Compared to the past few months, July has been positively ‘exciting’ and ‘action-packed’:
- I took my car for its service and MOT – it passed!
- I went to the hairdresser – au revoir unruly tresses and grey hair!
- I went walking on the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail in North Yorkshire!
- I went to a friend’s house for a socially-distanced BBQ!
- I bought a sausage roll from Greggs!
- I got a McDonalds delivery!
- I went back to the gym – need to get rid of my lockdown flab and to counter the last two points!
Does it feel like things are getting back to normal?
It was beginning to feel that way, until the newly imposed lockdown measures for Greater Manchester (where I live) were announced, due to some spikes in people testing positive for COVID-19. Ah well.
Despite things being more relaxed earlier in the month, I’ve still not been back in the office, nor have I visited a pub or a restaurant.
I’ve been wearing a mask – lots of confused messages about where you should wear them, so my thinking is that if in doubt, I’m just going to wear one.
Anyway, how did I get on with my numbers?
I was able to save 61.6% of my net salary!
The above savings includes top ups from yet another £25 premium bond win, £50 Matched Betting profits (from last month), £35 football predictions winnings and £24.54 from TopCashback*.
Shares and Investment Trusts
No new investments, I just topped up existing investments.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
Ups and downs in the stock market, with it ending on a down, just as I was running my numbers!
So a bit of a dip from last month, with my Future Fund standing at £191,900.
Will it go back up or continue to fall? It’s anyone’s guess!
Dividends and Other Income
Remember when I said that I hadn’t really been affected by any dividend cuts?
I spoke too soon!
I received £138.24, which for what should be my highest paying month of the year, is truly abysmal!
Ok, some income which would normally come in this month was paid out early in June but still, it was quite sobering to see the effects of cuts and cancellations of dividends.
Here’s how my graph is looking now…
Ouch! There goes my target out of the window too, I think!
At least I am experiencing this drop in income while I’m still accumulating and not when I’ve retired and am trying to scrape a living out of the dividend payments (although fortunately, it’s not my intention to rely solely on dividend income).
Matched Betting (MB)
Another decent month but another account lost – bookies do really hate it when you win too often!
I made £444 profit (from football and horse racing). With the English domestic football season ended, I think August will be a little quieter on the offers front.
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.
Here’s how the goals look just over the halfway stage:
A few purchases at the end of July on my credit card might put a stop to my recent highs in savings rate but I hope to continue keeping all other costs as low as possible.
With the virus still causing havoc around the world, I’ve decided to cancel my flight to Hong Kong. Would things improve by September? No idea.
As a non-resident, I wouldn’t even be able to set foot in the country with the current restrictions, and strict quarantine would render my trip pointless.
The airline wouldn’t give me a cash refund so I’ve accepted a credit note – annoying but better than nothing.
So, no seeing the family this year – fingers crossed things will get better at some point and I’ll be able to travel next year.
What to do with my holidays then?
I’m quite happy taking time off and going nowhere, so that I can enjoy my home as a home again and not as an office.
How was July for you?