february update – dubai debauchery and happy birthday baby TFS!
The little one turned one in February, don’t they grow up fast!?
Don’t worry, we haven’t gone crazy and given her tonnes of money for her birthday present (she would just eat it if left alone for more than about 30 seconds!), I’ll explain why we’re flush with notes a bit later.
Before we get into the update a quick roll call of those who’ve sponsored me for the marathon in the last month:
Thank you ever so much! 🙂
If you’d like to join the ranks of the virtuous then here is the link to my page (again!), and if you leave a comment, please keep mentions of the blog to #tfs or cheeky nudge nudge wink wink say no more references to “fire” etc… as the others have done… cheers 🙂
Onto the financiaaaaaaaaals!!!!
OK so I’m going to add in an extra figure now as I think comparing any given monthly expense to an average yearly target seems a bit silly. So we’ll add in the 2017 monthly average figure and have it in the following format:
£Current Month (£2017 Monthly Average / £Monthly Average Target)
- Total £3474 (£3555 / £3120) – Not too bad considering very high holiday expenses this month. Should drop considerably over the next 2 months!
- Mortgage £848 (£848 / £848)
- Household £494 (£582 / £599) – No council tax in Feb… saviour! It looks like the huge increase in lettuce prices has wreaked havoc on our groceries budget 🙂 as we’re slightly over again on that again, although we also hosted a birthday party and a few other things at ours.
- Going out/Holiday £1474 (£1162 / £750) – Woah! Dubai is freaking expensive. That is all I am saying!
- Transport £52 (£54 / £172)
- Personal Care £91 (£125 / £69) – Haircuts and stuff like for that for the wedding/holiday (not for me, obvs!)
- Home/Garden £22 (£19 / £85)
- Lifestyle £187 (£194 / £165) – Clothes were expensive again this month as Mrs T “had to” 😉 re-cloth herself for going back to work apparently. I am expecting a big drop next month as surely you can’t need that many clothes to do 2 days a week. (I really hope she isn’t reading this… haha)
- Gifts/Charity £97 (£150 / £215) – A few moving in gifts for friends and more baby’s birthdays. Jeez, these babies do well for themselves don’t they!?
- Hobbies/Sport £130 (£125 / £150) – An expensive one for golf for me as I played 9 holes in Dubai which cost me £75. Yes you read that right, that is seventy five British Pounds Sterling. That is approximately £8 per hole. Looking back I am not sure it was worth it but I doubt we’ll be going back any time soon, it gave me something to do whilst being horrendously hungover after the wedding, and, well, you know, YOLO.
- Admin £0 (£0 / £10)
- Financial £5 (£239 / £57)
- Children £73 (£57 / £70) – Mainly bits for the holiday so quite an expensive month for the little one.
A continued tough start to the year but with a few relatively clear months coming up I’m hoping we can start to beat these averages soon.
I’ll do the same here with monthly averages as we did for expenses…
- Total £3805 (£3644 / £3663) – Slightly behind on the projected average but should be well ahead after next month. I think maybe I’ve set the “target” a bit low as we’ve nearly hit it after what should be our two lowest income months on the year… I may well revise this to keep us striving for more!
- TFS Income £2351 (£2232 / £2140) – Slightly higher due to low commuting costs this month, and so ahead of projections, which is nice.
- Mrs T Income £0 (£0 / £600) – No holiday pay appeared this month! The good news is next month will be a double pay day for Mrs T – pay from the old job and her first pay check from the new job, which should hopefully produce a really decent savings rate next month (and boy do we need it after getting pummelled for 4 months straight!!!)
- Solar Panels £ (£39 / £45)
- Refunds £18 (£16 / £0)
- Gambling hustles £1340 (£1228 / £750) – Another great month for my gambling side hustles. I got lucky with winning a few actual bets this month which boosted the coffers somewhat, but also did some grinding out of some usual matched betting stuff and did a few casino offers – 888 casino have a really good reload offer on (something about lucky Irish promotion – check their site for it and full T&Cs!) which you can reload on every day until 17th March. If you don’t have an account yet I highly recommend you sign up and follow my advice here on how to make the most of it – it is really, really, easy money. I also started getting involved in a few bingo offers… who’d ever have thought it eh!? –> If anyone is interested I use Odds Monkey matched betting software (<–affiliate link) for this, which having tried a few different ones out there, I found to be a far superior product in pretty much every way to everything else I tried. Check it out if you are new to matched betting, there are loads of great tutorials to get you going and you can try it for free.
