Wow, July really became an expensive month. I honestly never would have thought that July would net me 0 euros! It’s one of those months where many things happen and causes a significant shift in income and expenses.
First of all, we have the income side. Instead of my usual €3,200 salary, I now had to get around with €1,000 less. This is for one reason only: paternity leave. In Belgium, partners of the mother get 15 days extra paid holidays. However, there is one big caveat to these additional holidays: the pay is capped to 82% of your gross salary with a max of €120,52/day. Since I earn quite a bit above average, I get a reduced salary.
Second, I had a couple of unexpected expenses, which added up to a hefty bill. Our fridge started acting up and didn’t cool properly anymore. Next to that, we had a couple over and had a BBQ. I bought some tools for this small gathering but mainly a lot of meat resulting in an inflated grocery bill this month.
As mentioned, income was reduced due to additional less paid holidays. Of course, the major upside was that I got to be there for my daughter. At €2,111.25 I had to part with about €1,000. Luckily the many gifts from family and friends helped reduce the pain. We received €527,92 from them. This is on top of the money/goods gifted by my wife’s side of the family the past few months.
Finally, I received a whopping €34.95 in interest from Beobank and MeDirect.
All together our income was €2674.12. Luckily, it’s going to be the last month on just one salary.
A first job!
After more than 3 years, my wife finally found a job!
It’s not an open-ended contract but we really couldn’t be picky so she accepted it. It pays about €2,500 gross which should be about €1,750 – €1,800 net. As it’s interim we don’t know how long she’ll have it and whether or not she can get an open-ended contract after a couple of months, but it’s a start!
I received €32,02 in dividends this month:
|1 July 2021||NVIDIA||2.03 EUR|
|15 July 2021||TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR-SP ADR||3.78 EUR|
|29 July 2021||ISHARES S&P SMALL CAP 600||26.22 EUR|
What?! Another month where groceries or home isn’t the biggest expense?
Yep, this time it’s the luxury category. As I explained earlier, we needed a new fridge.
Dead body smell
It became obvious after we took 1 kg of chicken out of the fridge, and a stench wafted into our nostrils the instant we opened the package. Shortly after, we discovered that the premade lasagna we bought also suffered the same decomposing fate.
With a fridge being an essentials household item, there wasn’t much time to deliberate our options. After an afternoon of Googleing, I stumbled upon a young second-hand fridge on offer on Coolblue, their so-called ‘second chance’. Instead of €900, I only paid €534 for my nearly-new fridge!
Delhaize JBL deal
Another (semi-)unforeseen expense was the purchase of JBL wireless earbuds (€69.99) for my wife. Our local Delhaize had a promotion where you could collect stickers to get a JBL product at a discounted price.
I didn’t just blindly get it. I first checked the new price online. Luckily, the promotional price was €20 – €30 cheaper than online.
Finally, I also got an extra super-fast charger (€7.14) for at home since we have a lot of devices that need charging (our phones, a tablet we use as a white noise device, the baby monitor, my on-call phone, etc.).
With just these three products, my July Savings Rate received a major blow. I spend €750.09 after including the remaining amount of a coupon I purchased at a discount through my employer (€15.54).
Home management and ownership
Another month, another downpayment, and interest payment for the apartment. €818.33 in principal and €194.18 in interest.
Another part of a good BBQ is having the right tools to handle the meat (€56.21) and an IKEA garden table to sit together around (€148.99). In case my guests have to use the toilet I also got some scented sticks from Action (€6.25) and stocked up on TP and other smaller stuff (€37.09).
The small garden party isn’t the only thing that I had to get. Since we work on a gas stove I got 2 cylinders of cooking gas (€56).
Thanks to a successful garden BBQ, this month’s home management jumped to €498.72.
With a newborn, you’d think I wouldn’t need much stuff. Think again.
First of all, I got the warranty of the rental breast pump back (+€75). Since we were convinced we would use an electric pump we got one ourselves for €153.66. The next gadget we bought was a baby monitor (€251.24). Spending a bit more to make sure your baby is safe and sound is worth it to me. To store the milk we also purchased a cool bag for bottles (€31.96).
Other than these devices, some additional towels, wet wipes, and a pacifier were needed (€82.30).
Putting these expenses together gives me €486.27 spend on our daughter.
For once ‘Person’ is a cheap category thanks to a lot of refunds we received. Eventhough I had to pay a €397 bill for the last month of checks plus our daughter’s first shots, I ended up paying only €1.16 in medical expenses.
No, the biggest expense for me was the purchase of three chino pants for the coming winter (€132.55) through Zalando.
I did end up buying some smaller stuff from Gamma to temporarily fix some things around the house. This expense was limited to €42.04.
All in all, I spend €175.75 here.
Banking and insurance
Finally, we have banking and insurance. No surprises here. €42.39 for:
- Family insurance: €7.69
- Health insurance work and NHS: €40.44
- Some cashback: €5.74 (covering my yearly CC fee of €5)
All the expenses
- Food and supplies
- Home management and ownership
- Banking & insurance
Due to a reduced income of €2,674.12 and higher than expected expenses, my remaining net income in April was a paltry €15.70. This gives me a Savings Rate of €15.70/€2,674.12/ = 0.59%.
My lowest SR to date if I remember correctly.