November 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

Have finally recovered from work’s Christmas party/leaving do! Hangovers get so much worse as you get older!

Anyway, it was probably one of the best parties I’ve been to – lots of mixed emotions but what I do recall was a lot of fun and laughter.

Work for me is winding down a little as I begin to hand over the rest of my responsibilities. Not long to go now.

Anyway, how do things look on the numbers front?

nov16saved

So I managed a savings rate of 38.1% – gift-buying has taken its toll a little here but still not too bad. I’ve only a few more items to get now so for me to be able to have a decent savings rate is still a big achievement for this time of year.

My average savings rate however continues its downward trend  –  it’s now at 45.2%. If I can get it to be at least 45% by the end of the year, I’ll be well happy.

This month’s income was boosted by £50 from rent received and £10.36 from TopCashback*.

Future Fund 

Markets went a little wobbly this month, so my overall portfolio dropped a little and now stands at £86,188.

Dividends and Other Income

Dividends received this month (which will be reinvested): Continue reading

Password Stuff

I was one of those customers whose Tesco bank account was frozen the other weekend due to a ‘sophisticated hack‘.

Fortunately, no funds were removed from my account and I wasn’t really inconvenienced in a big way as it’s not my main current account.

Like many people these days, I conduct most of my personal finance online so I was interested to read this article the other week on password strength and security.

There’s some decent advice on how to create robust passwords and I can’t be the only person here to admit that I can occasionally be quite lax with my passwords.

Anyway, in the article, there’s a ‘how secure is my password‘ link where you can check the strength of your passwords, so I gave it a go with one of my passwords (or rather, something very similar to my actual password) and got this result:

password2Bugger…time to change this password methinks to something a bit more complex and tougher to decipher. And no, this wasn’t my Tesco bank account password – that one, when I tested it, would apparently take 1 Month to crack.

Fortunately, another one of my passwords got this result:

password1

I now need to try to change all my passwords so that I get a similar result!

The tough bit will be remembering them all!

I might have to start using a password manager but how safe are those? I might check out Dashlane, as featured in the article.

Bank Security

The most robust password however probably won’t be of any use if the bank itself is targeted, as in Tesco’s case, although who really knows? Maybe my password which would take a computer a month to crack did stop thieves from nicking money from my account, but equally, it could be that they didn’t get round to my account before Tesco plugged the breach.

This recent article revealed that perhaps other banks’ online security aren’t quite as resilient as they should be against hackers – Tesco isn’t even mentioned!

This is probably a good time to put forward the idea of having an emergency fund with a bank other than your main bank, to cover the event of your account be hacked.

But then, how safe is your emergency fund? That could be hacked too!

Cash under the mattress, anyone?

‘Interesting Times’

Well, it wasn’t quite the result that most of us were expecting but ooh, check out all my stocks surprisingly going up!
keepinvesting

As I mentioned after Brexit, it’s democracy at its best/worst (delete as applicable).

Life goes on but not as we know it – we live in ‘interesting times’.

 

October 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

I was a little distracted last month and this continued to be the case this month. With various social outings, the weeks have just gone by in a haze.

Work has continued to be chaotic and also very weird, as my boss has now been laid off and I have a new boss, someone I had a dotted line report to previously. Whilst I get on with my interim boss, I miss my old boss already!

On a personal front, I actually secured a date the old fashioned way! That is, there wasn’t a Tinder-swipe or online dating profile in sight! I got dancing with someone at my friend’s wedding, we swapped numbers, we went out on a date. Ok, so there was to be no 2nd date (sorry, he had too many young children to support!) but hey, it’s good to see that old-school ways can still work in today’s dating environment! 😉

Anyway, how do things look on the numbers front?

oct16saved

So I managed a savings rate of 40.7%, not quite as good as last month but not bad considering the social events.

My average savings rate continues its downward trend  –  it’s now at 46%.  I accept that it’ll be impossible for me to achieve my end of year target of 50% – even 45% might be a stretch with the festive season coming up. I’ll keep going anyway.

This month’s income was boosted by £50 from rent received and £39.97 from TopCashback*.

I also chucked some more of my matched betting profits into some property crowdfunding via Property Moose*. The website has now introduced a secondary market so it is now possible to sell or buy ‘shares’ if you wish, although of course, if selling, these need to be purchased by other members of Property Moose.

Future Fund 

The falling sterling and buoyant markets continue to be good for my portfolio, which now stands at £86,509, a gain of 4.3% from last month.

Dividends and Other Income

Dividends received this month (which will be reinvested): Continue reading