June 2020 Savings, plus other updates

Into month 4 of lockdown and if I’m honest, I’m not in a hurry for things to change (apart from a much-needed haircut!).

No plans to venture into any pubs on ‘Super Saturday‘ – I’ll make do with socialising online a while longer.

The woods near where I live

This month, it was my birthday and I celebrated by going for a nice walk in the woods, a boozy Zoom night in with friends and my sis cooked me a steak dinner.

We’ve had some lovely hot days, which would have been more enjoyable had I not been working.  I’ve got a ton of holidays left so I’d better start using them up.

As well as the hot days, we had the typical rainy ones too and I spent such time engrossed with The Great British Sewing Bee, which I think I enjoyed more than the better known The Great British Bake Off, probably because I’m a better seamstress than I am a baker!

There was an online Manchester FIRE meet up, which was fun and interesting. Although I really enjoyed the meet ups we had in the pub, these online ones meant that people from afar could dial in, including various people from London and even one lady from Uruguay!

The next meet up is Friday 21st August – sign up to Meet Up for the details (time and Zoom link).

I’m trying my not-very-green-fingered hand at growing vegetables and whilst I’m nowhere near the level of expertise as Jase of FIRE Lifestyle, I hope I’ll be able to share some photos of the fruits of my labours at some point! The veggies I’m trying to grow are green beans, carrots, potatoes and cherry tomatoes.

At work, our office has reopened and those who want to go back in have done so and although it looks like they’ve made the place appear safe, I’m in no rush to return. At some point, I do want to go in to retrieve some things from my locker and I guess it would be nice to see some of my colleagues.

Anyway, how did I get on with my numbers?

I was able to save 66.8% of my net salary!  I received a credit card refund for my Wimbledon tennis tickets, so an extra £180 got chucked into my ISA.

The above savings includes top ups from yet another £25 premium bond win, £10 lotto winnings (from charity lottery) and £68.91 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 investments.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

The stock market continues to do its own thing without a care for what’s happening in the world.

My Future Fund stands at £192,197, which means it’s finally higher than what it was at the start of the year, so all losses have been recouped (not counting capital deployed in the last few months).

Still looking ‘V’ shaped

Heading back in the right direction but really, who knows for certain?

Dividends and Other Income

What dividends did I receive?

I received £347.54 in total, of which £154.95 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs.

Seemingly a good year-on-year increase but some dividends paid last July were paid early. Not good news really as July is historically my highest month of dividend income so there’s going to be a sharp fall next month.

Here’s what the main graph looks like:

Matched Betting (MB)

It’s business as usual with the matched betting and a return to decent(ish) profits.

One added bonus of working from home is there’s no fear of my boss peering over my shoulder and I’m no longer limited to just placing bets on my phone!

I made £377 profit (from football and horse racing) – taking things nice and steady, not rushing or being greedy with offers, but still managing to double my total profits for the year! Ok, not difficult when I didn’t do any MB in March and April!

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

Goals Update

As per Kid Cocoa’s comment against my last update, lockdown has meant that my savings rate has been a lot higher than normal. No social life = more money to invest.

It seems pointless to be smashing my goal month on month so I’m going to increase my average savings rate goal to 60%.

Although unlikely, there’s still a remote possibility that I will be able to make a trip overseas at some point, so I need to be mindful of those expenses which would affect my savings rate. Big birthdays coming up next month might put a dent too on what I can invest, so the new goal is still a challenging one to aim for.

Here’s how the goals look at the halfway stage:

Think I’m going to struggle with the ISA dividend income goal, with cuts made to payouts. Didn’t see the point in reducing the goal however, nor the MB one, although the latter one will be impossible to achieve.

BLM

The terrible and needlesss death of George Floyd by police in the US and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests prompted me to try to educate myself (more) about racism.

Cashflow Cop wrote an interesting piece from the viewpoint of a serving policeman in the UK and has provided some good links to check out in his post. indeedably wrote an interesting post touching upon the subject too.

