Time for another update!
Again, my ‘income’ this month has been derived from my pay-in-lieu-of-notice (PILON) from my last job.
So, how have I done in February?
Well, I achieved my highest ever savings rate – 79.8%! Woo hoo! 🙂
Rather incredible but most certainly a one-off, largely due to the work bonus which I used to purchase my Dogs of the FTSE portfolio earlier in the month.
This pushes my average savings rate so far to 66.7% but as mentioned before, if I’m still jobless in April, my savings rate is going to be at or around 0%….
February’s savings was boosted by £50 from rent received, £229.75 Jobseekers Allowance (ahem, gotta make the most of ALL my income while I can), £63.10 affiliate income from OddsMonkey* and I had a £10 lotto win which I’ve chucked into the pot too.
The big extra capital injection and the stock markets still being favourable to my portfolios despite political shenanigans means that my Future Fund is now up to £98,642, which is getting rather close to that big milestone!
Dividends and Other Income
Dividends received this month (which will be reinvested):
A couple of expected Feb dividends weren’t paid until 1st March, so the total income received was £52.13. In February 2016, I received only £29.81.
A decent year-on-year increase, though still a bit of a slow start to the year against my goal of £1,500. Total dividend income now stands at £120.29. The first few months have historically been quite low for me dividends-wise, so nothing of any real note until April I think. Good to see the first two months >£50 anyway!
Here’s how things look in the graph:
I also received £15.20 from my P2P and Property Crowdfunding investments.
Shares and Investment Trusts
Aside from the new shares I purchased for the Dogs of the FTSE portfolio, no other purchases were made in any new shares/investment trusts – I just topped up some of my existing tracker funds. I also added to my property crowdfunding* investments using some of my matched betting profits.
Current portfolio can be found here.
Matched Betting (MB)
What could have been an average-ish month of MB income didn’t turn out as well as expected due to a match postponement (Celta Vigo v Real Madrid) early on in the month – unfortunately, I had Real in many accumulators and ended up losing over £50 in profit! These things happen but I had to try to keep a clear head in trying to recoup my losses via MB and not resort to taking unnecessary risks, ie gambling.
So, I made £273 in profit, which isn’t bad considering and it’s double what I earned last month. Still not great though, especially as I’ve set myself a goal to earn £4,000 this year via MB. I’ve just realised that I’ve not factored in the quiet summer months when there’s no football on – hmm, will have to see how I get on then.
It’s now been pretty much a year since I started matched betting and I have now made a total of just under £4000 profit. Quite a modest sum compared to the tens of thousands which some other matched bettors rake in but I’m just really pleased about the extra (tax free) cash. Again, I’ll stress that it’s not ‘easy’ money as you need to put in effort to make the money but I enjoy it and I don’t have any other hobby which makes me money.
The matched betting guide I subscribe to is OddsMonkey*. It’s a great website for beginners and experienced matched bettors alike – for beginners, there are plenty of tutorials which provide you with step-by-step guides on how to make profits and to work through special offers. They also offer one-to-one sessions for those who need a little more help. For the more experienced, the tools offered by OddsMonkey are fantastic, including the Each Way Matcher, Dutch Finder, Racing Matcher and Acca Matcher, all of which I have used successfully. There’s also a friendly forum for you to ask any questions. Anyway, you can join for free* to try it out.
Here’s how things look after month two:
With a lot of time on my hands, I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading so I should hit the library book goal easily. Need to get onto reading some non-fiction soon though.
So far, nothing to report on the job seeking front. I know that I could be putting more effort into looking – so many people have said to me, “Relax, enjoy your time off,” and I think I may have taken that advice too literally! I’ve continued to network and apply for a few jobs so it’s not like I’m not doing anything but I think I’m suffering from procrastination (again). Need to focus and JFDI[footnote]Just F*cking Do It[/footnote].
On the leisure front, I’m back on track with my gym sessions so my fitness is back up again. As mentioned in my New Year post, I’ve also started playing netball as something new to do this year. The sessions very much remind me of PE lessons (my favourite lessons at school), except that everyone actually wants to be there and play! The exercise is very different from my gym classes so should benefit my overall fitness, plus I’ve met a whole bunch of new people = opportunity to network.
Am very much looking forward to attending the FIRE Escape gathering in Sheffield this weekend, which has been organised by Huw. It’ll be good to catch up with old faces to see how they are getting on with their FI and early retirement journeys, and to meet some new ones too.
I’ll do a little update post on it next week.