A nice sunset over the Cotswolds in October


Well hello there. It’s been too long!

No posts in between this and the last monthly update! A poor show on my part I will admit, but as usual it’s been a busy month and on top of that, the 3 of us have all been ill at some point or another (TFS Jr and myself still ongoing)

So it’s been hard to get my brain in any kind of gear to want to do extra curricular activities.

Anyway excuse time is over, let’s see what we got up to this month…


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

  • Total £3606 (£3720 / £3210) – We are now within £1K of hitting the yearly budget figure with 2 months left to go! So yea…that’s not happening. Projections will put us around £5K over so it will be interesting to do a post mortem once the year is up and see where we can plug the leaky ship.
  • Mortgage £848 (£848 / £848)
  • Household £774 (£712 / £599) – Groceries the main culprit again, we are averaging £412 a month on that now!
  • Going out/Holiday £906 (£1048 / £750) – Holiday was actually pretty cheap at just £252 spent for the week, and it was also thoroughly enjoyable. The Cotswolds, what a splendid part of the country! We will definitely be going back at some point to explore more of it. Going out was pretty high because we had another hen/stag – part two of my bro-in-law and sister-in-law to be’s celebrations. Yes people have to have 2 stag do’s nowadays don’t you know anything?! 1. In addition we paid up front for the rooms at the actual wedding which is next month which are obviously an arm and a frigging leg as well.
  • Transport £67 (£154 / £172) – Still slightly under target here now!
  • Personal Care £119 (£90 / £90) – Bang on target!
  • Home/Garden £64 (£188 / £85) – Bedside lamps both went conk and I couldn’t fix them (i.e. it wasn’t a fuse replacement job…) plus something else that I can’t remember
  • Lifestyle £265 (£219 / £165) – For some reason we went a bit crazy on the takeaways this month! Plus slightly higher than usual clothes spend yet again due to getting some wedding bits.
  • Gifts/Charity £426 (£153 / £215) – Wedding present paid for (we paid for the DJ, who is awesome by the way as we had him at our wedding. Big ups DJ Carl!!!) and also quite ridiculously we bought tickets for each others birthdays next year to go see Bruno Mars. How organised is that?! Just have to remember to not buy anything else when the actual birthdays come around hehe.
  • Hobbies/Sport £59 (£144 / £150) – Golf season totally wound down now and my other hobbies of squash and running remain pretty minimal spend wise.
  • Admin £12 (£4 / £10)
  • Financial £5 (£55 / £57) – A momentous occasion. I’ve waited all year for this to finally come back down to target and in month 10 of 2017 it finally has. Big whoop!
  • Children £60 (£78 / £70) – Not doing too bad as usual young TFS. Well done.



Figures in the same format as expenses…

  • Total £3133 +£395 Pension (£4466 / £3907) – Pretty bog standard month on the income front.
  • TFS Income £2164 +£395 Pension (£2494 / £2390) – Another pretty standard month for me here, next month should be good though as I’m doing some overtime (actually thinking about it, I’m not sure if that gets paid 1 month in arrears so it may come through in December).
  • Mrs T Income £667 (£707 / £600) – Standard again.
  • Ratesetter £5 (£20 / £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 £100 and what’s more I’ve noticed that the 1 year rate has shot up to a ridiculous 4.9% which is the highest I’ve seen it at since I’ve joined – The 5 year rate is only 5.3% for comparison! So if you want a great 1 year rate and a free £100 click on this link here (<– obviously it’s a referral link!) or again read my original post on it for more info.
  • Child benefit £82 (£82 / £82)
  • Solar Panels £163 (£59 / £45)
  • TopCashback (<– Referral Link) – £33 (£18 / £10) – Total cash back to date this year is now £183! Not bad for just spending what we normally would do. The best cash back deals tend to be on home and card insurance which really bump it up and the others are just all 1-5% on all other online purchases which quickly add up if remember to do all of them through the cashback website. Read my intro article on it here for more info.

