February Income and Expenses report 2018

“I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too” –Steve Martin

I must admit I am getting used to this a bit more now. The fear isn’t there anymore. I think it helps that I’m actively participating in our finances now and I am taking responsibility for it.

Income Feb 2018

Feb 18 1

Nothing different there. Notice the Matched Betting money isnt included? We have different plans for that which you will see below.

Feb 18 2

Yep not great and as you can see from our income, we have overspent again so will be using the money we borrowed.

So the plan for extra income is this:

Hustle money plan

Yes we have booked a holiday! the money we borrowed doesn’t have interest on it so we are making sure we have our proverbial backs covered and then going to pay it off. If we can keep to our spending budget then we should naturally have money left at the end of each month which will help to top up everything we want to do.

So how much did we make from Matched Betting? (Don’t forget we use a different month to the normal calendar month as we pay for our living expenses on the credit card)

Grand total is:

profit MB

My money seems very hard to keep track of at the moment with me trying to set up a new bank account for Matched Betting. I have lots of money coming in and going out so its going to take some work (and a spreadsheet) to actually find where  it all is!

How was your income and expenses for Feb? I’d love to know so leave a comment or tweet or email me! 


Matched Betting Update: 20th – 26th Feb 2018

A little later than planned but yesterday we got snowed in so I spent the day with the little one making snow people and generally having a day off!

Mr Fire and I are still going strong with our Matched Betting trial. He is totally sold on the idea of it being able to bring in some extra income although I’m not too convinced. Its seems really complicated and I seem to have an unwillingness to want to learn. I think I’m so afraid of making a mistake that I’m trying to protect myself but If I don’t try then I will never be able to reach FIRE as its all about trial and error right?

20th Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange

Nothing for that day. Mr Fire was too ill to go to work and spent the day in bed. I checked Oddsmonkey every so often but there didn’t seem to be anything really happening.

21st Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
£0.77 Oddsmatch £0.24 Betfair Smakets
Oddsmatch £0.44 Betfair Smarkets
Bet Club QL -£0.60 Coral Smarkets
Free Spins £0.31 William Hill N/A
Oddsmatch £0.38 William Hill Betfair

Not a big win for today. I am finding it very hard to make money whilst being gubbed but I’m going to get a new bank account set up and reread all about not getting gubbed to help preserve my accounts. I did do the Coral bet club and made just a small loss of 60p.

22nd Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
£15.89 Oddsmatch £0.13 Betfair Smarkets
Oddsmatch £5.79 32red bet smarkets
Oddsmatch £8.71 William Hill Smarkets
Oddsmatch £0.69 Sporting Bet Smarkets
Oddsmatch £0.57 Sporting Bet Smarkets

A good day! No mistakes and I think I am getting into the swing of things now. Reading the comments from my last post, I do think I will phase out the arbing I do (I call it Oddsmatch if you haven’t noticed as I’m silly like that) and move more into bet clubs and offers.

23rd  Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
£1.57 Oddsmatch £0.76 coral Smarkets
Oddsmatch £0.30 Sporting Bet Smarkets
Oddsmatch £0.51 sporting bet Smarkets

Just bits and  bobs for today!

24th Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
£1.64 Oddsmatch £0.03 Betfair Smarkets
Oddsmatch £1.52 coral Smarkets
Oddsmatch £0.09 Betfair Smarkets

Nothing major to report….

25th Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
£0.70 Oddsmatch £0.70 William hill Smarkets

Sunday was a big family day filled with country walks and multiple parks so no Matched Betting too place.

26th Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange

No Matched Betting here as I spent alot of the day reading all about Matched Betting and Arbing. It seems like I haven’t been doing “true” Matched Betting at all but instead just Arbing which is only for the experienced and those with specialised software. That’s was an eye opener, but the positive from it is simple. For someone doing the wrong thing, my total last week was £20.50 which isn’t bad for someone doing something wrong.

My plan is to start again with my bookie accounts and stick to sign up offers and bet clubs from now on.

Mr Fires total? I’d guess about £40 again. He doesn’t keep records of it as he has it in his brain.

If your thinking of signing up to Oddsmonkey then please use my Affiliate link! It doesn’t cost you anything and I get a little bit of money.


