I’ve not had a proper break from work in a while and my brain was in dire need of some R&R so I decided to use up some holidays this month.
For the first few days, I had absolutely nothing planned (apart from a dental check up) and just relaxed by pottering around the house and garden, catching up on my reading (thus achieving one of my goals) and binge-watching Netflix (finally finished ‘Orange is the New Black‘).
The next few days, I met up with friends, colleagues and family for coffee/lunch and even ventured out for some (intentional) clothes shopping. Despite picking up a couple of items in the sales, I remembered how much I really dislike shopping for clothes so I shan’t be doing that again any time soon unless there is an absolute wardrobe crisis!
I squeezed in several gym sessions in the mornings and it was nice to have the place quiet and mostly to myself. Tried skipping at @KidCocoa’s suggestion and I think my calves have to get used to this new exercise as they were well sore afterwards! Ouch! But yep, very good for a bit of different cardio so I’ll work at it.
Anyway, that week was probably a sample of what retirement might be like for me and I liked it!
The rest of the month was just a bit of a blur with work and heatwaves.
So, how did I get on with my numbers in August?
I saved 18.3% of my net salary. The above includes £90.18 from doing Prolific surveys. I can see things going downhill from here due to increased cost of living but we’ll see how I get on.
Shares and Investment Trusts
When I ended my Dogs of the FTSE experiment I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with the portfolio at the time.
Anyway, I decided to offload some of them (for an overall profit) and used the resulting funds to buy iShares FTSE UK Dividend ETF. This ETF holds the stocks I sold, so now I have fewer positions to keep track of but I should still be getting some semi-decent dividends. For those interested, the stocks I got rid of were MNG, RIO, VOD, BHP and BATS.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
I’m glad I wasn’t celebrating too much with the rise in markets last month as they inevitably wobbled back down. Fortunately, not all the gains made recently were lost.
My Future Fund dropped to £230,325 by month end and if I listen to the ‘noise’, it sounds like it might continue to spiral in a downwards trend.
Dividends and Other Income
Dividend income continues to roll in regardless.
A good month, with me reaping £735.09, of which £477.20 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs. All dividends were reinvested.
Here’s the updated graph:
One goal in the bag – woo hoo!
Finished my 4th non-fiction book to achieve one of my goals! The book was ‘Banking On It’, the account of how Anne Boden founded Starling Bank and the challenges she encountered. It was a fascinating and interesting read. Really chuffed that I can just crack on with my usual reading fodder, although I do have another non-fiction book lined up.
Not looking so great on some of the other goals but I’ll keep at it.
I was tidying/deleting some web browser bookmarks and came across one for Duolingo.
I couldn’t even remember ever visiting the website so it came as a big surprise to find that I had created an account in September 2013! It appears that I signed up but didn’t get round to starting any lessons!
Anyway, better late than never! I reckon I can spare a few minutes a day to dust off the cobwebs in the linguistic part of my brain. However, rather than go for a brand new (and tough) language, I’ve opted for French.
Not saying that French is an easy language, but back in the day, I got an A level in it, plus I did a couple of years of Business French when I was at uni. That was decades ago, I obviously haven’t kept it up, so have pretty much forgotten nearly all of it.
Anyway, just a few lessons in and it’s very much a refresher course, taught in a fun and engaging way, with animations and gamification.
Thus far, I haven’t really learned anything new, so to be serious as I progress, I’ll need to be making notes and practising on my own but I will see how things go.
I’m just taking my time so I don’t steam through it all madly and then get bored. There are apparently 10 levels in this French course so it will take me a while to plough through it but I will give it a good go.
Anyway, am on a 57-day streak (logging in every day and doing some lessons/practising) so pretty chuffed with that – will see how long I can keep that going for!
After this, maybe Chinese/Mandarin – that one will be extremely tough and challenging.
Anyone else learning/learned a language via Duolingo and did you keep up the language afterwards?