To close the year 2015, let’s review the expenditure and revenue for Dr. Minimal December.
Review of expenses: -3,112€
Real estate, Housing: -370€
326€ for my share of the loan payment, the rest goes for the electricity and the house insurance.
525€ of “residence tax”1 for the previous house I was renting. I have the privilege of not having TV, which has a double benefit:
- I have way more free time than the average French dude
- I don’t have to pay a TV license2
Vehicles, transports: -50€
50€ of public transport, to split between my monthly subscription and the use of public transports in the cities where we moved during the holidays.
Leisure, sports: -105€
Major expenses are the gym subscription and the purchase of a word processor (Ulysses), which is formidable to draft the articles of this blog.
Outings, trips: -1,291€
The largest budget for this month, which is explained in part by the holidays for which we have crossed France in every detail. A zoom is required.
Airplane / Train / Boat… : -1,044€
1,000€ of plane and train tickets. This huge amount of money went to the purchase of tickets for an incoming three-weeks trip to Asia and another trip with friends in an Eastern Europe country for a few days in May. Hopefully, we will come back later on these adventures.
Restaurants, parties: -170€
Mostly vaccines (not reimbursed) for the aforementioned trips.
Everyday life: -701€
A shockingly high budget of about 24€/day of food, internet access, mobile plan and… gifts! 310€ worth of gifts, to be precise. From which 225€ were not planned. It will take me some time to find the words to explain the 225€ engulfed by an object sold by one of the largest temples of consumption. But it is more an investment in a person that really matters to me than an expense.
That’s it for the main expenses of December 2015. In conclusion: a balanced housing budget, taxes reduced to their minimum (no TV tax), high travel expenses for the preparation of two trips for the year 2016, and elevated everyday expenses because of an unexpected gift.
Review of December incomes: 2,732€
Salary of 2,194€, 300€ of gifts (an almost perfect balance between the gifts I offered and the gifts I received), 144€ of rental income after listing my flat on AirBnb for the holidays, and 93€ of interest earned on my “Livret A”3 for 2015.
December was a large deficit for Dr. Minimal’s finances, with a cash flow 4 of -380€. Before throwing stones at me, lets put some things in perspective. While the spending of 225€ seems unjustifiable (it is - justifiable), among the expenses of December we have 525€ in housing tax and 1,044€ for plane / train tickets that are not at all December specific: they should be smoothed over 12 months, with 44 € / month for housing tax, 87 € / month for travel. Considering this, we get a cash flow of +1,058€! If December 2015 was not Dr. Minimal’s ideal model of frugality, it is not actually that bad either!
But you’re right: we are reviewing December 2015, not the year 2015 as a whole, so there is no reason to talk about smoothing. There’s just an ugly negative cashflow. You may now throw your stones.
a French tax, equivalent of the property tax but applied on the tenant. ↩
believe it or not, but in France you have to pay for the right to have a TV in your home. I really can’t get it. ↩
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livret_A a French remunerated saving account. ↩
difference between spending and income. ↩