November 2023 Savings, plus other updates

November passed in the blink of an eye and for the first time in a long while, I experienced a few sleepless nights due to workload (and other things).

However, I’m not one to dwell on negative stuff so I’ll focus on the positive.

Saving Energy

I was invited to take part in E.ON’s energy saving event, where, if I was able to use less energy than usual (during a specific period), I would be “rewarded”.

The specific period was between 4.30pm and 6pm on a Thursday, so I just logged off my work laptop early, switched all lights off apart from one lamp and read my Kindle for an hour and a half!

I know £1.09 may as well be nothing in the scheme of things, but better in my pocket than the energy provider’s.

Also, it looks like I’m paying (in more ways than one) for the extra hours that I’m putting in while I WFH.


A month ago, I visited my friend from uni, who was barely recovering in hospital from second round of chemo and I didn’t know if I was there to say goodbye to her.

Well, there’s been a complete turn around – saw her the other weekend and things have changed massively, her mentality has changed and her fighting spirit has shone through. She now has HOPE, albeit to live a very different life and has been progressing rapidly through rehabilitation. She’s nearly back to her old self and although there will always be the shadow of leukemia, it’s in remission for now.

The hospice where she has been receiving excellent care is Sobell House Hospice and I have donated to them as I have seen firsthand the fantastic care they have given to my friend.

She’ll be moving out of the hospice soon but they’ve started her on this journey of hope and I will be forever grateful.

Anyway, how did I get on with my numbers?

I saved 18.2% of my net salary.  The above includes £36.11 from doing Prolific surveys and £63.82 from Google Adsense.

Surprisingly, a small partial bonus was paid by work this month, which would normally get paid in March.

I chucked it all into my ISA, although I guess I didn’t really think things through properly, as this was the first month of my newly increased mortgage payment – ouch! 🙁

Shares and Investment Trusts

I just topped up existing investments.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

Well it was as if the Santa Claus Rally had come early, with my Future Fund getting a decent boost, jumping up to £236,958, its highest value so far this year!

I can’t get excited about this as it’s been a rubbish year investment-wise. Still, it feels good to see the rocket again!

Dividends and Other Income

Another good month for dividends.

I received £549.58, of which £346.55 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs.

All dividends were reinvested.

I think from next year, I’ll show more detailed tracking of the ISA dividends.

Here’s what the overall graph looks like:

Goals Update

One goal down and I think I should be able to get a couple more in the bag by the end of the year.

I should be thinking about next year’s goals but just don’t have the brain capacity right now!

We’re not Old, we’re Retro

Found out the other day that the IT manager is retiring next year.

I think he’s 59, maybe 60 and when he leaves, I am fairly certain that I will be the oldest person in the company!

A couple of my colleagues not based in our office look like (and talk like) they might be around my age, but I think I am older. I’m not sure how I feel about that!

With the IT guy about to retire and my uni pals revelling in their early retirement (plus my sister recently talking about considering finishing full time work), it got me thinking about my own exit plan but sadly, I’m still some years away. Increased cost of living had me moving my goalposts but it was kind of expected, plans have to be flexible.

I just gotta keep plugging away!

Anyway, hope you all had a great November.

16 thoughts on “November 2023 Savings, plus other updates

  1. Hey weenie. Really pleased to hear about your friend finding some hope. The work of hospices is really incredible. Most people don’t realise that the majority of them can only exist through charitable donations. The work and services they provide are so amazing.

    It’s great to see that rocket ship again , I went back above £250k again this last week also after dipping back below for a couple of months.


    • Thanks TFJ.

      Yes, the care provided by the hospice to my friend has been incredible and I do believe is a huge factor in her turnaround of mindset. I had added them to my list of charities I donate to on a regular basis.

      Good to hear that you were back above £250k again!

  2. For your bar chart dividend graph, I might be tempted to reformat it and replace the monthly figures with the ten annual totals along the x scale (not convinced the monthly figures are that relevant now), and maybe subdivide each annual column down into the SIPP and ISA components. I reckon that would give you a more informative and cleaner exhibit, along with a moral boosting ski jump shape graph.
    Best wishes to your friend.

    • Thanks for the idea, KC and yes, that’s one of the things I’ve been considering, ie annual totals instead of the monthly. I think I should have income data from my ISAs from 2015, will have a play about over Christmas.

  3. Hi
    Yes it seems the santa claus rally may have started early… but I have memories of bad runs up to christmas in the past, which were only made back during low levels of trading from the 22nd onwards.
    Looks like you should hit several of your goals.

