With October passed, we are well into the last part of the year. It means I’m getting closer to my trip abroad and thus the first flight with our daughter.
In this month we also decided to go back to my wife’s home country in April. Those plane tickets were purchased in November so you won’t see them in this month’s report. For both the upcoming trip and the one in April we got some summer clothes (we are traveling to South America after all) and a carry-on stroller for our daughter who will be 6.5 months when we go.
Before I go into further details, let us have a look at the income side. There is a lot to unpack this time. I received money through 7 channels:
- Child allowance
- My wife’s share of the expenses
Income — €4,066.78
Like every month, I received my salary at the end. Thanks to a longer on-call period and some interventions during the weekend, this month’s extra really added up to a nice income of €3,674.81 net! That’s a whopping €400 net more than last month. At my current income tax rate that’s 800 gross more.
Next up, child allowance: €169.79. Per child, you receive government support through what’s called ‘kindergeld’ or child allowance. This is a fixed amount per child for a few years already -it used to go up for each child you had-. Depending on specific criteria (such as single-parent or special needs) it can increase.
This one might seem a bit strange but what ‘my wife’s share’ means, is that for the expenses we share, we divided each other’s share through the amount our salaries contribute to the combined income. In our case, it’s a 35/65 split with my wife covering 35%. This month she subtracted the food she paid for with her meal vouchers and paid her part of a delivery meal giving an inflow of €93.50.
For the first time ever, I received €2.52 from one of my referral links to one of the products I bought in the past. It ain’t much, but every bit helps.
Both Beobank and Keytrade gave me the interest on the bit of saving I have left. A grand total of €6.17.
With my decision to stop with Beobank’s investment portfolio and use Interactive Brokers instead I kept €285.16 of the total invested amount and keep it in my emergency savings account.
Very grateful to my family who keeps gifting a bit of cash for the birth of our daughter. We received €120 which was actually very welcome as we bought quite a bit of clothes and a stroller for her.
For the first time in a while, I got my tax return early this year. I received €735.79. It’s more compared to last year because we married in 2020 and the government gives a tax deduction because the marriage coefficient only goes into effect in the next year (2021).
I received no dividends this month.
Home management and ownership — €914.18
Another month, another downpayment, and interest payment for the apartment. €822.34 in principal and €292.67 in interest.
Besides the recurring mortgage payments, we also paid our electricity bill (€665.60) and got some small stuff from Action (€18.43).
Kids — €465.19
A big one this month are the expenses for our daughter. We still had to get some things for our trip to my wife’s family.
While a baby doesn’t need much, traveling safely with a baby does come with its own expenses which you can’t neglect:
- Passport (required, €40) and kids-id (optional, €8): Eventhough our daughter can’t really travel on her own, she still needs her own identification. Since we had to get her passport, we decided to immediately get her Belgian kids-ID. Furthermore, my wife needed to renew hers.
- Foldable stroller (€203.88): We got the ultra-compact Cybex Libelle. Eventhough it’s not as complete or heavy as the slightly larger versions of the foldable stroller (e.g. Cybex Breezy), we didn’t want to risk not being able to take it with us on the plane. The Libelle can fold to the size of carry-on, so cabin crew cannot say it’s too large.
On top of the traveling stuff, we also got some basic stuff such as breast milk packs (€15.45) and a larger milk bottle (€8.99).
Coupled with the baby travel gear we got (secondhand) summer clothes and bathing clothes as it will be summer when we go this winter (€143.67).
In October, we also visited our pediatrician (€12.48) and double-check for required shots and medicine we might need to protect our daughter from mosquitoes (real danger in South America!).
Finally, I bought more wet wipes (€25.50) and paper tissues (€2.22) to clean her little toosh.
Luxury — €433.55
Compared to last month, this is a lot lower, but still high, if we are honest. This time, the main culprit is a rental car with Sixt (€467.70) for the last week and a half of our holiday as we will drive to a beach resort.
Next to that, we have the monthly Netflix subscription (€15.99), oh and €100 on Win-For-Life -shame on me- as well as €30.05 for cozy seats and snacks in Theaters to watch Dune.
My parents decided to gift us the stroller I talked about earlier and covered the cost plus some extra.
Since we will go to my wife’s family during the holidays, we also bought them gifts (€59,81).
Person — €255.03
I still had some medical bills to pay, but all of the expenses got covered by my employers’ health insurance. Thanks to those refunds I recuperated the expenses from last month which result in this month being positive.
Food & supplies — €127.87
Food being this low has one simple reason, my wife paid for most this month using her meal vouchers. I only paid for my personal groceries (€78.33) such as Monster Ultra.
Funny enough, the biggest expense was small snacks (€41.14) throughout the month while we were out to the zoo for example.
Restaurants (€3.90) were barely anything either as this month was on my wife.
Banking and insurance — €45.16
Finally, we have banking and insurance. I was able to limit it thanks to cashback:
- Family insurance: €7.69
- Cashback: +€2.28
Online business — €8.20
I admit I bought the two newspapers with my interview. I just had to see what they made out of it. It wasn’t too bad. A bit too out of context but it could’ve been worse.
Transportation — €2
All the expenses
With multiple income streams providing €4,066.78 and controlled expenses, my remaining net income in October was well above 60%: 2836.55. This gives me a Savings Rate of €2,836.55/€4,066.78 = 69.62%.