spotify and Patreon subscriptions. Oh, and due to the heat, I got two fans that set me back another 80.94 EUR. Everything combined, luxury costs were 1177.17 EUR.

Savings Rate August 2020
My Income and Expenses for August 2020.

Online businesses

In the same vein as last month I spend money on my website. This month, I spend a bit more because I asked help with not only SEO but also optimizing the text in my posts. This month I invested 865.72 EUR in my ‘online business’.

This month’s expense together with the previous expenses for my blog brings the total expense, from the time I started FightToFIRE until now, to 2,423.42 EUR. I think it’s clear I really want to make this work.

Food and supplies

In terms of groceries, we didn’t do anything exciting spending 389.85 EUR. As mentioned in the income section I did celebrate my birthday through ordering 81 EUR worth of sushi. In August we also did 2 trips to Belgium’s national park. During these days we were too tired(/lazy) after a long day’s walk to cook at home so we got Maccy D (50,05 EUR).

On top of all that I spend 25.55 EUR on snacking bringing the total for food to 546.45 EUR.

Home management and ownership

I don’t think this category needs any introduction. Our usual rent and my interest payment are still a big expense. There was a rectification of last year’s Water-Electricity-Gas bill for the apartment, we had to pay 137.84 EUR extra. Since it’s a shared cost my share was 68.84 EUR to this category for a combined expense of 446.24 EUR.

Person

The last big category I want to detail is Person. The biggest expense here was clothes: 2 new shorts, 3 polos, 6 pair of socks, and 2 summer shirts (239.99 EUR); almost all of this was at least half price thanks to summer sales.

However, the most important expense in this category was the registration for a Spanish language classes! As you may or may not know, my wife is Spanish-speaking and to have clearer communication with her family I decided to start Spanish lessons. The cost for the fast course that lasts till January is 113 EUR.

All of these things combined plus some medical expenses (41.71 EUR) and a hand cream (19.50 EUR) resulted in a total expenditure of 414.20 EUR.

All the expenses

With the extra expenses linked to my site and my new phone, August became another heavy hitter expense wise.
The rest of my expenses were fairly basic (parking, gym membership, and insurance) and tallying them up brings the total expense for July to 3,493.70 EUR.

  • Luxury
  • Online businesses
  • Food and supplies
  • Home management and ownership
  • Person
  • Sports
  • Banking and insurance
  • Transportation

The bottom line

Thanks to the Belgian health care system, my SR got saved for the month, ending up with 1214.71 EUR remaining or a Savings Rate of  25.80. Phew.

This was my August overview. Unfortunately my Belgian friends Euromoney and AmberTreeleaves were pretty quiet this month. I’m curious what they have been up to but we’ll have to wait and find out later.

One person who’s been a very busy bee is JoneyTalks. Amongst other topics, he talks about ‘10 Life-Changing Personal Finance Books For Beginners‘. Definitely go check out his blog and Podcast!

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Mr. FightToFIRE

I'm the owner and the main writer of FightToFIRE, a personal finance blog focussing on Financial Independence and Retiring Early. During the regular working hours, I'm a developer for a major financial institution in Belgium. During my off-hours, I write. do some weight lifting and other stuff to keep me healthy and fit.

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