Being a second generation immigrant, I’ve experienced the odd unpleasantness of racism, but not so much that I have to deal with it on a regular basis.

Despite me and my siblings being the only non-whites in high school, living in a working class town where there was only one other non-white family, we grew up very much unscathed and unscarred by racism.

In fact, I had to contend with initial racism from my own parents (not telling them I had a white boyfriend…) but they got over it.

I don’t believe that my not being white has hindered my life or career in any way, not as far as I’m aware of anyway.

Most of my encounters in the past have been due to ignorance (as opposed to maliciousness), so I strongly believe that education is key to tackling racism in society.

Perhaps because of my own experience, I admit that I have been largely ignorant myself (and perhaps a little dismissive) of the racism that others might endure, hence trying to educate myself more about it.

I sought out charities which try to teach people and have made a donation to Show Racism the Red Card, a charity which provides educational workshops and training sessions, including presentations in schools. I will add this charity to the list of ones I regularly donate to.

Thirty Years of Hurt

I’ll finish off with a mention of my team’s momentous and long-awaited Premier League win.

Yes, I cried tears of joy!

Hope you all had a great June!

[*referral/affiliate link]

34 thoughts on “June 2020 Savings, plus other updates

    • Cheers GFF – it was very much keeping faith and sticking to the plan.

      Yeah, Wimbledon tickets are the only tickets where I’ve got the view ‘go at whatever cost’ since I love the venue (and the tennis). It’s been 8 years since I last went and fingers crossed all will be well in the world so I can go in 2021!

  1. Just read your comments about racism – it’s a real thinker that we have inequality in the UK (and everywhere) and Covid has only made things worse (or brought them to light).
    All to often we (I) take an “I’m alright Jack” approach to these things – they only happen to other people…
    But it is clear now that the way things were is not how we should go on in the future.

    On the FI front there are some great bame (if I can use that ) bloggers who’ve done great things (no names but you can guess who) but they are maybe the exception rather than the rule and when the cards are stacked against you you need an outside edge to win.

    • I can very much admit to the ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude and this is where I need to be more aware of what other people experience/have experienced.

      I don’t use the BAME label myself, mostly because those lumped in together within that label are so different and the prejudice and racism which they may suffer varies across a spectrum.

      I know to whom you refer and their success is an inspiration to all.

  2. Good to see the markets bouncing back after the big dip in March and looks like you will be heading over the 200K mark later this year. Your savings rate of over 50% is very impressive, even if lockdown is playing a part. Do you have a final target figure for capital and/or dividends?

    Yes, congratulations to Liverpool (from an Everton supporter!)…I think they probably would have preferred to win the title in play against City tonight but they fully deserve the title this year. Also well done to Coventry’s promotion to the Championship!

    • Hey DIY

      Yes, I’m back on track to hit 200k later this year which I will be really pleased with.

      I do have in my mind a final target figure (that’s for a future post!). Dividends, I’m aiming for £3k from my ISAs.

      Yes, winning a City would have been the icing on the cake and since we had it in the bag, I didn’t mind that we got stuffed last night, haha!

      Funnily enough, I had a random bet on Coventry to be promoted so happy with that too!

  3. Apparently it all kicked off around Anfield, fans got rowdy, arrests were made and the Police Chief said

    ‘This is disgraceful, I’m not having this every 30 years….’

    Glad your FIRE trajectory is back on track, fingers crossed….

    • Haha, love it 🙂

      Some years ago, a friend asked me if I wanted to witness England win the World Cup or Liverpool win the Premiership and I replied the latter – my dream has come true!

