Savings Report #4 – October

This is a Saving Ninja savings report. Go to How To Track Your Savings to check out the Saving Ninja Super Spreadsheet. Please note that I split my expenses equally with my partner and the savings rate, house equity and house value represent my share only. The spreadsheet calculates my savings rate based off £12,000 worth of expenses per year, even though my expenses are actually Less Than 10k Per Year. This is to create a buffer; I’m aiming for at least 12k to reach financial independence.

Wow. What a month! The stock market took a massive dive and I actually lost £1,685.05 from my investment accounts. Both my pension and ISA pots dropped by over 5%. This is the first big correction I’ve been in since I started investing!

Looking at my Halifax Share Dealing account, Vanguard LT 100% EQUITY is currently trading at 20,516.86p. This is actually the price that this was when I first started depositing into my ISA 12 months ago, so we’ve taken a huge dip and gone back about a year.

This is still really small fry stuff for me compared to some other people I know that lost over 30k, but it still is a bit of a bummer. I actually ended up with an additional 2k net worth even with the losses so my total is now sitting at £60,206.84; I really shouldn’t be complaining :]

My years to FI figure is now sitting at 4 years and 11 months. The increase in pension contributions really has helped to reduce this number massively. I still expect it to jump down further over the next year as I contribute more.

I’m starting to see the benefit of recording all of this now as when looking at my first three savings reports it tells me that my investment pots have increased by almost £10k! Awesome! It’s really exciting to be able to look back and see what I was doing on that month and think “It really wasn’t that long ago!” It really makes me look forward to the future; I can’t wait to look back after a year or two of monthly reporting and see how much I’ve saved.

Other Thoughts

The potential inforcing of IR35 in the private sector has really put a haze over my future as a software engineer. I was considering a switch into contracting in 2019 and it was always something that I knew I’d eventually do. Now a lot of my colleague contractors are saying that if it came into effect, it probably won’t really be worth contracting anymore. Crap. It’s made me think about potential alternatives for next leveling my career.

Another option would be to try and move into one of the ‘God’ companies such as Google or Facebook. This actually coincides quite well with finding out this month that Trump revoked the right for H1B visa holders spouses to work. If I still want to go ahead with my relocation escapades to the USA then getting transferred there by an international company via an L-1 VISA may be better than trying to get an H1B. I just have to get through 8 staged interview hell. I may do a blog series on training for this!

Kitchen Update

My kitchen has started! Woooo…Finally! I’ve literally been living out of dozens of boxes for months as I opted to remove the old kitchen myself and I was very eager with the task. The fitter actually started on Monday and the kitchen is already starting to take form. He says he’ll be done on Tuesday or Wednesday next week! Hurray!

More Free Money!

Matched betting is still going incredibly well. Since my last savings report where I quoted £3,816.88 profit, my total profit is now sitting at £5928.99. This was also all only EW betting at £10! I’ve now upped to £15 EW and will stick with that until I get to 8k profit.

As you can see from the snapshots, it was a bumpy ride. On the 5th I lost £518 in one day! But I soon was back on track by the middle of the month. I’ve decided I’m probably going to wait until after Christmas to write the EW betting guide. As I’ve only been doing it for about a month now, I’d like to get a bit more data and ride the variance wave for a little longer before I start it.


21 thoughts on “Savings Report #4 – October

  1. Hey Savings Ninja, good to see your update.

    Indeed it’s been a bumpy ride in the stock market – but I think it was overdue. And selfishly, I’d rather the correction happened now when I’m still working than when I have quit or want to quit imminently.

    1. +1

      Just like I’d rather there be a housing crash so I can move into a bigger home 🙂

      I’m treating this as a kind of training phase for a recession! Bring it on! *braces*

  2. Great that you were able to increase your net worth even with the stock market correction, well done! And I agree, somewhat selfishly, with Ms ZiYou. I’ve still got many years of working and saving left, so I’d rather the markets took a dive now than later!

