October 2021 Savings, plus other updates

Highlights this month:

  • At last, I had a mini break away from home! As mentioned in my last update, I went to London – I had tickets to watch the NFL game, Miami Dolphins v Jacksonville Jaguars. It was a great weekend – an enjoyable match with a sellout crowd in Tottenham Hotspurs’ beautiful stadium. The following day, we spent some time wandering around Camden, sampling some expensive beer and food and then happened across probably one of the coolest and most fascinating shops I’ve visited in a long time – I didn’t buy anything, just enjoyed the sights and the music!

It was a great atmosphere and yes, I did know what was going on (mostly!)

Walking into this shop was like walking into another world

  • I went to the cinema to watch the latest James Bond film, ‘No Time to Die’ – have always loved Daniel Craig as Bond.
  • Enjoyed another great Manchester FIRE meetup in the pub – great to interact with faces old and new. There were around 20 of us who turned up. Anyone who’s interested in these meetups, sign up to Financial Independence FIRE – Manchester.  Events are alternately online and face-to-face, so the next one will be online on Friday 26th Nov.
  • And finally, I am sooooo relieved to say that I have finally exchanged contracts on my house, with completion due to happen early November! More details soon – so much (more) to do!

So, how did I get on with my savings in October?

I saved 14.4% of my net salary.

The above includes another £25 Premium Bond win, and £42.24 from doing Prolific surveys.

Shares and Investment Trusts

I started switching out some of my bond ETFs into a defensive investment trust, Ruffer Investment Co.  Monevator recently did a two-parter on the 60/40 strategy but I was already getting a bit antsy about the portion of bonds I held in my portfolio and wondering what I could do. Despite not holding anywhere near 40%, I was feeling it was still on the high side.

I won’t ditch them completely but will likely switch some more into other defensive investment trusts.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

After removing the funds needed to buy my house, my Future Fund has dropped to £227,413. It’s not half as bad as I originally envisaged – as suggested by regular commenter Jane In London, I asked my Mum for the max amount she would loan me (that I could still cover with the eventual sale of my BTL) so this meant that I didn’t have to dip so far into my own funds.

I had to sell some equities (from my S&S ISAs) to release some cash and fortunately, I sold little bits of my portfolio over July and August when numbers were green.

I’ve been dreading doing this graph update.

Regular commenter Kid Cocoa suggested rebasing the graph, as if the house money was never part of my Future Fund, so that its removal didn’t cause me any distress. I did that and this is what it looks like:

 

[edit – original post had the wrong graph]

Looking good, with the markets bouncing back after the drop in September.

However, for consistency and because I feel like I need to see the consequences (and feel the pain) of my actions, this is what the graph actually looks like:

Oof! Looks almost like the crash back in March 2020, although there’s very little hope for another V-shaped recovery, haha!

My Future Fund’s value is now what it was in March 2021 so I’ve only really lost 7 months. My FIRE plan is still intact and unchanged – this is fine, I don’t feel so stressed about it any more.

Anyway, as horrid as the graph looks, I am already looking forward seeing it go back up again.

Dividends and Other Income

A more average month for dividends:

I received £300.80, of which £158.90 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs.  I reached my ISA dividend goal!

Here’s the graph of all dividend income received so far:

Matched Betting (MB)

Another month where my head didn’t have space for any MB so no profits this month.

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 goals down, although I guess I could say that I’ve hit the charity one too, since I appear to have donated over 50% of matched betting profits already!

Finally

Have a couple of big posts to finalise about the house thing so need to squeeze the time in to get them written up properly.

Anyway, Happy Halloween – how was your October?

[*referral/affiliate link]

27 thoughts on “October 2021 Savings, plus other updates

  1. Congratulations on exchanging contracts!! It’s always such a relief to know that everything’s legally binding, even if it’s a mad scramble now to get everything sorted for completion.

    Being old, I remember the days when you had a slow and stately one month as the standard time between exchange and completion, lol.

    Looking forward to hearing all about it, and that graph will be edging up nicely again before you know it 🙂

    Jane in London

    • Thanks Jane – it was a huge relief to exchange! At least I won’t be moving in on completion so I will have time to get myself organised.

      Yes, the graph will be edging up slowly, likely due to just investment growth/dividends as the house will be eating up a lot of my spare cash for a while.

  2. Hey! Real progress…it’s all going to happen. And now you can get back to investing more fully (minus a mortgage payment obvs 🙂 )

    Good to see both versions of the graph for a ‘proper’ comparison. Personally, I’d stick with the latter but whatever feels best.

    Didn’t have you down as an American Football fan. Or maybe it’s your friends that are and you went along for a fun weekend.

    • Hi NewInvestor

      I might just be doing the bare minimum for investing as I need to leave money aside for house moving/decorating costs so look forward to that in the new year.

      Agree with you, I’ll stick with the latter graph – as I said, I need to see the consequences of my actions but it was good to see the other one too.

      I am a fan of American football, insofar that I follow a team (Green Bay Packers), watch the NFL shows on tv and take the day off work after the Superbowl is on!

