May 2017 Savings, plus Other Updates

Firstly, heartfelt thoughts to the families and friends of the 22 whose lives were mindlessly cut short at the Manchester Arena.

The arena is only 5 miles from where I live, the streets where alleged accomplices of the bomber have since been arrested are ones which I have often driven down. This is scary stuff pretty much on my doorstep but talking to my friends and people at work, there is a sense of strength and solidarity, we will not let terrorism beat us. I would have loved to have gone to the ‘One Love‘ gig that’s on Sunday but there was no chance I was going to get any tickets.

Work and Pay

Well, I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants at work these past couple of weeks. It’s been both scary and a bit of a rush but I did ok! Anyway, it was fortunate that I started my new job just before payroll cut off so I received a bit of a wage in May which I thoroughly deserved, if I say so myself! Woo hoo! 🙂

So, how much of my net salary did I save?

I saved 40%! My average for the year is now 46% so not too far off my goal of 50%. I’ll need to put in some good months to haul it back up.

The above savings includes boosts of £400 from matched betting profits, £28.31 from TopCashback*, £43.50 from football predictions, £69.35 from Google Adsense (my second payment ever!) and £51.36 affiliate income from OddsMonkey.

Redundancy Cash

I still have just under 80% of my severance pay left. I’m going to invest some of it next month but think I will err on the side of caution and leave most of it sitting in cash (premium bonds) for now and review my options when I feel the urge to do so.

I’m not bothered about the crap returns from premium bonds – when I started planning for FI/retiring early, I never thought I’d be including any redundancy money so it’s a bonus already on its own. I think this will bring the cash element of my portfolio to around 14-15%.

I’ve topped up my emergency fund so that it now covers around 4 months’ expenses which seems to be an amount I’m comfortable with.

Future Fund 

With the markets buoyant this month, my portfolio has continued to grow. At the end of May, my Future Fund ended up at £104,753.

Dividends and Other Income

Dividends received this month (which will be reinvested):

After last month’s record-breaking payout, total income received was more modest but still good at £93.06,  In May 2016, I received £55.20.

Total dividend income this year now stands at £547.62.

Here’s how things look in the graph:

Shares and Investment Trusts

I added to my holding of Bankers Investment Trust.

Current portfolio can be found here.

Matched Betting (MB)

Being back at work has meant that I’m no longer able to do any MB during the day.

I missed the penultimate weekend of football as I was too busy getting drunk celebrating my new employed status! However, on the last weekend of the season, I decided to gamble a little on accumulators and got lucky for a change, scoring £186 profit on four accumulators!

So I made £637 in profit this month. This was from football and horse racing offers only.

Total profits so far this year is a shade under £3,000, so very much on track for my MB goal of £4000 profit.  The amount I can make will be somewhat reduced for the next few months, with no football and only being able to do MB at weekends, subject to my social life of course!  It’s possible to do some when I get home from work (catch some of the evening races) but I’m really not so desperate for the cash to want to do this.

I have to say that despite the reduced profits to be made over the summer, I’m actually looking forward to a bit of a break from doing the football accumulators.

The matched betting guide I subscribe to is OddsMonkey*.  It’s an excellent 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, OddsMonkey offers quality tools 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 questions. Anyway, you can join for free* to try it out.

Goals Update

Here’s how things look:

So after a bit of a blip, things are continuing to tick along again.

Hope everyone had a great May. Hey, we even had some sunshine up here! 🙂

[*referral/affiliate link]

14 thoughts on “May 2017 Savings, plus Other Updates

  1. Mr. ETT has family in Manchester; it bought the threat closer to reality for us when he was contacting everyone to make sure they were OK (they were).

    I can’t believe that after all that time off, you’ve still got 80% of your redundancy payment left! *Round of applause*. It’s going to be fun determining what to ultimately do with it (once you’ve got time to look up from your new job, of course).

    Now it’s been weeks since you returned to work, how are you feeling about living the working life & routine again? Or is that the topic for a future post?

    • Hi Mrs ETT

      Glad to hear that Mr ETT’s family were all ok.

      Thanks – aside from some living costs, I used some of the redundancy money to buy my flights to HK and a pair of new glasses (prescription had changed) – that’s it really. I’ll be investing some of it this month, but as I said, I think I’ll leave much of it as cash for now.

      It feels good to be back in the working life routine again. Everything is still so new but I will do a future post on it, maybe revisit those pro’s and cons!

  2. Hello !

    Been reading your blog for a while and after watching your dividend results have talked myself into and out of doing the same maybe half a dozen times 😀 One thing that leaves me unsure is the capital needed to get where you are – if it’s not too nosey would you be kind enough to tell me how much the total value of those shares/etfs that are paying you ?

