May 2014 Financial Update

May 2014
FEATURED: May 2014 Financial Update

Hey there! If you’re new to Budget Breakaway, each month I reflect on the previous month’s financial progress and calculate my total earnings from side hustles. I analyse any activities that may have had an impact on my finances and check up to see how far I have climbed towards my long term goals.

In December 2014 I became debt-free and have since shifted my larger scale goals to building a three month emergency fund and saving for a 5% deposit on a help-to-buy mortgage. I share my progress with you all in order to hold myself accountable for my goals and to inspire other professionals out there to get serious with their finances.

Let’s dive into this month’s financial update…

May Update and Activities

Yet another month has flown by and I find myself sitting here with so much to tell you! In last month’s financial update I was planning my fundraising activity for Leukemia and Lymphoma research. Since then I am proud to tell you, I raised £175 by doing 175 backflips in one night! It was an exhausting experience but worth every second, if you’d like to keep the momentum going and donate to my nephew’s amazing cause, you can contribute to his Just Giving page hereThanks in advance – here’s the video documenting the event…

My First Pension Contributions

In May I also made my very first contribution to my pension pot. This is a big move for me as just six months ago I was in debt and only in control of a current account; I now have a joint account, credit card, cash ISA and a pension – so much has changed! Due to the recent changes in UK pension regulations my employer has just introduced a pension scheme into the workplace. What’s more is they’ve generously opted to match up to 3% of employee contributions! As you can probably tell, I opted to put in the full 3% each month; how could I turn down the opportunity to boost my net worth at a faster rate?! My pension is held by ‘The People’s Pension‘ – what I like about this company is the ease at which you can check your balance online and also the clear options as to where you would like to see your pension invested. Looking forward to seeing this grow over the coming months!

I Spent Two-Thirds of My Emergency Fund!

As I mentioned earlier, one of my larger scale goals is to build a three month emergency fund (£1950) in my cash ISA – well, this month I spent two-thirds of it. That’s right, it’s gone! Is it because I’m a shopaholic? A big spender? Well… not quite.

What I in fact decided to do was to pay my car insurance renewal premium in full. By doing this I actually saved £180 on my insurance over the course of the coming year! This may have been a huge swerve away from my solid plan but I stand by the decision as I know it was too big an opportunity to pass up. My monthly outgoings have now dropped considerably meaning I can also funnel more to my savings to re-build the fund as fast as I can.

Review of My Goals for May 2014

My May 2014 goals were very adventurous especially as we are still settling into our new house and although I may not have met them all I feel as though this month has been very successful!

Read and Review the Four Hour Work Week – Complete!
The Four Hour Work Week was an amazing read, so much so that I am already considering reading it again! The book really motivated in my search for a business concept that I can pursue and although I do quite have an idea yet, I do know what it looks like from a structural business perspective so am just waiting for it to hit me (after some more research of course). The Four Hour Work Week inspired me to de-clutter some of the projects and tasks that weren’t providing me with value – I even hired my first freelancer to help me! To find out more, you can read the review here.

Make £240 in Side Income – Failed.
My grand total for side hustle income for May was £112.99. In all honesty, this wasn’t the most successful month for side-hustles. The majority of the income came from marketing consulting with some coming in coaching. Next month I’ll be looking increase my marketing consulting income and diversify my income streams through freelance writing and maybe even a Fiverr gig!

Read and Review the Four Hour Body – Failed.
I was so stuck into The Four Hour Work Week that I never got around to starting this one. However, if it’s anywhere near as good as Tim’s first book I know I’m in for a treat. Each month I have read and reviewed a new book – you can see all of the book reviews here. This has been a fantastic challenge that has consistently inspired me to take action to improve my side-hustles and my finances. However, there’s only so much time in a day and I feel that I spend most of my free time learning rather than doing. With this in mind I’m going to step down from my monthly reading challenge and use more of the time to focus on my side-hustles and of course Budget Breakaway! I’ll still be reading and reviewing books but at a more leisurely pace.

Deposit £487 into my Cash ISA to Fully Fund My Emergency Fund Goal! – Failed.
As I touched on above, I spent two-thirds of my emergency fund on my annual car insurance premium; I’m confident this is a good decision and I’m going to be funding this even faster at the end of June with a view to fully fund it by the end of July. The emergency fund currently stands at £468 and has a target weight of £1950 meaning I’ll have to find two payments of £741 if I want to get it funded by the end of July.

Goals for June 2014

1. Generate £240 in Side-Hustle Income
May’s earnings were dwindling so I’ve reset my goal and this time I’m prepared and determined to achieve it. I’m looking to earn 70% of this from marketing consulting, 15% from parkour coaching and the final 15% from alternative side-hustles. I’ve even set up a gig on Fiverr to see what I can make of that platform a second time around.

2. Deposit £741 into My Cash ISA
I’m going to have to hit my side hustle target and cut my costs drastically this month in order to reach this goal. It is very important to me that the emergency fund is filled as once it is I can then start to save my mortgage deposit. Wish me luck in my quest!

3. Calculate and Track My Net Worth
Net worth has never been a big focus of mine as I have primarily been focused on clearing my debt. However, now that I’m really starting to make headway with my savings and also found other ways (such as my pension) to diversify my assets I’d like to begin tracking my net worth and also include it as part of my monthly financial updates.

I hope you all had a successful May, wishing you the best success for June. What are your goals for this month?


  1. I think you’ve done great in May – considering you’ve changed your ideas! Paying your car insurance in one is a great savings tip; we do the same although ours is in November so it’s a bit annoying being so close to the holiday season! Good luck with your June aims – it’ll be impressive if you meet your savings target; I shall be watching with interest 🙂

    • Thanks Nicola! It was an impulse decision but I think it was a good one 🙂
      Extremely determined to get my savings back together – this one is a mountain of a savings target though – I’ll keep you updated!
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Hi Joe
    Your back flips are awesome!

    You did great on your goals. It makes sense to pay your car insurance up front – the interest charges are so high.

    Good luck this month!

    • Ha! Thanks Laura!
      Really excited for the coming months, all moving costs are covered, birthdays are out the way and side hustles are stepping up – mortgage here we come!
      Thanks for stopping by!


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