september update – a perfect storm!
Mortgage mayhem, holidays plus many yearly bills all hitting at once absolutely wrecks our savings rate this month but we live to fight another day, unlike the poor vessel in the picture above (taken at Bembridge harbour, IOW).
Read on for the full details, beware, stormy financial weather ahead!
We spent a total of, gulp, £4006.96 this month. Here are some of what we had to deal with:
- Mortgage + Completion expenses £1448 – Two things here: 1) I messed up and didn’t start our remortgage process soon enough so ended up with 1 (and a bit) month on the SVR 1 which was obviously a lot higher than the rate we fixed at so the monthly payment was ~£300 higher than usual. 2) We then had to pay another ~£300 in legal fees due to some complications on transferring the mortgage to the new provider which I won’t bore you with. There is a silver lining here though and that is it looks like our first full payment with the new provider bizarrely doesn’t come out till November so we won’t have much of a payment to make in October so it will hopefully balance out over the two months! We also got our mortgage via Money Back Mortgages (no affiliation, just a happy customer) and have had the cash back paid into our account already this month. If you are needing a mortgage or remortgage soon I would highly recommend you check out what they have to offer! The other good news is we are now on a 10 year freakin’ fix so we can do what the hell we want in terms of work without being pestered by nosey mortgage people about how we are going to afford to not become homeless if we’re not earning a bazillion pounds a month. Right that’s more than enough about the mortgage… next!
- Groceries £470 – Just when you think it couldn’t go up any further, it does! 🙂 Main reason being we were on holiday in the Isle of Wight and had friends with us, we paid for most of the groceries while they paid for some meals out etc but it’s just shown up as a slight increase in the budget here.
- TV licence £145 – A yearly expense that annoyingly came up in an otherwise very expensive month
- House insurance £101 – And another one!
- Going out £232 – Not that bad actually but I guess that’s because all the slack was taken up in the groceries and holidays category this month. Included our tickets to the Derren Brown thing as well which was thoroughly worth it.
- Clothes £127 – Nothing to say here, move along please 🙂
- Golf £100 – Probably the last month this year it will get anywhere near this amount (it’s been £0 so far in October!) so happy to get a few last rounds in while the sun was still shining.
- Holiday £447 – This was part of spending on the IOW and part our Euros for when we went to Madrid at the end of the month. Ay carumba!
- Car £80 – Another small issue with the TFS mobile (the heating/cooling fans stopped working)! Again I could have spent a whole day working this out myself but thought it a better use of my time to get the garage to sort it out for fairly small change. Don’t judge me.
- Squash £27 – This has been creeping up again due to us finding squash courts local to work, which is quite expensive if you pay and play. However we worked out you can bring a guest for £1 if you join as a member (£33/month) so are going to split the membership cost between 3 of us. It’s working out very well so far so this should drop to £11/month going forward for unlimited squash 🙂
- Running £31 – Entered the Brighton10 which was last Sunday, thoroughly enjoyable run and good to get out again!
- Charity £12 – Seriously lacking on the charity front still but I have something up my sleeve which I’ll mention later on.
- Children £77 – Major purchase was a food blender to whizz up all her home cooked food, definitely worth spending money on a decent one as we got a cheapo one first and it was rubbish (the old adage of buy cheap buy twice true once again, luckily the cheap one literally cost £3 second hand so no major disaster there!)
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).
Was surprisingly good again this month at £4252.27. Loving the income so far this year! We are running at an average of basically £4800/month which is only £300/month less than last year of which I was working full time for 9 months, and Mrs T was working full time for the whole year (as opposed to 4 months full pay this year). Not bad going.
Income this month included but was not limited to:
- TFS salary £2123 – Quick admission: I reported this as £2302 last month which was wrong – it was actually £2034. I’ve updated it on the main spreadsheet and on the Net Worth etc page but can’t be assed going back to update the post. In any case it only dropped the savings rate percent by a few digits and the yearly rate by less than 1, so hopefully no one is going to freak out about this.
- Mrs T maternity pay £547 – Gone back down compared to last month. Have to admit I’m fairly confused on how this works but will remain calm and carry the fuck on.
- Matched betting / Secret Side Hustle £1139 – Mmm again didn’t feel like I put much effort in again and still topped the £1K mark! 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. This income also included a paltry £29 I made from “normal gambling” on some older accounts I still have for fun (better than a loss!)
