June 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

A bit of a topsy-turvy month – with the announcement at work and various members of my family arriving for an extended visit and birthday celebrations (mine!), things aren’t quite normal in the weenie household. Oh, and also Brexit happened….


So I managed a savings rate of 39.7%, my lowest so far this year. Meals out with friends and family plus shopping trips (again with family) incurred extra expenses.

My average savings rate has now sadly dropped below my target, now at 49.4%, so just below my target. With my family being around for a few more months and work being uncertain, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to drag this back up but I’ll do what I can.

This month’s income was boosted by £50 from rent received, £25 premium bond winnings and £25.05 from TopCashback*. I also made my first £100 investment using matched betting profits – more on that another time.

Net Worth and Future Fund 

I don’t report my Net Worth on a monthly basis, but here’s the detailed info after the second quarter:

Jun16networth(a) Figure based on August 2015 statement, plus overpayments made

(b) Personal Emergency Fund

(c) Emergency Fund for stuff related to BTL property

(d) On a 0% rate

(e) Zoopla estimated value of property as at 30/06/16

Brexit has actually had an initial positive impact on my portfolio – helped along with new capital, my Future Fund now stands at £72,192.02, an increase of 5.9% from last month.

Since December 2015, my net worth has increased by 15.2% (not including my work DC pension). I’m not really hung up on this number but it’s heading in the right direction, so I guess I’m happy.


Dividends and Other Income

Dividends received this month (which will be reinvested): Continue reading

A Different Kind of Sane?


Panic on the streets of London
Panic on the streets of Birmingham
I wonder to myself
Could life ever be sane again?*

The answer is in time, yes, but likely a very different kind of sane.

The world hasn’t ended.

The sky hasn’t fallen down.

Democracy at its best/worst (delete as applicable).

Life goes on but not as we know it.


[*lyrics courtesy of The Smiths]

Premium Bond Win, plus my New Gadget

Just because there’s crap going on at work, I don’t want to just blog about doom and gloom so here’s something on a lighter note.

I recently read that it was going to get even harder to win in the Premium Bonds – the odds of winning any prize were being reduced from 26,000:1 to 30,000:1.

However, I received what is now a ‘regular’ email from NS & I – does 3 wins in 6 months count as ‘regular’?


Ok, so it was just another £25 win, but it’s not bad for what I consider as my ‘cash under the mattress’.

As I’ve mentioned before, premium bonds are rubbish investments, so just as well I don’t consider them as investments!

As before, I think I’ll chuck the winnings at my recently depleted emergency fund.

Here’s hoping for some more (and bigger) wins!

Shiny New Gadget

I also got myself a new ‘gadget’ recently.

It was a gadget which I didn’t really need, or even something I particularly wanted.

Still, the main thing was that it was completely free!

Yes, I got myself a smart meter fitted and my new gadget is the little monitor that came along with it.

For those who don’t know, a smart meter is a meter which can digitally send meter readings to your energy supplier. I’ve only had this fitted for my electricity and it will apparently ensure more accurate energy bills and the monitor should help me understand my energy usage better.

It shows you how much electricity you are using (either spend or wattage), compare different days, how much you have spent/used in the past etc.

With just my fridges, fridge freezer, clock radio plugged in and nothing else switched on, it appears that I spend £0.02 an hour.


My ‘standing’ electricity spend per hour

Put the kettle on for a brew and this goes up to £0.45 an hour!


Sticking the kettle on pushes up the spend by quite a bit!

Of course, this doesn’t mean that to save money I’m going to stop putting the kettle on, stop using the hair dryer or washing machine, but I will think twice about taking my time when ironing (including leaving the iron plugged in to go to make a cuppa….).  I also have a habit of pre-heating the fan oven and then forgetting about it, so the oven ends up being on a lot longer than it needs to be.

Switching the lights on in the kitchen also causes a spike, which means that I’ll need to make sure that I replace the old light bulbs with more efficient LED ones.

Does anyone else make use of these kinds of gadgets?

Spanner in the Works

So we had our all employees meeting this morning, the dreaded one to confirm New Co’s plans for re-organisation.

I was hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.

We got hit by the worst.


At the last meeting, the European CEO of New Co had assured us that they intended to maintain a presence (office) in Manchester for the long term.

He wasn’t telling fibs but what has now been revealed is that the ‘presence’ will be a mere skeleton staff and that ‘certain’ roles will be relocated to HQ down south. That’s nearly 50% of the staff being made redundant.

Oh bollocks.

Abandon Ship?

Ok, not totally unexpected despite things looking slightly positive of late, but still a slap in the face that I couldn’t quite dodge.

I don’t think it’s quite sunk in.

I don’t feel upset, anxious or worried (yet), I feel….annoyance that my FI plans have suffered a setback before I could get some more solid years of saving and investing in.

Of course, I am not abandoning my plans – FI/early retirement is still something I’m going to strive for, but certainly at some point very soon, my savings rate will take a sharp nose dive/ be non-existent until I get my feet back on the ground with another job and can make amends for this temporary setback.

No real info on severance packages or exact timelines just yet – that will come tomorrow or in the week to come.

How bloody annoying. 🙁