October expenses

All the leaves are brown…


How was your October? Good I hope!

Ours was a bit of a struggle with the budgeting and savings rate this month, having achieved a whopping one last month we came crashing back down to Earth with a measly 16%.

However, this was entirely expected due to us starting to purchase items for the bathroom overhaul which I will be starting at the end of this month (if you can hear someone shouting “Finally!” in the background that will be Mrs T).

Let’s have a look at how it all went dooooon!



We pulled in a total of £3708.15 which included an extra boost of £178.12 from our sexy solar panels and, would you believe it, £191 from gambling. Yes yours truly finally landed a big one on the golf! There should be more proceeds to come out of this but I’ve left them out for now because I’ve, how do you say, “reinvested” some of the winnings 🙂

I also mentioned last month that inland revenue have randomly changed my tax code which I still haven’t sorted out, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be owing some money to the tax man soon if I don’t get that sorted ASAP!


savings rate

Unfortunately despite the income boosts, we pretty much spent the lot, which meant our savings rate only crept into double figures because of the pensions and share save scheme which are automatically taken out of our pay packet. It would have been a paltry 1.9% if not for those things! Still, 16% whilst buying half a bathroom is not to be sniffed at IMO. I really thought it would be negative (and may well be next month when we buy the other half of the bathroom!)



Expenses came in at £3637.60, but not including the bathroom costs of £1,122.91, this was only £2,514.69.

This actually seems very reasonable and puts us within my target of “normal expenditure” which was £2,666 so overall I’m pretty happy with that, if only all months had been like that this year… we’d be all set by now 🙂

Here are some “highlights” of this months expenses:

  • DIY £1,122 – As already mentioned. For this we’ve bought all the big items and so the rest of the ~£1000 budget will be spent on paint, edging/finishing, tools, pipes and little bits like that. It all adds up in previous experience! We have £220 of Topps Tiles vouchers using the Tesco Clubcard + TopCashback trick which should cover all the wall tiles and flooring, which helps out alot!
  • Groceries £152 – This is the lowest Grocery bill we’ve had all year! We finally got into the habit of eating the stuff out of the freezer, and still have loads left in there, so hoping for a similar bill in November.
  • Gas & Electricity £74 – This in itself is not interesting as that is just the direct debit, however within 3 months of switching our account is already over £100 in credit. I know winter is coming up but just cannot see how we are going to plough too much back into that so have requested a refund and reset out DD amount to lower which should all hopefully come through next month. I’m impressed with our new supplier OVO so far, their website makes it very easy to change things like this.
  • Mobile £37 – Mrs T annoyingly got charged 2 phone bills this month, one from Orange her old supplier and one from Virgin the new one. This doesn’t make much sense so she’s going to query it!
  • Household “Other” £38 – I finally decided to try out some home made cleaning products so bought “a small sample” of bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar which are the primary ingredients. By a small sample I mean I went all in and bought a ridiculous amount. 25Kg of Bicarb and 20 Litres of Vinegar!!! The bag of bicarb looks like a bloody bag of cement! 😀 This should last us about 5 years so it seems like a good investment at £38 🙂 . I’ll put up a post detailing my experiments in a month or so but in the meantime if you want to read more on cleaning with vinegar here, and cleaning with bicarb here.
  • Clothes £180.64 – Bit of a whopper this month. £45 of this was actually me as well! I finally gave in and bought some new trainers after ~2.5 years of wearing my old ones practically every day. They were falling apart! Mrs T was getting embarrassed to go out with me, and to be honest I was getting embarrassed with myself 🙂 . The rest were maternity clothes, I am led to believe, which seems fair enough especially seeing as Mrs T is not going out as much these days. Which leads us onto…
  • Golf £150 + Going out £394 – Obviously all the golf is me and most of the going out is as well. I’ve had a really naughty month on both! Slapped wrist for me and looking to have a far more frugal in November before the xmas silly season starts.
  • Holiday £99 – We took our niece and nephew to the Isle of Wight which turned out not to be all that expensive despite getting up to a lot of fun stuff! Maybe these children type things aren’t so expensive as people make out!? 😉
  • Car Tax -£97 – We finally got the tax rebate through from DVLA from when we sold our car back in August!!! Better late than never I suppose 🙂
  • House insurance £98 – We were paying separate contents and buildings insurance which seemed rather inefficient and normally works out more expensive. After a 2 hour session of relentlessly checking prices on comparison sites and verifying this fact, I cancelled our old contents insurance. This meant taking a hit of about £30 for the cancellation fee, but as I bought the combined insurance via TopCashback* 1 we got £42 cashback as well. With the cashback it puts us back into the green on the transaction and in all subsequent years we’ll end up with not only cheaper insurance but also can switch every year to keep getting even more cashback. CASHBACK!!! 🙂

