May 2018 savings and goals update

June 4, 2018 2 By Mindy

May just seemed like the looongest month. It went on forever!  I think it’s because there was a lot of learning and hard work involved this past month. Between my full-time job, starting my sewing course, mentoring, and figuring out this whole blogging thing, I certainly had my hands full. To think I complained about being busy before I had all these side projects going on!

The weather was also quite dreadful in May (a different type of dreadful to UK weather). It was either super hot, or a thunderstorm would appear out of nowhere. That meant a lot more time spent indoors unfortunately.

One of the nicer days in BKK this May

May highlights and goals update

Our three-month travel adventure (mini-retirement?) around Asia later this year is shaping up. We booked super cheap flights from Bangkok to Shanghai, and Shanghai to Tokyo. All for 11,750 THB (about £260 together). Both of these flights are in the middle of the night though, so our future selves may not be so happy…

I had some nice low-key meetups with friends, just cooking, hanging out in the park, and grabbing brunch. No major drunken nights out, which kept the spending nice and low. My partner and I spent a few date nights eating at our favourite places: Din Tai Fung, Pala Pizza, the pub, amongst others.

I went to see some amazing films this month too. A Fantastic Woman – a Chilean movie which is possibly my favourite movie of the year so far, and a couple of films at the Silent Film Festival. The film festival was held at one of my favourite cinemas – Lido – which sadly closed at the end of May after 50 years. The cinema had such a retro vibe: neon lights, ushers with yellow blazers and bow-ties, and old-school tickets. I’ll miss it.

Last days at Lido

One of the last evenings at Lido

I’m a bit behind on my goal to read a book a week this year, but I did manage two this month: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, and Crazy Rich Asians. The Power of Habit is less of a how-to book than an interesting exploration of how habits are formed. Crazy Rich Asians was just trashy fun – I look forward to seeing the film this summer!

What I need to work on

Work and the Saturday sewing class has meant that diet and fitness have gone a bit by the wayside. I had ice-cream and crisps for dinner at least twice. I managed a bit of relaxing yoga, but nothing more intensive. I’ve also been feeling a bit poorly since end of May, so I need to re-focus on my health. After all, there’s no point striving towards other goals if your health suffers!

I also need to work on time management. In the evenings I find myself sitting in front of my laptop doing stuff, but not really focusing on the task at hand. I know that if I could schedule my time better, I could make more time for cooking, exercising, and reading.

May 2018 numbers

Reported in Thai Baht (THB) and UK Pounds (£)*

Income: 74,926 THB / £1,665.02

My income is basically my monthly salary from my full-time job (after taxes and a 3% contribution to a provident fund), plus some modest allowances for housing and phone/internet costs. Unless I find a side hustle in the meantime, my income is going to be looking pretty much the same until I leave my full-time job in September.

Expenses: 30,381 THB / £677.14

CategoryCost (THB / £)Explanation
Rent11,000 THB / £244This is my half of a fairly small one-bedroom condo unit in a central location.
Groceries and regular meals out2,454 THB / £54.53Regular meals out are cheap meals I eat in canteens, food courts, or street food stalls. These tend to cost between 30-50 THB (67p – £1.10), and make up most of my usual meals in addition to what I cook at home.
Eating out and treats2,331 THB / £51.80This includes special meals on date nights or with friends, and little sweet treats I tend to indulge in most days.
Drinking435 THB / £9.67I include both alcoholic and other drinks like bubble teas and coffees in here. I clearly didn’t drink much this month!
Entertainment380 THB / £8.44This usually includes cinema tickets, and other entertainment costs
Transport: Commute1,473 THB / £32.73I use the BTS and MRT systems to get to and from work
Transport: Non-Commute580 THB / £12.89I might grab taxis or motorbikes from time to time
Utilities / phone1,352 THB / £30.04Internet, electricity, water, and phone
Toiletries / personal care313 THB / £6.96Toiletries and some make-up
Health / fitness89 THB / £1.98Have no idea what this was for
Gifts / Donations670 THB / £14.89Treating loved ones
Holiday5,630 THB / £125.11These are our flights to Shanghai in October, which came straight out of my bank account
Learning2,209 THB / £51.08Most of this is material for my sewing course. It also includes a Kindle copy of the book Doughnut Economics.
Blog1,115 THB / £24.79I bought a course on Pinterest, but haven’t really started implementing the strategy

Savings rate:

59% (January – September 2018 goal = 60%)

Doh! I just missed the goal. I was so sure May was going to be a stellar month for savings given how much I had my nose to the grindstone and was pretty much a hermit. But I guess buying the Shanghai flights sent me over. With my poor 37% savings rate from last month, I’m definitely on track to missing my overall goal of 60%. I’m not going to beat myself up about it though. I know I’m doing my best to balance saving with living a comfortable lifestyle.

Net Worth:

Up 14.8% from December 2017 (2018 Goal = 20%)

My pension and ISA continued to grow steadily, and I’m still making my monthly payments to my student loan. I’ll hopefully grow my net worth by at least 20% by September, but from then on it will decline, as I’ll no longer be earning (eek!)

How did May go for you? Have you been making progress towards your goals? Sound off in the comments below!

*Note on THB to GBP exchange rate: since living in Thailand, the exchange rate has ranged from a high of about 55 THB per GBP, to a low of about 42 THB (after Brexit). I’m not too fussed about using an accurate rate each month, as long I use the same rate for income and expenses. I’m using a rate of 45 THB/GBP.