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

Departing Parties and Black Friday

Next Wednesday sees the second (and largest) group of people leaving the company through redundancy – nearly 40 of them in total.

There haven’t been too many changes in the office these past few months, just some rearrangement of desks and equipment but this mass exodus will make a big difference to the atmosphere, certainly to noise levels.

All those leaving have got invitations to the Christmas party/Leaving bash – it’s predicted that it’s going to be a rather messy affair – well, messier than usual!

What about me?

I have had my final consultation meeting and my official day of leaving confirmed as 31st December 2016.

My severance package, as mentioned before, is close to a year’s salary, plus I will get paid 3 months in lieu of notice.

Also, through my ex-boss’ efforts, the package will include an annual bonus which the company was not obligated to pay as it’s not in my employment contract, so that’s an unexpected and welcome windfall.

Job Seeking

So how has my job hunting gone so far?

Err…it’s not even out of the starting blocks.

My CV is complete and ready to go, my LinkedIn profile all up to date but my head and heart are not committed to the cause.

I don’t see any point in applying for jobs and going for interviews in a half-arsed manner – when I do it, I’d like to give it 100% and right now, I just don’t have the energy or desire.

All I’m thinking about is making the most of my last days working with my friends and colleagues (funnily enough, we’ve started going to the pub every Friday lunchtime!) and then spending some quality time with my family over Christmas in Hong Kong.

Since I no longer need to rush back for work, I’ll be extending my holiday beyond the new year for a few weeks (just need to rearrange my return flight) – I think after 21 years working for the same company, I’m due a decent break!

Black Friday

Unless you’ve been living under a rock on some far off asteroid, you’ll probably be aware that it’s Black Friday today.

blackfriday

I don’t think I’ve ever really been excited about it, even when the concept was first introduced in the UK. I’ve mentioned in the past that shopping has never really been something I enjoy doing – during my ‘spendy days’, it was more something that I did out of habit and fortunately, I got out of the habit.

Anyway, contra to the norm, I did make a purchase today, one which amounted to several hundred pounds – I bought a new mobile phone handset. I had been planning to replace my current phone when my contract ended in December as (being a Blackberry) it will no longer be supported by certain apps next year, apps which I regularly use.

Yes, I could have gotten a cheaper phone but what the hell, I used matched betting winnings to buy it (took a leaf out of Jim’s book, as he bought a handset with his MB winnings) so I’m not out of pocket. I certainly wouldn’t have bought it using my own money!

I’ve also switched from contract to SIM only, pitched BT Mobile against EE to negotiate a great deal (even though they are now technically the same company) so my monthly phone costs have dropped from £15 a month to £9 a month and I get a far superior data plan to boot.

I hope to do much of my gift shopping soon but I will avoid the shops this weekend, opting instead to go on Monday during my day off as I think it’ll be a little quieter.

For those who love Black Friday, I hope you bag some bargains. For those who don’t, hope you enjoy this “normal” Friday and have a great weekend!

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

September 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

My family’s visit has come to an end and the house is all quiet again. Things should be be back normal again but I’m finding myself somewhat lacking a little on the motivational front.

Work has been really chaotic (we’ve all been given brand new laptops and telephones and system migration is taking place) and people are starting to leave so that’s probably one thing that’s distracting me. I’ve also been scheduled my first workshop sessions with the back-to-work specialists to help put me on the right job-hunting path, ie sorting out CV etc.

Another reason for distraction is that things haven’t worked out with the guy I’ve been seeing for the past 1.5 years…let’s hope I don’t feel the urge to write sad posts about frugal dating at some point…

Anyway, back onto more relevant topics, let’s have a look at some numbers:

sept16saved

So I managed a savings rate of 42%, which is better than last month.

My average savings rate continues to drop  –  it’s now at 46.5%.  This is still a pretty good number, but as I said in the last update, I don’t have many months left in the year to try to drag it up to my target of 50% so I will settle for getting as close as possible!

This month’s income was boosted by £50 from rent received and £19.17 from TopCashback*. There was also an unexpected £500 referral fee, which came from a Manchester property developer – I’d put them in touch with my aunt, who had ended up making a purchase – boom! A nice little windfall and although tempting to just spend it, I’ve whacked it all into investments!

I also chucked some more of my matched betting profits into some property crowdfunding via Property Moose*.

Future Fund 

The markets continue to be pretty steady for my portfolio, (although there was a small wobble last week) which now stands at £82,888, a small gain of just 2% from last month.

Dividends and Other Income

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