February 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

Here’s my belated February update – the numbers are probably not so consistent with other months as I had to use figures I jotted down from 20th Feb:

Feb16saved

Anyway, I managed another savings rate of 51.6%! Woohoo! :-)

This really is a great start for me, though unfortunately it’ll be a real struggle to maintain this level of savings in March (see below), or even for the rest of the year as things have popped up unexpectedly in my calendar which I hadn’t accounted for when I set my goal.

Still, I’ve already, in only the second month, equalled my 2015 efforts, where I only managed to hit >50% savings rate twice all year, so I am very happy with this.

Only other income added to savings was £50 from rent received.

Future Fund 

Bear Market, what Bear Market? I was rather surprised to see my Future Fund bounce back already – this now stands at £61,019.63. After pondering upon things, I decided to take on board Ermine’s comment from my post earlier in the month and have included my work DC pension within my Future Fund (note that I still made a gain from last month even if I don’t include the work pension).

Dividends and Other Income

Dividends received this month (which will be reinvested):

feb16divs

So a total of £29.81, another nice year on year increase, compared to last February’s £5.18! Total dividends received this year now stands at £56.02, still quite a bit away from my goal of £720. Average dividend income so far is £28.01 per month.

I also received £13.46 interest from my P2P investments.  Oh, and also £50 P2P referral from LandBay* (thanks Mark!)

Shares and Investment Trusts

I made purchases in two new investment trusts, namely Aberforth Small Companies Trust and Alliance Trust plc.

The Amlin plc takeover finally went through and I made a nice little profit for the short time I owned these shares. I purchased the shares when they were a shade over £5 in March 2015 and I received £6.70 per share from the takeover, which crystallised this month. In the 11 months that I owned the shares, I also received £27.90 dividends so this was a good purchase for me.

A little sad to see them go but I’ve used the funds received to open up a holding in WPP plc.

Current portfolio here.

Non-Financial Goals Update

My car had a flat battery the day before I went away (hurray for Emergency Funds again!) so forking out £110 for a new one means that my Emergency Fund is quite a bit behind target.

Anyway, here’s how things look on the goals front in brief:

GoaltrackFeb16

Brief Holiday Update

I had a great time in Hong Kong and then an absolutely fantastic time in snowy Japan (Niseko).

It’s the first time I’ve had a holiday where my body has ended up quite battered and bruised but it was worth it – hurtling down a slope with snow blowing in your face just has to be experienced! I’m just glad that I’m reasonably fit as there’s no way I could have otherwise coped physically – and that’s just clipping the snowboard on and off!

niseko16

Winter holidays are fun too!

Ok, so the first day on the piste, I fell over – A LOT but thankfully suffered no serious injuries (maybe a bit of whiplash!). By day 3, while I was by no means an expert, I was confident enough to try other slopes, stopped wiping out and just enjoyed the view and fresh air! Tumbling off the ski lift was also a speciality of mine on day 1, haha, but fortunately I got over this quickly!

There’s a reason why most folks who snowboard are young – 46 probably isn’t the best age to start but I don’t think I did too badly, despite hurting all over in the first few days! Come to think of it, I think I’m still hurting a little now – will hit the gym later in the week to see if there’s any real or lasting damage!

I also managed to mislay my mobile phone on day 2 (it fell out of my partially zipped up ski jacket pocket), which very nearly spoiled my entire holiday but amazingly, someone found it and handed it in to Lost Property! What a massive relief!

The weather was great skiing/boarding weather, it snowed every day so the slopes were just covered with lovely soft powder – a boon, in light of my many tumbles early on!

I only managed a tiny glimpse of Japan on this first visit and know that I must return at some point to explore the country some more. The ski resort is of course international, so there are English signs and menus have English translation – I believe this isn’t the case for many other places in Japan so that will be another experience.  I loved the food and the people (ever so polite and courteous) and already miss the heated toilet seats, haha!

Not a cheap country by any means however – whilst I’d put enough money aside to pay for my flight, snowboarding lessons and hire equipment, I didn’t have enough to cover all evening meals, so I owe my family, hence my comment about my lower savings rate in March.

The cost also got me thinking on the 12.5 hour plane journey back home (from HK) about how I need to up my side income to cater for future holidays (Japan or other places), without impeding my saving and investing efforts.

Anyway, hope everyone had a great February – roll on March!

[*referral]

 

12 thoughts on “February 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

  1. Hi Weenie!

    Great to see you had a super holiday – it sounds like it was a lot of fun (though a little too energetic for my tastes)! Congrats on the 51.6% savings rate – that’s awesome.

    I’ve booked up to go to the March FIRE Escape for the Friday until about midday on the Saturday – so if you’re arriving by midday on the Saturday I may get to briefly meet you! (If not maybe another time)…
    Organised Redhead recently posted…Portfolio Value and Net Worth – February 2016My Profile

    • Hey OR
      I usually prefer lazy sun holidays but this was a nice change, certainly something I’m really glad to have experienced.

      Ooh, good news that you’re going to the FIRE Escape – it would be great to meet you, I hope I can get there before you leave!

  2. Above 50% savings rate is pretty awesome. Boy I’d love to ski in Japan one day, have always heard that the snow in Japan is very dry and great for skiing. Was that your experience too?

    • Thanks Tawcan.

      Yes, the snow was very fresh and dry, making it easier to control speed and of course, was very forgiving when you happened to fall, haha! The more experienced skiers/boarders were waxing lyrical about the powder!

  3. Good to hear you had a great time on holiday – seems like only a couple of days since you said you were leaving!

    Also glad you managed to get Aberforth on board – I hope it continues to do the business over time for your portfolio – good luck with it!

    • Thanks MG. Yes, Amlin was a good buy for me – I hope my future purchases do just as well, especially as some others I hold (eg BLT and STAN) have decreased their dividends – need to make more small wins to overcome the small losses!

  4. This seems like the best approach ever; saving over 50% of your income plus going on a kick-ass holiday… I miss the slopes this year…

  5. Hi weenie, sounds like a brilliant holiday! I am well jel!

    If it makes you feel any better I went snowboarding at the age of 25 and I was also battered and bruised by the end of the first day and could barely walk when I got home! I also fell off/out of the ski lift at the exit on day one! Haha!

    I’m not sure I would do it again, it’s a lot of money to basically risk a serious injury but never say never I guess… I think I’d try normal skiing if I ever went again as when you wipe out you have much more control over how you fall (I think)

    Well done again on the savings rate and hopefully some extra side income 😉 can help you out over the next few tough months.

    • Hey TFS

      Yes, your comment does make me feel better – I don’t think many people realise how physical it is, plus I felt like such a clumsy fool falling off the ski lift!

      I’m not likely to do it as a regular past-time, but I’d definitely like to try it at least one more time!
      My sisters reckoned skiing is a lot easier!

      Cheers for the good wishes, I’m working on the extra income and hope all’s well with you and Mrs T 😉

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