- Child benefit £82 (£82)
Overall a good month for income, mainly helped by the matched betting/gambling stuff.
savings rate, net worth and all that palaver
An increase from the previous 3 months (not particularly hard) but with a high expense month I’m pretty happy we hit a 17.28% savings rate.
Net worth received a nice bump due to some sort of market uprising (I presume at least, as I haven’t checked it all month… That’s PIP for you – Passive Investor Power!!!!), as many of our investment accounts seem to have risen by about 5%:
Excluding house equity: £137,036 / +£3,958 / +2.97%
Including house equity: £214,933 / +£4,418 / +2.10%
Liquid Freedom: £61,692 / £680 / +1.11%
Onwards and upwards which is all good!
Our month was dominated by two events, one of which was the spendy wedding towards the end of the month (great fun, but expensive) and the other was the running of a race night to help raise money for the charity (Young Epilepsy) I am running the London Marathon for. I am pleased to report it was a great success and we raised a total of…. drum roll peerrrrllleasse…..
This absolutely blew everyone’s socks off including my charity contact who was over the moon. People had lots of fun on the night and were very generous as well so it seemed like a win-win. If anyone is ever doing some fund raising and has a similar target I would thoroughly recommend a race night (if you don’t know what a race night is read here for more info) as it was a great way to get people putting their hands in their pockets.
And that clears up why Baby T got to play with a fistful of notes – for about 15 seconds. Actually the new five pound notes are unsurprisingly very baby friendly, although worth washing first as not sure where they been!
Alcohol – It was never going to be great what with staying in an all-inclusive hotel for 5 days, but I came in at a somewhat respectable 25.36 units/week.
Dubai – What can I say? It is a very weird place. If you haven’t been there I would literally just describe it as a huge mountain of concrete in the middle of the desert, and everything is BIG. It was great for the wedding as we all stayed in the same hotel, which made things very relaxed… perfect! But there didn’t seem to be much else there apart from buildings and shopping malls, so I don’t think we’ll be going back there any time soon. It’s a wealthy persons playground, and I mean super wealthy, not someone shooting for a modest 6 figure FI nest egg wealthy. It is an exceptional feat of human engineering that so many people live there and don’t starve/dehydrate to death, and the buildings, especially the ole Burj Khalifa, are very impressive though, I have to admit:
Erm… is that a cloud on your head Mr Burj!?
win a finance book!
Finally as a reward for reading this far…
Publishers Wiley have been kind enough to send me a copy of The Millionaire Teacher, written by Andrew Hallam! I will have to admit though that I have had zero time to read even one page of this book which is a shame as it does sound pretty good! I can’t see my time situation changing any time soon 1, so rather than horde it and pretend to myself I’ll review it properly one day I have decided to give it away to one lucky reader. OK brain how are we going to do this?
*Need to come with some shallow mechanic to give book away*
*Something about getting more twitter followers… I love twitter followers, feed me twitter followers!!!*
OK so basically if you tweet/retweet this post (using the twitter share button at the foot of the page) and follow me within the next week I will add you to the hat and pick out a random winner this Sunday evening. Let’s add a funny and relevant hashtag in for a laugh… let’s say…
If you tweet without the hashtag and/or don’t follow me 2 your entry will NOT be counted, sorry but dems da roolz 😉
Good luck people and Happy March (Especially the Matched Bettors out there… Cheltenham time!)
Finally some more pics from Dubai
Ridiculously sized Dubai Mall!
Which had a ridiculously sized aquarium in it!
The only thing I saw that I wanted to buy in there 😉
More big buildings! We stayed in the one on the left – 60 stories high, it was probably about half the size of the Burj!
Ah… that’s better! 🙂