December 2019 Savings, plus Round Up

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed the celebrations last night to see in the new year.

It’s 3.30pm as I type this and I’ve only just gotten out of my pjs so it was a late one for me! 🙂

Anyway, I had a great Christmas – no travels abroad this time but there was a 400-mile round trip over the festive period – some good times eating too much but surprisingly drinking little (apart from last night!)

So, how did I do in the last month of the year and against the targets I set?

Not flying abroad for Christmas this year meant that I more or less maintained my savings rate, ending up at 41.7%.

My average for the year stands at 46.3%. Although I didn’t achieve my goal (again) to hit that elusive 50%, I’m more than happy with this average, which is my highest to date. It’s a personal best! 🙂

The above savings include top ups from £120 matched betting profits (from last month), another £25 premium bond win and £70.67 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thank you to all those who joined via my link – much appreciated!).

Shares and Investment Trusts

I continued to top up existing investments.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

This time last year, my Future Fund stood at £142,831. As at 31st December, it stood at £188,605.

The total capital I invested in 2019 was £15,838 yet there’s been an extra increase in my portfolio of £29,935 over the year!  Wow – I’m astounded!

I didn’t do anything special to achieve this – all I did was ignore the noise about political uncertainty and continue to top up/buy and hold my investments, reinvesting all dividends received. I also received a good dose of LUCK with the buoyant markets.  Although I did switch some of my equity ETFs into bond ETFs (for a bit more balance and stability), this seems to have affected income rather than growth.

My investments effectively made a loss last year, so realistically, this could well happen again in 2020.  I can’t expect it to be this good every year!

Dividends and Other Income

Dividends received this month:

A good month of dividends to end the year, with income of £391.27 received. This takes my total income received for the year to £3,873.06. I didn’t quite hit my target but I’m not too disappointed as I hadn’t factored in the change to my investment strategy partway through the year, as mentioned above in the Future Fund section.

So here’s how things look at the end of the year for dividend income:

It’s been great seeing my passive income grow year on year.

However, for clarity, I’m going to make a change to my dividend income reporting as I think I should separate out income in my SIPP and ISA and also from the ETFs and shares/investment trust I hold.

I’ll still maintain the above graph, will justrun a separate one for the ISA income.

Matched Betting (MB)

The weeks running up to Christmas were busy and I didn’t have much time to do a lot of MB but there were a good few profitable days when I returned for the last couple of days of the year.

I ended up making a semi-decent profit of £495.95. This brings the total profit made for the year to £3,946.39, meaning that I totally missed my target of £5k. This amount is also low compared to recent years but considering I’ve spent less time on it and had more accounts restricted, it’s still a decent sum and of course, it’s all tax free.

The matched betting 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, a 1 to 1 service 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* (no obligation).

Goals Update

Here’s how it all ended:

2 out of 6 is rather rubbish! Still, I prefer to set challenging goals than ones which are easy to achieve.

It’s not as if I didn’t try – I did, although I guess with a bit of tweaking to my life/spending and some better time-management, I could have probably done a bit better.

I don’t expect to hit all of my annual goals but must try harder next year!

Oh, I managed to sneak in the twinning toilet goal on New Year’s Eve – the winner of the photo/cert was long-time regular reader/commenter, Fat Brit Abroad! Certificate should be winging its way shortly.

Pledge

I didn’t set it as a goal but I pledged (to myself) to donate at least 10% of my MB profits to charity. In the end, I donated over £450 (which includes the £120 toilet twinning) so I’m happy with that.

Book Bingo

I didn’t get anywhere near ‘House’ but got one line, with the help of the middle free space!

I think I’ll give the book bingo a rest this year, perhaps pick it up again after a break.

Round Up of 2019

Another good year I think – nothing exceptional happened, although there was that big change in my life with my sis and nephew moving to live with me. That’s worked out  quite well so far or rather, I’ve adapted to it with relatively little stress. However, the dynamics might yet change when sis returns to work in the new year.

I did get behind on all the blog stuff but I seem to have settled into a 2 or 3 posts per month routine which currently suits me.

No real highs or lows this year and I’m happy with that. I’ve been aiming for ‘contented normality’, I’m not looking for excitement or drama in my life.

I think my spending in 2019 hasn’t been too bad, so I need to continue with this and maintain my focus.

It is however harder to keep tabs on my spending witih family living with me – there have been more meals out and I do find it hard not to splurge on my nephew! Fortunately, he doesn’t ask for much!

Investments-wise, I’ve continued to split my money between ETFs and investment trusts. With the help of the Freetrade** app, this year, I’ve able to invest even the smallest amounts sitting in my account (fee-free) so my money is deployed and working for me quicker than with other providers.

And that’s pretty much it. Just finalising my post for my goals of 2020 so that will be up soonish.

Hope you all had a great 2019 and that you have a happy, healthy and wealthy 2020!

