Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s fantastic version of the optimistic tune ‘Let The Day Begin‘ [originally by The Call] was a great way to bring in 2017. BRMC’s reverberating cover is more to my taste than the original and was included on the Spectre At The Feast album in memory of their singer/guitarists father and band mentor, Michael Been.
Here’s to the babies in a brand new world
Here’s to the beauty of the stars
Here’s to the travellers on the open road
Here’s to the dreamers in the bars
The song reflected my mood of waking up eager for each day to begin. Mr BOTRA has returned to work for another eleven weeks and so my days are free for me to structure in the way I want to and I am enjoying the liberation of not being tied to the work laptop and phone. If I waste a day doing nothing there will be no one to tick me off. Of course, I have articles to write, people to see, trips to plan and litter to pick up but I do these all out of choice and no one will be performance managing me, except myself.
It is January and so it is also time to sum up our finances for 2016. Mr BOTRA and I had a joint income for 2016 of £36, 747. We spent this in the following ways [2015 figures in brackets]:
- Groceries 7% [8%]
- Concerts, theatre and meals out 7% [6%]
- Bills for the flat & running the campervan 12% [20%]
- Holidays & campsites 14% [12%]
- Everything else [gifts, clothes, stuff, public transport & healthcare] 19% [18%]
- Savings 41% [36%]
We have made some good savings on our electricity and gas bills by moving provider to Ovo, on our broadband by changing to Hyperoptic [although we got a new customer deal and so this will no doubt be more expensive next year] and we saved on our house insurance through the Caravan Club. Fortunately, our two year old Renault campervan hasn’t needed any maintenance.
We are happy that we spent £23,603 on our living expenses during the year as this means our budget of £27,000 for our first year of retirement is looking realistic.