Wow, I cannot believe it has been a year already.
This time last year, I was packing up my last remnants of London life and preparing to fly back to Norway where I had a four year contract lined up – the safest I had been financially since I was a student receiving scholarships (which is the safest financially I had ever been as an adult).
This month had its ups and downs. I did not manage to reach my goal of 50 % to savings/investments, but instead spent quite a bit on groceries. I am currently living in Svalbard for a course, and planning for food I will manage to eat up within a seven week period is challenging. Plus there is field work, where you really should have energy dense and often expensive emergency foods like chocolate, nuts and dried fruits.
It’s just me up here, so of course I am indulging in comfort foods because I miss Mr. E. and evening couch potato snuggling. It has also been amazing, with hiking, polar fox sightings and many new friendships and relations.
I filled my mortgage savings account!
This is a Norwegian saving incentive for young people (below 33 years) to help them save for their first house. If you save at least the annual limit of 25 000 NOK (about $3 000), you get a tax relief of 20 %, or 5 000 NOK (about $600). I plan on funnelling all my tax back money directly back into another savings account for maximum compound interest!
Next goal, fill that emergency fund and up my index investing!
I made seven sales on Etsy!
One of which was an order for several things in my little Etsy shop. I earned 90 NOK ($11) in sales, which netted me 62.6 NOK ($7.5) after Etsy fees. It may not be much, but I am super excited to see every little step towards progress.
It is not a substantial second income stream yet, but it is certainly a start! Especially with work being as busy as it is and me trying to be more engaged there, I will take any progress in this category as marvellous, and one more step towards financial security and employer independence.
April and May are pretty extraordinary when it comes to expenses, considering how I am away from home and covering all work expenses on my company credit card (my first ever credit card), only to get them reimbursed when I return in June. I try to mostly keep it out of my budget since it doesn’t affect much except postponing my real savings rate by a few months, but it does inflate the grocery budget.
- Savings: 11 700 NOK (although 9 000 NOK left my emergency fund again to cover the company credit card)
- Fixed expenses: 6 300 NOK (rent, electricity, phone and recently dropbox… as my supervisors use it and I just couldn’t keep it below 2.5 GB anymore)
- Groceries: 2 600 NOK (ahem… I blame missing Mr. E. and junk food while abroad)
- Student loan: 1 500 NOK (business as usual. Steadily declining)
- Social: 1 200 NOK (A crafting weekend with friends before boarding for Svalbard!)
- Various: 1 000 NOK (A watercolour painting of a Svalbard reindeer in the Arctic. I figured we could frame this souvenir and hang it on our wall)
- Sidehustle 10 NOK (Etsy fees)
You know what? I don’t think that looks too bad. There is room for improvement of course, but both categories that were high outside necessities (social and various) were spent on deeply enjoyable activities and lasting memories. Do not regret, would spend on again.
How was your April? Were you happy with your own progress and efforts?