The Butterfly Effect of FIRE

Interesting conversation myself and Mr Fire had over breakfast this morning. Firstly as we hardly ever get to sit down for breakfast as just the two of us and secondly as it was all over an email I received. I’m terrible for checking my emails (those of you who leave comments and send me emails will know this only too well….) I recently signed up for Think Save Retire free email course about building a finance blog and I’ve been rather tardy at keeping up with it. As I was flicking through all my emails I came across an email from a very reputable blogger, informing me (and everyone else on the emailing list) that they would be sharing the exact way to make a lot of extra income each month using the internet. Well of course this peaked my interest so I eagerly clicked the link and to my horror disbelief the link took me through to a page on their site with a screenshot preview of what it was all about. As I read on further I found out to my astonishment that for the price of £9.99 per month they will share the secrets of how to make this money.


This got myself and Mr Fire talking about people selling generalized knowledge to the masses without any personal engagement. I am assuming you simply hand over your monthly sum and then are left to fend for yourself, but isn’t this what everyone offers?

Myself and Mr Fire are eagerly awaiting some money making courses this year, most of which you have to pay for. So how is this different from the above that I’m objecting too?

For me I guess its all about gaining the knowledge and learning the skill of some things. One of the things we are looking at, the blog actually tells you step by step how to do it for FREE! Yes thats right. This person has made a good side hustle and is telling everyone and anyone how to do it step by step. What would we be buying then? well its the specialized knowledge that he was acquired. Its an actual training course. At the end of the course we would be acquiring the knowledge that it took him 5 years to accumulate and we would gain all that after following the course to completion. He is also on hand to provide  personalized advice and feedback on everyone who buys the courses. This differs from the above were by you pay and then blindly follow along completing offer after offer hoping to make some extra money.

I like to think that we are all on this journey together, in a somewhat Butterfly effect. If I post my mistakes on my blog then it may stop someone else having to go down the same path and so that small locialized change ins omeones life can then have larger effects in their life somewhere. I wouldn’t want anyone to pay for the lessons that I have learned.

But what do you think? Should we pay for generalized knowledge to aid us on our path to FIRE?

How to pass the new driving test

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible” Audrey Hepburn

On the 4th December 2017  a funny thing happened in the UK. They changed the practical driving test. Then on the first two days of its release, UK examiners went on strike that they linked to health and safety reasons over the new test.

Apparently the new test was well supported by the public! check out the statistics:

  • 88.2% agreed with increasing the length of the independent driving part of the test
  • 70.8% agreed with asking candidates to follow directions from a sat nav
  • 78.6% agreed with the plans to change how the reversing manoeuvres are tested
  • 78.4% agreed with asking the ‘show me’ question while the candidate is driving

Figures from gov.uk

When I first started learning to drive, it was for the old test. When the new changes got introduced my instructor explained the changes and we started learning the new stuff. I actually got to do a mock test of the old and the new test before I took my driving test. Much difference? hell yes! Is the test harder now? well not really, the difference is more the confusion that comes around the sat nav and the new maneuvers

Here is my guide to passing the new test:


  1. Independent driving
    An extra 10 mins have been added onto the new test, taking it from 10 mins to now 20 mins. It easy to prepare for this one, just get your instructor to throw some independent driving at you during your lessons. Mine used to do independent driving when I was near the end of my lesson and driving home. At first I was skeptical as I got to learn my way home however then he started throwing curve balls in. He’s ask me to take a different route, or to follow different signs which made me really start becoming aware of road markings. The thing to remember about this one is it doesn’t actually matter whether you go the way they wanted or even if you follow the signs as long as your driving safely and legally. Don’t run the lights, don’t drive too slow just so you can see the signs.

2. The sat nav
This part was laughable on my test. The course was set on the sat nav but it kept throwing random things up (take the 8th exit on the roundabout when it only have three exits..) plus the examiner kept changing the directions so when the sat nav requested I “turn left at the lights” she corrected it and asked me to go right instead. This one is actually very similar to the independent driving. It doesn’t really matter if you get all the direction correctly or not but that you obey the laws of the road and are safe. If you are so busy concentrating on the sat nav that you don’t stop at a stop sign, its game over. Ironically, where I live now in the middle of nowhere the good old sat nav is useless as it cant describe the words accurately so it ends up with bear left in a right turn only and says every roundabout is a right turn.