  3. Good work Ninja and yes, the markets have not been kind to any of us I suspect, but short-term noise is not worth paying any attention too. I personally think a bigger correction is inevitable given assets look expensive across the field, but when and how far is anyone’s guess – it will just provide a buying opportunity for the disciplined. Good to see another good month on the betting. I had my best month to date (+66% growth in bank / 17% return on equity for October!) but remain mindful of the expected slowdown in activity as the winter months take hold.

    1. Whaat, that’s an insane growth rate! Are you still doing £5 EW? I’m hoping that the slowdown doesn’t mean you’ll lose money and should stop but rather you’ll just earn less. I’m currently not in safe territory like TFS is with his insane profits so I’m still a bit uneasy that I’ll lose the whole profit and quit before I get into the ‘safe zone’… I’m thinking the complete ‘safe zone’ for me with £20 EW will be when I’ve banked over 10k profit, then even the 2k down-swings wouldn’t upset me tooo much.

      1. Well if you adjust your risk accordingly it should have no real bearing – I stick to 1% risk per bet but only adjust my staking amount when my account has grown enough (e.g. doubling). With 1% risk you should be able to ride out the worst runs quite comfortably. I’m up to £8 EW (£16 total stakes) so taking it steady. I break it all down in my monthly reports on my site if you like stats 🙂

  4. Great to see net worth increasing even in these markets. Those each way betting profits are excellent. I made most of my matched betting profits from low risk casino offers this month but nothing from ew bets, so looking forward to reading your article on this if you do one.

    1. Hey Fu!

      I used to love casino offers, you get the same thrill from them as if you’re actually gambling. Took way too long to fill some wagering requirements though, EW is by far the best time/cost MB technique that I’ve done so far. The only thing I can do whilst at work 🙂

  5. Contracting will still remain an option for you once the tax changes take effect in 2020; sure, the margins will change, but rates may climb to offset that. There’s a lot of time between now and when the IR35 rules will come into force and future budgets could change it again. Long time contractors may grumble about the changes but you should look at whether it would fit your preferred working style more than anything else – the money is important but so is the ability to control your own destiny and have clients rather than a line manager. IT contractors will still remain an important part of the (flexible) workforce in my opinion. I am biased of course being one myself…

    1. Fingers crossed 🙂 I’m quite worried about the notion of companies just lessening their contractors as well, so it will be harder to find new gigs. For example, I currently work at a FTSE 100 company and over 75% of their employees are contractors. They’re currently trying to reduce this massively now due to IR35.

      Contracting is definitely for me – I hate all the politics of a permanent role and I love accounting all of my own company files (as I do currently for my LTD side-hustle). I’d actually benefit a lot from being able to expense my travel. I really do seem to get bored after a year or two at one position so contracting is the only thing I can really do where switching often is not frowned upon 😛

  6. Hi Savings Ninja, nice work with the Each Way betting! So you made >3k profit in one month?!, how many hours of your time did that take?

    I’ve just started matched betting using your guide and have made £20ish so far and that took about an hour. Looking forward to the Each Way betting guide!

    My equity funds did the same as yours, but the consolation is that because I pay in monthly at a set day if the month I’ve just bought a load of equity for cheap!

    1. Hey Calum! Awesome that you’ve started matched betting! You’ll never turn back 🙂

      My first months profit was actually £5k! I posted a Tweet when I breached it!

      It’s a bit difficult for me to know the exact time I’ve spent doing it as I do it whilst at work. If I had to guess I’d say between 1 and 2 hours per day and most of the time that is only on weekdays. EW betting is a lot less time consuming than traditional matched betting as you don’t have to lay anything and theirs basically no ‘paperwork’ that needs to be done other than tallying up your profits at the end of the day.

      Stick with working through your opening offers! EW betting is definitely something you’ll move onto later but you want to reap all of the opening offers first and build your bank before you delve into variance betting.

      Remember to hit me in the comments of the matched betting guide post if you ever have any questions! Keep it up 🙂

      1. 5k sounds amazing, sign me up!

        Hmmm putting the odd bet on at work could be troublesome for me as the WiFi police will be sure to pick it up. Time to invest in a better data plan I think (frugally as possible of course)

        1. I found ID mobile to be the cheapest. I upped to a little higher package due to matched betting 🙂 worth it!

  7. Great that your net worth still increased, despite the stock market crash. It’s not nice to see the red numbers but it’s only a real loss if you sell now.

