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My monthly Savings Rate report: February 2021

2021 really kicked into high gear this month. While we didn’t go on holiday due to Corona, we did make rather large expenses for something life-changing. I’m talking about the baby of course.
In February I made two large purchases for her arrival. We bought the stroller and the car seat. Especially the car seat is not something you want to save on. Next to that, there was also the second payment for our new bed. 3 big expenses means a very low Savings Rate. I was really close to my first negative month.

Eventhough my income is now higher thanks to the on-call and my tax benefit for being married (and my wife not having an income), we were barely able to save 10 EUR. To call it a miracle might be an overstatement but it’s definitely nuts the Savings Rate is positive.

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

Income

What did February mean income-wise? I got 3,411,94 EUR . This is purely salary, nothing more, nothing less.

Dividends

No dividends this month.

Expenses

Home management and ownership

This was a crazy month for the category homeownership. On top of the usual suspects:

  • Paying the final rent (645 EUR) -YES!-
  • And interest payment (110.81 EUR) for my Brussels apartment, which btw, I will start paying off as of April. I will finally, start my monthly payments!

We also paid/bought:

  • The final utility bill of our rental apartment (143.10 EUR)
  • The slatted bottoms which were finally delivered and installed in our bedroom (412.54 EUR)
  • Cleaning products, a diaper pail, Colruyt cooling bag, and some other minor stuff, plus we sold our washing machine for 110 EUR bringing this total amount down to 75.11 EUR.
  • A shower set for the bathroom (49.99 EUR)

This category should be a lot lower in March but still a couple of hundreds due to the second part of our bed, the frame.

Overall, it was one crazy expensive month for everything house-related, as I parted with 1,436.55 EUR.

Savings Rate February 2021
My Income and Expenses for February 2021.

Food and supplies

To see this category be so high was really surprising to me. I thought we really paid attention to our groceries. Nevertheless, we ended up spending 537.93 EUR. I mean, I saw the bills and see the food in our fridge but I’m still baffled.

One reason could be my wife that is eating for two. Another one is that we ended up going to Delhaize a couple of times, although that only accounts for 54.83 EUR.  That means we still spend 545.99 EUR at Lidl and Colruyt.

The final reason I can think of is that we ended up buying in bulk After we officially moved to my grandmother’s house. 191.02 EUR was spent at Colruyt the week after we moved. I can only hope to see the bill a lot lower next month since we won’t have to buy stuff like wraps, milk, frozen veggies, bread, etc.

We also bought O’tacos (23.70 EUR) and Burger King (19.50 EUR) for the last time, as they aren’t available in our new town.

Finally, I snacked a bit here and there while on the road (19.69 EUR).

since groceries were so high, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see the total for food and supplies at 600.82 EUR.

Kids

A category that will become a regular on my overviews as of May 😉

As mentioned in my baby list blog post, we bought a car seat (Maxi-Cosi Mica, 314 EUR) and a stroller (Smile 3 by Britax Römer, 598 EUR). Saying this was expensive is putting it mildly. I can’t complain though. We didn’t want to save money on safety and comfort.

Also, how expensive are baby clothes? Like, what the actual F*? 51.96 EUR for two pairs of tops and pants at Dreambaby. I’m really grateful a friend of my wife just had a baby girl as well and is going to send us her clothes. this will really save us a ton of money.

Just these three things set us back 963.96 EUR.

Person

Medical bills (114.37 EUR) for the pregnancy and 40 EUR for the final 3 hours of career coaching were the expenses in this category. We spend 177.65 EUR in total. Of this, we should get a bit back. Part through my hospitalization plan from work and part from the NHS.

Luxury

Electronics expenses in this category were unexpected. I forgot that I had to renew my Office 365 Family (69.30 EUR) Luckily I save 30% thanks to an Employer Benefits Program.

Far less unexpected were the flowers (65.95 EUR) and chocolate/marzipan (8.45 EUR) I bought for valentine.

