Savings Report #3 – September

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.

September brings another month where the stocks have performed badly! They’ve actually decreased by double the amount that they did in August at around -0.70%. This is still small stuff really as my pots are so small. At this stage I’m almost welcoming the decrease as it means I get to buy em’ while they’re low! And I’d rather they lose value now than when my pots are big! If I had £1m invested, a negative 0.7% change would actually mean losing £7000 in one month…Yikes!

My pension contribution change has finally gone through and I’m now contributing £2500 per month into it. This has pushed my total monthly contributions up by another £700, which has in turn, upped my savings rate to 78.99%! The Saving Ninja Super Spreadsheet uses your average savings rate from the year to calculate your expected time to FI, this has now gone up to 76.57%. Thanks to this change, my years to FI has shot down from 5.6 years to 5.1 years! This should also come down considerably each month as my average savings rate catches up with my new monthly savings.

My total net worth now sits at £58,133.14, bringing me one step closer to that first milestone of £100k! If my stocks didn’t earn anything and I carried on contributing £3500 per month, I should reach that milestone within 12 months. Hopefully, my stocks will perform a little though, and I expect to be contributing at least an extra £8k to use up my ISA allowance, so I’m going to make a prediction that I’ll reach that 100k figure in around 6 to 8 months (April-June 2019). Let’s try to beat it!

Other Thoughts

I’ve decided to forgo the employee share scheme which I discussed last month. I was so close to picking it up, but then I realised that I really didn’t want to stay there for longer than a couple of years. I’ve always wanted to move abroad to Canada or the USA to work and eventually retire. Thankfully due to my university degree in a ‘skilled subject’ and having over 5 years of professional experience, getting VISA sponsorship shouldn’t be too difficult, it would just take time. However, it would be a lot easier if I applied before I turned 30 years old. Some VISAs are even restricted to under 30-year-olds. I’ve always said that if I end up not moving away, I’ll instead pursue contracting in London so that I can earn a high salary whilst still living in England and invest more. Both of these things would mean moving on from my current position in just over a years time. If I joined the share scheme, it wouldn’t actually properly begin until January, I’d then have to contribute for a further 3 years until they vest, pushing me way past my current time schedule.

I got a letter through the post that stated I needed to file a corporation tax return before Christmas for my company, this got me thinking…Shit, is there anything I should expense? From speaking with the contractors at work, apparently, I should be thinking and expensing any electronics and stationary to ‘make the most of it’ and save on the 20% corporation tax. I’m all for paying taxes, but upon finding out that HMRC charge £20 just for me to ‘confirm’ that my company details are the same each year and for the tens of thousands that they steal take for the notorious stamp duty tax, my work from home technology company could surely do with a few new gadgets?

I was already going to expense some kind of writing laptop. Initially, I was thinking a MacBook so that I could develop iOS applications on it as well, but now I’m leaning more towards a Chromebook as I think that what I said about iOS applications is just my brain trying to get me to buy shiny expensive things… I’ve started a list for my potential other ‘expenses’. It goes something like this:

  1. Smart watch: Apparently my ‘health’ can be expensed by my company. I’ve never owned a smartwatch, but I do cycle to work and it would be nice to have the distance accurately measure. I was thinking of something like the Fossil Q Explorist.
  2. Ethernet wall plug adapters: Those internet things that you plug into a socket and they let you connect like you’re using an ethernet cable. Those things are bloody expensive! I might wait until black friday comes around.
  3. Computer monitor: I’ve had my eyes on one of these 180Hz 1ms response time monitors for quite a while. I need to improve my Overwatch game!
  4. PC case: My current one is a bit knackered.
  5. Mobile phone: I’ve only had my phone for 1 year but *cough* my girlfriend needs a new phone *cough*. So I could probably do with a new one.

All in all, I’ve got about 3k of profits this year that I can expense. I could always take out a 1k ‘tax-free’ dividend to save on the 41% income tax, but, this would still mean paying 20% corporation tax, so I’d rather expense things that my ‘company’ needs instead.

Free Money!

My matched betting side-hustle has gone through the roof this month. Here’s a picture of my profit snapshots for the last week.

This is all from EW horse betting. I started on the 13th of September, that’s 4k profit in 2 weeks! On top of that, I only actually started with £5 each way bets. I went up to £20 each way on the 27th. If I had started on £20 each way from the beginning, I’d be sitting on about £7k profits right now. I’m pretty confident that with EW betting, I’ll easily be able to net 5k per month (and that’s being conservative!).

Doing some quick-fire maths over at The Salary Calculator, I’d roughly need to earn an additional £140k taxable income per year to get the same 5k extra per month that matched betting is getting me. Even with no income, you’d need to earn 105k per year alone to make 5k per month after tax. If it keeps going this well, it may shave years off my FI date. Let’s hope it’s this profitable for a while longer!

I’m kind of obsessed with EW betting at the moment. I’m even planning on getting Mrs Ninja in on it too (if only she had a new, faster phone to bet on ;] ) I’m planning on adding an EW betting section over on the matched betting guide at some point this month. If you haven’t started matched betting yet; you should! You need to do the new account offers before you get started on EW betting, so head over to the guide!

