September 2022 Savings, plus other updates

September was a month of mixed emotions – sadness and joy.


I felt sadness over the death of her Majesty – I’ve always had a fondness for the Queen and needless to say, it brought back the raw grief of losing my dear old Gran last year.


I mentioned in my March update that I was among several employees who picked up an award for ‘exceptional services’ in 2021 and that my ‘prize’ was a trip to ‘somewhere in Europe’. More on this later.

Anyway, how did I get on with my numbers in September?

I saved 13.9% of my net salary – birthdays and social outings this month meant that I was not able to save as much. The above includes £80.13 from doing Prolific surveys, a £10 lotto win and £55.52 affiliate income from OddsMonkey. It will be interesting to see how things will look over the next few months as higher costs of living really start to bite.

Shares and Investment Trusts

No changes, I just topped up existing investments.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund

A ‘mini’ budget was announced by the Government and everything went pear-shaped.

Quel horreur!  By month-end, my Future Fund had plummeted to £213,243, now minus 8.2% YTD!

Nothing I can do really except to keep on keeping on – I didn’t sell anything and continued to invest as normal.

Dividends and Other Income

Dividend income was like a little beacon of light shining upon these gloomy times!

A good month, with me reaping £632.42, of which £341.47 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs.  All dividends were reinvested.

Here’s the updated graph:

Goals Update

Here’s how things are looking, with just 3 months to go:

Not looking so great on these goals, might be able to hit two, maybe three more but we’ll see.

“I Drink, and I Know Things”

So, where in Europe did I end up for my prize?

The end of September saw me spending 3 nights in the beautiful city of Dubrovnik, in Croatia. It was my first time there and I’ve decided it definitely won’t be my last.

No expenses were spared by work – we stayed in a lovely 4 star hotel and were chauffeured everywhere. Our activities included taking a boat out to a little island to have lunch at Bowa Restaurant, which David Beckham and his family dined in just a couple of months ago; had lunch at Proto Fish, a restaurant which could name ‘famous’ guests such as Bono, Don King and err Rod Stewart! Our last night had us sampling the fresh sea delights at Posat.

I love seafood so was in my element but there were other great choices of food as there weren’t any complaints from the non-fish eaters or the vegetarians in our party. Note that when I eventually return to Dubrovnik, I won’t be dining in such posh places, I’ll be looking for the places more within my budget!

We went on a fascinating and funny guided tour with this guy, which covered the country’s history and also various ‘Game of Thrones‘ locations – the sights and views were just breathtaking. There were a lot of steps on the tour so a warning for those with dodgy knees!

‘The Red Keep, overlooking Blackwater Bay’

‘King’s Landing’

There were 16 of us on this trip, including the CEO and her plus-one. The relatively small number of people gave me the chance to chat to everyone. I realised that I barely knew some of my co-workers with whom I’ve worked on a daily basis for years – just never really had the time to stop to chat properly so it was good to get to know more about them.

All in all, it was an amazing and unforgettable trip – certainly exceeded my expectations, as I wasn’t sure how I would like to be on a sunny holiday with colleagues (and strangers), never mind members of the C-Suite!

Looks like I need to make the effort to try to over-achieve again at work so I can bag myself another award!

And for my Next Trip…

The trip to Dubrovnik was my first outside the UK in a long while so for once, I didn’t mind the queues at airport security etc as it was all a novelty for me again!

Anyway, I’ve finally booked my flight to Hong Kong to see my folks for the first time since July 2019 [edit, got year wrong!]. I’ll be heading out in December – it’s been far too long and I can’t wait to see them. I’ll also be able to finally pay my respects to my Gran’s ashes.


16 thoughts on “September 2022 Savings, plus other updates

  1. Congratulations on the HR trip – Dubrovnik is a really beautiful city (and there’s a lot more that Croatia has to offer by the way).
    Of course you know that the whole purpose of the trip was to suss out who is next in line to the throne – so I hope that you shined brightly and didn’t get too drunk on the Plavac Mali red wine!

    Nice to hear about similarly precipitous falls in a portfolio!
    A shares problem shared is a shares panic spread!
    More importantly, you are still earning and saving and have a good life. You can’t ask for much more can you?

    • Hi GFF
      Yes, I must look more into the rest of Croatia.

      Indeed, although it brings me no joy to see other people’s portfolios down, I’m heartened to see that it’s not just me and that we’re in this gloom together!
      And agree, I can’t really ask for much more, with the life I’m living.

  2. Would love to go to Dubrovnik! Only heard amazing things from people who have visited. I’m adopting exactly the same principle in regards to seeing these drops. Just continuing to keep on investing and keep on chugging away ultimately!