[*referral/affiliate link, ** sign up to get a free share/stock]

 

19 thoughts on “December 2019 Savings, plus Round Up

  1. Hi Weenie,

    Excellent results for 2019 and we’ve both been helped by a late market rally I’m sure! Well done on hitting two of your targets, and here’s to the coming year.

    Well done on the matched betting for December, I didn’t do quite as well. I’m sure you’ll hit your target next year. Are you going to keep the same target next year do you think?

    • Hi BBB

      That is fantastic – how did it feel, were your colleagues surprised?

      The countdown is on – there’s a Manchester meet up pencilled in for Feb (I don’t know the exact date yet) – if you could make it, I’m sure people would love to ask you about achieving FIRE!

      • Maybe April or later …. roughly speaking it’s a story of how gradual investment from ~1998 grew past £1MM while pay and job satisfaction failed to rise above Dilbert.

  2. Great growth again this year – will the much anticipated market crash ever come? I’m glad I didn’t listen to the doom sayers at the end of 2018…

  3. Huge congratulations on the years returns Weenie!

    I’m mega happy for you, but also gutted I’ve kinda missed such an insane year. I’ve just been tallying up my gains since July 2018 and I’ve contributed a total of £77,160 but only made £9,781 from investment gains.

    I was actually in negative book cost until April 2019! I must have gained about 12k this year. I shouldn’t be complaining as I had a looot less invested than you at the beginning of the year. I just wish the 30% whopper had come a year later 😛 I can’t wait to eventually see the same gains as you.

    Sods law says that they’ll be a crash now :))

    Keep up the awesome savings rate, and happy new year!!

    • Cheers SN.

      The latter part of 2018 was bad for markets – despite contributing around £16k last year, I made an overall loss of nearly 5% so the growth of 2019 makes up for this.

      I don’t think you’ve been investing that long but your compounding and growth will come – you have long investing years ahead of you!

      If there’s a crash this year, then all the more chance for you to scoop up some bargain stock!

      All the best and happy new year to you too!

  4. Wow that’s an impressive growth weenie congrats. A clear example showing that no one can predict how the market will perform in the future. I’ve missed a lot of growth this year due to being very conservative, but I don’t mind as my short time goals include purchasing a house and I rather be cautious as I may will need to withdraw some invested money.

    Looking forward to reading your upcoming posts 🙂

  5. Cheers Tony.

    Exactly, no one can predict how the market will perform so I continue to just invest in a diversified portfolio.

    Good luck with the househunting and purchase!

  6. Hi Weenie, I just stumbled across your blog and had a poke around. I can’t believe that in a single year your net worth went up by over £40k! That’s incredible (even if you say it’s just luck)! And £4k in dividends nearly, wow.

    I’ve not tried matched betting before – how much of a time sink is it? I tend to have some downtime of an evening which I spend fairly unproductively, that could be a nice little side-income for me. Is OddsMonkey a requirement to do it?

    All the best for 2020,
    Xailter

    • Hi Xailter

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Yes, it was a big jump in my numbers but I stayed invested and the markets just did their thing, hence the luck!

      As mentioned in my recent goals post, I probably spend around 25-30 hours a month on MB, depending on what I’m up to. OddsMonkey (or other matched betting subscription services) aren’t absolutely necessary, but provides step by step guidance and makes locating offers much easier. With MB, more time on it generally = more profits and you don’t want to waste precious time looking for offers.

      If you want to give it go, give me a shout and I’ll answer any questions you have.

      All the best to you too for 2020.

  7. Hi Weenie

    Great to see your progress.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about missing your goals for the savings rate and dividends earned as I suspect you are light years ahead of most people.

    Regarding the dividends, I found that the growth in cash terms once I had reached the level you are at seemed to accelerate as you are able go make meaningful re-investment that produces dividends on the new investment as well as the normal yearly increase.

    If you keep on doing what you have been doing you will soon be at a point where you are Financially Independent. However, I did find that as I got nearer to being FI, my job dissatisfaction seemed to increase, I think this was because I knew that I was pretty much in a position to say “screw you”.

    Will look forward to following your progress in 2020.

    • Hi FIUK

      Yes, I think there is the start of the snowball effect for the dividends, I will continue to plough more in to keep that acceleration going.

      As I’m still a few years away from FI, I don’t even want to think about job dissatisfactiono but I can see how some things which I tolerate now, I may not be so patient with when I’ve got enough to say goodbye.

      I shall keep things chugging away for 2020!

  8. Hi Weenie,

    Great to hear your progress. As someone who is also trying to achieve the FIRE route, this is rather inspiring! It’s amazing how much money you can save. I often save money via referral schemes. Have you done that before?

    • Hi Jane
      The only active referral schemes I’m running right now are for services I use, namely Oddsmonkey, TopCashback and Freetrade. Oh and occasionally Siteground for website hosting, although I don’t plug this one on my blog. Freetrade doesn’t provide cash but gives a free share for each sign up.

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