June 2017 Savings, plus Other Updates

I have two sets of friends with whom I socialise on a regular basis so I ended up celebrating my birthday twice on the town this month!

Why not celebrate with both sets of friends together to save time and money? It has been considered several times in the past but dealing with potential clashes of characters and personalities (with alcohol involved!) really won’t be worth the money saved and is not my idea of fun!

I had a couple of great nights out, and inevitably suffered the consequences afterwards! However, I think I was more worried about my liver/kidneys, rather than my finances!

A Bit About Work

Am pretty settled in now, the days are flying by as I continue to get to grips with different processes, procedures and people.

At the last place I worked, there were quite a lot of folk who were in their 40s or older. At my new place, I’m definitely one of the few ‘oldies’, with most people sitting around me in their early to mid-twenties.

In the run-up to pay day, talk was just of what they were going to spend all their money on – mostly socialising and buying ‘stuff’, with one young chap ordering a pair of shoes costing over £500 (some ‘must-have’ brand I’d never heard of). I didn’t join in when the others had a go at him for wasting his money, for fear I would go into ‘FIRE mode’ haha! Ah to be young and so carelessfree with money!

With both my boss and the rest of the team not being based in the same office apart from on the odd occasion, I’m working pretty autonomously, more so than in my previous job. I think I will appreciate this more as time goes by, although I have to admit that I am actually starting to enjoy my work – not so clueless any more!

I still think it’s bloody hard – coming from a highly regulated environment to one that is not so (yet) regulated isn’t easy and my boss warned me that it could get a little frustrating but to be patient as things were moving towards more regulations and controls. I look at their processes and see so many things which would fail an audit.

I think I’m one of the few people who actually abides by the clear desk policy, which isn’t enforced but it’s how I’ve been working for the past ten years so I continue to do so. Still, it’s far too soon for me to be making major suggestions of improvements but I’ve been making notes for the future, ideas for projects and such like.

The lifts weren’t working the other day so I had to take the stairs. I realised that walking up to the 5th floor isn’t too bad and is a great workout, so from now on, I will climb the stairs every day.

Anyway, I got paid in full this month so how much of my net salary did I save? (no £500 shoes for me!)

I saved 54.6%! My average for the year is now 47.8% so slowly creeping up to my goal of an average 50%.

The above savings includes £100 from matched betting profits, £25 from my Premium Bonds win, £20 lotto win and £57.08 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thanks to all those who joined via my link – much appreciated!).

When I saw the my wage hitting my bank account, I was pleasantly surprised. Until I realised that this is my pay without any corporate benefits deducted – I’ve yet to join the company pension scheme (although the contribution will be low) and I no longer have the ‘premium benefits’ I used to enjoy, namely medical, life insurance and critical illness cover. Oh and my corporate gym membership was also deducted via salary sacrifice.

Another birthday celebrated, another year older – although I keep myself pretty fit and healthy and have a fairly balanced diet, age will catch up at some point so perhaps I need to consider my own medical cover seeing as I no longer have it. I was given a quote by the insurers who used to provide my company medical cover but it was nearly 4 times what I used to pay! What a rip off! I’ll do a bit of research, methinks.

Future Fund 

I have now shifted what’s left of my severance pay into my Future Fund, giving it a decent boost and it now stands at £119,717. A good step towards reaching my next big milestone!

Dividends and Other Income

Dividends received this month (which will be reinvested):

Last June’s payment of £207.12 was my biggest of 2016. However, I only received £120.03 this month. Seems a bit disastrous but what’s happened is that some dividends which were paid at the end of June last year didn’t hit my account in time, so will be included in next month’s income update.

Total dividend income this year now stands at £667.65. Looks like I’m running a little behind on my goal of £1500 at the halfway stage.

Here’s how things pan out in the graph, which doesn’t look quite as good before:

At least I know that July will be a big year-on-year improvement!

Shares and Investment Trusts

I added to my holdings of Scottish Mortgage IT and City of London IT. I also made a new investment in Scottish American Investment Co.

Current portfolio can be found here.

Matched Betting (MB)

As there’s no football on and I couldn’t be bothered to take advantage of any of the tennis or golf offers, I’ve had to rely on weekend horse racing only.

As expected, a big drop in MB income but I still managed to make £265 in profit this month, with minimal effort and despite social activities taking over two Saturdays!

Total profits so far this year now stand at £3,264, so looking like I might smash my MB goal of £4000 profit if I keep at it.

The matched betting guide I subscribe to is OddsMonkey*.  It’s a nifty little 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, Extra Place 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 try it out for free*.

Goals Update

Here’s how things look:

Need to get started on the non-fiction books but really don’t feel like reading any investing/finance/well-being ones right now, so I think I’ll just have a browse in the non-fiction section of the library to see if anything catches my eye.

Hope everyone had a great flaming June – I loved the hot weather we had!

Bikinis and BBQs all the way! 😉

PS – the BBQs meant that I’ve failed miserably in not purchasing any more alcohol for home consumption!

[*referral/affiliate link]

22 thoughts on “June 2017 Savings, plus Other Updates

  1. HI Weenie,

    I wouldn’t worry about the dividends; the only thing that is happening is that the effects of a good thing aren’t increasing faster than you would like to. Meaning the base is positive, it’s still growing, you’re just a bit impatient. 🙂

    All the best in your new job. Sounds like there is good reason they hired you; you bring a lot to the table.

