March saw me return from my most expensive holiday, but also saw me receiving an annual bonus from work. So, what did that do to my numbers?
A savings rate of 60.6%! Actually, it should have been a lot higher than this but I ended up siphoning some towards a fund for future holidays and also, following TFS‘ suggestion, put some towards matched betting (more on this later).
My monthly average savings rate is now 54.6% – as I have some ‘high spending’ in my calendar which I hadn’t accounted for when I initially set my goal, I hope I’ve managed to push this rate high enough to keep my average up by the end of the year.
Anyway, this month’s savings was topped up with £50 from rent received.
Net Worth and Future Fund
I don’t report my Net Worth on a monthly basis, but here’s the detailed info after the first quarter:
(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 31/03/16
Since December 2015, my net worth has increased by 2.8% (not including my work DC pension). I’m not really hung up on this number but as it’s heading in the right direction, so I guess I’m happy.
With markets bouncing back this month, plus the little extra from my bonus, my Future Fund now stands at £64,650.75.
Dividends and Other Income
Dividends received this month (which will be reinvested):
A total of £22.59, the lowest so far this year and although still a nice year-on-year increase, compared to last March’s £14.68, it was lower than anticipated due to BHP Billiton’s dividend cut.
Total dividends received this year now stands at £78.61, with average dividend income so far dropping to £26.20 per month. My average monthly income for the entire year stands at £6.55 – not quite enough to pay for even my lotto tickets yet! 😉
Anyway, here’s how things look graphically so far:
My goal of £720 in dividend income is looking rather ambitious right now, but let’s see how it looks in a few months time. Still, it looks like I’ve come a fair way since 2014!
Other income I received this month included £26.88 from my eco investment with Abundance.
Shares and Investment Trusts
I topped up my existing holdings in Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust and City of London IT and opened up a new position in F&C Commercial Property Trust.
Current portfolio here.
Other Goal Updates
Still ploughing through the Game of Thrones books (am halfway through book 3, so another 500 or so pages to go!), so not making any progress on my reading goals.
As I threw a chunk of my bonus at my emergency funds, it’s looking like I will hit that goal. I won’t stop when I get there, I’ll continue to build it up bit by bit.
Anyway, here’s how things look on the goals front in brief:
I may have mentioned in comments on other blogs that I’ve had a go at matched betting many years ago and been stung. Whilst I didn’t lose a ton of money, I lost all the profits I’d made, largely through carelessness and over-confidence. After that, I stuck to normal betting/gambling but only small amounts.
Until I was sitting on the plane on the way home from my holiday, trying to figure out how I could earn extra income to fund my future holidays.
I had several options: Kindle publishing, selling stuff on ebay and matched betting. I figured out that the first one rewards fantastically, it takes up a hell of a lot of time; the second one would help clear out a load of unwanted items at home but the inconvenience of only really being able to post things out on a Saturday put me off. So that left matched betting.
I won’t go into detail on what matched betting is all about as you’ll be able to find better descriptions elsewhere (like here) but suffice to say that in nearly 3 weeks, I made over £300 profit. Legally and tax-free.
By matched betting standards, this isn’t a big sum at all – I missed out on a lot of sign-up deals as I already had accounts (seven, no less!) with many of the major bookies and also took no advantage of the recent Cheltenham festival. Still, I’m really happy with this sum, given the relatively small amount of time I’ve spent on ‘earning it’. I ‘lost’ a week while I waited for a new current account to be set up – that first week of matched betting, it was a bit of a shock seeing all those transactions on my main current account so I decided that I needed to keep the matched betting funds in a different account, which should be easier for me to control and keep track of.
I also took advantage of some Topcashback* sign up deals during the course of my matched betting activity!
Anyway, I intend to build up my funds before I start drawing any profits from it.
It’ll be interesting to see how much I can continue to make via matched betting, especially as I’d only really be dedicating a little time in the evenings and weekends for it. All gambling websites are stopped by work’s firewall (rightly so) and I don’t get great reception on my mobile phone at work so I won’t be doing any during the day. Which is just as well, or I’d never get any work done!
I will say though that matched betting is not gambling but neither is it risk-free. By risk, I mean risk due to ‘human error’, which can happen (and already has happened to me) if you rush things! Oh and it’s not ‘passive income’ either because you have to do something to get the income rolling in. It all gets easier in time I’m told but right now, I’m just taking things slowly so don’t expect there to be reports of huge earnings coming up through matched betting!
A big thanks to TFS for helping me get on the matched betting path!
Anyway, hope you all had a great March – the days (and the future) are getting brighter!