June 2015 savings, plus other updates

Well I’m back after an excellent holiday, still a little jet-lagged but I’ve got lots of blog reading to catch up on and thought I’d best get my own update out there as soon as I can.

June had its fair share of expenses – a couple of birthdays (including my own!), plus my various insurance policies all needed renewing at the same time. I’ve managed to spread the cost of the latter but have still paid out a chunk to ensure that instalments are manageable over the next 6 months or so. I’ve also been participating in some frugal dating…;-)

Anyway, I resisted buying a load of stuff for myself to take on holiday (I only bought two vest tops @£4 each!), but I still spent quite a bit on presents for the family – considering that I stay with them for free, it’s a small price to pay but a heavy suitcase to lug around!

So, how did I do?

Better than I did last month, still short of my 50% target but I’m happy with 46.9% as I thought I was going to struggle more this month. Compared to June 2014 though, I did really well as I only saved 32.1% that month, so it’s good to know I’m making progress!

Average is now bang-on 50%. We’re nearly halfway through July already so only two weeks to see what I can shove into my savings/investments, although I have to deal with the aftermath of my holiday spending too when the credit card bill arrives.

This month’s savings was topped up with £8.98 gambling winnings and £50 from rent received.

Future Fund 

The situation with Greece made the market rather wobbly which affected my Future Fund. This now stands at £41,894.23, pretty much the same as last month but a teeny-weeny increase in the right direction. Am I still on track for my goal of £50,000 by the end of the year? Still doable I reckon, although the road ahead is looking a little rocky and will depend on what the markets do for the rest of the year. 

Net Worth

Well, my Net Worth passed the magic £100k milestone this month – woo hoo! This represents an 12.3% increase so far from the start of the year.





Notes:

(a) Figure based on August 2014 statement

(b) Monthly payment of £147.95, final payment of £3,166.25 in Aug 2015

(c) Estimated value of property based on similar property sold in area

(d) Statement as at June 15






Dividends

Not a bad month: I received £17 from Vanguard All World High Div Yield ETF,  £4.50 from BP and £8.57 from Centrica, so a total of £30.07.

Dividends received in 2015 now total £130.87, only around £14 short of my total dividends goal with six months still to go! Looking at the dividends I’m likely to receive in July, I will surpass my goal next month. My average is now £21.81 per month, which more than covers my TV licence!

Shares and Investment Trusts

This month, by a roll of the dice, I invested in City of London Investment Trust, another investment that pays out quarterly dividends.
Updated portfolio here.

Non-Financial Goals Update

Food/Groceries Budget – As it was a short month for me, I only spent £60.07 over 3 weeks, averaging £20.02 per week – I needed to make sure I had an empty fridge before I went away. My average weekly spend so far is now £23.49 so still on target. 
Cooking Recipes – I learned 1 new recipe this month – Beef and Ale Cottage Pie – and I used my own home brew beer for this too!
Online Earnings – A few steps forward were made on this one recently but am still massively behind in total, though not quite prepared to give up on it yet so I’ll soldier on.  My recent insurance renewals should add quite a bit to this – I will add once the referrals have been paid out.
Library books – Two books borrowed and read this month, am now at 9 books borrowed so far, so I reckon I’m still just on track for my goal of 20 library books for the year. I need to be averaging 2 library books a month but I should be able to keep this up. In 2014, I borrowed 10-12 books in total.
Here’s how I’m doing against my goals in brief:

Aside from the online activities goal, most others are still more or less on track.  
Hope everyone’s been keeping calm whilst the Greeks continue to rock their little fishing boat!

17 thoughts on “June 2015 savings, plus other updates

  1. Welcome back Weenie!

    I'm pleased to hear that you had a great trip with your family.

    Congratulations on crossing the £100k mark for you net worth Weenie. That's a great milestone! Now onto the million….. right?!

    It's great to see you kicking some butt on the dividend income too. Are you inclined to crack things up in that area, or are you happy with where it's currently going?

    I have to say I'm intrigued by the frugal dating too. Are you going to divulge the details? In frugalness that is….. Did you meet at the local park, go for a countryside walk or meet at McDonalds? 😉

    On a more serious note, we're half way through the year now, and you're well on your way with most of your goals. You must be so pleased with how everything's going?! Keep up the good work, and see you next month in York!

    All the best
    Huw

  2. Well done! Looks like June was a great month for you! And that you have been enjoying the summer. It's freezing over here (but beautiful, sunny and clear, so it's ok 🙂 ) which is not doing great things for my heating bill! I have had some big expenses already this month (puppy needed spaying) but I am selling lots of things on Trade Me (NZ version of e-bay) and have managed to make an extra $414 over the last 2 months. All going in our travel account so we can head south and visit my Gran in January. It's amazing what people will buy 😉 My biggest goal for the month is sticking to our budget even though it's school holidays for 2 weeks and keeping a strict grocery budget. I love your library book goal. I LOVE the library. Free books! Yes please!!!
    And I agree with Huw – the frugal dating sounds intriguing! 🙂

  3. Thanks RIT – it's a great feeling to achieve this milestone and yes, I continue to work towards my £250k Future Fund goal! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hi weenie,

    It's good to have you back with both yourself and your finances looking in such fine fettle 🙂

    Those dividends are starting to add up and the psychological boost of getting a payment even when the markets are bobbing about is an extra benefit.