    I hope your friend gets and stays well.

    I retired early a few years ago and am continuously reminded of my age at archery. For some reason ArcheryGB labels everyone over 21 as a “senior”, at least until this year when they declared an elderly +50 classification. So in my mid 50’s and already classed as past senior age !


    • Hey Gary

      Thanks for your kind wishes and thanks for the reminder that Santa doesn’t always deliver, haha – need to stay realistic!

      I can’t equate +50 with the word ‘elderly’ (particularly with me in that age group!) Archery requires strength so well done you and hope you are showing the young whippersnappers how it’s done!

  4. If you are still looking for a non-tech USA stock (23rd Nov blog) i hold Hershey – chocolate Scott Miracle – lawn fertilisers Xylem – water .If your friends who have taken early retirement were very good at their job i worry for the economy.There is no guarantee whoever replaces will be as good at doing their jobs.Or maybe AI will step in

  5. Glad to hear your friend feels better and has hope for their future.

    So nice to see the rocket ship make an appearance again , I think we are all hoping this rally may be the start of a new rally we have all been waiting for

    Have a lovely Christmas

  6. Fantastic news about your friend.

    I too have seen a small uplift in my pension value recently. Not enough to get excited about, but at least its going in the right direction after basically flat lining all year despite my contributions.

    It must be the time of year/age as I too have heard of a couple of contemporaries planning retirements or other moves. Feel like I’m enjoying my work too much at the moment to move on just yet.

    • Thanks G.

      If you’re enjoying work then there’s no need to do something else, just continue adding to the pot until you do decide to give up work. What a great position to be in!
      Yes, after the year we’ve had, it’s nice to see some gains!

  7. Hi Weenie,

    Looks like your stash is the highest it’s been since it dropped from 250 some time ago! Good job with staying consistent!

    Don’t worry about the age thing. I used to work in the NHS and one of my old bosses was nearing retirement and would tell patients they weren’t old until they were mid 90s! Especially if they tried to use their age to not participate with physio.

    Looks like you’ll get another 2-3 of your goals before the year is up too.


    • Hi Unfurledgnat

      Yes, my stash is at its highest since it reached the dizzy quarter of a million heights, which seems so long ago! Long may this continue!

      Thanks for reminding me – I don’t want to use age as an excuse for not to do anything, it’s mind over matter for many things!

  8. I hope your work is under control, it’s not healthy to get sleepless nights (been there) and I’m envious of the people that just absorb stress effortlessly, I can’t sadly. Another reason to exit.

    Great news about your Uni friend, that’s wonderful news 🙂

    …and your Future Fund going in the right direction.

    Seeing you mention Prolific Surveys, I’ve signed up and I’m on board. As you say with EON, it might be a £1 here or there, but if it’s fairly effortless and takes a couple of minutes to work around what you’re doing, I think it’s a great idea. I must admit I didn’t quite understand what I was copy and pasting where or whether I was supposed to be on my mobile or laptop, for the first one I tried, so hopefully they’ll send me more (mini cringe).

    My company is a huge global multinational, as for my department, I’m not quite the oldest, but I’m getting there. I don’t mind my age (I’m closer to retirement than the others!) it’s all a mindset, but I still want to retire at an age where I can do the active stuff I want to. I have big mountain bike plans etc! I was discussing with my female cousins (all late/mid 40’s) that we are the first generation of our family (grandparents onwards) who have worked full time past the age of 55. I only remember one of the women in my family working and she stopped in her 40’s. The men worked full time, but all retired at 55, latest. It really is a totally different working and financial landscape now. So it’s hard, when you grew up, to see your family role models work and live in a way that doesn’t exist now.

    Like you, I keep focussed and plugging on!

    (I hope the Greenhouse got fixed!)

    • Thanks Starla.

      Work’s still pretty relentless but should improve once this project is over and done with.

      Good to hear you are doing Prolific surveys, it’s probably my best little side earner now. I find that most of the ones I do are on my laptop as I’m not quick enough to get the ones which are mobile only. Make sure your ‘about you’ page is filled in as much as possible so you get allocated/invited to surveys according to your profile.

      If people ask me my age at work, I tell them the truth, although hilariously, I was in the office the other week and sat next to a colleague with 40th birthday balloons near her desk and some people genuinely asked if it was my birthday haha!

      Hear what you’re saying on the different and financial landscape now compared to previous – normal’ is getting changed and reset all the time.

      My little greenhouse might be on its last legs, it’s propped up at the moment just to stop it blowing over, I will take a look properly in the spring I think!

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