3. Answering a safety question whilst driving
The usual show me tell me questions but one will be asked before you start the car and the other on the road. My advice? don’t sweat it. Its only 1 minor and the question on the move is one that can only be asked on the move. Your not going to be asked to check your hazard lights are working as that’s too dangerous to other road users. The run of the mill questions are asked here – “turn windscreen wipes on, how would you adjust your headrest” ect…

4. The new maneuvers

Gone is reversing around a corner and a turn in the road. The two new ones are tricky!

You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:

  • parallel park at the side of the road
  • park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do)
  • pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic

Parallel parking is the hardest in my opinion and I do doubt my ability to do it even though I have passed.  The two bay ones can be made fairy easy with this little trick my instructor taught me. Right before your test, do each bay park and stick a sticker where your turning reference point is. That way your know exactly when you should be turning during your test.

I think the pulling up on the right side of the road is actually a fairly easy one as the examiner will check its safe to do it and then you just take it slow. You have 5 mins to do each one in so use them if you need.  good tip is to stock and put your handbrake on. Make sure you throw loads of observations in and take some deep breathes. Result – a calmer you and you score brownie points for all your observations.


Here you have my guide. I hope it helps. When I was doing my test there was nothing about the new one out and no hints or tip so hopefully this helps someone.

Matched Betting Update: w/c 5th Feb

Mr Fire and I decided to really give Matched Betting a chance and so we got to work last week, He’s going to be doing it after work and at weekends when he was able and I will be dabbling  throughout the week. I thought it might be useful to log it each week so I can learn from my mistakes (of which there are many!) I wont be able to be as precise with Mr Fires bets as he doesn’t even log them on a spreadsheet yet.

Here is how my my last two weeks looked:

8th Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange Notes
£11.87 Oddsmatch £8.21 Betfair Smarkets
Free spins 0.62 Betfair Casino N/A
Oddsmatch 3.04 Sporting Bet Smarkets

Not too shabby for my first day! No real problems and I only checked the oddsmonkey oddsmatcher a few times! Got some free sins on the casino too which was nice.

9th Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange Notes
£1.99 Oddsmatch £1.99 Coral Smarkets

I was projected to make £6.99 from this bet but my bet was sent to a “bet handler” and then denied so I was sure I was gubbed 😦

Big break as half term happened so we had some random days out walking in the country, going to the farm ect…


14th Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange Notes
£1.95 £4.38 Sporting Bet Betfair
Bet Club Qualify -2.43 Coral Smarkets Bet twice 😦

This is where the silly mistakes started! I assumed I was gubbed from coral and so when it accepted my first £25 bet for the bet club, i refused to believe it and bet it again so I doubled my QL 😦 live and learn I guess.

The mistakes began again unfortunately. I failed to check there was enough liability in my bet so I had to try and negate my losses by splitting the lay out over different odds. The to top that off the bet was voided after being reduced heavily!

Next mistake of the day was to lay at exchange before the bookies and there was a restrict on how much you could bet so I ended up making a loss on it. Mr Fire had to talk me through how to bet on the exchange to negate my losses. I was really fed up with Matched Betting at this point especially since even after all the tracking of my money in a spreadsheet I still seem to be short £153. I have no clue where its gone so I will probably take a day next weekend to let all my bets settle and see if I can track it down.

15th Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange Notes
£4.64 Oddsmatch £3.58 Sporting Bet Smarkets
Oddsmatch 0.19 Sporting Bet Smarkets
Oddsmatch 0.87 Betfair Smarkets

Easier day today with no big mistakes!

16th Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
£2.44 Oddsmatch £1.95 Betfair Betfair
Oddsmatch £0.49 sporting bet Smarkets
Free Bet 0 Coral N/A

Had a lucky escape as I was about to put £100 down on Coral when I noticed my free bet was there. I decided to use that instead which was good as once I placed my bet on coral both exchanges emptied out the markets and I was unable to lay it. I lost my free bet and the £2.48 Qualifying but it could have been ALOT  worse. Also found out I’m gubbed at Sporting Bet now so I can only bet for winnings of £40……

17th Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
£16.65 Dutch 5 Coral Winner
Oddsmatch £2.01 William Hill Smarkets
Oddsmatch £0.88 Betfair smarkets
Oddsmatch £6.19 Betfair smarkets
Oddsmatch £0.51 Sporting Bet smarkets
Oddsmatch £2.06 Betfair smarkets

Day started off rocky and my exchange lay was only partially matched. Mr Fire convinced me to sit tight and luckily after a few hours it was matched! He had a slight hiccup but saved it with his weird extensive knowledge of math and excel!

