Personal Spending Plan Update January - Does the savings rate actually matter?

How has your year kicked off? It's amazing that we're into February already and I've left my role at a bank to now prepare for the amazing Africa adventure.

Here's our monthly look-back at finances for January and this month has been a massive improvement on December. We recognise that it's important to be fully transparent so here goes, enjoy the financial porn below!

January monthly numbers

Books

Planned - $60                       Actual - $17

Have not read anywhere near as many books this month due to tackling the massive tools of Titans book by Tim Ferris. What books have you been reading this year so far?

Entertainment

Planned - $450                   Actual - $385

Over the moon with the entertainment expenses for this month and I see this as being the first month we're under. Possibly due to pre-paying a lot of expenses in advance although very happy with this

Food Groceries

Planned - $130                   Actual - $141

Same same here, happy despite being over. This is a broad category and could include much more. This is exactly the same amount as December, which is quirky.

Gym

Planned - 52$                                Actual - 52$

Again, this expense will stay constant unless there is a longer month. Have dropped off the 7 min work-out app and it's something I want to get back into

Mobile/Cell

Planned - 39$                            Actual - 40$

Happy and almost on point with the spending for the mobile category this month

Miscellaneous

Planned - 260$                        Actual - 212$

Similar to entertainment, and very happy to have lived up to the expectation of this being reduced in January

Rent

Planned - 750$                       Actual - 700$

Happy with this although not entirely unexpected :), perhaps this one is cheating :P

Restaurants

Planned - 265$                      Actual - 407$

This is probably over as a result of not including some expenses which could have been considered "entertainment". Perhaps I could increase this section and reduce entertainment although still not too unhappy. Have been consciously eating out less and more at home with the girlfriend.

Transport/Travel

Planned - 300$                     Actual - 426$

I'd say that $300 is unrealistic and may need to be increased. Having said this for Feb 2017 it should go down as I won't be catching public transport for much of the month. 

Below is a visual representation of the Money Glee month in numbers

A nice month for January! :)

A nice month for January! :)

Now that this is out of the way let's talk about something that a lot of people in the personal finance community track, savings rate. Does it matter how much you're saving? Most people will say yes and you would generally be correct however why does it matter?

The savings rate is vital due to it creating solid financial habits. As you know we're massive fans of the habit and while earning more is also fantastic, by saving more you can work on both offense and defence. Despite the savings rate being important occasionally you will not be able to cut back any further, which is why some "experts" focus on the income earning equation.

Speaking of which, should probably be getting our savings rate going in this update too!

How did your January look financially? Any other exciting goings on?

Did this help you? If so, please share!

Thanks for reading and here's to a fantastic March for us all! Remember to live you Money Glee