April 2015 Savings, plus other updates

After achieving a record-breaking savings rate, March was always going to be a tough act to follow.

Birthdays celebrated by three friends proved to be quite expensive too this month, so there was to be no repeat performance!

So how did I get on?

So not a bad savings rate of 42.5% but disappointingly, it’s my lowest so far this year.  Still, it’s a lot better than the 34.6% savings rate I managed in April 2014 – my first year-on-year comparison – woohoo!
This month’s savings was topped up with £10 football predictions winnings (yes, I keep winning!), £6.67 reviewing music on SliceThePie* and £80 rent received.

My average savings rate is still great at 51.7% due to the great boost I had last month but I think I’m going to be struggling to keep the rate up.

Got some fairly hefty expenses coming up over the next couple of months namely car insurance, home insurance and travel insurance, plus I need to renew my passport – what horrible timing!

My car will also be due for its first MOT, and my neighbour is having a new fence put up that adjoins my garden and I’ve agreed to contribute towards half the costs.
I’m going to try and spread these costs into bite-sized chunks so that I can keep up my savings rate if possible.
Future Fund and Net Worth

My Future Fund is now at £40,708.05, so still on track for my goal of £50,000 by the end of the year.

Net Worth is £97,590.58, a 9% increase so far from the start of the year.

The markets fell over the last few days so the above figures were higher when I ran them earlier in the week but I’m still happy with them.

Dividends

I received £9.43 from GlaxoSmithKline plc, £2.29 from Land Securities Group Plc and £6.88 from my Vanguard All World High Dividend Yield ETF (may as well wrap all dividends received together) so a total of £18.60, surpassing March’s total to become my biggest monthly payout so far!


Dividends received in 2015 now total £47.57 so I’m at 33% of my goal of £145. I think it’s fair to say that I’m going to easily achieve this goal before the end of the year!


Shares and Investment Trusts

I bought some shares in Diageo plc and Rio Tinto plc. I also started investing in Bankers Investment Trust plc.

Updated portfolio here.

Non-Financial Goals Update


Food/Groceries Budget – I spent £113.15 this month, averaging £28.29 per week, first time I’ve gone over my budget this year. Finally had to replenish things like washing up liquid, toothpaste, toilet paper etc which I bought in bulk as they were on offer, so that hiked up my shopping costs. Also, with the weather getting nicer, I’ve started stocking up on my antihistamines for my hay fever.  My average weekly spend so far is now £24.43 so still on target, but only just!


Cooking Recipes – I learned 1 new recipe this month – Garlic and Chilli Chicken Bake. This one’s a good one as I can make it with very little/no carbs.  

Online Earnings – I actually thought I would do quite well on this goal when I set it originally but I’m quite a bit behind, as I need to average £50 per month in order to get the £400 required to achieve my goal. I really should list stuff on Ebay to try to bump this up but struggling to find the time do so.
Learning to play Poker – No update on this one and as I’ve not looked into it at all this month, I’m starting to forget what I learnt earlier on! Need to work on this a bit more, although still no rush on this one, I’ll continue to take things slowly as there’s quite a lot more to take in and learn.


Library books – I borrowed one book this month. At 5 books borrowed so far, I’m a little behind on my goal of 20 library books (aiming to read 40 books in total) this year so need to crack on with my reading! Via TFS’ post, I discovered that my local library has a decent ebook catalogue, so more choice there for when I don’t fancy lugging round a big hardback!

Read personal finance/investing book – my target is two this year and I’ve now read one! Still working on my review, which I’ll post up sometime next month.


Here’s how I’m doing against my goals in brief:


Not a bad month in all especially as this didn’t happen (what do experts know, eh?) but of course, there’s always the chance that it could happen at any time, you just can’t predict when. 

Anyway, have a nice weekend all and for those in the UK, hope you enjoy the bank holiday weekend!

[* Referral link]

20 thoughts on “April 2015 Savings, plus other updates

  1. Weenie,

    Almost at that magical £100,000 mark! Next month I want to see you crush it.

    Even though your savings rate was lower than you had hoped for, I think you still did a great job. There's a lot of justifiable one-off expenses in there, so I'm sure you'll pick up the slack over the coming months.

    Keep it up!

    Have a great weekend,
    NMW

  2. Nice month considering your were also enjoying the social side of life! Solid savings rate and your highest monthly dividend income so far. Not bad at all.

    I had my highest month as well, but I have not written it up yet. Will do shortly!

    TFSs Zinio library magazine write up was brilliant. I just have too much to read now!

    Some good buys this month as well. Diageo is looking good now it is around the £18 mark. I may top up. Bankers IT also looks nice. I am thinking of adding some IT exposure to my portfolio soon. However, there are so many individual companies still looking good value. We will see.

    Your non-financial goals are also looking on track. Well done! Keep up the good work!

  3. Hi Weenie,

    Haha, I think you are pretty swell if a savings rate of 42.5% is a disappointment 🙂

    What's the next finance book on the list?

    I read "Bankers Investment Trust plc." as Trust Investment Bankers… subliminal messaging? 😀

    Mr Z

  4. Hi NMW
    I know, so close to that magic number but if the markets are a bit shaky like the end of April, it'll be a struggle to get there next month. However, I should be there in June!

    Thanks for your support and hope you have a great weekend!