The new kitchen is not long off now, only 28 days until the fitting starts! I saved £700 from removing the old kitchen myself and £200 from changing the electrical sockets and light fitting. I ended up agreeing to pay the plasterer to do the painting, so lost £250 there, but I’m hoping he’ll do a better job than I would have done! We’ve basically been living in a kitchen that is unusable for over a year now, so can’t wait to get this one finished. It will hopefully add some value to the house too – we’ll see!

Join The Discussion

  • What else can I expense?
  • How are your side hustles doing?
  • How did your savings do this month?

16 thoughts on “Savings Report #3 – September

  1. Glad to see others having success with Each Way Betting. What percentage risk per trade are you following? I started my experiment back in July with just over £500 adopting 1% risk per bet (£5 total stake / £2.50 each way) and I’ve doubled my money after a slow start. From the start of this month, I’ve doubled my stakes (still keeping to 1%) to £10 total stakes (£5 each way) so I hope the run continues. I’m sure it has every potential to lose a good amount on a poor run but so far so good. It looks as though you started with a decent chunk of money and have enjoyed good returns. Cheers

    1. Hi Dan,

      I started with £5 each way to ensure I knew what I was doing. I upped to £20 each way as soon as I felt confident in my ability to press the right buttons. I didn’t feel the need to test the method to see if it actually worked, I just put all my faith in theFIREstarter having verified it! I’ve been matched betting for a couple of years and done quite a bit of high-risk casino offers so I felt I could handle the variance and jumped straight in. £20 EW is currently about 0.75% of my matched betting bank but can pull in more funds if need be (although I’ll probably be shitting bricks if I lost £6000.)

  2. Excellent going on the savings rate and amazing run on the EW betting!

    I’m quite content with the small profits I’m making so that I don’t have to deal with the nightmarish downswings (and they will happen unfortunately). It does mean I don’t experience the euphoria of the fantastic upswings (like what you’re enjoying!) but I can live with that! Hopefully your good fortune will continue for a long while yet!

    1. Thanks for the good fortune wishes 🙂 I’ve actually been experiencing my first down-swings over the past few days. Bracing myself to weather the storm! I think I was lucky with such a good month starting out. I am kind of obsessed with it at the moment and I’m probably at risk of being fired if I keep the current rate up!

  3. “I’ll easily be able to net 5k per month ” – erm… I hate to break the bad news to you but you can actually lose money as well with this 😉

    September looks like an outlier month to me. My average/month so far is about 4k and I’ve been doing >20ew stakes for the large majority of that, and that includes an extremely lucky multiples win of around 10k. Take that off and it’s under 3k/month.

    Look I’m not saying it’s not the greatest side hustle I’ve ever stumbled across, but try not to get too excited about extrapolating those figures! You can easily lose 1k in a day with 20ew stakes.

    If you wanted to average 5k/month you’d have to up the stakes to around 40ew I reckon, and made sure you play consistently at least 5 days a week, including maybe some evenings – also remember evening racing scales down towards the winter. Also meetings will start to get abandoned as the weather gets worse, so a lot less racing on in general which should in theory hurt profits. Also (last one I promise) at some point you will start to run out of decent accounts which can also reduce profits (I’m not at that stage yet but at some point it will happen!)

    5k/month is definitely doable though, if you work hard at it, keep stakes pretty high and get a bit of luck going your way, so fingers crossed for you (and myself obviously haha!)

    1. Challenge accepted! 😉 I was planning on doing £40 EW after my bank grew a bit more on two phones.

      Sucky about the racing scaling down. I was hoping to hit it full force after Christmas with £40 EW myself and £20 EW for Mrs SavingNinja. You never know how long things like this will last!

      Yeah, I’ve only been doing this for a few weeks and not had a bad run yet. Hopefully won’t go into shock when I’m down by over 1k! 🙂 What do you mean about playing evenings? I’ve been stopping at around 3pm. I just checked the matcher now and it seems there isn’t anything on that I haven’t backed already through-out the day.

      1. Aha, well if you aren’t betting on the evening races anyway then that’s cool.
        You do get some early ones coming up for evening meetings before 3pm, but you will find there are a lot more again if you check again around 5pm as liquidity on Betfair and exchanges improve.
        It’s handy especially if I haven’t been able to get on much during the day I’ll see how my luck it in the evening.
        Sometimes when you lose it’s really annoying though and I think why did I bother! But deep down the more you play the more you win long term…

        Anyway my point was that of course in the summer there are far more evening meetings due to the lighter nights and better weather. But in the autumn/winter they tend to just go down to one AW (All Weather) meet and often this will get abandoned due to the bad weather anyway.

  4. These are great points about the wintertime and less racing. I guess the peak has now passed but at least we will be primed for the spring when things ramp up again. This week has been a bit choppy but still turned a decent profit.

