Happy New Year!
I was in the gym on New Year’s Eve and out litter-picking on New Year’s Day morning – starting as I mean to go on!
Anyway, let’s just get the numbers out of the way for 2023!
I saved 12.1% of my net salary – not great, but a big credit card bill to cover gifts and social outings meant that I didn’t save as much as I would have liked.
The above includes £67.92 from doing Prolific surveys. I also received £103.83 from TopCashback* but ended up spending that on socialising.
Shares and Investment Trusts
No new investments, I just topped up existing ones.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
Well, a mediocre year for investing ended up somewhat better than expected!
The Santa Rally did its thing and resulted in me achieving my £250k milestone for the first time since August 2021! Woohoo! 🙂
As at 31st December 2023, my Future Fund stood at £250,605.80. After the painful sideways crawl of my investments over the past year or so, I am very happy and somewhat relieved that I’ve hit the milestone again.
Here’s how it all looks at the end of another year:
However, I had believed (hoped) that after raiding my Future Fund for my house deposit in 2021 (the big dip in Oct 21), the pot would have recouped/grown quicker but sadly, it was not to be.
Using unitization, I’m up just 5.8% this year across all my investments. This figure includes my dividend income portfolio, where stock prices continue to remain fairly depressed.
Nothing as spectacular as the growth that some other investors have reported, but after the nightmare of 2022, it was most comforting that things finally appear to be heading in the right direction.
Still, I daren’t be too hopeful for 2024 – it just feels like everything (at home and abroad) is teetering precariously on a knife edge and things liable to tip one way or another, causing tremors and disruption (or boom, if we’re lucky) in the stock markets.
Dividends and Other Income
A decent final month for dividends:
I received £535.97, of which £282.52 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs.
Here’s what the graph looks like after another year:
That’s TEN years of monthly dividends tracked so this is probably the last time you’ll see this version of this graph. Not sure I need to track by month like this, so I’ll probably simplify things.
And here’s how it all ended:
Three achieved! I’m counting the Dividend Income one as a win as I was just a tenner short, which is close enough!
Failing the Emergency Funds one didn’t surprise me – I was always going to struggle with this one, trying to balance saving/investing, coping with increased costs etc. I do need to keep at it though.
Wasn’t sure I would hit the charity donations one but I had been determined not to fail this year. On this financial journey, I can’t just think about me and this is a way I can perhaps help others.
I read a total of 25 books (my Goodreads goal) and whilst not hitting the goal I set, am quite pleased that I managed to read three non-fiction books.
Am well chuffed with the dividend income, particularly what comes in my ISAs – this is now edging closer to my (current) goal of average £400 per month in income from my ISA investments to cover most of my basic household expenses. (£400 will more or less cover my council tax, broadband, gas and electricity and my monthly grocery food bill!).
What’s another Year?
2023 wasn’t a particularly good year but it could have been worse.
Year two in my house (I know!) and some plants I bought when I moved in are still alive – that’s a big win for me!
My uni friend’s serious illness has rekindled friendships and brought the old crowd closer again. She appears to be improving and is getting some of her life back again.
I’ve remained in employment and although work in the latter part of the year has gotten really hectic, I got a decent pay rise and I still like my colleagues. My new boss turned up at the right time to provide some much needed support I’ve not had in a while.
Am aware that I do need to put my health first – I’ve been mostly fit and well this year, but work has caused some mental fatigue, so it’s with absolute certainty that after my surgery later this month, I will be taking the time off to recover properly.
I wouldn’t say my social life was particularly busy this year but I still enjoyed outings with friends, attended most of the Manchester FIRE meet ups, attended WI meetings (and a couple of WI events), had a trip to see the tennis at Wimbledon and enjoyed a lovely trip to Hong Kong to see my family.
New Year, New Challenges?
2024 will likely be another challenging year – aren’t they all?
Despite the frothy stock markets right now, everything else still seems to be either wallowing in doom and gloom or about to tip over into the Pit of Doom. I need to step back from the news again I think!
Being a mostly optimistic person, I will just try to continue to ignore what I can’t control and just keep on keeping on, carry on saving and investing where I can and enjoy my life however I can.
My goals will likely end up being similar to previous ones (so not very exciting) but they keep me focused and they’re ones I can keep at.
Anyway, here’s to a happy, healthy and hopefully wealthy 2024 to all of us!