July 2019 Savings + other updates

The month of July seemed incredibly short. I enjoyed the bouts of heatwave – yes, even in Manchester!  Funny how the same people moaning about the heat are now moaning about the rain…

This month also saw me attempting to clear out some space around the house in anticipation of my sister and nephew moving in soon – that’s come round fast, yikes!

Anyway, how did I get on in July?

I saved 44.3% of my net salary – delayed holiday costs took the remaining chunk of my bonus so I wasn’t able to boost my savings rate after all. I am actually saving a little more though, my 3% pay rise is in there!

The above savings includes top ups of £100 from a webinar (more on this later), £20 matched betting profit (from last month) and £74.38 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thank you to all who signed up via my links!).

Shares and Investment Trusts

No new investments – I just topped up existing ones.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

A combination of the rock-bottom pound sterling and markets going up has meant a big jump to £173,204. I’m not getting too excited though – still plenty of political shennanigans which could make it drop right down again!

Dividends and Other Income

A record-breaking month for dividends:

I received income of £585.60!  I would have loved to have hit the £600 mark but it wasn’t to be. Next year is likely to be lower due to my rebalancing my alloctions – I’ll get a lot less from Vanguard FTSE 100 ETF, maybe just half the amount I received this month.  I think I’m back on track with my goal but have got a couple of fairly low months coming up – October needs to be a big one!

Here’s the main dividend income graph:

Matched Betting (MB)

A short month and general ‘busyness’ this month meant that I didn’t do as much MB as I would have liked. The Each Way betting started off badly so I was relieved when I ended up with total profits of £238. The last few months have been steadily creeping up but still on the low side. Fingers crossed this will pick up once the football season starts.

As mentioned before, the MB guide I subscribe to is OddsMonkey*, which is great for beginners and experienced matched bettors alike with quality tools to help you make profit. There are step by step guides and also a friendly forum for you to ask questions and get assistance on any of the offers.

Some people think matched betting is gambling but it isn’t (speaking as a former-though-now-occasional gambler). For me, it’s the ideal ‘side hustle’/hobby to do in my spare time. Anyway, check out the free trial* (with no obligations).

Goals Update

Here’s how I’m doing versus my goals:

Total Passive income (dividends) is now ahead of active income (MB), which is great news as the passive income is me getting paid for doing nothing, but also bad news that my efforts aren’t reaping as much as they should! I really should be making much more on the MB but don’t have the inclination to spend much more time on it than I already do, if I’m honest.

And I’m seriously behind on my reading – it always slows down when I’ve got a non-fiction book on the go but I’m still ploughing on.

Webinar

Oh yes, as mentioned above, I received £100 for taking part in a webinar!

A couple of months back, I received an invitation to take part in a survey about investing, for which I would receive a £5 Amazon voucher. I checked out the marketing company running the survey; they seemed legit, so I did the survey and duly received my voucher.  A second survey followed a short time later, again rewarding a £5 voucher.  Then a third, much longer and more detailed survey about investing, offering a £10 voucher.

A few days before I was due to return from my holiday, I received another email, this time asking if I would take part in a webinar and that I would be paid £100 for my troubles! What!?

They were even offering to send out webcams to participants who didn’t have one so of course I blagged a new one! 🙂

Talk Talk!

And so it was that one evening early July, (still jet-lagged) I took part in a 2-hour webinar talking to 9 complete strangers (including one moderator) about investing!

The ages of the participants ranged from around 30 through to late 60s and judging from the various accents, they were from different parts of the UK.

In the first hour, we (loosely) took turns talking briefly about our views on investments, savings, pensions, ISAs, bitcoin, current affairs and the political climate. I think I was probably the person with the least investing experience there – most of the others had been investing for 15-20 years.

In the second hour, the moderator posed leading questions regarding investments, what we thought about investing platforms, what we liked/didn’t like; we took part in polls and discussed the instant results.

It was all very interesting and I could have continued talking a lot longer, only it was after 10pm when the moderator thanked us for our time!

Who was the company running the survey?

Nutmeg – two of the participants had accounts with them but only one guessed that it might be them. My guess was that it wasn’t HL or AJ Bell!

Well that was pretty easy money for two hours ‘work’, so I hope more such  surveys/webinars come along my way!

I don’t know how the marketing company got hold of my details in the first place though – I haven’t bothered to ask them.

Finally, my Free Share!

I mentioned recently that Freetrade were trialling a free share referral scheme.

Thanks to the newly married SavingNinja for using my link – my mystery first free share has finally been revealed as:

It’s not a company I would have thought to have invested in but I’ve always loved the idea of randomness linked with share-picking.  Will be interesting to see what other free shares I get (am hoping for Apple or Microsoft, haha!)

Thanks to those who have helped with the test and clicked on links – I hope you all got good free shares (most will be revealed by next week, if not already). if you’ve had any issues getting your free share after topping up, please let me know.

The free share scheme test is continuing so if anyone wants a link to bag a free share (worth up to £200), DM me via Twitter (@QuietlySaving) or via the Contact Me form for a one-use only link.

Anyway, that’s it from me – hope you all had a great July!

[*referral/affiliate link]

24 thoughts on “July 2019 Savings + other updates

  1. The Nutmeg webinar sounds like an interesting experience. Unfortunately, my email inbox just fills up with spam trying to get me to post something generic and non value added that they have written which includes a couple of hyperlinks to their website.

