January ’17 Review

January ’17 Review

Righto, this is the first in the “monthly statement” series, where I will dissect our income and expenditure, laying it bare for all to see and judge. In all my years, I’ve yet to come across a finer invention than the spreadsheet, so that is the medium through which I shall present the data, before commenting on a few highlights as I see fit.



Total – £2,264.18

We are mainly funded by a monthly bursary courtesy of the NHS now that we are in the penultimate year of our degree – happily, this is doesn’t need to get paid back. We also get a thrice yearly lump of student loan (which does get added to the startling figure of student loan debt that has already been accrued to date) to top us up, as well. January’s instalment paid out early and comes up in December’s finances, which isn’t shown here.

Matched betting supplemented my income tremendously, as usual. This is the 4th month I’ve been doing it and my total to date has just surpassed £4,000. I’ve lost a few of my betting accounts now, which means I can’t quite get on all the offers going, but I’ve still got big hitters such as William Hill. Their High 5 horse reload is just about the best one going at the moment. If you want more information on matched betting, feel free to drop me a question either privately or in the comments, or just head straight over to my preferred platform, Yesbets*.

Investment income, currently, refers to interest earned through P2P lending platforms, as I don’t have any stocks or shares at the moment. The reason for that is we are currently saving towards a deposit (phase 1 of the grand plan), and we don’t want to put money in the stock market for less than five years. Anyway, Saving Stream* is chugging along at 12% and Ratesetter* is returning about 3.4% on the 1 month market. In January, I shifted more money from RS to SS  in order to exploit the almost inconceivable interest rates that they offer, and I intend to continue transferring money across in February.



Total – £1,393.29

The biggest expense is, and always will be, rent – this is the price of a (very) small 1 bed flat near Central London. Our contract runs until we graduate (summer ’18) and the best we can hope for is that the landlord doesn’t put the rent up in August. Upon graduation, we intend to make our way out of London post-haste.

Groceries-wise, this is a fairly standard amount for us. We both really enjoy cooking, and just about never go out for an evening meal. Lunches are absolutely always home-made as well, as food at the hospital is jolly expensive if one makes it a daily indulgence. Packed lunches saves up to £3 per day over the best value meal deal, thus it is a money-saving must.

Travel – £40 here represents two Oyster card top ups of £20 each. They are really a hangover from the end of December when there was a decent amount of travelling up and down to visit family. Cycle commuting to the hospital saves us a lot of money here (but that’s a whole other spreadsheet for a whole different day!), and we’ve been fortunate that we haven’t had too many stormy days which occasionally do force us to stump up the money for a bus.

Misc – I spent £2.50 on a sushi rolling mat. Best £2.50 I’ve ever spent (I type this just moments after eating 16 cucumber and pepper maki rolls for lunch).


Total savings this month amounted to £870, with a savings rate just shy of 40%. I’ve essentially calculated savings rate to be the proportion of surplus income versus our income. I’ve honestly no idea if that’s an appropriate way of calculating it, if I should be doing something different, please do let me know in the comments below.



As we can see, if it weren’t for matched betting, the month would’ve added up to a loss. Even being in receipt of the maximum amount of student loan/bursary, it still doesn’t quite cover the cost of living in London, despite our most frivolous expense being a sushi rolling mat!

Anyway, aside from that, I’ll wrap up with the latest net worth figures.

Net worth

2.8% month-on-month-gain from December – sweet! Heading (slowly) in the right direction. At least gold has also concluded its ~4 month decline, which is a nice bonus.The plan is to slowly move a decent chunk of the money in the Nationwide Cash ISA (earning <1%) into some higher interest accounts/platforms. This is particularly pertinent now that CPI has just jumped to 1.6%, meaning that the cash is now decaying in value, in real terms.

Overall, a positive start to the year. Let us know in the comments below if your 2017 got off to a flyer, or if the hangover of December dragged you back!

*Links marked with an asterix are affiliate links. This means that, through no loss or additional effort from yourself, I get a small benefit if you sign up via that link. In some cases, you will even benefit as well.

2 thoughts on “January ’17 Review

  1. What are your goals?

    What ARE the life plans you want to buy?

    To be Happy you need three things:
    Someone to love
    Something to do
    Something to look forward to

    What is the bottom one?


    1. Good questions.

      The goal is not as simple as just being able to retire and put our feet up. It’s about having the freedom and choice to do what we want, when we want. Invariably, that will include giving us space for our entrepreneurial characteristics to shine i.e. we hope to have the time and freedom to try out little ideas, and maybe even grow them into big ideas. Additionally, I would love to inherit my grandfathers workshop and pursue my hobby of model engineering, or see how “off grid” we can go with our own fruit and vegetable garden, the odd bee hive and a chicken coup. Walking around the coast of the UK. Cycling across Europe. These things don’t necessarily take a lot of money to achieve, but they do take a lot of time. And that’s what we want to buy. Time.

      In terms of what we have to look forward to, it’s not just about the destination, but indeed the journey. In 18 months, we’ll qualify as doctors, a couple of years we’ll be buying our first house, a short time after that is when kids might come into the equation, and so on and so forth. These little milestones along the way are part of the satisfaction and a key part of the motivation. We want to have a chance, have the time, to enjoy these things, and the intention of “financial independence” is simply a means to achieving that.


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