  4. Hi. Well done on the savings rate. I’m wondering what you do with the dividend payments? Do you have Acc funds or Inc funds? Is there a reason why you don’t reinvest dividends through Acc funds (maybe you do)? Also wondering why you don’t start a ‘holiday saving fund /account? I put all my premium bond wins into a holiday savings account – it adds up quickly over a year and makes holiday payments less stressful. Enjoy the summer

    • Hi MeMe

      All my dividend payments are reinvested into my existing investments. Most of my funds are Inc, which I prefer so that I can see the income being paid out and I can choose where to invest that income.

      I do have a holiday fund which I put a bit into every month and yes, it does make things less stressful. I invest all my premium bond winnings.

      Thanks and hope you enjoy the summer too.

  5. Nice work Weenie on the savings! (66%!!)

    Also glad to see the dividends are still coming through – I thought there was a bit of a shake up regarding the dividends side to investing? Obviously not with that graph!

    • Cheers Jase – these are strange times, so strange savings rate!

      You’re right, dividends have decreased, but this month, I was paid some early which are usually paid in July, so next month will show a big year on year decrease and will mess my graph up, haha!

  6. Interesting blog post Weenie. The World certainly feels like it is on fire at the moment with our leaders behaving less like statesmen and more like drunken greedy fools yet the stockmarket hardly notices!

    I think the last 4 months have taught me why FI is important, sh#t can happen! So it’s a good idea to have savings and a plan B.

    And happy belated birthday!

    • Thanks SYBN!

      Yes, I had always thought that the stockmarket was tied closely with global economies but evidently, it isn’t!

      Absolutely, it’s critical to get your finances in order and those aiming for FI(RE) are in a far better position than those who have no idea where their money goes on a day to day basis.

      Having a plan B is a must; a plan C even, for worse case scenario!

  7. Happy belated birthday Weenie! And also congratulations on Liverpool winning! Congrats on a great savings rate too. Seems like you’ve had a top month.

    Interesting about the BLM articles and very educational.

  8. I need to look into the Matched Betting. I keep seeing you mention it. I have never heard of it to be honest! I shall be using your link if I like what I see though haha.

    Good to see your accounts at a peak from the crash.

    • Hi Sean C

      Matched betting isn’t everyone’s cup of tea for a side hustle but I guess you won’t know til you try!

      Try for free via my link with no obligations and DM me if you have any questions!

  9. I am so glad I am bald! Yes!

    Well done with this SR, I’ve been doing well too, so perhaps is time to increase my SR goal as you did. However, with the current situation, it is easy to surpass the 50%, but if we ever get back to a more normal life, then 50% can become challenging at time again.

    Happy belayed birthday! 😀

    • Haha Tony – the bald guys I know aren’t worrying about their hair for obvious reasons but have really wild lockdown beards! 🙂

      Yes, I think 50% will still be challenge once things are back to normal but this is one chance to really push my savings to see how far I can get!

      Thanks for the birthday wishes!

  10. Such a great post. I love passive income investment because it has got more advantages compared to disadvantages. Dividends are cool. Although my friend says that dividends are good as long as they are paid …

    • Thanks Andre.

      Yes, dividends are great as long as they get paid and of course, there’s no guarantee. I think I’m in for a big decrease in July.

  11. The BLM worldview is very simplistic .Trying to work out what is the reality on race in 2020 is very difficult because people are building careers on trying to maximise how much racism there is out there while sceptics are being no-platformed in many places.
    Growing up in a sheltered anti-racist home I am old enough to remember the shock of first hearing racist comments in the workplace or soccer grounds.However there was also a TV series ‘Rising Damp’ where the left behind person was the white landlord and the privileged person was the attractive African student.And underneath that is a truth that is being ignored which is that a left behind straight male is someone who cannot get a girlfriend. A black male may tick many left wing boxes of what a victim is but if he has no problems picking up women then he may not be someone elses idea of a victim
    Left behind females are ones trapped in situations that they cannot get out of and it has little to do with race.
    All the current anti-racist rhetoric leaves out observations like this.It does not appear on stats and talking about it is probably not a great career move

    • The BLM world view is not nuanced and only really covers one aspect of racism. What you refer to in your example is another form of prejudice, that of ‘left behind’ people, regardless of race.

