In my world, March was another good month – funny how just a bit of sunshine really lifts the spirit.
I tentatively planted a few seeds and these are doing well already. Hoping to do more over the coming weeks.
There was good news work-wise – firstly, I got paid my (discretionary) annual bonus.
Secondly, I was among several employees who picked up an award for ‘exceptional services’ in 2021 – our reward will be a trip somewhere in Europe (once Covid restrictions have died down), so that’s something to look forward to. It would be great if it’s a country I’ve never visited before.
Anyway, with one quarter of the year over already, let’s take a look at my numbers:
I saved 34.1% of my net salary. The above includes £92.99 from doing Prolific surveys.
Previous years have seen me achieve a savings rate of over 60% or 70% during bonus time, but although I would have loved to have been investing more while the markets are still down, the large majority of the bonus will have to go towards some critical work which I’m getting done in a couple of weeks (sorting out my unsafe driveway).
Shares and Investment Trusts
No changes here, I just topped up existing investments.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
Did the stock markets hit rock bottom last month?
Who knows but signs of a recovery propelled my Future Fund back up a little, finishing at £232,209 by month end, pretty much back to where I was at the end of 2021. Check out that ‘W’!
Dividends and Other Income
I love seeing my dividends roll in and it was another decent month for income:
I received £411.16, of which £327.01 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs.
Here’s what the graph looks like:
A little less than last March but there were a couple of late payments which will be logged as April income.
Matched Betting (MB)
After dipping my toe back in last month, the sunnier weather had me more inclined to spend my time outside. That said, I did do a little EW betting during the Cheltenham festivalI but there were none of the previous rich pickings, I made just £21.47 profit (using very small stakes).
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 I did in March:
Not doing too badly on all the goals.
The non-fiction book I read? ‘The Tiger That Isn’t – Seeing Through a World of Numbers’ by Michael Blastland. What I learned from this book was just how wrong people (that includes me) can be about numbers and to question ‘averages’.
I mentioned in previous posts that I had started listening to podcasts during my bus journeys into work.
I started off by trying a variety of the more ‘popular’ personal finance/FIRE podcasts but found that I far far prefer reading about these topics rather than listening. Just found them all quite yawnsome and my attention drifted very quickly.
Anyway, through trial and error, I’ve now narrowed down my listening to the following two podcasts (both with back catalogues stretching many years), which I find keep me entertained and engaged, and which I’ve found myself listening to even when at home (something I never did previously):
- The Infinite Monkey Cage – I’ve discovered that I absolutely love science (and history) mixed with humour, plus am a big fan of Prof Brian Cox. I’m slowly and joyfully making my way through the old episodes, which go back to 2009.
- More or Less: Behind the Stats – I enjoyed Tim Harford’s book, ‘The Undercover Economist’ and also enjoy this podcast which sees topical stats and numbers being dissected and debunked. Getting some truth behind some numbers thrown about by the government and the press also helps with my own biases and opinions.
I don’t mind people recommending other similar podcasts in the comments so that I might add to my ‘to listen’ list – at least this list should be much smaller than my ‘to read’ list!
It took me almost a full month before I could shake off all post-Covid symptoms; the intermittent cough and breathlessness meant I had to delay my return to the gym but I’m so glad I’m back and ready to get myself back into shape.
Hope all’s well for everyone else – how was your March?