Matched Betting / Gambling Hustles £0 (£730 / £750) – OK, OK, I know I keep saying this but I really couldn’t be bothered to tot up my figures again this month. So it’s a big fat zero in this column again for the 3rd month in a row. The truth is I’d estimate I’ve made between £500-£1000 but my record keeping is poor, and I know I’ve won and subsequently lost around £500 on my golf betting (not recommended for normal match betting folks, obviously!) which has kind of put me off from actually totting up the final figure (as I know it should/could have been much more). Anyways, I will definitely balance the books next month and let you know where I stand.

The best offer I’ve found in the last month or so is one from a company called Jetbull. Go to the Oddschecker.com free bets page and look for the £100 deposit match offer there. You deposit £100 and get £200 in your account. You then find a fairly high odds bet (> 3.0 if possible) and put the whole £200 on, and lay maybe £140-£160 back depending on the odds and how confident you are it will win or lose. If it loses you’ve made an easy £40-£60 and if it wins you now have a decent amount of profit in the account to play through the wagering requirements, which are quite high at £1600, so you will need a further 31 bets of £50 to complete this. Obviously you should lay each one off to lose as little as money as possible on each bet, and note you only have 28 days to do this (should be easy when there is tonnes of footy on at the moment). And obviously use OddsMonkey website to find the close matched bets to back/lay!

Let me know how you get on with it and if anyone needs any help let me know in the comments?

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 jibber jabber

With another negative savings rate, only just mind, of -2.22% it’s good to see the Net Worth still manage to tick up ever so slightly.

Excluding house equity: £154,797 / +£1,074 / +0.70%

Including house equity: £236,374 / +£1,534 / +0.65%

Liquid Freedom: £70,288 / -£126 / -0.18%

On the investments front I’ve set up a SIPP for Mrs TFS so she can transfer a couple of old pensions into it to consolidate things which should:

  • A) Make it easier to administer later on when she comes to draw down etc…
  • B) Can whack all of it straight into a Vanguard fund which should help with lower fees compared to the previous pensions funds

We did this with Cavendish online which I decided after a quick glance at the brilliant Monevator compare online UK brokers table. I would thoroughly recommend using this whenever you are setting up a new share dealing account, SIPP or ISA if you don’t already!

On a separate note it’s worth noting that I’ve sat on about £18K worth of cash in my SIPP for quite a while now which proves that I’m a completely stupid dufus head, because markets have continued to surge. Although part of this was not purely intentional “market timing” and just total inertia on my part to get the funds invested, that’s a pretty poor excuse considering it would take me about 5 minutes to log in, select a fund/ETF and have done with it. Anyway, lesson learned and will stick the lot into the Vanguard All World ETF right now! (Cue a massive market drop… hah!)


other updates

I did the Crawley 10k in which I finished 12th! Before you ask there were more than 12 people doing the race 🙂 and I got a pretty respectable time of 42:24, it was all off road and very muddy/hilly so was well happy with that.

Apart from that there isn’t much else I haven’t already mentioned (that is actually worth mentioning, at least). We’ve just been gearing up for the big family wedding and I’ve been going through the motions at work.

Work has actually been quite fun in a weird way lately, we are getting busy but it is interesting work and I’m now working on a product that I actually believe in, which massively helps with motivation. As mentioned above I agreed to work through my next 2 weeks off that was scheduled in so that will hopefully help with the savings rate in the upcoming month or two! It’s a bit crap knowing that I should be off but on the other hand like I say motivation at work is peaking so in a weird way I just want to crack on with all the latest projects I’ve been set, so I don’t mind too much. Plus as winter draws in there is less you can do with your time off outside, so may as well get the $$$ instead I reckon! 🙂

How was your October?


I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of the lovely Cotswolds…


How’s that for a view out of the bathroom window?!

The grounds of one of many national trust property we visited

Some hunting dogs we happened across. They walked past our cottage every morning, there were about 60 of them! An incredible site to see over your cornflakes 🙂


  1. I’m being totally unfair with that comment, I also had two stag do’s so really can’t say anything. One for “the lads” and one for “the oldies”, of which I am now firmly a part of… 🙂