October 2018 Income & Expenses

A recap of the latest month and a look at my income and expenses.


General

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.

 

Income

Income type Amount
Wage £1485.96
Ms FIRE £115.00
Interest £154.64
Matched Betting £263.02
Surveys £24.74
Other £741.50
Total £2784.86

 

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.

Relevant posts: 

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.

 

Expenses

Category  Amount spent / £ % of Income
Rent £780.00 28.0%
Bills £445.52 16.0%
Groceries & Toiletries £173.94 6.2%
Eating Out £92.09 3.3%
Presents £40.00 1.4%
Transport £239.68 8.6%
Fun £28.00 1.0%
Clothes £69.00 2.5%
Household £12.00 0.4%
Total £1,880.23 67.5%

 

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.

 

Savings Rate

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?

 

Looking forward

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.

7 Responses

  1. Hey Doc!

    I always find it fascinating reading other people’s monthly round ups even though I’ve not done one myself (and actually for reasons I’ll probably do a post on at some point I don’t really track my finances in that way anyway).

    What really jumped out at me was that even if you strip out/strip back some of the one off’s for the month your side hustle income is around a third of your wage income. That’s amazing!

    I’ve tried matched betting but despite the income I realised I would rather spend my time doing other things. So not sure that I’ve found the right side hustle for me, but through dipping a toe into the FIRE blogging world I’m hoping to get some more ideas.

    Caveman

    • Thank you! Always good to hear that someone has liked a post. I also like reading them on other blogs, which is why I decided to start doing my own.

      I find it useful to track what I’m spending money on. I like knowing how much I’ve spent on certain things, comparing to previous months and years, etc. Clearly I am easily amused! You could start doing monthly round-ups yourself; not everyone who does them will post the same things. Some detail their expenses, some don’t, but instead go into detail about their investment income, etc.

      I hadn’t really noticed that, but I suppose, in this instance, you’re right. I think it’s a one-off though! As I mentioned above, my wage was slightly lower than usual this month. I think things will be back to normal at the end of November, but I could be wrong.

      I’m still on the fence about matched betting. I think it’s pretty good for the amount of effort I put in. A few hours a week to get £100-200 a month is fine for me. My problem with it is that it’s very much not passive income! The more you put in, the more you get out. I don’t think you can scale it up like you might be able to do with other “side hustles.” I’m sure if you keep trying different things, you will find something that suits you eventually!

      • To be clear though I wasn’t casting shade on anyone who does matched betting. It’s just that I know that if I’m going to find a side hustle that can become my main hustle in time then I’ve got to want to do it. Otherwise I may as well stick to the day job (which I mostly enjoy) and keep stashing away and investing.

        For me a side hustle I want something that I would actively choose to spend my time on even if I wasn’t getting money. A big ask I know but I’m not sitting on a burning platform so I’m OK taking my time to try a few things and see what fits.

        • In response to @Caveman regarding matched betting, it’s a great side hustle but it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. For me, it’s perfect because I see it as a hobby, can spend as little or as much time on it, there are no customers to satisfy, no deadlines to meet and there’s an element of chance = some excitement!

        • No offence taken, Caveman! It’s definitely not for everyone.

          I agree with Weenie that it’s pretty easy, and as time consuming as you want it to be. If you just want to spend 30 minutes a week doing it, then you can, and you’ll probably make £20. Or, you can spend an hour day and make more. And there’s no pressure!

  2. All the best with your new job in a new city and hope you and your gf find a place to stay which suits your neeeds more. That’s a lot of stuff going on at the same time so a savings rate of 32.5% is an absolutely fantastic job – well done!

    I’ve been matched betting for over 2 years now and have not attempted any casino offers, partly due to the time spent wagering and also partly because I’m a former gambler and would rather not be exposed to that kind of temptation! It does mean that I miss out on potentially a huge amount of profit but I think I can generate enough just from sports betting.

    I too switched from Profit Accumulator to Oddsmonkey – both are similar but at the time (not sure if they still do), PA was charging extra for any new tools they developed (eg Acca matcher), whereas OM had pledged that any new tools they introduced would be free.

    Also, note re deposits, if you have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, landlords are by law required to register deposits with a government backed tenancy deposit scheme. This protects your deposit so dodgy landlords can’t just run off with your money, like when I was a student, renting off a dodgy landlord!

    • Thanks Weenie! Fingers crossed all goes well and we can find somewhere good.

      The wagering is ridiculous, and has half put me off trying again for a while. I think it took the best part of a day to get through the required wagering for the £130! It was easy enough, and I could do other stuff at the same time, but still, not as immediate and quick as matched betting. Luckily I don’t have any temptation (yet?) to actually gamble, just to keep making the most of the free bets here and there to eke out some profits.

      I think PA has improved in that regard; everything is now included in one price, which is the same as OddsMonkey. I guess they were losing too much business! I just decided that I preferred OM’s layout and tools, so went with them. There isn’t too much in it to be honest, so would recommend that most people try out both to see what they prefer. Another thing that swung it for me was that everyone else was making use of OM’s EW Matcher, and I want to try it out in the future!

      I know of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, but it hasn’t seemed to help in the past! Unless it’s a fairly new thing. All I know is I had several letting agents and landlords during my student days charge us for ridiculous things and take huge chunks out of our deposit every time we moved, which has left me slightly jaded.

      Thanks for commenting!

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