So, after months of effectively living under Tier 2 rules (before the government had thought of the name ‘Tiers’), I’ve been living under Tier 3 (Very High) rules this month, a pre-cursor to the national lockdown we’ll all be facing soon.
Tiers for Fears
No significant change really in how I’ve been living my life since July but I’m just glad that I was able to continue going to the gym (I can squeeze in a couple more sessions before they’re forced to close their doors on Thursday).
I’ve finally shifted my ‘lockdown pounds’ and am back up to strength, using my previous weights for training. My gym sessions have definitely helped to keep me sane during these ‘interesting’ times – I’ll somehow have to muddle through this month of lockdown – might see what home exercise kit I can pick up.
Anyway, highlights this month for me included:
- Venturing into Manchester City Centre for the first time since March. It was like a ghost town but when I returned the following week during half-term holidays, there were more people about so it felt a bit more normal. Both trips were necessary (to order and pick up glasses).
- Eating out in a restaurant. Twice!
- My niece coming up to stay during half-term holidays – teenagers don’t appear to need much apart from wifi, food and a friendly ear to listen to them witter on (endlessly) about their interests/school/teenagey stuff.
- Succumbing to Amazon Prime Day and buying a new wok (needed) and a food chopper (not really needed but already used).
- Attending the (online) Manchester FIRE meet up – sign up here if you’re interested in future FIRE meet ups (next one is Thurs 26th Nov).
- Attending two (online) Investing meet ups, which would have taken place in Liverpool and Leeds respectively during normal times – sign up here if you’re interested in future investing meet ups.
- Winning a £150 Amazon voucher on the online Bingo and quiz session run by work!
Since I mention highlights, I must also mention the not-so-good things which happened this month (lowlights?!):
- A visit to the dentist which left me £770 out of pocket (replacement crown and replacement filling). The whole social-distancing experience made me feel like I was in a sci-fi movie, with my dentist the futuristic scientist performing experiments on me!
- My friend was tested positive for COVID-19; it wiped her out for a week but she recovered the following week at home.
- Discovering my property did not meet fire safety regulations, as detailed in my previous post.
And on those drab notes, how did I get on with my savings in October?
I saved 44.2% of my net salary – I used some emergency funds to cover part of my dental bill so took a bit of a hit on the savings rate. Still a decent number by all accounts but not helping me get towards my revised goal.
The above savings includes top ups from another £50 premium bonds win and £40 Matched Betting profits (from last month).
Shares and Investment Trusts
Although I used some bits of dividend income to make very small purchases of a few random shares, I made no significant new investments, mainly topped up existing investments.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
The stock markets have continued to be all over the place, resulting in no real change for my Future Fund which stands at £199,109 – I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I hit that £200k milestone again – so close I can smell it! 🙂
Dividends and Other Income
Another fairly average month for dividends:
I received £289.54, of which £56.16 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs. All dividends were reinvested.
Here’s how my graph is looking now…
Not sure I’ll get enough over the next two months to hit my target – oh well, who was to know that so many companies would resort to reducing or cutting their dividends in such a way when I originally set my goal back in January?
Matched Betting (MB)
I did set aside a bit more time for MB this month but pickings were slim and I was unlucky not to make more.
In the end, I made just £140 profit, which for this year isn’t so bad.
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.
With just 2 months of this annus horribilis left, here’s how the goals look:
I made the effort to read a lot more this month, so making more headway with those goals.
The savings rate goal looks like a stretch too far now but we’ll see.
I’ve made good progress on doing the 4×4 Rubik’s Revenge or the Master Cube but am struggling with the final stages – can’t quite get my brain to remember the last few algorithms or to recognise when to use them:
I need to memorise the top (15-step) sequence before I move onto the final steps!
I will get there eventually so will keep at it.
Oh, I forgot to mention in the above highlights that I got my first ‘beer’ (thanks to The Frugulist🙂 )
All ‘beer proceeds’ go to charity so in this case, I used the money to take part in Manchester WI’s Virtual Duck Race in aid of Marcus Rashford’s #EndChildFoodPoverty