After smashing a couple of high savings rate months out of the ball park it is fair to say May has been completely the opposite! I guess you could argue that we’ve found our feet with TFS Jr and all of that pent up non-going out and non-spending has been released in one mammoth spendy month. The truth is though although that may have been a contributing factor we have just had more stuff to do planned in May than in the earlier months of the year, including a trip to the Isle of Wight for the three of us which although is a nice cheap holiday it still costs *something* so it adds to the bottom line. Incidentally I was talking about the IOW trip in last months update but it was actually in May, it’s just I wrote the April update so late we’d already been and I forgot what month we were in 🙂

Anyway enough waffling, let’s see how it went down.



We spent a total of £3259.84 in May.

Eep. Slightly higher than the last couple of months which were nearer to £2000. In fact our spending has been pretty binary so far this year and has either been close to 2K or over 3K which is a bit weird! 🙂

Following are some of the “highlights” – remember you can look at the whole shebang if you are really nosey (and copy the spreadsheet for your own purposes) here.

  • Groceries £434 – well that was a good start wasn’t it? I am honestly not sure what happened here. Bought a fair few ales to drink (note to self: need to get a home brew on!) but I can’t see how we’ve spent this much, maybe has been a tracking error but I can’t be bothered to investigate and will just batten down the hatches next month! Also Baby T is getting hungrier and we’re getting through a lot more formula now, but it’s rather obvious she is not eating £100 worth of the stuff (just yet… haha)
  • Clothes £171 – There is a general theme of every category being much higher than usual – clothing is no different! Incidentally £9 of this I will admit to being mine as I bought 5 items of clothing at a car boot sale we went to. Cough cough (hello Mrs T I know you’re reading 😉 )
  • Golf £207 – Cough cough Mr T pot/kettle/black! Oh yea I was no better on my own personal spending this month. D’oh!
  • Dining and drinking £300 – We managed to have a couple of nights out (I think) but most of this was spent on dining out on our trip to IOW.
  • Holiday £382 – This was the boat to IOW and also we booked some flights to Spain to see some friends later in the year. Had the usual of Skyscanner saying the total price was just over £100 but by the time they’d added all the extras (we need to pack hold luggage now with the little on in tow) it was over double that… you know it’s going to happen but it’s still just as annoying every time you see the final price and compare it to the original estimate!
  • Beauty treatments £60 – As alluded to in the title we both treated ourselves to a pedicure. Yes I know what you are thinking… “Luxury is just another weakness!”, “Would you like a catheter to go with that?”, or perhaps just “You big pansy TFS!”. In my defence I will mention that it was obviously not one where they make your toenails look pretty; as a keen runner I have had a build up of hard skin (hopefully no one is eating this over a cheese sandwich at lunch!) in various places on my feet and it is becoming painful when I run and even walk some times. £30 each did seem rather steep, but after it had been done I felt it’s money well spent and in over 6 years of running, I felt like I could justify this expense. I certainly won’t be making a regular habit of it, I’ll try to take more care of the plates of meat as I go this time! It was also nice doing something like this together with Mrs T as we haven’t had much time to relax together in the last 6 months.
  • Gifts – other £142 – It was actually Mrs T’s birthday in May but as well as a couple of presents the main event was a nice family meal out. As we have been feeling very grateful recently and have received a lot (even more than usual) of support from our close family we decided to treat everyone to the bill. Money well spent I say 🙂
  • Running £39 – I’ve entered the ballot for the 2017 London Marathon! Yes the memory of the pain from the last one in 2011 has finally receded enough for me to have another stab at it.
  • Children £74 – Baby T continues to costs really very little which is at least one good bit of news in the budget this month. Mum & Dad need to take a leaf out of her book going forward 🙂



We pulled in a total of £3597.64 in May which means annoyingly as our expenses went up our income has gone this month. I didn’t much time to do much matched betting and side hustlin’ and also Mrs T is now down to statutory maternity pay – which is still a decent wedge and is tax free, so not complaining about that! – but it’s just a fact it is lower than her full time pay was.