18th Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
£2.62 Oddsmatch £0.60 betfair smarkets
Oddsmatch £0.37 Betfair Smarkets
Oddsmatch £0.60 Betfair Smarkets
Oddsmatch £1.05 William Hill smarkets

Another quiet day but no major problems so I’m happy.

I didn’t do any Matched Betting yesterday as I got myself all obsessed with knowing where my money is! I don’t have a dedicated bank account for MB so its hard to track and I’m a total control freak. I was also licking my wounds after being gubbed from several places!

Gub List
Betfair Sportsbook
Sky Bet
Paddy Power
Bet Victor
Sporting Bet
Stan James

I’m thinking of opening up a new bank account and setting up new MB accounts. Does anyone have any tips for not getting gubbed?

My total Profit from MB was £42.16 and Mr Fire’s was £40 which he got in one weekend!

If your thinking of signing up to Oddsmonkey then please use my Affiliate link! It doesn’t cost you anything and I get a little bit of money.

OddsMonkey Betfair Integration

The perfect workout routine

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” –Winston Churchill

After my rather depressing post last week I’ve deiced to get back to building a life for myself and investing back into me. I mean, whats the point of FIRE if I am am nothing and nobody at the end?

I thought I’d start by tackling one of the items on my Hierarchy of Needs: Fitness. Since I’ve been really missing my research into FIRE, I devoured all I could about mental health and fitness. I may even do a post on it soon (what kind of FIRE blogger am I?)

So it seems exercise has evolved alot since my gym knicker wearing days of PE in school. There are actual days when to do it, how often and for how long. I’m probably very late to the party on this one. In my youth (you know, pre baby) I just used to do cardio and that was simply as I loved moving my body. Now I am getting older (ahem) I really want to incorporate everything your supposed to be doing plus I have the time to do it now.

I’ve complied results from google, women’s institute of health, NHS, British Heart foundation and self magazine to create the perfect workout routine for me, which looks like this:

My perfect workout plan


My perfect balance



I still have some Christmas weight to lose remember? so I’ll be starting with Cardio

I haven’t exercised in an age so I’m going to start off with cardio. Luckily for me and our poor expenses, I have a huge amount of workout DVD’s. As always I’ll keep you updated.

What does your workout routine look like?


Make money on Ebay: Vintage toy guide

“Never spend your money before you have earned it.” —Thomas Jefferson

I’ve been rather tardy on the ebay selling front I’m afraid. We have alot going on in the Fire household so instead of facing the mountain of things I have put aside to sell on ebay, instead I’ve been dreaming I find all my old toys and make a fortune from them. Alas it seems I dont have any that are worth money but you might! here’s my vintage toy guide for Ebay!


  1. Polly Pocket
    Originally a very small tiny toy doll that was so easy to lose, you had to tell your friends not to sneeze around it. Mattel bought it in 1998 and immediately made it slightly bigger. The result? Well hopefully a doll with better finding power but it also made the price of the littler ones skyrocket!


2. Pokemon
From the Nintendo game-boy to the cards, the rare ones back then are even rarer now! Which of course means more lucrative. I’ve never understood Pokemon myself but beginning to wish I had now!


3. Furby
Remember these disturbing little fellows? I actually dont but now they fetch a small fortune on Ebay!


4. Magic: The gathering cards
This freaky thing came out in 1993 and the money is in the early ones or the whole set!


5. Happy meal toys from McDonalds
Serously? Why was I never allowed to go to Mc DOnalds as a child then mum? *checking the ingredients* oh yes,,,, nevermind…. Not just any old toy will bag you a million (none will infact) but a whole set ranging through several years will buy you a few Happy meals.

Happy Meal

So there is my guide on what vintage toys to sell.