    That beer is certainly coming in handy. My husband has made some elderflower champagne this year that we tried for the first time yesterday. It was very "lively" and a lot of it ended up on the floor but had a lovely, delicate taste. Now he's retired I think home brewing is going to be one of his (very welcome) hobbies.

  5. Hey Weenie,

    Wow, CONGRATULATIONS on passing the 100k mark! That's a huge achievement and, as Charlie Munger famously said, "The first 100k is a b*tch".

    Great dividend income for the month as well, you're doing great. I'm also like you, I've almost erached my dividend goal for the year, so may need to re-evaluate my goal.

    Keep it up!

    DL

  6. Hi Huw, thanks!

    Yes, that £100k milestone was great to achieve. £1 million is not within my scope but who knows, eh? Let's shoot for the stars! 🙂

    To be honest, I've embraced things on the dividend income front more than I thought I would, as I originally hadn't factored in such income in my FI plans, nor had I thought I would buy so many shares/ITs so quickly (hence overshooting my dividends goal!).

    It's very possible that dividend income may end up forming a more significant part of my overall portfolio and I will continue to set myself goals for dividend income.

    In the same way, I intend to monitor my P2P income, which I'm currently not doing.

    Errr…I don't intend to divulge any more details about my frugal dating haha, but it was along the lines of not going to expensive restaurants (although a few steps up from McDonalds!) 🙂

    I see there have been lots of interesting posts on your blog while you've been away so I'll head over there to have a read and comment!

    Thanks as ever for your support Huw and look forward to seeing you in York!

  7. Thanks Clare!

    Great work on the selling front – that's one thing that I've been pretty abysmal at this year and one which I really should work at – I have a lot of stuff that I should sell on ebay, or at the very least donate or throw away.

    Good luck in sticking with your grocery budget – setting my own grocery budget has made a big difference in my spending so it's one thing I intend to continue to do over the coming years.

    I've always loved using the library, there's something that makes me very happy being surrounded by all the books and yes, of course, they are all free, or only cost a small fee if the book I want is sourced from a non-local library.

    As explained to Huw, I don't want to go into too much detail about my dating exploits, just that being frugal was on my mind so I've avoided expensive options haha!

    Thanks for stopping by, Clare!

  8. Hi Cerridwen, thanks!

    Yes, those dividends are starting to add up and as I said to Huw, it's highly likely that I will factor dividend income more into my FI plan.

    I'd be interested to hear how your husband made the champagne as I quite fancy brewing sparkling wine at some point but have been advised against it as such brews are described as being very 'lively' as you put it! I'd be gutted if most of mine ended up on the floor!

    I see myself doing more home brewing when I no longer need to work – it is very rewarding!

  9. Hi Weenie!

    Congratulations on reaching £100k – its a great milestone, it just shows you what is achievable if you set your mind to it and focus. Dividend income is something I only started looking at last year and my share purchases have been aimed at dividend income spread across the year and help create a passive income. – Although the recent UK budget changes will hit me due to the changes in the taxation.

    Anyhow – great that you are back posting and that your holiday was a great refresher. You sound recharged and ready to continue the journey.

    Keep going and keep posting as I love reading about your path and decisions along the journey.

  10. Hi Sparklebee
    Yes, if I had not set my mind to sorting out my finances, I would be nowhere near the £100k, so I consider myself quite fortunate to have discovered the whole FI/PF blogging community.

    Dividend income may play a bigger part in my FI plans – I'll see where I am at the end of the year and may set myself new targets. As I only have a modest portfolio, the recent budget changes are unlikely to affect me.

    Thanks for your kind words – I see that there are quite a few updates on your own blog, so I'll nip over for a look/comment!

  11. Hey Weenie,

    Great to see you back on the blog and doing really well on pretty much all your goals. I think it's really cool that you've sort of unexpectedly added more to the dividend income side of things, be it from stocks or ITs (which are collections of stocks anyway really).

    I wondered if you would do an extended post on ITs and how you find them compared to regular stocks and the fact that a lot of them smooth out the dividend income via a quarterly payment.

    The other thing I wondered was whether you have ever used Zoopla to get a value on your house? We use it in our own monthly net worth calcluations and have found that it can be a very handy website.

    Keep up the fab progress towards your goals, and I am looking forward to the next update, and seeing you in a month too!

    CHEERS

  12. Hi M

    Sure, I'll have a go at drafting something on ITs, thanks for the idea!

    To be honest, I haven't used Zoopla in that way before – just had a go and it appears that my property is worth a lot more than what I've been quoting!

    How accurate do you think it is, as it seems to be saying that my property has increased in value by over 30% (in over 3 years) and I'm not sure that's right, not in Manchester!!

    Thanks for the kind words of support and see you next month!

  13. Hey,

    I found that zoopla was fairly accurate. I receive a monthly email summary of prices of houses sold in post codes of my choice and I compared it, it seemed to correlate really well.

    I know the market in Manchester has not been as high growth as here, but here at least we've definitely seen prices appreciate by around 40%

    Cheers

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