  5. Savingninja. Great savings rate. Well done. Re each way sniping. Are you betting on odds over 6? I’ve been doing well, about a 20% return although that’s dropped during last couple of weeks to 17%. What about odds over 40 etc. Are you maintaining your £20 each way?


    1. Hi Alan,

      Just betting when odds that are over 6. I’m also sticking with the same EW no matter how high the odds are. That’s how I got a nice win the other week (odds were 69 – check out my Twitter feed for the picture). I’m doing this mainly for ease of use.

      I also had a terrible October, dropping over 1k. I’ve now gone back to £10 each way until I’m another couple of thousand up as I’ve now withdrew my investment and I’m working with just profits. Had a nice £600 profit day on Friday (sucks how I’d just dropped to £10 EW though :P)

      How long have you been doing it for? Are you betting £20 EW? -and what’s your total pot? 😀

  6. I’ve been doing it since late July. Only doing £5 each way and up about £1200. I’ve been abroad for at least a month of that though. Maybe only averaging about 50 bets a week using 10 accounts. A few restricted me fairly quickly. Yes the last couple of weeks have been rubbish. As was today – 15 bets. 14 losses, 1 void. Not even a place! The each way gods have a lot to answer for. How many bets a week are you doing? I’m logging all my bets on oddsmonkey but the data extraction isn’t good. I was hoping to get a bit more detail so that i could really analyse what bets are winning more than others.

    1. Hey Alan, just switched on my PC and had a look for you so we can scope out ‘what’s winning’. To my surprise, I logged onto my Bet365 account and saw a much higher figure than I had tallied up at the end of Fridays betting. It turns out I actually made £839.58 from £10 EW on Friday, not £600! It seems there was one late bet that I had forgotten about that won.

      So, on Friday the winners were:
      Iridessa 3.35 Newmarket Odds 34 – bought in £432.50.
      Mot Juste 2.25 Newmarket Odds 15 – bought in £195.
      Just Hiss 2.40 York Odds 13 – bought in £170
      Scottish Jig 5.55 NewMarket Odds 6 – bought in £76.25
      Scottish Jig & Just Hiss double – bought in £200 (from £2.50 EW)

      I had quite a few places too. Fridays seem to be massive each week and luckily, last Friday I was working from home so I managed to do 70+ bets. I don’t keep track of every single bet as on these days I just select 3/4 horses on the bookie and let it automatically place all of the doubles, triples and singles (and it shows as one big bet). I’ll then write these horses down with a symbol to indicate I’ve filled all of the variations.

      Most days I have been managing to do over 30 bets – this includes doubles etc. My biggest profits so far have been from Bet365 and Ladbrokes. Sportpesa was very good but they limited me pretty quickly.

      With regards to logging the bets, I got bored very quickly, so I ended up just writing in Google Notes or Notepad the race times and horses that I’ve bet on so I don’t bet twice and tallying up my accounts at the end of the day and that’s it. My Spreadsheet just tells me my profit snapshots and what’s in my accounts/transferring out etc.

      1. Interesting points Ninja – can I ask what risk tolerance you adopt? I use about 10 bookies and seem to only find 15-20 good picks per day so I guess you are using a much wider range of bookies to find 30+ (or 70 last Friday). I stick to 1% risk (of my bank) so, while it is unlikely to happen, losing 15 bets in a day feels about right for me (i.e. 15% drawdown on my overall bank). If you did 70 bets the other day, do you lower your risk accordingly?


        1. Hey Dan,

          They’re almost all from Bet365, and only about 30 were singles, most are mults! For example; the bet I just did was as such –

          Neverushacon, Turnberry Isle and Characteristic just came up on the EW bettor all at once, so I added all 3 to my bet slip. Then I clicked ‘Show all multiples’ drop-down, checked EW for doubles and trebles and played £2.50 EW for the doubles and £1.25 for the treble (total stake £17.50), that’s 4 bets in total, then 1 each for the singles (I play those straight away though in-case the odds change). Friday is always much busier and there are many bets on Bet365, which results in a lot of different multiples you can do.

          I don’t think about adjusting anything until the end of the day, I’ve actually lowered my stakes to £10 each way even though my profit is sitting at £4000 so I don’t have to think about lowering it again. If my profits fall below £2000 when I’m staking £10 EW I should probably start worrying as I would have lost 100 singles so I’d re-evaluate. I’m going to hold off on increasing to £15 EW until I’m at £6k profit and £20 EW for 8k profit so I’ll hopefully never have to adjust downwards. I think 0.5% of your bank is probably a safer bet if you’re doing a lot of mults.

          1. Nice – I have Turnberry Isle and Characteristic on my slips today (singles) so fingers crossed on those! I’ve only done a few doubles here and there and I’ve not done as you suggest above (both multiples and singles on the same selections) I should probably be a little more aggressive at times 😉

            Keep up the good work!


  7. INteresting. I wonder why fridays are good, better liquidity? I havent done any multiples but will start! I dont use bet365 as i havent been gubbed (yet) and i’m earning really well on 2-ups using bet 365.

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