A nice photo from November

 

First of all, apologies once again for such a tardy update! I had this half done in the drafts folder then the December silly season hit and chaos ensued, both by being extremely busy and by everyone in the house getting ill (multiple times) at some point of another throughout the whole of the month. We were pretty much all OK by Christmas so that was the main thing!

Second of all, and it sounds weird saying this in an update from November but I hope you all had a nice Christmas and Happy New year! I look forward to reading everyone’s NY resolutions and financial plans etc in the coming days and weeks.

Anyway, here is the late late edition of the November update.

 

expenses

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

  • Total £3301 (£3682 / £3210) – Actually not that bad although there is one caveat here which I’ll explain below.
  • Mortgage £848 (£848 / £848) 
  • Household £825 (£722 / £599) – Unsurprisingly Groceries are the main culprit for going over here
  • Going out/Holiday £491 (£997 / £750) – Again not that bad here!
  • Transport £115 (£151 / £172)
  • Personal Care £44 (£85 / £90)
  • Home/Garden £99 (£180 / £85) – We bought a new short pile 1 rug for the lounge. Long pile carpets/rugs and toddlers do not mix, that’s all I’m saying!
  • Lifestyle £257 (£222 / £165) – Clothes was higher than usual this month as I actually spent a bit of money on myself in this department! I bought a new winter coat which was much needed (and donated my old one to a charity thing for homeless people) plus a few other bits which I now can’t remember.
  • Gifts/Charity £353 (£196 / £215) – £282 of this was Christmas presents, getting organised early this year (mainly thanks to Mrs T, it has to be said)!
  • Hobbies/Sport £213 (£150 / £150) – Golf is also £90 / £90. I promise you I’m not cooking the books here :). This is really high because I joined up a local “indoor golf” simulator type of place. It’s £200 for the year which may sound a lot but the deal is actually incredible. It includes 10 1 hour private lessons which are worth a minimum of £200 anyway, plus you get credits to use for booth time privately (you are allowed to take friends) on top of that which works out at a minimum of around 10 hours, which is also worth around £200 if you did that usually. I really like the idea of being able to nip up there for an hour or so after work when it’s dark, and the lessons are just a Brucey 2 bonus. Maybe my handicap will actually start to drop finally this year!
  • Admin £0 (£4 / £10)
  • Financial £5 (£51 / £57)
  • Children £51 (£76 / £70)

The big caveat I mentioned above was that we decided to book up a holiday for February, a bit of winter sun! We haven’t been for a long haul “family” holiday for ages, I think the last time was Thailand in 2013(!?) so we bit the bullet and booked up a week in Antigua. I decided that it was fair to stick this into next years budget because we obviously didn’t budget for that this year, and the holiday is actually next year so thought it made sense. So the grand sum of £1356.06 will be added onto January 2018 spending update. I am sure some of you will be thinking a week in February for that sum is actually pretty damn cheap, and that was the other reason we decided to go for it! We booked up a nice looking but definitely lower end All Inclusive hotel (friends have been there and said it was lovely though) and my sister in law got us cheap flights through work. Also by flying a few weeks before TFS Jr turns 2, we are saving another ~£150 so. On one hand this admittedly seems quite extravagant, but on the other, it could be the cheapest holiday to somewhere like this we’ll ever be able to have, so we thought it made sense in some weird way to just go for it.

Check back with me in the Feb update after 9 hours on a plane with a toddler though and you might get a different point of view! 🙂

 

income

Figures in the same format as expenses…

  • Total £3933 +£395 Pension (£4417 / £3907) – Much higher than usual because I worked through my last 2 weeks off, so that was nice!
  • TFS Income £3154 +£395 Pension (£2554 / £2390) – See above.
  • Mrs T Income £667 (£703 / £600) – Standard again.
  • Ratesetter £7 (£19 / £0) – Still chugging along. I’ve noticed that they’ve changed the offer again. The terms are now you get a free £100 if you invest £5000 for a year. It’s a lot to stick in for a whole year but still pretty good for the free so if you’d like to avail of this offer then click on this link here (<– obviously it’s a referral link!).
  • Child benefit £82 (£82 / £82) – The gift that keeps on giving