  5. Thanks DD – yeah, not a bad month, maybe the savings rate I've set for myself is too high hence my disappointment but it is a challenge!

    I'm planning to add a few more ITs into my portfolio, in between buying individual shares – too much to invest in, what to choose, eh? For me, it's just some extra diversification.

    Thanks for the kind words of support!

  6. Hehe, well put that way, it does look a bit daft but I'm aiming for 50% so anything short of that is a disappointment!

    For my next finance book, I might go for "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill – got it for 71p on Kindle!

    And lol, trust you with your subliminal messages. However…hmmmm!

    Thanks for stopping by and hope you have a great weekend!

  7. Very solid progress weenie, almost crossing the big £100k mark. At 40% savings rate for April that's still very impressive. Remember that some people can't even save more than 5% of their income. What you're doing is awesome. Keep up the good work.

  8. Thanks Tawcan and yes, almost at the £100k, which I never would have thought I'd get close to!

    In trying to achieve my own high goal, I do forget that some people don't save much and some don't save any at all! Since I'm only really a year into my saving/investing, I need to push hard to get that pot growing!

    Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by. Hope you have a great weekend!

  9. Weenie, I think that when your lowest monthly savings rate for the year sits at 42.5%, that means that you are still doing something right, haha! 😉

    Keep up the great work. The coveted 100k mark is sooo close, you're going to crush it!

    Cheers 😀

  10. Another good month's work weenie. Give yourself a pat on the back.

    Hope you have a good BH weekend too – although maybe you're not wishing for too much sun if the hay fever's starting to kick in 🙂

  11. Hey Weenie,

    I love the way you feel disappointed with 42% now! It's still a very good saving rate in the wider world, and you had an expensive month. Nice YOY increase too!

    I get a lot of motivation from my YOY comparisons. It's great to see how far you've come along in 12 months. Perhaps next year you'll think 52% is low, who knows!

    Your future fund and NW are coming along nicely, and as Tawcan highlighted, the £100k mark is within your grasp now.

    Your dividend income goal is looking very good, along with some of your non-financial goals. It looks like you had a solid month all around really.

    Keep up the good work Weenie, and thanks as always for sharing your progress. It's very motivating!

    Have a great Bank Holiday weekend!
    Huw

  12. Hi Alex
    Yes, I guess so – just want to do better! 🙂
    That £100k milestone is close, who'd have thought? Not me, anyway, a year ago!
    Thanks for stopping by and hope you have a great weekend!

  13. Thanks Cerridwen.

    I want it to be sunny so I can sit out in the sun – once I've taken my antihistamines, I'm fine outside!

    Sadly, looking out, it's just the usual grey Manchester skies! Hope it's sunny where you are!

  14. Hey Huw
    I know, it sounds a little daft really but while I haven't set as challenging goals as you have, 50% is a tough one but one that I am striving for!

    I was really happy that I was able to do my first YOY comparison and look forward to doing the same with my dividends later in the year.

    Am very pleased with how my future fund is shaping up, especially as it's still looking good despite the stock market wobbles in April.

    Thanks for your continued support Huw!

  15. Great month Weenie

    When 42.5% is disappointing, your are certainly going to accumulate some serious savings, and when invested in great companies like your are doing, your dividend income will really grow, and become the thing that really motivates you to continue.

    Look forward to you keeping above 50% for the year, to watching your dividends flowing in and to see you continuing to buy great companies.

    Now you can carry out YOY comparisons, the growth from last year will also be another motivator.

    Thanks
    FIUK

  16. For some reason I always feel like right after a month where I crush it, I have a underwhelming month. Usually because I think it's just the timing of perhaps going to the grocery store right before the month ends so the next month I might take one less trip, or maybe I didn't have any unusual expenses one month and the next I have my car registration fees that come once a year.

    Awesome job though, I think you'll easily beat all the financial goals you have set for the year. Though I'm curious as to how you measure learning to play poker? Does that just mean learning how to get through a game without asking for help or questions, or does that mean actually being good enough to predict odds and how to really beat other players that know what they are doing?

  17. Hi FIUK
    I do look forward to seeing my investments grow and to watch my dividends flow in! Doing YOY comparisons is both exciting and a little scary!

    Thanks for your support and encouragement!

  18. Hi Zee
    Thanks for the encouragement!

    The poker goal was something I thought of when I achieved my Rubik's Cub goal so not really measurable. The way I see it, I want to be at a sufficient level and know all the rules, so if one of my friends were to suggest a poker night, I would say "Yes, let's do it!" Right now, I'm still very far from that so yes, it means learning about odds and stuff like that!

  19. A goal should be a challenge shouldn't it. Even if you do fall a little short you're clearly making stonkingly good progress towards it. What more could you want!

    Yes, I always keep an eye on ITs but usually go for individual companies at the moment. If Miss DD decides to join the investing fraternity then I will help her pick out some ITs to work with. It is what she seems more comfortable with because of diversification and security.

    I agree. Too much to invest in. Especially at the moment with the prices generally depressed! Argh!

  20. Good going for an expensive month still weenie!
    I note your groceries bill is pretty cheap compared to ours. I am attributing this to us buying alcohol and you brewing at least some of yours… so I really need to start looking into that 🙂

    Cheers!

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