Anyone do ‘Dry January’? Although some of my friends and family did, I didn’t bother. Since I don’t drink during the week, I see little point in depriving myself at weekends. Apparently, my sister failed on day THREE, haha!
Anyway, this month I tried to lead a frugal nun-like existence. That meant turning down social events, no eating out/takeaways (massive assumption here that nuns don’t have social events, eat out or have takeaways…).
My only purchases were basic groceries (including necessary toiletries), a gift voucher (for nephew’s birthday), stamps and a pair of socks. No January sales for me. Packed lunches for work, except for perhaps on 4 occasions where I spent less than £2 on my lunch.
On the one hand, it felt great knowing that I was going to save more of my salary this month. On the other, the frugal existence didn’t make me feel too happy and in the end, to preserve my sanity, I succumbed and forked out to see the latest Star Wars film at the cinema.
I think I already have my expenses and spending down to a decent level allowing me to save/invest whilst enjoying life – there was probably no need for me to do a frugal January but I thought I’d try it anyway. I have to say it’s not something I’ll be attempting again in a hurry, not to this extreme.
So, did my being very frugal affect how I much I saved in the first month of the year?
Yes, because I saved 59.3% – it could have been more if I didn’t have some December expenses on my credit card bill.
I know, I know…imagine if I could do this every month! But no, living like this isn’t something I would choose to do long-term, even knowing that it would help me achieve my goals quicker. I guess I’m just not in that much of a rush!
The above savings include my £25 Premium Bonds win, £16.32 from TopCashback*, £63.22 from Google Adsense (my annual payout!), £71.16 affiliate income from OddsMonkey, £130 matched betting profits, and £50 rent received.
Shares and Investment Trusts
I started investing in Witan Pacific IT this month, for some diversification.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
The rise of sterling and small wobbles in the market caused my Future Fund to stay pretty much the same at £133,045, despite the capital injection this month. Whatever, I’m just going to continue investing anyway.
Dividends and Other Income
Dividends received this month:
A bumper £241.66 was received, which included some payments I expected in December. A great start to the year, particularly as January has always been one of the lower paid months. This sum would easily cover my council tax and a couple of my utility bills.
So here’s how things look on the main dividend income graph:
Looking good! 🙂
Matched Betting (MB)
A better month than December but not one of my great ones.
I made a profit of £170. Had an ok run on the horses but again, the no-lay accumulators (accas) didn’t go my way.
For those interested in stats, I did 48 no-lays, which resulted in a 25% win rate and 48% loss rate (12 wins, 23 losses, 13 acca insurance) resulting in an acca loss of around £9, which actually isn’t bad as at one point, I was over £100 down!
The no-lay acca strategy is a long-term (and slightly risky) one. It’s only the first month but I hope there will be better ones!
Note that there are plenty of folk who do MB who don’t touch accas at all but who still make regular profits from other offers.
The matched betting guide I subscribe to is OddsMonkey*. It’s an excellent 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. OddsMonkey offers quality tools including the Each Way Matcher, Extra Place Matcher, Dutch Finder, Racing Matcher and Acca Matcher. There’s also a friendly forum for you to ask questions. Anyway, check out the free trial*.
Not much to see as it’s the first month:
For those interested, you can also see how I’m getting on with my Book Bingo here – I’ve crossed off some squares!
Consequences of a frugal January
One consequence of turning down social events in January is that I now have a pretty full calendar in February, with dates in March filling up too.
I had to put off my hair appointment for frugal January – I’m relieved to say that I’m going to the hairdresser this weekend for a belated appointment and no longer have to attempt combing and parting my hair in a Trump-like way to hide some of my grey! Actually, that sounds far worse than it actually looked, haha!
So on that hideous note, hope you all had a great January and have a great weekend!