  12. Pingback: The Full English Accompaniment – Why a seismic economic shift won’t happen. – The FIRE Shrink

  13. Hi Weenie,

    Happy ‘belated’ birthday!! (I was going to post something sooner, but wanted to see if you mentioned it. It was my birthday last month too. A quiet one for me with some drive-by family contact to drop off cards – lol).

    I am glad you are not in a hurry to change things work-wise.
    A haircut is on my list of things to do but I will wait a few weeks until I book and venture in. I have got used to my hair and with no job I have no need to worry about what I look like on a zoom call – lol!

    Glad you enjoyed the sewing bee, it has been a good watch for me too. I have been sewing scrubs and face masks but doing the stuff they do is beyond my capability!

    Becoming a veg grower is a matter of patience. I am currently growing lettuce, tomatoes and carrots. Being at home has meant that we can spend time nurturing them and they have a chance to actually thrive. Have you started to talk to them yet?

    Wow, an open office. I don’t know anyone at the moment who has an open office. Everyone I know is still working from home. I think everyone is happy to work from home too. I noticed my neighbour go to work (he had all his work gear on and swipecard around his neck) He was only in for one day as he has been at home since. Not sure if that is a good or bad sign?

    Well done on the savings! I could do with a bond win myself and some lottery winnings would go down nicely.. I don’t seem to have the luck sadly.

    Great news on the future fund – now back to start of year value is brilliant. I am still down on my start of year total. It’s my share portfolio that is dragging it down, I need to sell the shares and move them to index funds instead. It is mainly due to shares from a previous employer, I need to use my CGT to sell them down, they mean I am too heavily invested in one company.

    Like you July is normally a good month for dividend income but not this year. The cancelled dividends would have been paid this month.

    I am pondering MB as an income source as I have tried some other ways of making some cash and the money just isn’t there. I see this as gambling which I am a bit wary of. I know a few gambling addicts that have ended up in a bad way from the ‘lure’. (I know someone who is addicted to slot machines, he drives off route to work so he can play the machines before or after his work day)I really need to read a bit about this and so how comfortable I am with doing it as a way of earning money as my target is about £200 a month plus it is tax free.

    Keep safe and have a great July!

    • Happy belated birthday to you too, Sparklebee! 🙂

      I’m not even sure that my hairdresser is open yet but I thought I’d wait out the rush. Lots of the women I work with aren’t turning their videos on for calls as they must be ashamed of being seen without make up or with their roots showing but I’m still showing my face without make up and my grim hair haha!

      Yes, the Sewing Bee creations were amazing but even the scrubs and masks you’ve been making are impressive, nothing I could do!

      Haha, no, I don’t talk to my veggies – not at that stage of being a gardener yet!

      Quite a lot of my friends are working at places where the offices have opened up but people are given a choice on whether to go in or not.

      I recall that you did need to diversify your share portfolio – perhaps do it in parts so it’s not so painful.

      As a former gambler, I can categorically say that if you follow all the steps, matched betting is NOT gambling.

      The only thing to do really is to try it out yourself and then you can decide whether it’s something you want to do or not. As mentioned to @Sean C above, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Some find it really repetitive and boring and I guess it can be but what’s boring about tax free cash? 🙂

      Drop me a note if you have any MB questions.

  14. A belated happy birthday, Weenie!

    Great job with those matched betting winnings. Even though sporting events have started back up again, I haven’t found the motivation to get back into it. Maybe next month.

    You’re not the only one who needs a haircut… I’m taking this opportunity to grow mine as long as I can before the eventual return to the office!

    • Cheers Dr FIRE!

      Know what you mean about the motivation – I’ve had to really push myself to do MB as I’d gotten out of routine and it was actually a nice 2 month break from doing it!

      So you don’t fancy a man-bun for the office? 🙂

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