February 2021 Savings, plus other updates

Monthly update time again – how time flies, even when you’re not really having fun.

No, I’m not sad, depressed or feeling fed up –  I think I’m just suffering from a bit of mental fatigue.

Long busy days at work have left me pretty brain-dead and brain-tired, I’ve gotten behind on my blog reading/commenting and for the first time in a long while, I didn’t get round to sorting out a post in between my monthly numbers updates.

I’m still exercising regularly, eating well, not drinking too much, getting enough sleep and avoiding too much social media or news.

The brighter days and better weather might help drag me out of this listless phase, back to my normal self.

Not many ‘highlights’ this month:

    • Attended (and also did a presentation in) the latest ‘Manchester’ FIRE meet up.  Always good to see familar faces, some new faces and to be able to chat about FIRE, pensions and such-like without people thinking you are a bore or a weirdo. Also attended a ‘Leeds’ Invest Meet up.
    • My nephew finally returned home from staying at his dad’s since before Christmas. Bless him, he’s grown an inch, his voice has changed but sadly, he’s picked up some very bad teenaged boy habits (less said about those, the better!).
    • Losing myself completely reading The Way of Kings, a 1000+ page fantasy tome recommended by SavingNinja. It’s been a while since I stayed up reading past 2am because I got caught up in the ‘just one more chapter’ cycle! Just started book 2, so I can lose myself again!

So, how did I get on money-wise in February?

I saved 47.7% of my net salary – continuing with my decent start to the year.

The above savings includes a top up of a £25 premium bond win, £27.96 from TopCashback* and £20 from Matched Betting profits (from last month).

Shares and Investment Trusts

No new investments, I just topped up existing holdings.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

Another wobble in the stock markets apparently, something to do with bond yields going up but whatever, I carried on investing.

At the end of the month, my Future Fund stood slightly up at £221,108, but the increase was from the addition of capital.

Steady and calm…

Dividends and Other Income

A bumper month of dividends:

I received £384.06, of which £238.06 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs. It was good to see some of the new investment trusts I’d switched to recently paying out already. Also, a nice surprise dividend from Tesco, which I’ve always considered as one of my slightly ‘regrettable’ individual share purchases (I bought just as Warren Buffett offloaded his holding, amid a plummeting share price and investigations into the supermarket’s alleged creative accounting) but I’m glad I held onto them. All dividends received were reinvested.

Here’s the graph of all dividend income received; great to see that big spike:

Matched Betting (MB)

I did the very bare minimum on this, aiming really to just cover my MB subscription costs – I couldn’t concentrate on this at all.

I made just £46.61 profit, better than nothing.

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

Two months in, here’s how I’m doing:

I think I’m more or less on track with the Pennine Way virtual walking goal – should complete it by April.

Also made some progress on my non-fiction book reading so will write a bit about the book I read soon.

And that’s it really.

How did you get on in February?

[*referral/affiliate link]

21 thoughts on “February 2021 Savings, plus other updates

  1. Don’t bother reading to fast he still has loads left of that series to write unfortunately. Cliff hangers are hard.

    • Hi Edel

      I’ll take a bit of a break after I finish book 2. I’m already caught in a ‘will the series ever be completed’ situation with George RR Martin’s ‘A Song of Fire and Ice’ series, with the last one being written in 2011!

  2. Pingback: The Financial Dashboard – February 2021 – The FIRE Shrink

  3. If of interest Radio 4 today had a prog ‘The Price of Song’ with Hipgnosis CEO Merck Mercuriadis – available on BBC Sounds.The Spectator has an excellent 30 min podcast on Hong Kong with Cindy Yiu in her Chinese Whispers section.

    • Hi Simon
      Thanks for the heads up on those two – very interesting.
      The song at the end of the Chinese Whispers podcast brought back loads of memories as my Mum used to listen to that kind of music!

    • Cheers GFF – not a lot of spending going on right now. I just hope I don’t go too mad when lockdown is lifted!

  4. I can’t believe you haven’t blogged for a whole month! Letting the side down!

    I’ve had brain fog since last March, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. 🙂

    Hopefully the lighter evenings and better weather lifts us both out of it

    • Hey TFS

      Haha – it annoyed me a little that I didn’t even notice until when I came to do my numbers update!

      Here’s to both our brain fogs lifting and looking forward to your long awaited update! 🙂

  5. Congrats on those dividends weenie once again. I had no idea Warren Buffet held Tesco shares in the past.

    Mental fatigue also affects me, it’s getting a bit better since I started running again, but the only thing that can fully cure my mental fatigue would be a travelling disconnection, which still seems far away from happening. We’ll get there eventually, in the meantime we shall remain as positive as we can.

    Hope you have a more relaxing March.

    • Cheers Tony. Yes it was back in 2014 I think when Buffett offloaded his Tesco shares – wow, I didn’t realised I’d held them that long to be honest!

      Same here, I badly need to travel somewhere but will just wait patiently until I can – no sense in rushing to book anything like some people are doing.

  6. I know what you mean about mental fog – I have that too – great presentation again at the meet up and well done with a savings rate – however you measure it !?

  7. Definitely with you on the mental fatigue. Fingers crossed the roadmap out of lockdown all goes to plan so we all have something to look forward to.

    Good to see another steady month of progress!

    • Thanks AWTL – I do see a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccination progress and the latest announcements.

  8. Shame I missed your presentation for the Fire meet up. I can’t bring myself to do it online, so looking forward to when we can attend again in person.

    • Hopefully, we’ll be able to have a meet up in the pub, perhaps in the summer. The plan I think might be to alternate them between pub and online. Look forward to seeing you and Mrs Fu at a future one.

  9. I’ve had a difficult February, but the slightly lighter evenings and odd warm day are nice little boosters. Walking out my house one lunch and having the sun shining made me smile properly for the first time in a while outside of virtual smiles.

    The clocks change at the end of this month, so hopefully by your next update things will look even rosier 🙂

    • Yes, I think most of us have been suffering from this ‘February Fug’!

      I used to just see the clocks going forward as losing an hour’s sleep but since I get all the sleep I need these days, I am looking forward to just having brighter and longer days!

  10. Great work on those Dividends this month! Do you have a summary of how much you’ve received from Dividends as a total figure since you began your FIRE journey? Would be great to see!

  11. Thanks for the update weenie. Nice to see the hot air balloon staying level given the recent declines. Well done on eating well, exercising and not drinking much .

    February has gone so fast for me it’s unreal. Can’t believe it’s nearly mid March already.


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