    • Hi Jase
      Would definitely recommend as a nice little city getaway, lots of romantic type places to for you and the missus!
      I know, we just have to keep at it and hope that things will improve in the end!

  3. Hi Weenie, now I’m retired I find myself thinking of all the fully expensed work trips I used to go on and have to remind myself that they were actually few and far between! But they were always enjoyable. I also have to remind myself that the markets will recover over time, but the pain of having to spend from my pot without investing into my funds during these downturns is really tough! As you say, you just have to keep on keeping on….

    • Hi Jim
      Yes, I would say that I’ve enjoyed all my expensed work trips in the past too, but this was the first one where no work was done!
      I can only imagine how tough it must be for you (and others who have recently retired) regarding investments. I think I will need to revisit how much I had planned as a cash buffer; what I had in mind probably won’t be enough for times like these.

  4. Whatever the guide told you about the history of Croatia recommend you get a second opinion.Recommend a brillant novel which will tell you a lot about Croatians in the 2nd world war ‘The Lady from Zagreb’ by the late Phillip Kerr

    • Hi Simon
      I’m not sure a second opinion would be necessary – the ‘history’ the guide gave us was more of the ‘infotainment’ variety and to be honest, I was more interested in what he had to say about the filming of the Game of Thrones in the various locations!
      That said, The Lady from Zagreb looks like something I’d be interested in reading, so thanks for the recommendation!

  5. Thank goodness for dividend income! The only bright light to shine from the current market turmoil which is a little like going ‘cold turkey’ after the stimulus of central bank bond buying funding has been withdrawn (unless you’re the Bank of England making amends for a profligate new Chancellor).
    The time of ‘hay-making’ whilst the sun shone seems a distant memory and we stare fractiously into what will be a very cold winter indeed.
    So, I say once more, thank goodness for dividend income.

    • Hi Graham

      Indeed, thank goodness for dividend income! Whilst my income nowhere near covers the downturn in my portfolio, just seeing the trickle dropping into my accounts has a big psychological impact, that all is not lost!

  6. We went to Dubrovnik a few years ago, lovely place, but expensive! I remember how clear the water was.

    You did really well to use your funds to buy your place when you did, you sold at the top! Well done 🙂

    Keep plugging away, it will rebound soon enough.

    • Hey SN
      The only money I spent was on small souvenirs for the family and those weren’t cheap! Next year, I believe Croatia will be joining the Euro so can’t see things getting much cheaper!

      I know, although I bought/sold during the stamp duty holiday madness which had pushed prices up, I didn’t have to contend with mortgage rates being all over the place.

  7. Hi Weenie!
    Glad you enjoyed your work prize to Dubrovnik, sounds great. An ex work colleague was planning to revisit and has lots of good things to say about the location.
    Hope you manage to achieve another work prize!

    I have never had the opportunity to earn a work trip as a prize… My work trips all involved working while there. The evening meal would be the nearest ‘jolly’ bit of the trip. I only saw colleagues in the Sales department get those type of prizes.

    Also glad you have booked a trip to see your family now travel restrictions have eased. A chance to catch up and have some quality time.

    My funds are down 10%, if not a bit more, YTD which equates to a few years of annual expenses. Not a good situation to be in when you look at it that way. I have about 3yrs expenses in my cash buffer which I use to live off so do not need to sell any investments to survive but obviously have inflation eating big holes into that cash.

    I am glad of the dividends too as this is helping to top up the buffer where it is not set for auto-reinvestment. Currently I have lost all the gains from the last 2 years and back to where I was in 2019. This rout on bonds has hammered them when they are supposed to be the safe haven for troubled times. I am just glad I have less of a bond holding than the recommended for my age and retirement target.

    All I can do is carry on and avoid the news. I am impressed with your prolific income, I am lucky to get around £50 from prolific but every pound counts at the moment.

    • Thanks Sparklebee.

      At the last company I worked at, it was only the Sales people who got these types of holiday prizes. Although most of the winners on this trip were Commercial, there were also representatives from HR, Legal, Marketing and Finance so a good mix.

      Continuing to avoid the news is the way to go right now, so we don’t all get too depressed. Things are easier for me as I’m still working but must be hard on people like you who are now relying on investment income, just need to hang in there.

      Yes, I try to log onto Prolific as much as I can – it’s my best side hustle at the moment to get those extra quids. Hope more surveys come your way.

  8. That’s brilliant weenie you finally got to go on the work Europe trip. Looks really good! I got took to Manchester once when in the private sector hehe. The market down turn is yet again another good stress test on the realities of investing. Hang in there which I know you will, keep buying at these cheaper prices . TFJ

    • Cheers TFJ.
      Yes, this ‘dip’ in my portfolio I think is worse than the Covid drop and is really testing my nerves but I’m hanging in there and continuing to click ‘Buy’!

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