07 November 2017

October update and November goals

Autumn is well and truly upon us and being my favourite season of all, I have enjoyed getting out and about during October. Our trip to St Malo was wonderful and the weather in Brittany was very kind to us, I thoroughly enjoyed indulging in french food and making the most of our break away. I also spent a weekend in the van on my favourite local site, just myself and the dog during the first weekend of November. One of only a handful of campers on a very large site in the woods, at times it felt as if I was totally alone. Not for everyone I'd be the first to admit, however for me it was a blissful and totally relaxing experience, and as the heavens opened on the first night, it gave me the perfect opportunity to test out how water-tight the new skylights were. Result? Not a drop, which means I can now make a plan to start work on patching up the ceiling from the previous leak over the winter months.

Frivolous travel aside, how did my finances do this month?


As I knew I would be paying out for two weekends away, I reigned in all unnecessary spending to balance the books. The result was a pretty low spend month in total.

How much did I save in October?

Regular Saver - 500
ISA - 500
Property Moose - 50
Cash ISA - 100
P2P - 300

Total - 1450

Having said last month that I would not be saving anymore into my P2P lending, I did an abrupt 360 and changed my mind. There is no payment to my pension this month. It's taken a while to sort everything out with my new SIPP and get the new monthly payment direct debit set up, so my first payment will be going out in November.

Savings rate

For simplicity, I calculate my savings rate as a percentage of my net take home pay plus interest on bank accounts, royalties from kindle, bank bonuses (from switching to TSB this year), found money, cashback from Quidco, child benefit/tax credits, and income from any other source throughout the month. I do not add back in any pension contributions from my wages or tax relief, nor do I include growth on investments, dividends or P2P interest. I also ignore all matched betting winnings as I am still building my bank roll, I will start to include this once my total profit has reached £1000.

Savings rate as % of take home pay - 45.07%

This is the second month in a row that I have achieved a record breaking savings rate. Although my total savings were the same as last month, my income was less, so my savings rate was higher.

Matched betting income was again slow this month, due to working as much as I could and also being away part of the month and only concentrating on guaranteed profits. Not sure where I am going with this to be honest, I am finding it boring, and although it is free money, it is not passive and I can find better uses of my time.

Goals for the coming month

November will be a month of Fiscal Fasting for me. It is something I have done for a few years. During the month I try not to spend on anything unnecessary, and at the same time using up as much as I can from the fridge, freezer and cupboards to clear some space before Christmas and save some money. I have no plans for going out during the month, no trips away planned, but I do have lots of projects and stuff at home that wont cost a bean.

Reading - plenty of books on the shelf to get through
Sewing - I have made a start on the new cushions for the van, but still plenty to do
Baking - lots of ingredients to use to make goodies for the kids lunchboxes
Painting - need to finish painting the walls in the van and the hallway could do with a spruce up
Planning - need to work out the weekends I want to camp next year, plus some financial stuff too
Walking - need to hit that 10k steps a day to keep healthy during the long winter months
Gardening - not my favourite, but the lawns will need a final cut before the winter
Netflix - self explanatory. lots of good stuff on at this time of year
Christmas-ing - I will be making a list and checking it twice...

Thanks for reading!

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