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My monthly Savings Rate report: January 2020

Last Updated on March 3, 2020 by Mr. FightToFIRE

January update comes after a fun but tiring month. It started where December ended, in Istanbul. It then ended in yet another country: my girlfriend’s home. I’m surprised I was able to squeeze out a saving of more than a few euros again. Now I was saved by a higher than expected income. I knew I was going to get a refund for my pension saving of last year because of the choices I made last year. On the expense side, two things increased my expenses. The big one is, of course, another trip. But what undoubtedly will stick for the rest of my life…

I proposed to my GF! And she said yes!


My income for January has a few extra’s this time. My regular income still is the biggest chunck: 2,910,45 EUR. This amount was honnestly a bit surprising as I chose a salary car which should have reduced my income by about 300 EUR net compared to December, yet here I am. I found the reason quick by taking a glance at my pay slip. My employer didn’t deduce the car cost yet.

The second biggest income was the refund of the pension saving. Thanks to some savvy accounting trick I can get some extra benefit on top of the 30% the government gives. This results in an extra deposit in January of 446,40 EUR.

100 EUR came from the withdrawel of dividends from my actively managed fund at Beobank.

Finally, I found a solid 2.21 EUR on the street. Yeah me! All of this gives me a total income of 3459.66 EUR for January.


For January I expected the expenses to be a bit higher but not as high as December. I was kinda right in that it’s “higher” but I’m still in the single digit percentage. The reason for this is two-fold. One is the engagement ring, and the second is the trip to my gf’s home country. Other expenses were very low in comparison.

One more thing. If I’m being strict, I am cheating a bit this month. I also got 1500 EUR in medical costs due to hospitalization while abroad. I’m not including these costs because I am guaranteed to be fully reimbursed by my travel insurance.


Let’s start with the biggest expense this month: Personal.


As mentioned, the “culprit” for this crazy high amount is the engagement ring. I spend 1445 EUR on it at a local jewelry store. The remaining 64 EUR comes from a parking permit for my car and the monthly payment for my banking account used for my mortgage payments. I’m going to close this account asap once I start with my payments. I had to get this one because the free one took a month to open and that was too long. I would have lost my excellent mortgage rate if I waited for that free account. Luckily, since it’s a subsidiary of the paid account I can easily change once I start my payments.


Since January is the sales period, I took the time to do some shoe shopping. I bought two pair of shoes and some shoe trees since they are leather shoes. Next to that I also got some shoe laces to color up the black dress shoes I (already) have for work. These tree things tallied up to 374.97 EUR.


In terms of food, I spend 25% less than December. One reason is because there were no special occasions like in December. The other is because we were on holiday at the end of January and the things bought there I classify them as holiday expenses (so under luxur). In total I spend 331.19 EUR.


This was relatively basic. The only other big expenses I amde beside rent were a frying pan, a table-top ironing board and a bear trimmer. All combined puts housing at 564.35 EUR for the month.


Since I went to my GF’s home-country this expense should be relatively high, but since I already paid for the plane tickets last month, it’s actually pretty low. Not only are the plane tickets already paid, her home-country is relatively cheap to live so the expenses I made in the first week of the trip are low. I only spend 188.88 EUR on holidays. February will be something else! In January we also went to the cinema and still give some presents for new years. All together gives a total expense of 318.01 EUR.

Health Insurance

This one is the quarterly payment for the national health insurance and the hospitalization through my employer. Together this gives 32.71 EUR.

All the expenses

Like December, January was another busy month. Normally the last one for at least a couple of months since, well, obviously the marriage reception and honeymoon 😉

It all comes together for a whopping 3228.59 EUR for January.

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

January really set the mood for the rest of the year. In the coming months we will have to do some paperwork and arrangement for the wedding so expect some updates on that!

2020 starts of with an exceptionally low SR. As I still didn’t start my flexi-job I don’t have an extra income that can compensate my higher expenses. February will be similar since I first need a training (which I will get next week). Only after this can I start earning some extra cash.

I foresee February to have a low SR as well but March and April should be a lot better.

This was my first month of 2020 and boy what a doozy!

How was your first month of the year? Were you able to kick off 2020 strong? Or did you have major costs like me?

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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Amber Tree

Congratulations with the engagement! I wish you all the best for your upcoming wedding.

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