More January expenses

When it rains it pours

That’s the saying and it holds true for me this month so far.

Comments from co-workers at work suggesting our managers are bullies and deaf which is something that really annoys me about working and gives me that added incentive to gain FI status. It was this type of culture I didn’t want to end up working under. Ah well, I will stick it out at the moment, I’m only on one weeks notice so anything can happen. I have money in the bank due to my FI plans so it is not a disaster if I lose my job. I was talking to a new starter at work last week – a contractor – comparing career backgrounds and he suggested I go contracting. I would get work easily.

I have expenses on my car this month. The fog light is broken, a stone some time over Christmas. I have a quote and the car is booked in to be fixed. I should really get the windscreen done too. It has a chip, it’s not bad so I am waiting as long as possible until I get it repaired (through car insurance) as I have already had a few more stones kick up and hit it so would rather not end up on a monthly repair cycle due to this winter season.

My car will need its first MOT this year so motor costs will be a regular expense throughout this year. At least I am not commuting 2,500+ miles per month which was the situation last year so the servicing interval will extend.

My shower is playing up in my own house now, so I may have to find someone to fix this. Plumbers in the UK are so unreliable, I haven’t found a good one yet in my local area.

I have been filling in MoneyStepper’s 2015 challenge sheet and although I do have these expenses, I am still running at a 41% savings rate for Jan. Again, the dividend income I have received this month has helped to offset costs. Any money left at the end of the month I will look to invest in another share purchase. Which shares? I don’t know at the moment. I could increase my current holdings or spread my exposure by buying into another sector.

While I am still working, I am trying to increase payments into my pension while I am allowed to. Once I give up work, I am limited to £3,600 gross.

You can receive 20% tax relief even if you don’t pay tax. The maximum you can contribute is £3,600 gross – a payment of £2,880 to which the taxman adds £720. This is the case even for people who don’t pay tax, such as children and non-earning spouses.

While I can receive the extra 20% tax relief to my pension contributions and get another 20% from being a high rate tax payer through my tax return, it seems like a good way to save as normal savings accounts are paying out so poorly and there doesn’t look like there is any immediate end to this poor return.

With the changes to the pension rules, these could become drawdown accounts rather than buying an annuity. I have a [now very rare] final salary pension from a previous employer which will not pay out until I am 65. This will give me approx £12k per year – although what this is really worth when I get there is another thing – probably only the equivalent of £6k now! I have another 20 years before I will find out 🙂

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