Matched Betting / Gambling Hustles £0 (£730 / £750) – Well, after months of putting it off and balancing the books on this one it turns out the picture was actually a lot worse than I originally thought, and despite having an overall winning month in November due to the no-lay accumulators I’m still down compared to when I last checked to the tune of nearly a grand. This is essentially due to a series of rash large bets which have not paid off (the bets were good ones, but the stakes were too large), plus a slow dwindling of my Betfair golf betting funds. Again I’d like to stress this is not down to matched betting which if done properly has very little chance of losing you money. The good news is that my No Lay Accas are firing on all cylinders so far:

So I am hoping I can make up the 1000 loss pretty quickly, probably not by the end of December but at least be back “in the green” by the end of January. So there it is, I am very unlikely to make any more profit from this during 2017 and therefore won’t hit my £750/month original target… certainly a tale of two halves for the matched betting/gambling front in 2017 and also one to highlight what complacency can do (at one point I was averaging over £1500/month!!!) !!!!

I made £6,982 in the first four months of the year and then just kind of went AWOL on it until November.

November! 🙁

In any case, no point in worrying over past decisions, especially ones about silly matched betting and money, but I am now buzzing again to carry on. As usual OddsMonkey is the site I am using to find all of my no lay acca opportunities.

If anyone is interested I have been using 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!

 

savings rate, net worth and all of that shenanigans

We hit a savings rate this month of 23.73% which is not too bad all things considered, although that would have been a lot lower if including the holiday. That keeps our average for the year at 23.49% so looking far short of the 30% target I set at the start of the year. Still, at least it’s positive! I really needed to keep the matched betting profits going through out the year to hit the desired targets which is something I will bear in mind for 2018! Alternatively we could have just stuck to our spending budget, again something to get a bit tighter on next year I think.

Net worth unfortunately did this:

Excluding house equity: £152,130 / –£2,667 / -1.72%

Including house equity: £234,167 / -£2,207 / -0.93%

Liquid Freedom: £68,181 / -£2,107/ -3.00%

This represents a slight dip in the markets (I believe) and a high spending month, when taking the extra holiday spending into account which the Net Worth figures do (Remember that the savings rate figure did not).

 

Other updates

Golf Betting – The one that got away! I had a 750/1 shot in the Australian PGA golf, Jordan Zunic, who was I think 5 shots clear at one point and traded at odds on, but ended up going on to lose in a playoff. I could have traded out at that point for a clear £1000 profit from an initial stake of £2. Unfortunately this was all going on while I was tucked up in bed (although actually not really asleep, see point about TFS Jr being ill below). The following night in the final round I stayed up as late as I could but still messed up any decent trading opportunities so ended up with a rather lame £200 profit. It sounds stupid to be moaning about winning £200 but it kinda feels like I lost £800. OK, that was best case but still I should have locked in at £500, had plenty of opportunities to do so but in all honesty was too tired to think straight and make the sensible decisions! Note to self, don’t make any investment decisions after 4 hours sleep! 🙂

Hand, foot, mouth! – TFS Jr has unfortunately been ill towards the end of the month which has meant a few sleepless nights. But then we got some children’s Pirotin for the itchiness etc, which apparently “may cause drowsiness”. This turned out to be a very useful side effect! 🙂

Sky Fibre – I know destroying monthly expenses are the way to financial nirvana but this could well be the best money we’ll ever spend, and it’s only £10/month as I get a discount through work. We have shot up from an average speed of about 3-4Mbits/sec 3 up to 30Mbits/sec! Although this does bring up the annoyingly obvious point that Sky broadband’s upsell tactic seems to be to provide such crap speeds for their normal service that everyone upgrades to the Fibre!? Poor show Sky broadband!!! To give you an idea of how crap the speed we were getting before was check out this article which states that the slowest average broadband speed in the UK is 6.3Mbits/sec on the Orkney Isles. Ridiculous! 🙁 🙂

Other – I have a few other things to update about but will do a mini update in between this and the December update in a few days time so as not to make this so long as to be unreadable.

 

So I’ll see you in a few days time chums! 🙂

Notes:

  1. Is that the right word? I’m not sure. You know what I mean though!
  2. God rest his soul