As usual if you want to have a look at the whole breakdown and/or copy the spreadsheet to modify for your own uses then by all means have a look at it here.


net worth and investments

The stock market continued it’s bounce back in October and most of the investment accounts increase by 3-5% which I guess is good news! I also put a chunk of £2.5K into a new work investment scheme. It’s a bit like share save, only not really like it at all! Basically a VC (Venture Capital) fund has bought our company and want to double, triple, or ten bag their investment as quickly as possible. As employers we were allowed to get involved with the possible spoils. The return on investment will just be linked to how much ROI they get when they sell us, so if they double their investment then so do we, pretty simple really. It seemed like a reasonable punt so I thought I’d go for it with smallish stakes!

Anyway all of this means that the Net Worth figures are now:

Excluding house equity: £96,328 / +£3,587 / +3.87%*

Including house equity: £166,578 / +£3,969 / + 2.44%*

*Figures updated 05/11/2015 – My pension portal wasn’t available when I first wrote this up and it made quite a difference, it went up by 5.23%!!!

anything is possible updates

Well I did say I’d check up on you! Has anyone thought of any MEGAGOALS they’d like to put out there on here for the next, say, 6 months, to join me on my quest to smash some of my PB half marathon times? If you missed the original post on the ideas behind it all, see here.

My progress has been reasonable to start with. I’ve done a few short runs at a decent pace (all under 6:52 mins/mile) and one longer “errand run” 2 at a slower pace so just need to keep that up and keep chipping away at it over the next few months. I need to get used to running middle distances at a pace of 6:15 to hit my target in the Brighton half, it doesn’t sound like much but there is a long way to go I think! I am going to do the local park run on Saturday to see where I come there, I am hoping for at least a top 20 but will let you know next month in the update how I get on!


other updates

Not much else to tell really, I am awaiting my next 2 weeks off so I can finally get the bathroom done. I am sure to take lot’s of pics whilst doing that and bore you all to death with a post or two of what not to do when you are refitting a bathroom!

I started brewing another batch of beer which should be ready in time for christmas 😉

I realised I haven’t updated my Alcohol Intake Goal over the last few months, you may have guessed that is because it was embarassingly high 🙂 . It’s coming back down now and the last 4 months figures have been:

July: 40.05 units/week

August: 28.62 units/week

September: 24.57 units/week

October: 20.06 units/week

I have found it is helping with Mrs T not drinking, as there would have been times where we’d have a glass of wine together whereas now it just seems sad drinking on your own 😀

We are having the next baby scan on Thursday and will find out the sex, we are both too impatient to wait another 5 months! We have started to research “what is needed” when you have a baby. It seems like there are a lot of very long lists out there (mainly from manufacturers and shops selling baby products, surprising eh?), I am looking forward to crossing off a lot of it and will update with a post on what is really needed! 🙂


What did you get up to in October?


Over and out for now!




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  2. This is where I normally have a backpack on and make one of more stop offs to pick stuff up/drop stuff off. Saves on using the car and gets me some good exercise!