    • Hi RIT

      Yes, the webinar was an interesting experience and I’d love to take part in another one. My inbox is often full of guest post or link swap opportunities too and despite there being cash to be made in most cases, it’s not a direction I want my blog to go.

  2. Your caution re the increase in your Future Fund may already have been justified by today’s fall in the stock markets. I dare say they’ll bounce back soon enough!

    • Hi NewInvestor
      Indeed – I think it might have been a different story had I run my figures following that downturn caused by Trump v China! And yes, it’ll all bounce back up soon enough!

  3. Nice update. It’s good to see you are going strong. I had a bad month EW betting. I’ll post my July update shortly but (spoiler alert) I was down on the month. I put this down to placing fewer bets and the effects of variance. Hoping for a better month this month.
    I’ve now got my free share thanks although it’s still a mystery. Looking forward to seeing what it is.

  4. Hey Weenie! Looking awesome on those dividends earnings – must be great to stand back and see those monthly dividend income grow each year!

    I’m loving Freetrade right now – they just need to keep adding to their list of stocks to make it a wider choice in my eyes, but good to see them work so hard on it!

    • Hey Jase

      Yes, it’s a great feeling to see those monthly dividends increase each year. I just wish my MB bettings were increasing at that rate, haha!

      Hard to describe how if feels to use Freetrade in just a few words – I rebalanced a few of my ETFs the other day and it was so good to be able to do so knowing it cost nothing in fees to sell and buy.

      How’s your Dogs of the FTSE portfolio going?

  5. Haha I get it! Savings Ninja will use the free shares to buy Tesla, haha. Shame he’s busy on a honeymoon and can’t confirm, but I’d would bet on it. As you know I am coming next.

    Congrats on your dividend income record Weenie.

    MB was consuming a lot of my reading time and I became a bit unorganised. I’m having a break and then I’ll try again after the summer.

    The nutmeg sounds fun. I’d tell them i invest with algorithms and see their reaction, haha

    Time flies! I remember your blog post talking about your sister. That was my first read of your blog, God can’t believe it’s already happening soon?

    • Hi Tony

      Haha, yes, Saving Ninja did mention investing in Tesla and Freetrade would be the ideal platform for him to do so. I’m sure he will update us once he’s back from his honeymoon.

      Thanks, it was great to achieve that dividend income record but as mentioned, as I’ve been rebalancing towards Bonds, it’s unlikely to be so high next year but we’ll see.

      I know – time has flown so quickly and soon sis will be here – I haven’t worked out yet how I’m going to do my blogging…

    • Hey TFS

      I’ve today finished reading it (phew!) – The Black Swan by Naseen Nicholas Taleb – v interesting, just tough going in many parts!

      Cheers and good luck to you too! 🙂

  6. Pingback: The Full English Accompaniment – Sticking my head in the sand – The FIRE Shrink

  7. Hi Weenie – that webinar does sound like a lot of fun, good to see they rewarded you for your time.

    And that’s an interesting free share in Boohoo….truth be told it was one of those newer companies I didn’t realise must have floated.

    • Hi MsZiYou

      Yes, it was a lot of fun and the payment was a nice bonus.

      There are other clothes shop shares too which are available, which I wouldn’t normally consider, eg ASOS, Burberry, Next, Ted Baker. Oh and Sports Direct.

  8. Hi Weenie

    Nice Mb and dividend income this month.

    It would be good to arrange another pre-Christmas (oct/nov?) Manchester FI meet up?

    • Hey Mr Fu

      Hope you and Mrs Fu and the Fu clan are well!

      Yeah, I do want to arrange another one but it’s all timing.

      If I do one, it’ll be another informal one I think, nothing official.

      There was mention of someone arraninging one on a Reddit post
      but that the thread died a death, hence why I think informal is best.

      I’ll let you know!!

  9. ‘Funny how the same people moaning about the heat are now moaning about the rain.’ This is the very essence of being British! Many of my international colleagues have made the same comments, haha.

    That webinar sounds fantastic! A free webcam and £100 is certainly nothing to sniff at, and the chance to hear other people’s opinions on investing would be interesting.

    Sounds like a great July, hopefully August is even better!

  10. Looks like another good month. More than £800 from MB and dividends is proper money. I don’t know what your expenses are but that may well be getting towards some flavour of LeanFI right?

    Why do you think that you Vanguard FTSE 100 dividends will be lower? Is it as you’re going to be taking money out of that ETF as part of your rebalancing?

    Also I’m a bad person, I’ll get onto that FreeShare link I promise! Just haven’t got round to it just yet. Slap on the wrist for me.

    Oh and I’m going to be in Manchester end Sept-early Oct so if you did want to do an informal meet up I would be in! I’ll get in touch directly.

    Hope August is going well.

    • Hi Caveman

      The MB isn’t guaranteed each month so I couldn’t rely on that amount to go for LeanFI! I would hope to be able to continue with my MB when I no longer work but any income will be a bonus.

      Vanguard FTSE 100 divis will be lower only because as part of my rebalancing for more bonds, I’ve switched a load of VUKE to VGOV. The yield on VUKE was over 4%, on VGOV it’s only 1.5%, hence the reduction I’m expecting.

      Hah, no rush on the Freetrade thing, as and when you’re able to do so!

      And happy to meet you when you’re up in Manchester – let me know!

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