    • Hi Dave, thanks for reading! I don’t mind sharing the info – my ETFs total around £40k, the shares/investment trusts £23k, so total =£63k. The yield on the ETFs seems to be generally lower than the shares/ITs, so I’m trying to build up the latter. Hope this helps!

  3. Curious why you’re holding off on investing the excess of cash. You’ve topped off the emergency fund, and landed a new position so you expect less need to tap it. My guess is that you could noticeably bump up your Future Fund with the unallocated severance. Is it that you’ve neglected to write up your investment policy or chosen your investments ahead of time?

    Firecracker over at Millennial Revolution has been doing an ETF-based investment series that you might want to check out. While her series uses one Canadian and one US portfolio as examples, you could easily adapt it to your UK-based portfolio.

    • Hi Sabbaticalia

      I do plan to invest more of the severance pay but for now, will leave it in cash/premium bonds. Whilst my emergency fund is topped up, I think I may decide invest more of the cash once I’ve worked past my probation period at work. I intend to add to my existing funds, ETFs and investment trusts.

  4. Hi Weenie,

    Seems once again terrorism is doing it’s best to disrupt us, but we will not let them! Knowing it is so close to you is always an eye opener and a worry.

    Great news that you managed to get in before the payroll cut off so definitely a help! Great newson the savings rate so quickly as well.
    Even better that you have managed to maintain 80% of your severance pay left 0 good to keep it as best as possible, and that you have your comfortable emergency fund in place.

    Superb news on both the value of the future fund (doesn’t getting over, and staying over, that 100k feel great?). Further good progress on the dividends as well, it just keeps piling up the good work that you have been doing with your savings rate.

    3k profits on MB is a superb run – but of course that requires a lot of effort and work. Looks like you are in a good shape for your goals for this year – the dividend income still has a bit to go but still half way there so fingers crossed!


    • Hi FiL

      Hope you and yours are all safe and well after yet another horrific attack in London. 🙁

      Yes, it’s great to stay over that £100k – still seems so far away from £200k but I will continue to plug away at it. There should be a nice jump when I move most of the severance pay into it this month.

      • Hi Weenie,
        All safe thanks – a sad day for london but it epitimises (sp?) the spirit when you see the bloke runs away with his pint – legend!

        It will seem it but it will come a lot faster than you expect – you have seen how fast those dividends are rising and as they keep going up as you keep investing and reinvesting it will happen in no time!

        Good luck!

  5. Hi weenie,

    My heart goes out to all those affected in both the Manchester and London attacks, like you say it brings it all very close to home. I’ve just walked across London Bridge in the rain after the FinCon London masters event and seen all the flowers, very moving and quite unnerving seeing all the police still there as well.

    Nice to hear you had a good celebration on getting the new job and didn’t spend the weekend matched betting, definitely deserved that! And nice one on the acca win, you were due some luck with those by the sounds of it 🙂

    All the best for June

  6. Hi Weenie,

    I have been reading your blog for a while and have just caught up on the latest updates! Great news all around on the FIRE front and congrats on the new job! I started my journey towards FIRE last year and £100k feels like it’s years away – which it probably is. How do you keep yourself motivated?

    Learn to FIRE

    • Hi Learn to FIRE
      It has taken me a long time to get to £100k – people are saying it’ll be quicker to £200k but I will still need to keep focused!

      The blog (and all you readers) help keep me motivated, keeping track of my numbers and my progress too. It’s hard to see progress month on month but year on year, you can see how far you’ve come.

      Good luck with your journey and thanks for reading!

  7. Hi Weenie,

    Great to see you being able to post a savings rate again this month. Although you aren’t able to benefit from the time off in the summer, it has to feel awesome being back on track for your FIRE journey.

    My freedom kitty is currently at just over £36,500 so a long way behind your Future Fund (though I can’t remember whether you include your pension(s) in your Future Fund?). I guess if I include my pension then I’m running at just over £166,000. Anyway, I thought I’d just give you a quick comparative update on here, seeing as I have been rubbish and not posted for ages. I can’t believe where the time has gone this year already!

    Anyway, great to see things back on track for you.


    • Hi OR

      Yes, it’s good to be earning and saving again. Although I was able to fall back on matched betting profits, it didn’t feel as secure as a proper wage!

      My Future Fund includes my SIPPs (which total around £50k) but not my company pension. Including your pensions, you’re way ahead of me!

      Hope all’s well with you – looking forward to your next update!

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