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  • Writer's pictureYorkshire Finances

May 2023 - New Personal Best: 53% Savings Rate!

May’s spending and saving report is a solid win for my savings rate, mainly due to some additional income in the form a tax rebate from the good folk at HMRC.

I am a higher rate taxpayer, and Mrs Yorkshire Finances claims child benefit, so I’d have to fill out self-assessments anyway (to pay back all that child benefit), but because I pay a significant amount into a SIPP – I’m usually in receipt of a large payment when claiming back my higher rate tax on those pension contributions.

This year the rebate was just over £1,100 which makes May’s savings rate much healthier. For a 53.1% savings rate, I’d file a self-assessment tax return every month!

Unexpected costs reared their head this month; I had to endure some dental work and a round of antibiotics thanks to an infection over a wisdom tooth. The tooth itself is fine, it’s the flap of gum over it which caused the problem.

I’m really hoping that this doesn’t happen again - apart from the expense, and the enormous hassle of getting an emergency dental appointment (seriously, I almost had to cry down the phone to get seen the same day), the pain was ridiculous – I like to consider myself very rational man, but after enduring a few hours of that pain, I definitely wasn’t thinking rationally.

According to my dentist, the only option for a permanent fix is a wisdom tooth extraction – but that feels like an over-reaction: a fairly brutal procedure to get rid of a tooth which is otherwise perfectly sound – all because of a small bit of gum? If anyone’s gone through something similar, I’d value your advice.

Another cost which has made its way back onto my tracker is a monthly sports massage – I treat this painful but ultimately helpful hour a month as £60 well-invested into preventative maintenance on my poor abused body.

This month’s grocery bill has been smaller than usual, but that’s offset by the amount we’ve spent on eating out and getting takeaways! It would be fair to say that I’ve not so much fallen off the wagon with my diet, as dived off it.

I really do need to get myself back under some sort of control – can’t have all that hard work on the bike undone by persistent over-eating!

The trigger for this almost self-destructive behaviour has been a rough couple of months of repeated illness in the house, and a stressful time at work. It’s not often that I find myself losing sleep over something happening in the office, but I have been recently.

For me, times like this are a reminder of why I’m sacrificing so much in the short term for the goal of financial independence and early retirement. I recognise that working at this level takes a toll on me, and that that burden falls on my family too.

I’m under no illusions that being able to walk away from full time work will magically make my life perfect. I’m very aware that my baseline level of happiness and contentment isn’t likely to change in the long-term just because I’ve been able to escape the 9-5 grind. But I am confident that I’d be more resilient when faced with a few rough weeks, if I weren’t also stressed about a job.

How do you handle stress? Do you reach for a bottle, or like me – a menu? Or is there a mythical way of handling what life throws at you?

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