June 2024 Savings, plus other updates

June was a mix of work, social activities and work social activities. Oh and watching lots of football on tv (and not always enjoying it, in the case of England!)

I also celebrated my birthday this month – another year older, maybe or maybe not another year wiser!

I still don’t feel my age, although the occasional thing does make me consider how ancient old I’ve somehow become:

  • Attending a colleague’s (the bride’s) wedding and finding out that I’m older than her mother by a number of years;
  • Watching the youngsters knocking back their free drinks at work’s summer party, whilst I nursed my second pint and sloped off early, my thoughts on how I needed to function the following work day without a hangover/late night;
  • Overhearing a colleague sitting behind me ask her neighbour, “What’s a fax machine?” I felt compelled to explain to her and felt so old as I quipped “It’s how we sent documents before the internet…”.
  • Finally being able to draw down on my SIPP – I won’t yet, of course!

For my birthday, I had a day out at the races (Haydock) with friends, which was followed by a Pete Tong Presents Ibiza Classics gig. Not sure that was a mix which really worked that well, but it was a fun day/night out nonetheless.

I had some family stay with me this month, and we had a day trip to North Wales. Weather was beautiful for a bit of walking.

Cup and Saucer Waterfall, in Erddig, North Wales.

Anyway, halfway through the year already, how did my numbers look for June?

I saved 15.8% of my net salary. The above includes £40.63 from doing Prolific surveys, £5 charity lotto win and the £100 which Nationwide Building Society paid out to all its members.

Shares and Investment Trusts

I just topped up existing ones, no new investments, aside from an addition to my One Share Portfolio where I bought 1 share (using the above-mentioned Nationwide payout) in Novo Nordisk – I can’t ever see me needing to take a fat-busting drug but seems a lot of people do so for a variety of reasons, so now I got a bit of skin in that game!

This month, I also ditched my single share in Starbucks and jumped back on the Nvidia bandwagon. I had intended to only have 10 shares in this fun portfolio, yet now I have 11 – might just have to make it a sweet dirty dozen at some point…thinking about it!

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

The rocket continues its upwards journey! At the end of the month, my Future Fund was up, at £272,964.64.

Dividends and Other Income

A record-breaking month (for me) for dividend income:

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May 2024 Savings, plus other updates

May seemed to come and go in a blur of bank holidays.

I made the most of the long weekends and the decent weather – all fence panels (front and back) have been wood stained and I even did a paintjob on a pallet my sister was about to throw out:

Also an achievement of sorts for me – I’ve managed to somehow keep the poinsettia plant I bought at Christmas alive. I buy one every year for the festive period, and usually, all the lovely red leaves drop off one by one and I’m left with a dead plant by January.  This time however, I noticed that a few leaves were resolutely clinging on, so I continued to water it and then noticed that new leaves were growing!

Whilst my garden is looking quite green with early summer blooms, my veggies don’t seem to be doing that well; the spinach bolted (for the first time) and my tomato plants don’t look that great (started off some more seedlings to see how those will go). The courgettes are looking so-so, my spuds might be ok, but let’s see.

Anyway, how did my numbers look for May?

I saved 19.2% of my net salary. The above includes £38.75 from doing Prolific surveys and a £100 premium bonds win.

Shares and Investment Trusts

No new investments, I just topped up existing ones.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

Buoyant markets saw the rocket make its return! At the end of the month, my Future Fund was sitting at £268,131.35.

Dividends and Other Income

A good month for dividend income:

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April 2024 Savings, plus other updates

Update is later than usual and I blame the sunny evenings and weekends, which had me spending more time outside, less indoors on my laptop (wi-fi isn’t great in the garden!).

April started off well with an evening out at the darts to witness teenage sensation, Luke Littler trounce seasoned pros – so cool and calm for such a young lad! This was my first time watching darts live – we knew what to expect, it was rowdy, noisy (a lot of singing which we took part in), the beer was expensive and the testosterone in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife, but it was a fun evening!

Packed on a school night

However, the month didn’t end so great as I had various major repair works done on my car, which came to a total cost of £1,718.93.

Ouch! I was expecting a bill of at least £1k and my heart sank when they gave me the full quote but hurrah, my emergency funds came to the rescue! I need to focus more on topping it up to replace that big chunk removed.

Anyway, how did my numbers look for April?

I saved 15.8% of my net salary. The above includes £46.52 from doing Prolific surveys and £12 Grand National bet winnings.

Shares and Investment Trusts

No new investments, I just topped up existing ones.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

No rocket in April as the markets appeared to stabilise. My Future Fund remained flat at £262,558.40 at the end of the month.

Dividends and Other Income

An average month for dividend income:

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Ten is the Magic Number

Well, the wheel of time grinds onwards and last month, my blog turned an epic TEN YEARS OLD!

Happy 10th birthday to Quietly Saving! 🙂

Long time or what! Except it hasn’t really felt that way.

My blog is positively ancient compared to some other FIRE blogs (not that there are that many these days), considering how many have fallen by the wayside and dropped into the abyss of the blog graveyard over the years. In the words of good old Elton, “I’m still standing!” 🙂

Last Woman Standing

Even after 10 years, I still enjoy writing (most of the time) – the blog is a means to help me focus, to document my journey, to help motivate me, a place to empty some of the thoughts rattling around my head or to articulate ideas. The blog was never about making me money, else I would have given up after year 1!

Some might describe my progress over the years as ‘plodding’ but the truth is, I’ve gone as fast I’ve wanted to; I see it as steadily and purposefully moving forwards, step by step.

The last couple of years did feel like a bit of a slog – there was barely any progress with my Future Fund due the stock markets creeping along sideways, it was all quite disheartening and demotivating but I doggedly kept at it.

At no point in the last ten years have I ever thought about quitting my goal and I don’t feel burned out from my FIRE journey, probably as I’ve just gone along at a pace I’ve been comfortable with.

That said, neither am I all bright-eyed and excited as I was at the beginning of my journey – what has crept in recently is a little trepidation as I am now on the last leg of my journey. I feel that a slight mindset change is required but I’m not quite there yet – my mind seems to be a little hesitant about taking that next step.

I need to start thinking seriously of ‘what happens next’, look into more detail on how I am going to fund my life post work, look into what my life will look like. The word ‘decumulation’ keeps popping up at the back of my mind and I’m currently just batting it away, like an annoying fly. Don’t worry, I will get my head round this.

Humdrum

Gosh, so I’ve been posting my numbers monthly (with some glimpses of my life) for a whole decade!

It’s all been pretty mundane stuff – I reckon I live a relatively ‘ordinary’ life, one which is filled with a lot of routine, same-old-same-old stuff, with good things far outweighing the bad.  My life is not action-packed, there’s very little drama and no cliff-hangers!

I am mostly an optimistic person, this governs how I live my life and also I think how I invest (whether that’s good or bad, haha!).

I think I’ve gotten the right balance with my life vs aiming for FIRE because as far as my nearest and dearest are concerned, I’m just living a normal/mundane/modest/boring (delete as applicable) life on a middle income, except that I have a fanciful idea of retiring early.

What have I been doing these past 10 years?