Recently, I came across another definition for FIRE – Forced Into Retirement Early (article might be paywalled).
With the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the UK, sadly, this is probably happening to many people of a certain age (not just women, as per the article). I also need to be mindful that it could affect me if I were to lose my job before I’m ready to FIRE, seeing as I’m one of those people of a certain age, except that my saving and investing will have me in a less-dire position than some others.
Anyway, I don’t know about you, but Lockdown #2 seemed to pass quite quickly – as I mentioned in my last update, this second national lockdown wasn’t going to pose any real change to how I’d been living my life over the last few months.
With Greater Manchester moving into Tier 3 from tomorrow, it’s just the same old, same old.
I’ve just been focusing on the things I can do, such as continue working from home, go for walks, exercise at home (with my newly purchased weights), enjoy Zoom calls with friends and family (yes, I’m still doing those), enjoy home cooking, watch some decent stuff on tv, read and play video games (my new gaming obsession is Rimworld, thanks to Monevator).
I haven’t been dwelling on the things I’ve not been able to do or people and things I miss – it’ll only make me miserable.
‘Highlights’ this month for me included:
- Being chatted up in the gym – a first! It was a couple of days before Lockdown #2 and with no one going to pubs or nightclubs, I guess a lad’s gotta try when the opportunity arises! It was good for my ego, if nothing else, that I’m still approachable whilst sweatily huffing and puffing through my weight training exercises 🙂
- Earning £200 for participating in an investment trust investor community – not bad for 10-20 mins a day for two weeks! If you’re interested in doing investment surveys (to earn Amazon vouchers and possible selection for future investor communities), register here (this is not a referral link).
- Buying my first Christmas present and a new pair of trainers. Still not in the Christmas spirit yet though.
- Transferring an old work DC pension to one of my SIPPs – the whole process (from request to actual transfer) took a while, my money was out of the market for several weeks but it looks like I’ve inadvertently/luckily timed the market correctly.
- Catching up with my uni pals on Zoom, six years after we last saw each other.
- Working 4 days a week – no overseas trip this year meant I’ve got holidays to use up as I’m only able to carry a few over. It was nice having long weekends, even when I didn’t go anywhere or do anything special. However, this has shown me that cutting my hours down in the future probably wouldn’t be a viable solution to ‘glide’ into early retirement (if I stayed in this job) – long term, it would place too much pressure on my boss and the rest of the team.
Anyway, how did I get on money-wise in November?
I saved 58.8% of my net salary – December is going to be a bit more spendy so I thought I’d try to stick in as much as possible this month. Not enough to hike my average up by much but good enough.
The above savings includes top ups from £20 Matched Betting profits (from last month) and the abovementioned £200 from taking part in that investor community.
Shares and Investment Trusts
No new investments, I just topped up existing investments.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
Just when I thought it was going to take me a while to get to that milestone again, the stock markets bounced up (on the back of US election results and vaccination news) and my Future Fund jumped by over 6% to £212,100! Whoosh!
Although this is a fantastic increase from last month, I need to bear in mind how quickly it can drop back down again! I would love to finish on a high but this is 2020 so I have no expectations…
Dividends and Other Income
Not a bad month for dividends:
I received £324.65, of which £196.83 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs. All dividends were reinvested.
Here’s how my graph is looking now…
As December dividends can sometimes pay out in January, it’s going to be very hard to bag my ISA dividend target but I’ve gotten more dividends than I thought I would in the scheme of things.
Matched Betting (MB)
You’d think that working 4-day weeks, I would have spent a bit more time on MB but no, I just did other stuff which I enjoyed doing but which didn’t make me any money – that’s the good thing about this side hustle, pick it up when I feel like doing it, drop it when I don’t.
In the end, I made just under £98 profit, which reflects the amount of time I spent on it. I’m now coming up to a lifetime total of £18,000 profits made from MB (over nearly 5 years) but have to admit that after so long, I don’t spend as much time on it as I used to.
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 1 month of this annus horribilis left, here’s how the goals look:
I achieved my non-fiction book goal!
The book I read was Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge-Fund Manager by Lars Kroijer. It was an engaging read, quite enjoyable – thanks to Dr FIRE who sent me the book.
No way to get that savings rate goal now but will see how I get on.
Rubik’s Cube Update
No update on doing the 4×4 Rubik’s Revenge (Master Cube) – still slowly trying to master the final stages. It’s really tricky (for my brain) so just taking it slowly!
Well that’s all from me – how was your November and are you in the Christmas/festive spirit yet?
I’m still on the ‘bah Humbug’ side at the moment, haha!