Sorry, you’re probably getting fed up seeing this image again but I’m not! 🙂 Another premium bond win of £25 means three wins in a row (a ‘Turkey‘, if I was ten pin bowling!), a record for me! Can I make it a four-bagger!?
At work, it was decided that despite the company not hitting their global year-end target, we would still be paid a bonus. That bonus was a whopping 1% but hey, I’m not complaining as that’s still more than zero. Anyway, with nothing better to do with it, I’ve invested the full bonus amount.
So, how did that affect my savings this month?
I saved 56.6%! My average savings rate has now gone up to 53%. I however still haven’t gotten round to booking my holiday, plus I have a super-busy social calendar in April so the high rate may provide me with a bit of a cushion when my rate drops over the next month or so!
The above savings was topped up with my £25 Premium Bonds win, £62.81 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thanks to all who signed up via my links!), £300 matched betting profits and £50 rent received.
As I don’t earn enough to max out my ISA (the max being £20k in a tax year), this past week has been spent shaking down piggy banks and scrabbling behind the sofa to find anything to top it up before the end of the tax year, due to the ‘use it or lose it’ factor.
I managed to find a bunch of old £1 coins so these have been banked – every pound counts and they went towards helping me pay £15k into my ISA. Last year, I managed this amount with the help of some of my redundancy pay (when the max for an ISA was £15k) so I’m really chuffed with this achievement.
I’m sure some of you might be wondering why I’m also paying into my Emergency Fund instead of concentrating on my ISA – well, I took a chunk out for ’emergencies’ last year so need to top it back up. Once I get it back up to >3 month’s worth of expenses again, I can chuck more into my ISA.
Shares and Investment Trusts
I started investing in HICL Infrastructure Company Ltd this month. Think that’s it for new investments for a while, I’ll just top up existing ones for the rest of the year.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
Wobbly markets again apparently. As before, I didn’t follow the daily ups and downs, just got the month-end figure for my update. My Future Fund stands at £130,574 – it’s down 1% from last month, but whatever, I’ll just continue investing as normal.
Dividends and Other Income
Dividends received this month:
£238.00 was received – good to see another >£200 payout. Total dividends this year stands at £566.10, so a little behind plan but still a way to go yet with some big payouts in the pipeline!
So here’s how things look on the main dividend income graph:
Matched Betting (MB)
I may as well just copy and paste part of my comment from theFIREstarter’s Cheltenham Festival update.
I actually had 3 of the 4 days off work (coincided with me having my kitchen decorated!) but having had quite a few accounts gubbed since the last festival, I knew that Cheltenham wasn’t going to provide me with riches, not that I made riches last year, even with ungubbed accounts!
As it was, my profit over the 4 days was just short of £200, but just on horses, this is great for me so I’m happy with that.
I’m continuing with my no-lay accumulator (acca) strategy and since I’ve been doing some actual research/checking on the legs, I’ve fared a bit better so have been hitting wins a bit more often, while reducing my losses. Still too fearful to put on big money though, so sticking to mostly £5 and £10 accas to build up my confidence! For those interested in stats, I did 31 no-lays, which resulted in a 32% win rate and 48% loss rate (10 wins, 15 losses, 6 acca insurance, profit £128).
This month, I also started a no-lay Each Way (EW) Matcher strategy – I know, all this no-laying is gambling, right? Kind of, but taking into account the EV (Expected Value), it’s still kind of matched betting.
What’s the EW Matcher strategy? The EW Matcher is an OddsMonkey‘s tool which basically tries to find profitable scenarios/matches to bet on horses each way (ie win or place). So you back all the horses matched in the tool each way within set parameters. To lock in profit, you would lay those matches. With the strategy I’m following, you don’t lay. theFIREstarter follows a similar strategy.
You’ll win some, lose some, will have to swallow some losses but in the long run, the underlying EV will trend upwards. I’m only placing small bets though (50p or £1 each way) but made £194 this month using this strategy. Some weeks will be bad, like with no-lay accas but while I’m achieving an ROI of 19.7%, I’m going to see if this profitable run continues. The good thing is that I’ve been able to use gubbed accounts, where my betting stakes have been restricted.
Overall MB profits for the month came to £599, my best so far this year, though not great compared to previous years. Total MB profits so far this year stand at £914, still way off target for my ambitious annual goal.
Note that there are plenty of folk who do MB who don’t touch accas or do EW Matcher betting at all but who still make regular profits from other (less riskier) offers.
As mentioned above, the matched betting guide I subscribe to is OddsMonkey*. Great for beginners and experienced matched bettors alike with quality tools such as 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*.
Incidentally, this month marks 2 years since I started MB. In that time, I’ve made £8,939 profit in total – not a huge amount by some MB standards but good enough for me! I’ve tried to preserve my accounts by trying to not be too greedy with offers, I try to not spend too much time on this hobby and hope there are still profits to be made in the foreseeable future.
Oh and as a final note in this section, I appear to be ‘ungubbed’ by one of the high street bookies after over a year – I took part in an offer and they surprisingly gave me a free bet! I won’t mention their name here, in case someone realises their error and reinstates the gubbing! Drop me a note if you want to know who it is!
Aside from the savings rate, I’m still a little behind on where I want to be on most of these, but it’s still early days.
Also, for those interested, you can also see how I’m getting on with my Book Bingo here – I’ve crossed off some more squares!
I was contacted by someone who’s working on a TV programme for Channel 5, looking for people (including bloggers) to provide tips and tricks on how to make the most of their money.
I declined politely of course – that kind of stuff can be reserved for people who want to do that kind of thing, have their 5 minutes of fame (which is 5 minutes too much for me!) and who might be looking to sell books or courses or wanting extra traffic for their blogs, none of which is what I want. Plus, how can I remain semi-anonymous with my mug and dulcet northern tones on the telly, haha!? Still, I look forward to watching the programme anyway when it gets aired and hope there’s better content than Channel 4’s disastrous ‘How to Retire at 40‘ programme.
Anyway, that’s it from me – happy Easter everyone!