Quarterly Updates

October & November 2019 Report

A recap of the last two months and a look at my income and expenses.

Image by moerschy from Pixabay


General updates

Fear not, dear reader. I’m not done just yet. Two months sure fly by though, huh.

It’s amazing how difficult it can be to get back into a habit. I haven’t posted here in two months, and the longer I left it, the harder it was to get back into the correct frame of mind to write something. I made the time to write this update though, and hopefully that will get me back on track and posting more regularly.


Money updates



Income October November
Wage £1945.43 £1945.43
Ms FIRE £110.00 £100.00
Interest £31.28 £45.82
Matched Betting – £29.20 – £20.47
Misc £39.82 £1000.00
Total £2097.33 £3070.78


After a good September, my matched betting endeavours have been pretty poor since. I’ve been focusing mostly on each-way betting, rather than traditional matched betting, and luck hasn’t been on my side recently. I think I’m going to give it a rest during December (there isn’t much horse racing anyway) and resume in the new year. The big £1000 boost under “Misc” is courtesy of a wedding gift from my parents. Ms FIRE and I aren’t married just yet, but I think my parents decided it made more sense to give us the money now, whilst we’re paying for various wedding-related expenses, rather than after. Otherwise, everything else is pretty much the same as usual.




Category  Amount spent / £ % of Income
Rent £1590.00 30.8%
Bills £660.20 12.8%
Groceries £423.09 8.2%
Eating Out £34.19 0.7%
Presents £148.27 2.9%
Alcohol £11.10 0.2%
Transport £203.66 3.9%
Fun £150.13 2.9%
Misc £97.49 1.9%
Holiday £195.11 3.8%
Clothes £135.18 2.6%
Total £3648.42 70.6%


Rather than break down the spending for both October and November, I’ve just added everything together. I’m not suddenly spending £1500 on rent per month!


Savings Rate

My savings rate for the last two months has been a respectable 29.4%, raising my average for the year to 21.6%. Hopefully I can maintain this for December and attain a savings rate of at least 20% for the year.


Currently reading

One of my goals for the next five years was to read at least one book a month. To help keep myself accountable, I’ve decided to track my progress here in these monthly reports. I finished several books in the last two months:

First of all was Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It was a pretty good read, and very different from its cousin, 1984 by George Orwell. I then read Angel Mage by Garth Nix. I was/am a huge Garth Nix fan when I was younger, really enjoying the Abhorsen trilogy and his Keys to the Kingdom series. I reread the trilogy in the last year or two along with two new entries to the series (making it a pentalogy?) and it still held up, so I was very excited when I heard that he was releasing another adult book (a number of his books are children’s books, which are fine, but obviously not aimed at me and are nowhere near as good as the Abhorsen series). Angel Mage is a stand alone title (for now) and is pretty enjoyable. It’s set in a world that very much resembles 17th century Europe, and is (in his own words) heavily inspired by The Three Musketeers, with the addition of an angel-based magic system. Very creative! Recommended if you like fantasy.

I also got back into Joe Abercrombie again. I finished reading The Heroes, which was really good, and am now reading Red Country. I’m about a third of the way through and it’s great so far. I was a little Abercrombied-out when I finished reading Best Served Cold immediately after ploughing through The First Law trilogy, but I’m glad I returned to him.


Looking forward

As ever, December is going to be a busy month. Attending a friend’s wedding one weekend, another friend’s Christmas party another weekend, not to mention visiting my parents for Christmas itself! And I still need to finish shopping for presents for the family…


Over to you

That’s all for this month. I hope you had a good month, and thanks for reading!

9 replies on “October & November 2019 Report”

Hey Doc thanks for keeping us updated.

I thought you had enough of sharing your numbers and stopped blogging. I’m glad it wasn’t the case 🙂

I know the feeling of losing money on match betting, it’s frustrating as you are supposed to spend time on making money, not losing it. December seems like a good time to have a break though as we are generally busier as well.

You’re right, the longer we break a habit, the harder it is to get back into it. It happened to me with exercising this month but managed to do some runs at the end 🙂

Hey Tony. I haven’t given up just yet!

Good to hear you were ultimately able to get some runs in. That’s much better than me at the moment. Going out after work is probably a lost cause. Maybe I’ll have better luck first thing in the morning?

Good to see you back, Dr FIRE.

I’m all to aware of how hard it is to get back into the habit of posting, which is why I doggedly persevere as not posting for me means I lose an element of focus and control.

Great to see that you’ve revisited Abercrombie – I loved both The Heroes and Red Country.

I also love Garth Nix but read the original Abhorsen trilogy a long time ago (as an adult however) so might reread the first 3 before reading the subsequent books in the series. Angel Mage has been added to my to read list.

Thanks Weenie! Indeed, your commitment to regular posting is admirable. I’ll give myself the rest of December off as it’s a very busy time, but I’ll try to get back into it properly in the New Year.

I think I must be at least two thirds of the way through Red Country now, and it is great! I have a long train ride coming up in a few days, so I’m hoping to finish it then.

I don’t think books 4 and 5 in the Abhorsen series (Clariel and Goldenhand) are quite as good as the main trilogy, but maybe that’s just nostalgia talking. It was still great to get a deeper look at the world that Garth Nix had created. Angel Mage was very different, but both my girlfriend and I enjoyed it. Looking forward to hearing what you think about it in the future!

Hey Dr Fire!

I know that feeling of not having enough time to post. Like Weenie I think it’s important to keep focused with posting because of that extra ‘focus’/’control’ over savings – perhaps there’s some sort of subliminal positive “pressure” to ensure you maintain a savings rate when we write a blog post? 🙂

(Says the one who hasn’t yet written a blog post for November’s savings – haha!)

Hey Jase!

Yeah, it’s easy to let posting slip down the list of priorities. I agree though, that feeling of being held accountable does have an impact on my desire to maintain a decent savings rate! December might be a write-off though. Too many Christmas parties and travelling to catch up with friends. Not that I’m complaining, it’s always great to see everyone. And January and February are usually much quieter months, so I can make up for it then.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, FA! Glad to hear that you like the format, always good to hear that I’m doing something right. Had a quick look at your blog; I’m liking what you’ve got so far, looking forward to seeing more posts over the next few weeks and months!

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