March 2023 Savings, plus other updates

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)

Future Fund 

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.

Goals Update

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!

[*referral/affiliate link]

12 thoughts on “March 2023 Savings, plus other updates

  1. Hi, from the table above am I right in interpreting £1600 is 25% of your net income? If so then wow. You are a big earner!

    • Hah no, I wish! Firstly, I got paid my work bonus so it wasn’t a normal month, and secondly, the amount saved includes all those extra bits I earned, eg from surveys and whatnot.

  2. Hi Weenie,
    Thanks for the update.

    As for MB – you held out longer than I did, I seemed to get gubbed really quickly by literally any provider I opened an account with. I gave up rather quickly as the amount of time needed to make it work didn’t agree with my working hours at the time – but I still made some money out of it. Oh well, wasn’t really passive income, was it? 😉

    Can you please share a bit on the Research in Finance surveys? How often do you have to do it, how long does it take, what do they pay?

    As for toothache / root canal – last time I had this I told the practice that it was very painful and affecting my work (as I have to talk with customers) and I had an appointment for it within a few days – this was within the last 2 years.

    • Hey Pinch
      Hope all’s good with you.
      It’s only a matter of time before I’ll be gubbed with these new bookies so I hope to just make a bit of money until then!
      And no, it’s definitely not passive income, completely the opposite in fact!

      With Research in Finance, just sign up with the link in my post to join the panel. Depending on your profile, they will then occasionally send you short surveys (which take a few minutes to complete), all of which are about finance, investing/investments, which will each reward £5-£10 in Amazon vouchers – I probably get around 5-10 of these a year.

      Around once or twice a year, you might be asked if you want to take part in a bigger study, eg join a focus group, online community and these ones often pay between £150-£400 but can last up to 3 weeks. One person I know was asked to review a fund manager’s website whilst the fund manager had a team of people watching him on live video (to see how he navigated the website etc) – I turned that one down but he got paid £200 for 2 hour’s ‘work’!
      However, as you can imagine, reviewing investment websites etc can be a little tedious and you are expected to report on your findings and answer questions.

      It’s free to join anyway and you don’t have to do any of the surveys which are offered to you. However, I guess the more you do, the more they will know of your profile and the more you will receive. Good luck!

      Re the toothache, I already called to say I was in pain and they were not sympathetic and said I had to wait!

  3. Literally feel your pain Weenie- I had to wait several days for a dental appointment after suffering severe pain last week. Just been told today that I probably need a root canal and I’m back there in a couple of weeks.

    Good financial figures for the month- well done.


    • Hi Lee
      Sorry to hear you’ve been suffering too. At least you have an appointment to get it sorted – I’m still waiting on the referral!

      Yes, it was a very good month – if only I got paid a bonus every month!

  4. P.S. Try Orajel (Extra Strength). You can get it over the counter from the chemist. It numbs the affected tooth- very good.

  5. Also have a similiar tooth problem and choosing to adapt to the tooth rather than take a risk.Been with the same dentist for 20 plus years and he is honest about the risk/reward situation. If you are looking for a book to read over Easter Weekend recommend ‘On Java Road’ by Lawrence Osborne .

    • Hi Simon
      I’m having to adapt to the tooth now while I wait for the referral – only being able to choose on one side is tiring! Thanks for the book recommendation, I will check that out.

  6. Sorry to hear about the toothache. Suspecting i have a pretty low pain threshold level, it’s one of the few times i don’t care how much it costs to fix….just get it sorted ASAP.
    On the punting front, i’ve not had an ‘edge’ now for a few years, and it’s fair to say that these days i’ve reverted to good old ‘mug punter’ status, placing the odd low denomination bet on a whim. i know this will not end well in the long run, but thankfully it’s just pin money.
    The recent(ish) arrival of the new crypto based decentralised sports betting exchanges (i won’t name them here as they are a shambles!), hasn’t taken off at all, and so far they appear to be incapable of presenting a realistic alternative to the established firms (Betfair etc). The timing of their launches, around the same time as the FTX collapse (good old Sam – i can’t wait for his trial in October…..i do hope they televise it), impacted them, and there must have been some frantic conversations going on in the crypto bookies boardrooms, no doubt. Oh to have been a fly on the wall.
    Loving those monthly dividends. Like you, I’m looking at viewing them as a ‘replacement’ for the monthly paycheck (which is imminent for me), although I won’t actually be drawing anything from the valuable tax free wrapper in the early days. It’s more a case of trying to trick my brain into embracing drawdown somehow, and getting comfortable with spending from savings after so many years of doing the complete opposite! I still haven’t got my head around it all.
    Happy Easter.

    • Hey KC – hope you had a great Easter!

      Yes, I still make a few punts of the low odds variety – win some and lose some but it’s just a bit of fun, pin money as you say.

      I read a little about the crypto exchanges, they were interesting but as I didn’t really understand how they worked, I steered away (fortunately).

      It’s funny the games we have to play with the mind/brain – retirement planning requires mental/psychological planning as well as financial. All the best with getting your head round it!

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