- Ratesetter £154 – This included £4 worth of interest and £150 referral fees from this post I wrote. Cheers to the 3 of you 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.
- Top cashback £177 – Decided to call in some cashback we’ve been building up, oh man this feels good! If you want to read more about Top Cashback I’ve written about it here and here.
- Child Benefit £82 – Sweet child o’ mine!
savings rate, net worth etc
Savings rate was unsurprisingly the poorest of the year at just 12.94% but this only brings our average across the year to 41.64%. If we can keep it above 40% by the time Auld Lang Syne is bringing in 2017 I’ll be a happy man.
Net worth took a big jump up despite not really saving much but this wasn’t down to any freaky investing genius that outsmarted the markets (unfortunately) although they did provide a small uplift again. The bulk of the rise came down to me actually being able to access my pension pot properly after 6 months of being locked out! Since the market has risen a lot in those ~6 months it naturally has gone up quite a bit, from ~£38,000 to just over £42,000 in fact. So that’s why it has seemingly shot up. All good news though and this is the first time our total Net Worth including house equity has ever been over 200K which is a nice but obviously totally arbitrary milestone to hit:
Excluding house equity: £126,356 / +£5,786 / +4.80%
Including house equity: £201,953 / +£6,246 / +3.19%
Liquid Freedom: £58,499 / +£833 / 1.44%
As you can see I’ve added a Liquid freedom section above so will report on that every month as well from now on.
Aside from Ratesetter the only other thing of note is I put another £2K into The House Crowd.
I also sold (shock!) some tracker ETFs in one of my broker accounts and might actually do a bit of high risk buying. I know it’s against the grain of being boring and sticking with index funds but I’m starting to get a bit bored with them and feel like I can have a bit of play money as long as I stick to just a few G’s. Obviously I’m a bit of a gambler at heart but I think would like to think I’m a sensible one and only play if I think the reward is worth the risk and I’ve been reading FI Fighters multiple posts about getting involved in Lithium mining plays (here is one of the best, but there are too many to link to here so just have a browse of his site if you are interested!) in advance of the huge boom of EVs 2 that is just around the corner. I haven’t pulled the trigger on any of them yet but the funds are waiting there in case I do. Incidentally if anyone has any experience in dealing with these sort of stocks (Canadian and Aussie stock exchange) then I’d be interested in hearing your experience as even in my broker (AJ Bell Youinvest) software info is very sparse on what the hell is going on with any of these companies?!! Which is the main thing putting me off right now (I should probably just call them up)
My new work schedule is all but signed off so I’m looking forward to a getting my nose back to the grindstone over winter with the big carrot of some decent time off next summer. I also got a slight bump in pay in the end (because I asked, I mean why wouldn’t you?!) so the whole sordid affair kinda worked in my favour I guess! Saying that the three people who were actually made redundant have since left, although they all seemed happy with their payouts and future job prospects, it was sad to see them go in any case.
Cleared out the garden in prep for the winter. Had to chuck far too many unripe tomatoes away again this year, must remember to plant them earlier next year!
As The Escape Artist mentioned a bunch of FI types met up the other week in London and it was a jolly good night. Thanks to all involved and apologies for those I didn’t get round to talking to properly. Actually just remembered that was in October but this update is so late it feels like last month! There is going to be another one nearer Christmas so if you are interested again sign up to the Financial Independence London group to find out details (TBC at the moment)
A nice sunset on the eve of the meetup
We went to Madrid where this happened straight out of the airport:
I just love weird stuff like that! 🙂
We also went to the Isle of Wight (again!) which was very pleasant, I’ll leave you with this final pic
How was your September? Can you even remember as it was such a long time ago? Bonus points if you can and write a comment about it! 🙂
One final note, unbelievably we’re away again on holiday for the next week and I despite running this blog for over 3 years now I still haven’t got any fully written articles “in the hole” ready to go. If you need any explanation how on Earth this situation could possibly happen please read this which I feel explains everything that has ever happened in my life up to now!
So you might just have to put up with some radio blog silence until I get back. As usual got loads of great stuff in the pipeline but not enough time in the day to write about it but will try my best as usual to pump out some posts! Hasta pronto amigos! 🙂