My October - November Budget - 40% saved compared to last month!

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I estimated a couple of weeks ago (here) that moving to Portugal would enable me to reduce my total monthly expenditure by around 40%, and now I've got the data, I'm very pleased to announce that my estimate was spot on!

I've just used a 1-1 EU to £ conversion. It's pretty bang-on ATM.

October - November 2020 budget breakdown

October  November Budget .png

  • Total October - November = £1180
  • Includes -£420 income from renting the house
  • Compared to my standard UK expenditure = £1600 a month (- £100 I usually save, which I forgot to add in above!)

NB in the stats above I've included an anticipated nearly £200 a month that I'll be paying in tax - I had planned on just paying this all in one lump sum like usual, but I've decided to opt for the monthly payments now that's an option (it wasn't before Covid).

I haven't included that in the 40% comparison above as I've never factored in my tax contributions before to my outgoings, rather I've always just and the money put by already to pay it!

Rent and bills

This is my biggest win this month! I've talked about my basic life set up before, and it's basic, but beautiful - and for under £300 I've got a great deal! I can't imagine I'll be paying more than £20 a month for electricity/ contribution to the water, maybe a tad more (bore hole pumps are expensive so that might be fair enough!)

Gas and food

I'm estimating £20 on gas for heating on average. I'll probably be spending nearer £50 in Jan and Feb, but not at all in late spring/ summer/ most of autumn, and somewhere in between the rest of the time. It's around 1-2 a day I need it ATM for example.

Maybe £180 is a lot on food>? I could probably do better, but then again, it's FOOD damn it! I likes my food. I told myself a long time ago that scrimping on quality of food is something I'm very reluctant to do.

NB Having said that I'm not a food snob, I don't buy the very best of everything - I'm more middle way kind of guy where food is concerned.

Also food I tend to buy using my card, which has a 3% transaction fee - I have a fee-free card on the way, so that will immediately reduce my food costs by £5 - which helps a little (much better than Tesco rewards points!)

The car

I need it around here - £100 a month for fuel and maintenance and tax/ insurance I think is a fair estimate. Although given the state of the roads and the hills around here, this could well end-up being more.

I'm not including the cost of getting in legal for Portugal - that's a one off. I'm kind of anticipating having to take my car in for a Portuguese MOT in early spring, so I'll get a major service done then. I've got several hundreds of pounds put by for that already, not included in my monthly contributions above.

Yes, I know cars are expensive, one has to be honest with oneself here!

I'm half tempted to get a little 4 wheel off road buggy, I've seen a few around, and just save my car for longer trips.... could be fun too!

£50 for my 4G here in Portugal and my phone

I might get the 4G for £5 cheaper IF I know I'm defo staying for a year and can just pay a year up front, I'm keeping my UK phone whatever, that's cheap!

Subs and other

Subs is my work subscriptions - mainly the platforms I use to sell my resources.

'Other', well I've bound to have missed something, and there's plenty of small little expenditures that I'm finding I need to make - a bin and a couple of hooks for my jackets yesterday for example, it all adds up!


This is a great big pain the ass - the tax I'm due to pay is the pre-covid tax year, and I had a pretty decent year so it's a large-ish tax bill.

I might pay a few hundred quid up front and then the rest monthly. At least I've got the option. Also, I've got the money in the bank, I could pay this anytime, but there's not much point really. May as well keep it invested for a little longer.

Mortgage on the UK house etc.

Again I've about becoming a landlord previously. It is a bit of a downer having to subsidise the house to the tune of £400, but my income's held up for the last month, so it's affordable ATM, and long may that continue!

Coffee is gone!

Previously take out coffee could be up to £80 a month for me, but now no more - they don't really do take outs around here - and I'm not generally one to sit around in coffee shops on my own when I can't talk to anyone as I don't speak the language.

I buy several packs of ground coffee a month though, and don't worry I get at least 2 brews on a day!

Final thoughts

I guess I should be happy that my outgoings have reduced my 40%, however these expenditures are pretty marginal compared to my income - I don't have a great deal left over to spunk on BTC unfortunately.

However, this month is still a transitional month, and I do have plans afoot to reduce my outgoings still further, with the eventual land purchase, and I could extend my mortgage, so I've go options!

I just have to be a bit of a tight wad in the meantime.

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Maybe £180 is a lot on food

That is a lot for food, do you shop at Waitose or Iceland?

It was an estimate - it may well be less!

Waitrose, the class police have always blocked me from entering!

80 on take out coffee...eventhough I get it and when you are on the road it is just so attractive to do, but when you put it lke this compared to you other costs, that is ridiculous chunk actually ;)

Or more - if you just buy one a day for a month, it could well be £130!

You know coffee in a Portuguese cafe/ bar/ restaurants costs around 60 cents? ;<)

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I know I've had a few, it's pretty amazing really.

My local bakery/ cafe is actually really nice, I can see myself hanging out there a bit in the future, I've just been focusing on mundane chores these past few weeks!

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I think they'll reduce even further with time, especially the mortgage part, all always seems to be the most important.

I never compromise on food too. Quantity yes, but quality, never.

I agree, food is a kind of special category for sure!