Friends, amigos, welcome to another Spanglish savings report, this time being for November 2020.

As every month, I like to sit down and do my homework, which basically consists of doing the following:

  • Track all my income and expenses using my personalized spreadsheet tracker on Google Sheets. (remember that blog subscribers can have it for free, just get in touch with me and request your copy by emailing me at tony at onemillionjourney dot com).
  • Check how I am getting on with my goals for 2020.
  • Documented all on a blog post.

This is my personal method to keep an eye on what happens with my money and my goals, and most importantly, to get into the habit of doing it periodically, which in this case is on a monthly basis.

Albeit I have always been a vivid saver and kept my balance sheet in a healthy condition, this exercise has helped me to improve a bit more.

November in a nutshell

Similar as in others parts of Europe, November was also a nationwide lockdown month here in the UK.

However, this time I’ve barely noticed any change in my daily lifestyle. Some of my colleagues at work seem to have completely forgotten about the Covid-19 rules and guidance. Even customers and suppliers pop in the office in pre-COVID manners as if nothing happened. Covid cases in my area remain almost flat since the beginning of November.

But, to my surprise, none of us has shown any symptoms (yet). Fingers crossed that continues that way until spring 2021, a time when the government expects to get the situation under control via vaccination.

I can’t wait for this to happen. I just want to take a plane and get out of this island for a few days. Remaining here with this weather for long periods is “claustrophobic”!

November was also a busy month, where I should have enjoyed a week off but I had to call it off. It has become so insanely busy that my boss decided he needed to hire someone to help me out (yes, he is one of those who will “squeeze” you to the limit before investing a further penny, my willingness to fire him off is exponentially increasing as you read).

I became excited about the idea of having a working mate. Working with someone who actually knows what the Pythagorean theorem is? That would be a step forward for the company! In addition, part of my excitement was due to seeing the possibility to get a promotion. So far, we’ve only interviewed one candidate, a recently graduated mechanical engineer.

Being on the other side of the table as an interviewer was weird. I spoke some bulls*it in order to make the position seem more attractive, and to be honest, I couldn’t even recognise myself. Then after some reflection, I came to understand that I was sort of possessed by a phenomenon called greediness and ego.

But going back to the interview, It basically only took me a few minutes to see what the common mechanical engineer in this country is after: Working for that great big car company just for the sake of fulfilling their pride, even if that involves doing the menial task of modelling breaks 8 hours a day for the next 3 years.

Obviously, I am still on my own and it will quite possibly continue like that. Myself, an ex-pat managing a Brit is very unlikely, and qualified engineers from Europe are hard to find down South. With Brexit right the corner I’d say that’s now near to impossible.

This has made me realize how challenging it may be to progress further with my career in this country as a foreigner. In the past, this has been the recipe for a change, but this time it comes at a bad time when changes are not only more difficult to find but also riskier than ever to make.

As we approach the end of the year, I’ve got a feeling, you know…

…a feeling that whispers that 2021 will be somehow different…

Income, Expenses & Savings Rate

As per 2020 coronavirus standards, November was another good month in terms of savings.

This is the general overview of my income and expenses so far in 2020:

Savings Rate November 2020

My total income in November was £2,437.72 (2717.6 EUR).

Expenses: £885.79 (987.49 EUR)

I was able to save £1,551.93, which results in a savings rate of 63.7%. This is slightly below my average saving rate of 65.9% (66.1% last month) for the current year. My goal is to maintain the average above 50%, so things keep looking good on this side.

Monthly Cash Flow Sankey Diagram

Breaking it down into categories, this is a graphical representation of how my cash has flown during November in Pound Sterling (£):

Income Sankey diagram November 2020 one million journey

Income

November brought me another two free shares worth £18.21 into my Trading212 Invest account. So, many many thanks again for using my referral link to join the platform. As I’ve earned over the limit of free shares allowed per user (20 shares), I had to convince my girlfriend to open up an account so I can earn another extra 20 free shares. Luckily she accepted! 😀

In July I wrote a short article to explain how to get started with Trading 212 and get a free share worth up £/EUR 100. So, check it out if it sounds like something interesting to you.

Interests come from checking or saving accounts, bonds and my P2P investments. My interest payments are seeing a fall this year after exiting many of the P2P platforms I used during 2019.

Last month I switched my TSB bank account for HSBC Bank. In November HSBC paid me the £125 cash agreed on the switching deal, which is included under the others category. It was a nice extra to have this month!

My reaction was similar to Fred’s finishing his working shift:

Dividends this month came mostly from my Dividend Portfolio.

Expenses

Rent and bills summed up £450 this month as usual. I am glad to see our landlady is not asking for more money. She must like us a lot as we’ve been paying the same amount since we moved back two years ago.

I spent £148 at the supermarket. Most of the merit of spending so little on food is thanks to my girlfriend. She plans most meals in advance for the week and writes a detailed shopping list with our requirements.

Transport this month includes car taxes and fuel.

Services include blog expenses and phone. I stopped my subscription with Disney + since we’ve watched most of the content that looked interesting to us (Marvel mainly). My GF pays for Netflix, so we are watching content from here mostly now. In fact, we started watching the Stranger Things series and we couldn’t stop watching! (Mayday Mayday! Houston we have a problem!)


Goals

Time to have a look at how I am keeping on with my 2020 goals. As Peter Drucker said 40 years ago, what gets measured gets improved.

Some of my goals aren’t monthly measurable, but some others are. I’ve built a simple table to display the progress.

November goals

Goals November 2020 one million journey

October goals (comparison purpose)

Goals October 2020 one million journey

It’s great to see how I am accomplishing some of my goals as we near the end of the year!

  • I managed to lose another 0.5kg this month. As Christmas and heavier eating and drinking is coming, I don’t think I will be able to get my weight down to 80 kg before 2021. I am actually quite happy that I didn’t put any weight this month. My GF promised she wouldn’t bake during this second lockdown, and she didn’t. That’s what’s kept my weight stabilised.
  • Resting heart rate stays at 59 BMP, as I keep running and exercising on an almost daily basis. I am Bueno 😀 👍
  • I am above the 10k daily steps target having walked more than 3.38 million steps this year! I am very Bueno 😀 👍
  • I am still on track with my reading goals 👍. In November, I finished reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. I absolutely loved this book and wrote some notes which I collected on this post. In total, I’ve already read 12 books this year, however, I still got to complete Peter’s Lynch Beating The Street (surprisingly boring), read another PF book and finish another book I am reading about sales. So I still got some stuff during the last weeks of the year.
  • 41 blog posts published, so goal completed. I am absolutely terrific guys! 👍

That was it for this month.

I hope you had a good month?