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My monthly Savings Rate report: September 2021

My September reached an extreme expense level. And it’s all due to one thing: plane tickets. I recently wrote about why we decided to buy plane tickets at arguably the most expensive period to fly, especially international. Because of this major purchase, my expenses skyrocketed and made me go negative for the first time since I started blogging. But, it’s not the only thing that pushed me over the edge.

Before I go into the details of my expenses, let us have a look at the income side. There isn’t anything major. I received money through 3 channels:

  • Salary
  • Child allowance
  • My wife’s share of the expenses

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

Income — €3,539.68

Salary

Let me start with the most obvious one: my salary. Thanks to a part of my current on-call falling in September I received a little bit extra giving me a salary of €3,224.24.

Child allowance

Next up, child allowance: €166.46. 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.

My wife’s share

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 giving an inflow of €148.98.

Dividends

I received no dividends this month.

Expenses

Luxury — €2,541.07

So, the plane tickets.

We will be flying with KLM to visit my wife’s grandparents so that they can meet our daughter before it’s too late. It sounds dark but it’s a harsh reality. They are 91 and 92 and as I experienced the loss of my grandmother last year not even a year before my daughter was born, I want to prevent the same thing from happening with my wife’s grandparents.

With Christmas being the ideal moment, we cut the gordian knot and bought our tickets in September for December. For the three of us, the total comes in at €1,661.59.

As I mentioned in the intro, there is one more big-ticket item.

During a recent running event, I lost my Garmin Fenix 3 HR in muddy water. Due to the conditions, it was impossible to find it, so I had to consider it lost. This did leave me with an empty wrist. While I could manage without a watch, I do various sports, and I like to track my progress, so I set out to get a new one.

“New” might not be the right word. I wanted a newer model, but see if I could get it secondhand, and, I could! I enjoyed my Garmin Fenix 3HR, so I had no reason to go to another brand.

I set my eyes on the Garmin Fenix 6X PRO solar titanium. New this beauty costs a whopping €950 to €1,049.99 depending on where you get it.  After some searching, I was able to get my hands on a nearly-new one for €800.

Finally, I also bought a bol.com €50 voucher through my employer for €47.50 for future use.

Home management and ownership — €489.99

Another month, another downpayment, and interest payment for the apartment. €820.33 in principal and €231.15 in interest.

Besides the recurring mortgage payments, we also bought some small stuff at Colruyt (€1) and Action (€13.29).

Old house repair nr. I-don’t-know-how-many

Another month, another fix it seems. This time I had to change the faucet in the kitchen as it started leaking like crazy. measuring the dripping, I would lose a 12L bucket of freshwater per day(!) if left unfixed, so what do you do? Fix it of course. Luckily Amazon.de has a second chance yet decent faucet for €25.70.

I also had to get a new UV light (€76.53) for the filter of the groundwater we use for our toilets and washer. Finally, I got a new connector for my grandmother’s garden house (€3.59).

To be honest, I knew these fixes were coming, the faucet was already loose when we first arrived, and the filtration system needs a new light at least every year anyway.

Food & supplies — €401.13

Here we went a bit overboard with the snacks while going out (€65.19) and during on monthly takeaway dinner (€84.05). takeaway Sushi really is expensive. Dandoy added a bit on top (€19.60) when we visited Brussels on the car-free day.

If you are good with math you already realize that our grocery bill was limited this month. I’d like to say it’s because we really tightened our belts, but alas, it’s because my wife paid for groceries twice using her meal vouchers. Still, thanks to that, we “only” spend €232.29 on bi-weekly groceries.

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

Kids — €238.63

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought of ever buying diapers through bol.com, yet here I am. In September I got 3 boxes of size three and one of size four. All four diaper boxes combined cost me €126.15.

We also got some bed linen for our daughter’s Maxi Cosi Iris travel cot. I was honestly surprised at how much a pair of these covers cost (€35.57), but I couldn’t find anything similar so I just got them. Besides the sheeting, we also got her two pacifier chains so they don’t fall on the ground every time she lets them go.

Person — +€74.90

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.

Banking and insurance — €5.41

Finally, we have banking and insurance. I was able to limit it thanks to cashback:

  • Family insurance: €7.69
  • Cashback: +€2.28

All the expenses

The bottom line

With multiple income streams providing €3,539.68 and major expenses, my remaining net income in September was -for the first time since the start of the blog- negative: -€61.65. This gives me a Savings Rate of -€61.65/€3,539.68 = -1.74%.

My Belgian friend Roadtrip to FIRE had a calm month but still shared his latest portfolio update.

JoneyTalks talked about how to “What To Pay Attention To If You Want To Invest In Crypto?“, and something that’s now very important for me, how to teach good money habits to your children, amongst many other podcasts.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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
22. My monthly Savings Rate report: July 2021
23. My monthly Savings Rate report: August 2021
24. My monthly Savings Rate report: September 2021
25. My monthly Savings Rate report: October 2021
26. My monthly Savings Rate report: November 2021
27. My monthly Savings Rate report: December 2021
28. My monthly Savings Rate report: January 2022
29. My monthly Savings Rate report: February 2022
30. My monthly Savings Rate report: March 2022
31. My monthly Savings Rate report: April 2022
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Omni1504

Not FIRE-related but,will be interesting to get your experience on long-haul flying with a very small kid (how old?), once you are there. I have somewhat similar puzzle…

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