Duck. Chillin

You’ve probably noticed this has been a very slow monthly update to get out, and the reasons are twofold. The first is that I’ve been ill for about 5 weeks running and have been very run down (on the mend now though finally which is good timing for the Xmas break!). The second is that we had a terrible, terrible month on the savings front and so motivation to put this out into the big wide world of the dub-dub-dub has not been all that strong!

Anyway, it happened, so here it is. I’m not actually that down about it as most of the spending is relatively justified, and I just happened to have a terrible month on the matched betting front which failed to cover the extra spending.


Let’s start with the ridiculous amount of wodge we blew last month! It was £3969.31 this month which is our second highest month of the year and puts us up to an average of £3089/month.

A non-exhaustive list of November expenses included:

  • Mortgage £1187 – The mortgage payment lord takes with one hand (September, £1448), giveth with the other (October £268) and then bloody well taketh again with it’s weird and freaky third hand this month. This pretty much evens out the payments at our normal rate over the 3 months, so it’s no big deal, I guess it’s just taken them a while to figure it out. The next month should be back down at the usual rate of just over £800 and stop messing with my monthly expenses!
  • Groceries £440 – Our highest grocery bill all year coming just at the wrong time. We have been stocking up on stuff (booze) for Christmas which partially explains this one.
  • Clothes £120 – Hmmm. Not too bad I suppose.
  • Holiday £121 – Had to pay for an extra nights stay for our holiday/friends wedding in Dubai early next year. Hotels in Dubai are expensive!
  • Going out £479 – Mrs T’s silly season started a bit earlier so she was out quite a bit last month, while I’ve taken over the baton this month. We also had a few meals out catching up with friends.
  • Tickets £171 – We bought tickets for an in all honesty very pricey Derren Brown gig, plus something else which I can’t remember. Hopefully it will be worth it (normally is with Mr Brown!)
  • DIY etc £437 – I decided to build a bespoke shelving unit during my two weeks off in November which turned out great but was fairly expensive in the end. Still, a much better result than buying some crap flatpack unit from Homebase! Costs spiralled as project scope creep ensued and I ended up not only repainting the whole of the hallway but building a shoe rack as well. See pics below!
  • Christmas & Other gifts £326 – Got most of our Xmas shopping done early this year plus we have a lot of birthdays in November to contend with as well, so yet again high expenses all round.
  • Golf £122 – A final hurrah before I take a month or two off when the weather is at its worst!
  • Children £67 – Baby T continues to be far more frugal than her parents! 🙂

Remember if you want to look at the full figures or copy my spreadsheet to use/modify yourself just have a look at it here: my awesome spreadsheet. Note: You can use this yourself, just copy it and then edit your own copy by going to File -> Make a copy OR File -> Add to my drive OR File -> Download As (then select a format to download as).



Shelving unit area before and after


And another angle


The horrendous mess that was our shoe zone before


And after! 🙂


Another poor month for income with only £3175.11 making it’s way onto the fun side of the balance sheet. This was seriously compounded my my epic Matched Betting Fail and I did well to even turn a profit in the end on the month.

A non-encyclopedic list of this months income:

  • TFS salary £2204 – My first month including the recent pay rise. Yay! (Although I am working more hours for it. Boo!)
  •  Mrs T maternity pay £547 – Well I thought last month was the final one but apparently there was one more. A nice surprise!
  • Matched betting / Secret Side Hustle £270 – As mentioned I’m quite happy to even turn a profit here. I chucked some value betting into the mix as well this month and a few of those came in which turned a decent profit, although got me banned from Coral 🙂 – 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.
  • Ratesetter £55 – This included £5 worth of interest and £50 referral fees from this post I wrote. Cheers to the lone ranger out there who signed up, much appreciated! If you want to sign up and take advantage of the £100 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 – Bwaabwabwaa-bwa bwa bwaaah bwaaaa!! (I thought I’d give you a direct quote from Baby T on that one. I have no idea what it means either but she sounded very excited about it)


savings rate, net worth, etc

As mentioned in the post title we hit a lovely negative savings rate this month of -12.59% which brings our average to 36.96% for the year.

December should be a less expensive month but there have already been a few unexpected expenditures which in all likelihood mean we’ll miss the 40% savings rate target, a shame but good to run it so close. By my back on a fag packet calculations to hit it I’d have to make about £3000 in matched betting and only spend about 1K for the month (or similar) which let’s face it, ain’t gonna happen!

A very slight nudge up for Net Worth this month:

Excluding house equity: £127,838 / +£240 / +0.19%

Including house equity: £204,355 / +£700 / +0.34%

Liquid Freedom: £59,425 / -£186 / -0.31%

Please note these figures are not from the end of November as I was extremely lazy and only sampled the investment accounts about 3 days ago, so probably won’t be much movement on the investment accounts next month.


other updates plus Xmas FI London meetup

Haven’t updated my alcohol intake in a few months so here are the last 3 to catch you all up:

  • September: 30.74 units/week
  • October: 30.94 units/week
  • November: 17.62 units/week

As usual, a little on the high side compared to what I’d honestly want.

I will do some of the usual end of year updates in January, look at how accurate our 2016 budget was and also attempt one for next year. I’ll try to make these updates a bit more visual this time round and so will include more graphs, one of which will plot my alcohol intake with total spend each month, as I have a theory that these are highly correlated 🙂

Talking of beer… there is another Financial Independence London Facebook group meet-up up this Wednesday 21st December (i.e. tomorrow!) which I am still 50/50 on going mainly due to still feeling a bit under the weather. If you want more details feel free to drop me a line or it would probably be far easier to just join the facebook group yourself if you haven’t done so already.

I’ve managed to do one short training run for the marathon which is poor but yet again I’m blaming being ill (and otherwise busy!) on this one. Looking forward to getting back into it over Xmas and into the New year though! Out of my other procrastination post tasks to attend to, I still haven’t done my tax return or any of the promised blog posts but we have sorted through the photos, which unsurprisingly turned out to be a very enjoyable task seeing how baby T has grown and developed over the year. More importantly on the marathon front I’ve started fundraising as I need to raise £700 by the end of January and £3000 in total, so good to get cracking on that one! I was toying with the idea of posting my virgin giving page on here to try to bump up the sponsorship a bit, would anyone be offended if I did? Let me know your thoughts on this one, thanks!


And that…. was my November!


How was yours?

All set for Xmas?

Overspent on presents or do you run a tight ship all year round?