    As regards IR35, it’s not a case of ‘if it happens’ because it is going to happen, from April 2020. As DB says, contracting will still be an option and in the private sector, rates will likely just go up to offset the extra costs.

    You’ve really smashed it on the EW betting – I’ve had a really poor month but as with my investing, I will carry on regardless!

    1. Yeah – power on!

      EW is a bit peculiar, it seems to be very easy to get vastly different results. Obvs the time of day and different bookies you use make all the difference. B365 still seems to be the absolute winner on most days for me and at least 70% of my bets are on there.

      Yeah, I think I’ll try getting into a God company first, if I fail (which is probably likely), I’ll use the interview training I did to land a good day rate. Although I’ll probably not get to do as much matched betting if I start contracting.. Hmm.. (maybe not worth it? :/)

  8. Hey Saving Ninja, congrats on EW matched betting. I’ve recently started EW betting following reading the TFS and your blog.

    I was thinking about trying some low risk casino stuff as well so really interested in reading a blog on that as well as your EW guide as I’ve been gubbed from 2 bookies already (11 days of EW sniping.

    Looking forward to more blogs – thanks for the inspiration.


    1. Hi Matt,

      That’s awesome! Yeah, some bookies are extremely quick to gub. I’d just be worried if B365 gubs as they’re a goldmine. Casino offers are fun and can be very profitable. The only problem is, I’ve not done them in ages as I’m focusing on EW betting atm!

      I’m going to stick with EW betting for at least another couple of months then write the guide for that then I’ll start integrating some casino offers again so I can refresh my memory before I write that section 🙂 I’ll need to re-subscribe to Profit Maximiser too 🙂

      Thank you for commenting <3

  9. Good month all round there fella (despite the stock market which is out of your control so not worth worrying about).

    How much did the kitchen Reno cost you just out of interest? Obviously depends on what you upgraded but if it was appliances and new units and labour you’re looking at 3K minimum? Or did you find some frugal ways of doing it on the cheap (might make a great post if so!?)


    1. Thanks TFS! I’m yet to tally up everything for the kitchen, I’ve written it all down and will come to the final figure when the Amex bill is gone through on the 1st. We’re looking at a heftier sum than 3k though as even though we live in a maisonette, the kitchen is quite big as I assume it used to be an Edwardian living room or something. So, as we had 18 units (I think) and the kitchen prices vary depending on 8 units (small) to 16 units (large), we were on the upper scale. This is also the same with fitting costs!

      We did shop around a bit though, and I think we got a decent deal. The fitting came to £1500, we chucked him an additional £250 cash to lay the wooden plyboard and then underlay/flooring as I was worried about having to mess around removing the nicely fitted under bits for the kitchen and would rather him just get all that bit done. It was an additional £180 for the gas to be disconnected then connected again to the hob (ridiculous imo!). And he wanted £700 for the removal of the old kitchen and a Hippo bag, which we saved as we removed it ourselves and did lots of tip runs. The kitchen itself came to around £3300 without the appliances. We bought the appliances ourselves but we also probably overspent on them as we’re a sucker for functioning things and like cooking. It’s the same thing we did with our bathroom reno, we spent a ridiculously low amount on the tiles, which the fitter moaned about as they were pretty bowed (we don’t really notice), but then we rammed a pretty overpriced over the head shower into it, as we will actually get use from that and enjoy it. So, we seem to overspend on things we can actually use and underspend on the aesthetics.

      We’ll be getting the house re-evaluated after we’ve ‘finished’ everything to see if all of the spendings was actually worth it in that regard, as we only plan on staying here for another 4 years tops. The rest of the ‘jobs’ are things we’re gonna DIY like the hallway flooring, plastering/painting and removing the front wall to turn it into a driveway (as we don’t currently have one). Ooo, and we need to get a carpet fitter in, but that will be last.

      A master post at the end would be good, see if we made anything 😀

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