Finally, I had my Spotify (9.99 EUR) and Patreon subscription (0.98 EUR).

All of the above cost us 154.67 EUR.

Other expenses

The rest of my expenses were relatively minimal with one a bit more special.
A quick summary:

  • Banking – 24.27 EUR:
    • Health insurance: 10.46 EUR
    • DVV Family insurance: 15.72 EUR
    • Cashback: +1.91 EUR
  • Online businesses – 40.84 EUR:
    • Bought a new domain for a personal business.
      This is still in its infancy but I do plan to make it more concrete in the months to come.
      No idea how and when, especially with a baby on the way, but it’s coming.

All the expenses

  • Home management and ownership
  • Kids
  • Food and supplies
  • Person
  • Luxury
  • Banking & insurance
  • Online businesses

The bottom line

Summing it all up for a total expense of 3,398.84 EUR! yikes! I’m left with a measly 13.18 EUR which gives me a Savings Rate of 13.18 EUR/3,411.94 EUR = 0.39%!

Cross my heart and hope to die, I have no idea how I still managed to get even 1 EUR in green, but I did. I mean, I know I get more income now thanks to the marriage coefficient, but even then, with all the expenses I had this month, it’s pure dumb luck I was able to save 13 EUR.

FlowChart of my Savings Rate February 2021
A flow overview of my February expenses. I got this idea from RoadTrip to Fire.

This was my February overview. My Belgian friend Roadtrip to FIRE has been writing quite a bit. He wrote about his initial investment in Palantir, the company Galapagos, he even talked about his blog stats and much more. Go check it out!

JoneyTalks Had some amazing Podcasts in February. From How to Start Your Financial Journey with No Experience with Greg to Reaching FIRE the Belgian way with Sandy. Be sure to check out his podcasts!

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Mr. FightToFIRE

I'm a developer for a major financial institution in Belgium that is present in over 40 countries. I have over 8 years of working experience in the development of customer applications focussing on all aspects of banking. This helped me gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of a commercial bank. All of this experience in both banking and life culminates in this blog about personal finance and my fight towards FIRE.

Monthly Savings Rate Reports
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
13. My monthly Savings Rate report: October 2020
14. My monthly Savings Rate report: November 2020
15. My monthly Savings Rate report: December 2020
16. My monthly Savings Rate report: January 2021
17. My monthly Savings Rate report: February 2021
18. My monthly Savings Rate report: March 2021
19. My monthly Savings Rate report: April 2021
20. My monthly Savings Rate report: May 2021
21. My monthly Savings Rate report: June 2021
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Claudia

that’s great to pay the last rent and live rent free in the future!
For the baby, I recommend you to look on second hand market, too. Belgium has a lot of local groups and many items really affordable. The babies are growing so fast that finally some things I used just a few times and sold it.

Claudia

(forgot to say: Hello From Brussels).
I am reading you for a while, as interested in financial freedom.

Roadtriptofire

Some things you really can’t get around like babystuff. Super cool that you created a new expense category, children are supposed to cost around 500 per month. Be prepared, altough I think you will find ways to cut the cost on this new journey and Im looking forward to reading them!
As for food, I have a similar issue, but to be honest, I just think food proces have gone up, we all know this because of the corona crisis, but maybe its much more then what we thought..

Thanks for the mention!

Last edited 4 months ago by Roadtriptofire
Miranda Gunn

I totally get your wife I also need a minimum of two warm meals a day to stay happy 😀 Having been brought up this way I was surprised to learn how people in here in Austria have bread, cheese and cured meats and call that a meal! But I can see how this is more budget (and also time!) effective.

What helped me cut back on my groceries during the past few months was keeping my meat consumption to a minimum – just once a week of cooking with meat. Maybe it’s not for everyone (health, taste preferences etc) but I’m very happy with this new routine and recommend giving it a shot.

Congrats on staying in the green during this crazy month and very exciting to hear about your very last rent payment!!

Thanks for sharing and keeping us motivated/inspired 🙂

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