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?

March 2024 Savings, plus other updates

The days have brightened up and a bit of winter sun has been great for my spirit and soul!

I had a few extra days off as well as the Easter days. Over the bank holiday, I did the usual thing of going to B&Q and came away with a couple of plants and paint for the garden fences  (front fence now done).

Have enjoyed some nice relaxing days, pottering around the house and garden, planting some things so will see if those are successful.

Anyway, another month, another NI reduction, resulting in some extra pay in my wage packet. As with the last reduction, I will use this extra to overpay my mortgage.

Also, another month, another work bonus! This time, the annual discretionary bonus I get if the company hits its profit/growth targets and partly linked to my own performance.

I’m sure there was a time when I would have gotten hugely excited about getting a bonus, probably because it would have been already spent  on ‘stuff’ (and then some) in my head! When I saw it in my wage slip, I just thought, oh that’s nice and mentally divvied up how it would be invested etc. As with the last bonus, I split it across my ISA, SIPP, emergency funds and mortgage overpayment.

And on that positive note, how did my numbers look for March?

I saved 50.3% of my net salary. Normal savings rate shall resume next month! The above includes £87.44 from doing Prolific surveys and £50 football predictions 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 

The rocket continues onwards and upwards, my Future Fund hitting £262,470.89 at the end of the month. Looks great but I can’t bring myself to get too excited about it (much!).

Dividends and Other Income

An average month for dividend income:

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