I’m back with a full report this month after slacking off a bit after the last couple, so we’ve got a bit more to get our teeth into!

We still had quite high expenses this month (although nowhere near as bad as in June) but income more than offset that so achieved a decent savings rate after all. Check out “the deets” below…


Remember the figures below are in the format: £Current Month (£2017 Monthly Average / £Monthly Average Target)

  • Total £3327 (£3624 / £3210) – With 7 months gone, we’re still quite a way over budget for the year, and need a good couple of months that are under £3K if we are to bring this down. The good news (on the spending front at least) is that we have no more big holidays planned although we have a stag, a hen and a week away with my family (which should be pretty cheap in all fairness) in October. Either way its going to be tight if we are to get back under budget with an average of £2630 left per month to spend for the next 5 months. Honestly, I don’t think we’ll do it but it’s something to aim for at least 🙂

  • Mortgage £848 (£848 / £848) – At least somethings on target 😉
  • Household £687 (£666 / £599) – Only thing of note here was a hefty mobile bill due to data roaming charges whilst in France the previous month. Have to say the messages received from Orange here were very confusing and it made it sound like we were getting free data but then apparently we were not… Le tete de merdes!
  • Going out/Holiday £899 (£1128 / £750) – Way over average budget here but as mentioned the major holidays are done with so should see this creep back down to budget over the next few months. Stuff we did this month included a cousins wedding, a day out to the BST concert at Hyde park to see the Killers (amongst others) which was a late birthday present for me, a work leaving do, a charity race day at Lingfield for the people who ran the marathon for Young Epilepsy (cheers YE crew!), a day out to Wimbledon tennis on mens quarter finals (to see Murray get knocked out, boo!) as well as other stuff if you can actually believe we fitted any more in than that… we somehow did! So it was busy to say the least but hella fun.
  • Transport £433 (£168 / £172) – Car insurance was the major one here, but even after that we’re under the budget target for the year somehow. Which is great! We stuck with Tesco insurance again as they were by far the cheapest when I checked on a comparison website. Has anyone else found a cheaper insurer? Would be interesting to find out.
  • Personal Care £69 (£88 / £90) – As usual not much to say here.
  • Home/Garden £12 (£79 / £85) – Roughly on target here, after I bought a few shrubs/bushes to “green up” our garden over the last few months, as it’s looking rather bare – it seems any flowers we buy are dying as we are rubbish gardeners, so gone for some “hardy perennials” this time around! Also this category most probably will blow our budget this year because the decking is collapsing and it’s made us realise we don’t even like it, so I’m going to rip it all up, see what’s underneath and probably lay some patio and extra turf, plus a few added extras no doubt to make it all look pretty. This should make it much more child friendly as well! Honestly don’t know what the cost of all of this will be yet but I’m thinking budget around £2000 – hopefully less, but that’s what I’m thinking is top of the range right now pre-any research whatsoever. Either way whatever we spend here is an extra expense we didn’t plan at the start of the year, so I won’t use it in the comparisons to budget, although will obviously count it as an expense in the monthly budgets and end of year expenses report.
  • Lifestyle £105 (£200 / £165) – Trending back down to average here which is nice.
  • Gifts/Charity £129 (£149 / £215) – Not much going on here as usual but we’re going to donate a big chunk of money in August so prepare to see this shoot up next report!
  • Hobbies/Sport £89 (£164 / £150) – I had another big (as in expensive) golf event in May but since then we’ve decided that these events are not going to take place in their current format. So this will mean my golf budget will likely go down for the rest of the year, which is good!
  • Admin £0 (£2 / £10)
  • Financial £5 (£75 / £57) – The average is now nearly back down to what it should be after that horrendous tax bill in January!
  • Children £31 (£78 / £70) – Young TFS is still £8 over budget… still not bad though 🙂


