For almost the entirety of April were remained in Worthing on peripheral. Whilst it was generally nice, it was good to get back home again into our normal routine by the end. We will miss the excellent walking opportunities, with Cissbury Ring making this month’s featured image. Anyway, onward to the finances.
Not a tremendous amount of note this month. Income from interest was just about spot on what I expect it average out at over the year – £200. A certain person’s birthday was the reasoning for the nice bump in April’s ‘Gift’ income. As mentioned last month, I took a bit of time off matched betting last month as I had exams to focus on and I’ve also pretty much used up all my betting accounts. I may or may not be able to get back into it in the future, depending on how good any reloads are at certain bookies.
This month saw a slightly higher average expenditure than usual in the 3-month view, buoyed up mainly by my partner block booking a bunch of driving lessons and her driving test (to be sat at the end of June). This theme will be repeated in May, too, as I’ve just started learning to drive myself and dropped >£400 on a block of 20 lessons myself!
Other minor points of expenditure include small things such as a pair of shoes, a birthday meal out at a wonderful pizza restaurant which uses sourdough for their bases, £9 worth of pond plants for my Granny amongst one or two other bits and bobs.
All in all, if you smooth out the impact of the driving lessons, it was actually a relatively frugal month. I was a little concerned that being on peripheral with friends would inflate our spending, but it has only had a minor impact.
The absence of any matched betting and the expense of driving lessons these days has given us our first negative savings rate this year. My actual forecast for the entire academic year (at the moment I work in academic years because that’s what my funding, accommodation and general activities revolve around) is to break even. It won’t be until we actually graduate and start earning properly regular income that the savings rate will become a useful measure.
With the negative savings rate comes a predictable slight decline in net worth. We are continuing the steady process of moving what was once a considerable amount of money in a ~0% cash ISA into interest earning vehicles. The excitement this month revolved around Nationwide in 2 ways. Firstly, we’ve opened a £500/m 5% regular saver to trickle money into, and, secondly, I set up a “Natwest Switcher” account so that my partner can refer me to Nationwide and avail us of £100 each for our trouble. The “Tesco Savings Account” is all part of the ruse of setting up the required number of Direct Debits to qualify for the referral bonus.
In summary, we carry on plodding along.