    Enjoy the sun!

    • Hi Berry

      Yes, I guess I was hoping my graph would just show the dividends increasing every month but you’re right, it’s all still growing, so all good!

      Thanks for the kind wishes!

  2. Hi Weenie,

    Nothing wrong with going out to celebrate twice – why not try for the hat trick? 🙂 Either way – happy birthday!

    Glad to hear work is settling in well and cracking on – but over £500 for a pair of must have shoes?? Were they hand made to his exact foot measurements or just some random pair of trainers!?

    Congrats on the superb savings rate – over 50% is a huge whack extra going in and helping drive up the savings rate to 50%! A great future fund value as well you will hit that £200k mark in no time at this rate!

    Although a little down when things don’t hit the accout as fast as you would like and the income is down a bit on last year, but just think what July will look like 🙂 A bit behind for the year at the half way mark on the dividends, but remember these will tick up as you put more money to work, so fingers crossed it will get there! The dividend graph is looking great – not quite as good? Just look at how high those dividends are going – you wait and see what it looks like after July!

    Enjoying the weather here as well – although not fired up the BBQ as yet, nor the bikini 😉 I think in this weather you are allowed to buy some booze for home – the challenge will be to try and keep it low!


    • Hey FiL

      Haha, a hattrick will be a good one to go for!

      Those shoes weren’t even custom-made, but might have been one of those where only a certain number of pairs are made. Even so, it’s going to be soooo ‘last season’ next year, he’ll be looking for a new pair!

      Yes, July divis are looking good already – am just a little annoyed that my graph looks messed up haha!

      Another scorching weekend up here so I hope you got the good weather too!

  3. I read some of your posts, wow. That is a perfect example of discipline and structure. All the best in life but it looks like you can perfectly organise it yourself and do not need to rely on luck. Really impressive.

    • Thanks Pascal.

      Without a plan or structure, I wouldn’t be able to save so much or as regularly. The blog makes me accountable and is what keeps me disciplined.

      A little luck won’t do any harm but no, I’m not relying on it.

  4. Hi Weenie,

    This is a great update! I like the acronym of FIRE. Financial Independence and Retire Early. Everyone seek for FIRE. I enjoy reading your blog, everyone can learn from. Your goal for 2017 is achievable. I wish I had the same discipline. The dividend income that you get from the company posted above are helpful — just by not thinking about over the years, you can accumulated reasonable amount. But you’re planning to reinvest it right? What company do you have in mind?

    • Thanks Hashtag Investing.

      The dividends just get added to the next lot of monthly capital to buy more units in ETFs, funds or investment trusts. I’m not investing in any new companies so don’t have any particular ones in mind – I just invest in existing holdings after checking my portfolio allocation.

  5. First of all congratulations on the good work with savings and dividends this month. I’m keen to get into investing in individual stocks like you have. Is there a specific platform you use or do you just buy via Fidelity/Hargreaves Lansdowne etc.?

  6. “I’ve yet to join the company pension scheme”: oh, madame, how could you?

    • Hi dearime

      I’ll be joining it as soon as I’m eligible to join, which is once I’m past my work probation period! Got one more month to wait!

  7. It’s always a bit of a shock hearing other people discuss how they spend their money and you realise that it’s you who’s in the minority! I nearly fell off the chair in a restaurant recently when a good friend of mine ordered up a £60 bottle of wine – even if I won the lottery I just couldn’t bring myself to do that! Everyone at my work sees me as a complete tightwad due to my contributions on this subject, but I take this as a compliment.

    • Hi Jim

      No, I wouldn’t spend money like that even after winning the lottery.

      I’m glad to say that my friends don’t see me as a tightwad, but they do say I’m ‘careful’ with my money, which I see as a compliment! At least one of them has said that they are starting to copy me, which means it’s slowly rubbing off on them!

  8. Happy birthday, weenie!

    I’m sure you’ll smash the £200k in no time. Anyone spending £500 on shoes wants their head checked, though, crikey.

  9. Hi Weenie, another good month for you and progress is being made in all areas. Small or big, it all counts.

    I have expensive taste but even for me £500 is well, well over budget for a pair of trainers!!

    • Thanks HoG.

      I’ve yet to see the guy wear his £500 shoes to work – am guessing he must put them on as soon as he goes home to get some value out of them!

  10. Hi Weenie,

    Thanks for posting your updates, I have recently found your blog and read with interest.

    One question I have is about matched betting. I have found OddsMonkey – via your link 😉 How much time do you spend on this? It seems like it adds a lot to your annual income – is it really as good as it sounds?

    • Hi Ordinary Jo

      Matched betting is as good as it sounds. However, there is a strong correlation between time spent on it and profits – the more time you spend on it (doing lots and lots of offers), the more profits you will make. It also depends on what offers you do, ie I only do football and horse-racing so my profits are limited to those offers (through choice). You’ll see from my next update that as I’ve barely spent any time on MB this month, profits are really down but I’m waiting for the football season to start! I think on average when I was getting around £400-£600 profit a month, I was probably spending around 6-7 hours a week on it, sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less. That’s the beauty of it, you can pick and choose so that it fits round your life.

      Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your MB – let me know how you get on!

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