Our regular income was boosted this month by:

  • Sold stuff £31 – We sold some baby stuff which we bought and hardly ever used. It’s good to keep on top of this sort of things to free up both cupboard space and money!
  • Matched betting £137 – Very slow month this month, did a couple of bet365 reload offers but not much else. I’m also trialling out a new method which boosts earnings slightly which I will do a post about soon, but the profits on this are a month in arrears so won’t show up till next month.
  • Secret side hustle £509 – Again less time to spend on this means I made less on it. Simple as that really! But still, an extra monkey each month on this would still be very welcome if I could do that throughout the year.
  • Child benefit £82 – Cheers tax payers 1!


savings rate and net worth

As you can guess a high expense and lower income month does not equal a high savings rate and this was born out with a final rate of:



silly savings rate memes


However better news on Net Worth which jumped up nicely:

Excluding house equity: £107,970 / +£3,304 / +3.16%

Including house equity: £181,727 / +£3,304 / +1.85%

I mentioned about not being able to access my pension pot details last month and I have chased that up at work and in fact won’t find this out until October(!!!). This is because my company got sold a while back and apparently it takes that long to transfer over all the pension pots to the new company pension provider. Something tells me there is a gap in the market here for a company that can provide this service in a time scale in less than measured in months, there’s a free idea for any pension provider company execs reading 2. So this means that the Net Worth figures are estimates for now and although are probably higher I’d obviously rather estimate lower and it will likely bump up considerably when October comes around.


other updates

Work continues to be pretty decent, and the buzz of the new office hasn’t worn off yet. I’ve been for a few lunchtime runs along the Thames – very pleasant, and we’ve found a squash club nearby so will start to play that again. I think I’m going to be woefully out of breath as haven’t played for ages! We celebrated Mrs T’s birthday and had the trip to the IOW, and I’m slowly making my way through the mammoth list of “small jobs” I have to do around the house and garden. The sun decides to shine… sometimes. Overall life is good 🙂

I’ve planted a load of seeds in our flower beds for both flowers and veggies so hopefully the garden will look nice and colourful in about a months time. Better late than never! The most interesting of which was a red hot poker plant (two actually) I got at the car boot sale we went to, you can see the small plants in the picture at the top of the post.


blog stuff

I got my first proper nasty blog comment the other day. I won’t print it out here and certainly wouldn’t publish it, but it was seriously deranged. Apparently the person seemed to have an issue with me using affiliate links on one of my posts (despite me clearly indicating it was one). Apparently this is scamming people to make money rather than recommending a service and using the legitimate links provided by said company. They threatened to report me to the company providing the affiliate link… duh, why do you think they provide those links? Yes they actually want you to use them and spread the word! The person also left a fake name and email address… the true hallmark of someone who is very big and brave and definitely not a sad internet troll, I think we’ll all admit.

Anyway overall this small event made me happy as if attracting the nutters isn’t the true sign of success on the internet then I don’t know what is. I can finally say that I’ve made it as a blogger 🙂

It’s actually come up before about using affiliate links on here in the comments (but in a much more civilised manner I hasten to add) so can I ask does anyone actually have a problem with them? I don’t see the issue myself but maybe I am biased as I am a blogger. What do you readers think? And other bloggers have you ever had people complaining about them before? Thanks for any input you can provide!

On a lighter note the blog has been added to a website called FI Assembly 3 which is an aggregator of all the best  😉  FI blogs out there! Thanks to Alex for adding me on there!

Apart from that I don’t seem to have had much time for online activities which although not the end of the world means I have an ever growing list of blog post drafts (well… more like rough sketches yet to be filled out) and lists of things “to do”. This is my last week in the office then I have 2 weeks off so hopefully I can pump through a few posts then! I have so much to write about:

  • My thoughts on Matched Betting (probably about 3 posts worth of stuff on this)
  • The House Crowd
  • P2P lending
  • Book review of Post Capitalism* 4 by Paul Mason (if you can’t wait for the review just go and read it, it’s really good!)
  • Lot’s of rants stored up in my brain 🙂


You can rest easy though… whatever happens I guarantee you I won’t be writing about Brexit 🙂


Happy June to you all!


  1. a.k.a. me!
  2. I realise there must be a fair bit of red tape to get through but over 6 months… I mean come on!?!?!
  3. Great name but surely FIRE Assembly would have been a better pun though? 🙂
  4. This page contains affiliate link(s)to amazon,each one is brought to your attention with the ‘*’ denotation. What is an affiliate link you ask?! OK well it’s fairly basic… If you click through and then subsequently buy anything (not just the originally linked product) on amazon I may receive a small fee, which will help to support theFIREstarter blog. The key thing is that it will not cost you anything extra to use these links, although don’t go clicking on them willy nilly just because it may help me! If you think you will find the product/service useful and do click through, then a sincere “thank you” for your support.