The month started quite well, with things I hadn’t done in a while.
The first was a Friday after-work drinks session, which was followed by a cheeky Nandos.
Great fun, which harked back to the days when this was something I used to do on a semi-regular basis and would not have warranted a mention on the blog.
The second was a social outing which had me rolling home after 2am – another fun night but the lack of sleep and ensuing hangover reminded of why I don’t do these very often (aside from financial cost)!
Things went downhill after that – first, the battery in my car died and had to be replaced (£145). The short (but necessary) car journeys I make aren’t great for the battery, so it generally needs to be replaced more often than if I used my car regularly and for longer journeys.
Next, I woke up one weekend with throbbing toothache.
Managed to get a dental appointment first thing on Monday but due to the location of the offending tooth (right at the back), the work that needs doing (likely root canal) is beyond my dentist’s expertise/equipment so I’m being referred to a private specialist.
As someone who doesn’t automatically reach for painkillers at the first sign of discomfort, I’ve not liked having to take so many but needs must if I am able to do my work and get sleep. I hope I get an appointment soon (it’s been two weeks and counting…). The pain is so bad sometimes that I dream of just getting a pair of pliers and pulling out the damn tooth for some relief.
This month, I got paid my company bonus and while in the past, I would have tossed the majority of it into my ISA, this time, I’ve put most of it aside to cover my impending dental work treatment. Ouch, in all senses. That’s not to say I haven’t invested any of it, I have, just not as much as I would have liked.
Anyway, the first quarter to the year is over already so let’s take a look at how I did in March:
I saved 25.9% of my net salary. The above includes £83.66 from doing Prolific surveys, £59.70 from OddsMonkey* referrals, £20 from matched betting profits (yes, I know, more on this later!) and a nice £400 from taking part in a 3-week online investing community thing with Research in Finance (not a referral link – sign up for free!)
Shares and Investment Trusts
No new investments, I just topped up existing holdings.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
All’s not right in the banking world – Silicon Valley Bank, Credit Suisse and First Republic are unlikely to be the only ones this year to get into a spot of bother, and it’s probably only a matter of time before some other ‘too big to fail’ bank will need propping up/rescuing. Let’s hope regulations help prevent the worst from happening.
At the end of the month, jittery markets caused my Future Fund to drop a little, down to £229,463.
Dividends and Other Income
When markets are down, dividend income provides the only ray of light in my portfolio:
I received £539.92, of which £309 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs. As usual, all income was reinvested.
Here’s what the graph looks like:
Things are looking good so far on the dividend income front.
Matched Betting (MB)
This used to be one of my favourite hobbies but I just found that I didn’t have the time any more, or rather I didn’t put the time aside to do this.
I barely did any last year, meaning that I was paying for a subscription which I wasn’t using (although some of it was covered by some referral income I still occasionally receive).
I first did MB in 2016 and to date, I’ve made over £18.5k (tax-free). The days of big profits however are likely over (though probably not for casino offers but I don’t do those), although there is still money to be made if you put the time in. Please don’t ask what the £/hr works out as, MB wasn’t a job I was being paid to do, so I never bothered tracking my time, it was a hobby which I could do while doing other hobbies, eg listening to music/podcasts, watching tv. Occasionally, I used to do it during my work lunch-hour.
This might be my last hurrah – my annual subscription with OddsMonkey, the MB software I use, renewed without me noticing/cancelling so I’m going to try to make some money this year, to see if it’s worth continuing. This is with me being banned/gubbed with all the major bookies (they don’t like people winning!) but there are still lots of new accounts to be considered.
Anyway, absence has made the heart grow fonder and I’ve enjoyed MB, making £116.52 this month. This is very low considering March is also Cheltenham month – I think in the past, my best was over £200 profit in one Cheltenham day and I actually booked the time off work so I could take advantage of free bets! As I couldn’t take part in the offers from the major bookies, my profits were always going to be limited this time.
Still, will see how it goes. I’ll try to continue to syphon some MB profits into ISAs, maybe buy the odd lotto ticket but I’ll try to keep up my interest so if I do any MB in the month, I’ll post about it.
Here’s how things are looking:
And that’s it. With the clocks having gone forwards, am enjoying the longer days and looking forward to more sunshine.
Hope you all had a good March.
Oh and hope you have a great Easter next weekend!