Figures in the same format as expenses…

  • Total £6168 +£395 Pension (£4560 / £3907) – Beating target easily, due to it being bonus month for me. Please note I’ve upped the target here because now I’ve got my bonus I have added roughly what I received to the target. I previously didn’t include it because A) I didn’t know what I was going to get, and B) It is largely out of my control as to whether we get one or not, so to have it as part of a target seems pointless. But now I’ve got it, it needs to go in otherwise it would make the income target really easy to hit if I left it out. Hope that reasoning makes sense! Also I’ve started to add in the +£395 Pension on this figure so people can actually see the savings rate below makes sense, as I kept getting questions about that.
  • TFS Income £4812 +£395 Pension (£2568 / £2390) – Again target has gone up here (see above).
  • Mrs T Income £667 (£705 / £600) – Looks like I’ve underestimated Mrs T’s annual income, which is nice.
  • Solar Panels £252 (£61 / £45) – Thank you solar panels and the heat wave in June!
  • Cashback Credit Cards £4 (£24 / £8) – The most exciting thing was actually last month where we got £153 cashback from our American Express platinum cashback card which pays 1.25% on practically all purchases. If you sign up via TopCashback (<– Referral Link) you also get £25 cashback as well!
  • Ratesetter £16 (£13 / £0) –This is actually the intersest earned over the last 3 months, I just didn’t bother checking it until now. If you want to sign up and take advantage of the £50 sign up bonus which is still ongoing, use this link here(<– obviously it’s a referral link!) or read my post on it for more info.
  • Child benefit £82 (£82 / £82)

Matched Betting / Gambling Hustles £321 (£1043 / £750)

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. One of the best things about it is the Forum/Community aspect as you can learn loads of new and interesting ways to profit from gambling that aren’t just your standard “Do offer, lay off, get free bet, lay off, win £3.50” type of, let’s face, quite boring, time consuming and laborious matched betting methods. Some of these methods are what helped me to have a bumper Cheltenham 2017! Now, back to the update!

After smashing my target into oblivion I then had a few months off and so am coming back down to flirting with going back under target! To make things worse, I had a technique that was netting me an easy £150 per month per account which provided a large bulk of my profits, which has now been gubbed, so I’m going to have to work even harder to achieve this figure. However with the football season back in full swing this weekend, I am sure I can do it! In reality the above profit is actually from the last 3 months, as have been doing a bit of betting, winning and losing of course, and it overall worked out as a small profit of just over £300. A couple of bets of note included:

  • Alex Noren Top 10 in the Open Championship golf at 20/1 (should have been about 4/1!) – can’t believe the bookie actually paid out here but they did. The bookie was Bwin in case anyone was wondering, they seem good at honouring price ricks so are one to watch out for on the OddsMonkey price matcher if you just want to find a decent value bet to back, whereas others will just update the price when they notice their mistake. They also had Henrik Stenson at 200/1 for a top 5 which again should have been about 5/1. Just a 4000% error on the price on that one! Luckily for them he was 2 shots off the bet copping but in all honesty I doubt they’d have paid out on that one as it was such a blatant error, but alas, we’ll never know!
  • I saw the momentum for Labour quite early and got on a hung parliament at 9/1. I never usually bet on Politics so this was a nice win!


savings rate, net worth and all of that hogwash

As usual it could have been a lot better but, I’ll settle with a savings rate of 49.43%, which gets our average back up to 26.86% for the year. We’re aiming for 30% though so still some work needed!

Net worth went up nicely but bear in mind this is mainly because I haven’t checked all of my accounts for 3 months 🙂

Excluding house equity: £146,923 / +£5,870 / +4.16%

Including house equity: £227,120 / +£6,330 / +2.87%

Liquid Freedom: £69,035 / £3,661 / +5.60%

Investment accounts seem to have had about a £2,000 boost in the last 3 months which is nice!

I really am starting to see the benefits of a “set it and forget it” mindset. I used to check what was going on a lot and although it is fun, it can also be a bit stressful and in all honesty it is a bit of a waste of time if you are just pumping money into a global index fund. The liquid freedom fund is looking healthy, having gone up nearly £20,000 since the start of the year, so I think it is time to start funneling money towards some more investments again. However with markets at all time highs yet again I am finding it tough to make the mental leap into doing this. Any advice here welcome! Shall I JFDI or shall I look for some alternative investments instead? Maybe Property Moose or Funding Circle? Although I do feel like everything is linked, if the stock market crashes we’ll no doubt have a housing and P2P lending crash as well as default on the loans shoot up… so there is no real safe haven here. Agh!


And that was my July folks…

How was yours?