Quarter one of 2022 has passed with the end of March. Time seems to be flying by faster and faster as I get older. At times I’m happy about this, such as the current state of the world. I hope that as time progress there is light at the end of the tunnel.
But at other times I just wish it didn’t, like when I’m playing with my daughter. To help pass these relative times I receive a monthly salary from my employer, and this month is no different. Let’s take a look at how I managed it this month.
Let’s try to start with the positive. This month’s income streams are:
- Salary (with a bonus!)
- Second hand sale
- Child allowance
- My wife’s share of the expenses (a bit extra!)
- Parents refund of paid expenses for the upcoming trip
March Income — €6,197.02
Talk about an amazing month! Not only did I get an on-call bonus, but I also received an innovation bonus worth €2,000 net.
Basically, I get an additional €180 net thanks to tax optimizations. With the help of improved taxes, my net salary for February is €5,314,10.
Second hand sale
I put up some furniture still remaining in my grandmother’s house up for sale and in March I finally sold a couple of these items. It didn’t bring in a whole lot, 50 euro.
Next up, child allowance: €169.79.
Per child, you receive government support through what’s called ‘kindergeld’ or child allowance.
They set this per child instead of going up for each child, like in the past.
It can increase depending on specific criteria, such as single-parent or special needs.
This might seem strange, but ‘my wife’s share’ means that we divide each other’s share through the amount our salaries contribute to the combined income for the expenses we share.
In our case, it’s a 39/61 split, with my wife covering 39%. This split changed after my wife’s promotion! She transferred €145.55.
In March I started booking the hotels and plane tickets for our trip to South America. In total, I spend close to 1500 euros of which a large part is for my parents. Luckily they paid me back in the same months so the actual expenses remain low.
That said, if it was just paying me back it wouldn’t fall under income. My parents also added an “allowance” of about 900 euro.
Not included: Dividends
I didn’t receive any dividends in March.
March Expenses — €3,049.22
Personal home — €1,368.73
Since I’ll soon be renting out my apartment, I decided to already rename this category to correctly reflect what it represents, namely, my own home. Speaking of my own home.
It finally happened! After more than a year, I paid for the bed frame ordered in December 2020!
It’s crazy to see how a company like Sleeplife didn’t bother with following up with a bed frame costing over €1,000. It’s not like I never bothered informing them about it by phone, but they always said they’d mail me on how they would compensate for their incompetence, only to further solidify it.
Finally, at the beginning of February, after I pointed out once more through a mail reply, did they offer a meager 10% discount. I decided to not push it any further and pay the now sub-1000 euro –€945 to be exact- bed achieving my goal of getting a cheaper price for the bed frame I ended up putting together myself.
If not for this expense, my savings rate would have reached in the 60s, but alas, it came and it took that milestone away from me. Everything was unexciting:
- Interest payment: €311.55
- Peripherals: €52.50
- Demeyer sautépan
- Demeyer sautépan
- Utilities: €59.68
- Internet for two months (€24.28)
- Garbage collection (€35.30)
Luxury — €915.06
As the second trip to South America is drawing closer, it was time to book our hotels and activities. Because I like to get cashback I volunteered to pay for these expenses and my parents and cousin would pay me back. As a result, I have €647.37 in holiday expenses but about €100 of this is still for my cousin.
March is not only the month of preparation but also a celebration. My wife’s birthday was at the end of the month so I gave her a painting as a present (€149). I also added €10 to a pool for a work colleague’s newborn.
Finally, I have the usual suspects in regards to subscriptions:
- Amex: €30
- Disney+: €8.99
- Netflix: €10.90
- Spotify: €9.99
Food & supplies — €417.85
My shock of last month has abated and made room for acceptance. What I would normally buy at my work for a fairly cheap price, I now (sometimes) get at my local Delhaize for twice the price. Such a change is going to affect my food expenses in a bad way. This month that means €73.30 in ‘small snacks’ although lunch would be a more appropriate name.
Groceries were low (€74.00) thanks to the sharing of meal vouchers. If you look at the image you can see a rather amusing peculiarity due to this. We spend €266.85 on restaurants/delivery!
It may look like we only ate out, it’s in fact due to the celebration of my wife’s birthday. First, we spent €99.50 on sushi, second, we had my parents over a week later and did Chinese takeout (€153.80). Add a couple of smaller eat-outs and you get such a high restaurant cost.
Vending machines at work closes off this category with a meager €3.70. Could I have done without this? Probably, but it doesn’t change much.
Kids — €266.33
For our daughter, we bought her first (second-hand) bed (€175) and a full-size (90×200) mattress (€94.95 minus 47.47 from my wife). As she starts to crawl all over the place we also got her a second-hand closed-off play park (€60).
For some reason, she started scratching the inside of her ear so we went to the pediatrician (€43) to ask if this was an aggressive way of showing she was tired or if there is something inside her ear. Luckily it was the former. We received a full refund in April, but for this month it was an expense.
Finally, We bought some more second-hand clothes as she obviously keeps growing.
- Person – €56.61:
- Medical – €16.08: my health insurance through work
- Other – €40.53: More FFP2 mouth masks
- Banking and insurance – €6.64
- Family insurance minus cashback from credit card
All the expenses
With an income providing €6,196.02 and high expenses, of €3,049.22, my remaining net income in March jumped over 50%: €6,196.02/€3,049.22 = 50.80%. Couldn’t be happier with this result. For the first time in 2022, I climbed above a 50% Savings Rate!