  3. Congratulations on exchanging contracts weenie and hope the move goes well.

    It’s around this time last year that I was getting stressed over my pending house move but once the contracts were exchanged I became more relaxed…anyway, good luck!

  4. Maybe set yourself a goal in 2022 to visit the 2 beautiful places in the ‘No Time to Die’ movie. The initial Italian town Puglia where the hotel Bond stays in is called ‘Paragon 700 ‘ rooms 300 euros a night! Not that i have stayed there
    I have driven on the road in Norway many years ago where he is chased by the helicopter .The nearest town with hotels is called Haholmen.

  5. OMG Cyberdog! It’s one hell of a shop. I bought a glow in the dark t-shirt from there , which I loved, back in 2006! You should have let me know you were in town. I don’t live far from there 😀

    Congratulations on the new house. I wouldn’t worry about the FI fund too much. It’ll catch up soon enough. Plus your networth will be largely the same after the purchase anyway.

    The Wealthster

    • Hi Wealthster
      Glad I was able to bring back some good Cyberdog memories for you! We were only in Camden for a couple of hours before we had to get the train home.
      Thanks and no, I’m not going to worry too much about the FI fund, it’s current expenses I need to keep an eye on!

  6. Congrats on the house exchange! Sorry if I’ve missed you already saying this but if you were always planning on buying your own house once you reached FI anyway then it doesn’t really matter where the dip on the graph comes does it? Whether now or right at the end you’d end up in the same place. Obviously might be slight differences depending on how stocks vs house prices will go. You might even end up better off if stocks go flat but house prices go up in your area.

    That shop looks cool, love the robots!

    • Cheers TFS.

      No, you’re right, it doesn’t really matter where the dip on the graph comes; my head was just messed up because it came far earlier than expected/planned!

  7. Woohoo!! Very glad to hear about the house & exchanging contracts. But even better to hear you are no longer stressed about it all.

    Sounds like you had a good month all round. Likewise here, caught up with most people before escaping the UK to sunnier climes again 🙂

    Cheers, Michelle / F&W

    • Cheers Michelle. I was having sleepless nights due to stress but now, I’m having sleepless nights due to excitement, lol!

      Great to hear that you have escaped to sunnier climes again, so jealous!

  8. Cyberdog! What great memories, London always surprises in one way or another, I miss being around there sometimes! Congrats on exchanging congrats, the FIRE fund can only go one way and that’s from here 😉

  9. Excellent uplifting month Weenie. Now, the rest of us just need our Manchester Christmas Rave house warming party invites to drop through the letterbox and that will round the year off nicely.
    Loving that ‘keep your hands off Rishi!’ ISA dividend income as well. And the Nike swoosh graph (even if it may only be on display for one month).
    All the best for move day, and hopefully the legendary Manchester sun will be shining, as ever!

    • Thanks KC – I do feel so much better after my break and now that things have progressed. Hah, my raving days are well and truly over, although I loved the music in the shop!

      The ISA dividend is coming in handy, if only to build up my pot, seeing as I’m not adding so much capital – need to watch my pennies as the house purchase/move costs will likely spiral once I add in additional decorating costs etc.

  10. I used to go to the London clubs where the people in the Cyber dog gear were the tame looking ones. Wild times.

    Congrats on exchange and completion.

  11. Great update weenie! That’s good you enjoyed your trip to London, that sounds like an interesting shop the cyber dog, what was in there?

    I am glad it wasn’t quite as bad as you thought it would be in how much you had to sell to sort out the house side of things. That means I am ahead of you but not in a fair way… 🙁

    That’s also a good idea with the graphs yes readjusting it, it certainly looks better and reflects the actual growth in more real terms, certainly looks better 😀

    TFJ

    • Hey TFJ

      Cyberdog appears to predominantly sell rave gear/clothing but there was also an 18+ area which housed various paraphernalia for ‘adult activities’ – I think you can use your imagination here although there were some things there which I had no idea what they were for lol!

      Hah, you get to be ahead of me after I’ve taken a chunk out of my future fund – I can live with that! Not sure I could turn it around and catch up – would have to switch to some higher risk equities to do that I suppose.

      I’m not sure if I will continue with both graphs or just the horror one – will see how I feel when I come to do my update.

  12. Catching up with your blogs 🙂

    Well done with the house purchase! We’re not going anywhere now until we retire and I can’t say I’m too upset at the thought of not having to move house.

    I’d love to know more about your investment trust strategy, I’ve had a look at The AIC site you suggested before and the IT Investor site and IT’s look like a very interesting option as part of a portfolio. Do you have any thoughts about why IT’s don’t seem to get mentioned very often within peoples FIRE plans?

    Hope the move went well/goes well if still to happen.

    • Hi WTMTF

      I think the reason why ITs don’t get mentioned very often in FIRE plans might be because they don’t get promoted by the big US FIRE blogs, only really as REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts), so maybe it’s more of a UK thing?

      Whilst I’m a big supporter of passive index trackers/ETFs and most of my investments are in them, I like that investment trusts are actively managed, thus providing some diversification to my portfolio.

      Thanks, still a bit of time to go, getting there!

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