A recap of the latest month and a look at my income and expenses.
October has been a month of change; I finished my one year contract at the beginning of October, visited my parents for two weeks and then moved to a new city to start a new job. I’ll miss some of my colleagues, who were very friendly and helped me out quite a lot over the year, but I’m excited to try something new. It was great to have some time off and to catch up with family, but moving cities twice and paying for a new deposit, rent, etc, quickly adds up! Not to mention that my wage this month was lower, as I only worked for the first week or so.
As I mentioned above, my wage was a bit less than previous months, as I technically only worked for the first ten days until the end of my contract. I also had several unused holiday days to bump my wage up a bit.
Interest was much higher than previous months, as I had two regular savings account reach maturity this month, paying around £50 each. Not sure if I’ll bother setting them up again though. I had been using them as a way to get some extra interest on my emergency fund, but now that we’ve moved house successfully and my new contract is for two years, I’m thinking of reducing my emergency fund and sticking more in stocks.
The small amount I received from surveys was all from Prolific*.
Matched betting paid around £260. Half of this was from my first attempts at casino offers. The first two that I tried essentially broke even very quickly; I didn’t lose any money, but I also didn’t win anything. The third attempt though was a different story! After satisfying the wagering requirements I won a total of £130, which needless to say I was very pleased with. The casino offers I’ve tried so far are completely risk-free but do have quite large wagering requirements; for example, deposit £20, get a bonus of £50, but then you have to wager that £50 30 times (so, a total of £1500). Time consuming, but very low effort. The remaining £130 was from a mix of reload offers each weekend, as well as taking advantage of a few boosted offers. I didn’t want to do any new offers this month as we were in the middle of moving. Now that we’re settled again I might start opening more accounts and taking advantage of the new sign-up offers. I should also get around to trying each-way betting that I’ve seen several other UK FI blogs talking about. Their profits put mine to shame!
The “other” category covers the refunds that I was paid this month. Unfortunately, a concert that we had paid for in November was cancelled because the artist was ill, so we got around £80 back from that. The remaining ~£650 was my deposit for the last flat. We left it in great shape, but even so, I’m always surprised when landlords agree to pay back my full deposit without any hassle.
|Category||Amount spent / £||% of Income|
|Groceries & Toiletries||£173.94||6.2%|
Rent this month was higher than usual. The new place we’ve found is more expensive than the last flat we were living in, but it includes all bills (gas, electricity, council tax, water, internet, TV). In theory we should be able to save more money each month, but it’s looking likely that we may move again in the next month or so. My commute right now varies from 60-90 minutes each way, so I’m not opposed to paying higher rent to cut that down to around 30 minutes. Another factor that makes moving more appealing is that we’re currently just renting a room in a house. Good for saving money, less good for having privacy. I don’t relish the prospect of packing all our stuff up again and moving, but we’ll see what happens.
Bills look higher this month, but that’s just because I finally committed to paying for a full year subscription (£150) to a matched betting service. I had been using Profit Accumulator, but recently tried out OddsMonkey and decided I liked it better. So I’ve cancelled one and gone all in on the other! Another £100 was the deposit for our new place (one good thing about this place is the tiny deposit and lack of agency fees. Other places wanted up to £1000, plus £500+ admin fees). The rest was just finishing paying off the outstanding bills for our previous flat.
The other big expense this month was transport. I rented a van twice; once to move all my stuff home, and again to move it to a new city. Luckily I should be able to get this reimbursed from my new employer as a relocation fee. I also had to pay around £60 for a monthly bus ticket. Sadly I can’t simply walk to work anymore (unless I leave about 7am!) and have to rely on public transport.
Other expenses are pretty low and not really worth commenting on.
My savings rate this month was 32.5%. Considering I only worked for half of the month and had to move house twice, I think this is pretty good. Of course, I was saved by receiving my deposit back so quickly after leaving my old flat. Apparently not all landlords and letting agents are money grabbing so-and-so’s, who knew?
November will mostly be spent just settling in to our new routine. New job, new house, new city. As I said at the beginning of this post, lots of changes all at once. I’m interested to see what the cost of living around here will be. The fact that rent is so much higher means that I imagine everything else will be more expensive as well. We’ll also keep our eye open for any flats in the area that are within our budget and closer to where I work.
Currently reading – Mythos, by Stephen Fry
In my post outlining my goals for the next five years, I mentioned that I’d like to read at least one book a month. In order to keep me on track, I’ve decided to mention what I’m currently reading every time I write one of these monthly reports. Hopefully there will be a different book listed each time I post these roundups, otherwise I know I need to kick myself into gear and get reading!
I’m only a hundred pages or so into the book but I’m enjoying it so far. Stephen Fry does a good job retelling the myths of Ancient Greece, and I really like his footnotes explaining how so many of our words have a route in some Ancient Greek God. The book is also pretty timely, considering that we went to Athens only a few weeks ago. After experiencing the sudden blast of cold weather over the last week, I’m wishing we were back there now! Overall, definitely recommend checking it out if you get the chance.