February 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

Here’s my belated February update – the numbers are probably not so consistent with other months as I had to use figures I jotted down from 20th Feb:


Anyway, I managed another savings rate of 51.6%! Woohoo! :-)

This really is a great start for me, though unfortunately it’ll be a real struggle to maintain this level of savings in March (see below), or even for the rest of the year as things have popped up unexpectedly in my calendar which I hadn’t accounted for when I set my goal.

Still, I’ve already, in only the second month, equalled my 2015 efforts, where I only managed to hit >50% savings rate twice all year, so I am very happy with this.

Only other income added to savings was £50 from rent received.

Future Fund 

Bear Market, what Bear Market? I was rather surprised to see my Future Fund bounce back already – this now stands at £61,019.63. After pondering upon things, I decided to take on board Ermine’s comment from my post earlier in the month and have included my work DC pension within my Future Fund (note that I still made a gain from last month even if I don’t include the work pension).

Dividends and Other Income

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

January 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

So amidst all the silly roller-coaster stock market stuff causing all sorts of shenanigans in January, how did I do in the first month?


A savings rate of 51.6%! Yay! 🙂

I’m really chuffed with this great start! Looking back on 2015, it appears that I only managed to hit >50% twice – my overall average had been boosted by an annual bonus I received in March. That bonus had been based on a share of Old Co’s profits – now that I work for New Co, it’s looking extremely unlikely that I will get a similar bonus so just as well I saved most of that one!

This month’s savings was topped up with £17.07 from TopCashBack* and £50 from rent received.

Future Fund 

As with most people’s portfolios, the Bear Market caused my Future Fund to fall in value a little but I’m not concerned or worried. It now stands at £56,956.73.

Dividends and Other Income

Dividends received this month (which will be reinvested):


So a total of £26.21, which is a nice increase compared to last January’s £9.11!

The first few months of the year are quite lean dividend-wise for me, but this is a decent start.

I also received £13.37 from my P2P investments.

Shares and Investment Trusts

This month, I topped up on my holding of Bloomsbury Publishing, getting the shares cheaper than when I first bought them.  I’m hoping the Bear Market will last a while longer so that I can continue to buy cheaper.

Current portfolio here.

Non-Financial Goals Update

Library books – So I’m going to try to read 20 library books again this year. I completed just the one library book this month but it’ll be a while before I read any more because the next five books I’ll be reading will be ones that I own – I’m planning on a back-to-back re-read of the Game of Thrones books! Why? I’m hoping Martin will have finished book 6 before the end of 2016, so I’ll have the story all pretty fresh in my mind! Anyway, I’ve just started book 2 (again).

Suffice to say that my other reading goal, that of attempting to read 3 books related to personal finance/investing will be resumed later on in the year!

If anyone’s interested, I track all my reading via GoodReads (though not able to track these GoT re-reads) – add me as a ‘friend’ if you are a member!

Anyway, here’s how things look on the goals front in brief:


Hope everyone had a great January, which always feels like the longest month ever!

[*referral link]

December 2015 savings, plus goal updates

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and good break from work. I had a lovely dinner on Christmas Day with close friends and a generally relaxing time, catching up on reading (books and internet) and tv. Was back in work on 29th – that was a bit of a shock to the system!

So how did I do in December savings-wise and how have I done versus the goals I set at the start of the year?


I saved 31.5%. Not quite as bad as I thought in the end. This has meant that my average savings for 2015 was therefore 43.7% so goal failed! I’m a little bit disappointed that I’ve missed my target again but well, I gave it a good go and will continue at it!

The amount saved was boosted by £58 from TopCashback*, £25 premium bond winnings and £50 rent received.

Future Fund and Net Worth

My Future Fund now stands at £57,530.57. If I don’t take into account the private pension transfer, it stands at £46,144, so goal failed. However, I’m very happy with how it is progressing, although any growth has mostly been attributed to money I’ve put in rather than growth from investments.

Dec15networthv2(a) Figure based on August 2015 statement, plus overpayments made

(b) Personal Emergency Fund

(c) Emergency Fund for stuff related to BTL property

(d) On a 0% rate

(e) Zoopla estimated value of property as at 30/12/15






Net Worth is now £117,595.83, an increase of just over 31% from the start of the year so goal achieved. A seemingly big jump, mostly I’d say due to the increase in valuation of my rental property – it seems even properties ‘up north’ can go up in value!

Dividends and other Income
Continue reading

Oh no – P2P Loan Default!

As mentioned previously, I have some money invested in peer-to-peer (P2P) loans and things have gone swimmingly well after one and a half years.

P2P image

However, at the end of last month, I received notification of my first loan default! Oh no!

The default was on one of my loans with Funding Circle (FC) and I received the following message explaining the situation:

The borrower has been struggling to make its repayments since September 2015, and has requested a payment plan which would see the loan repaid over a longer period of time. We have informed the borrower that the only way we can agree to his proposed payment plan is for the guarantor to consent to a voluntary fixed charge over his personal property. The borrower has not responded to us since bringing up the matter of a voluntary fixed charge, and we are therefore defaulting this loan in order to protect your position by crystallising the liability of the guarantor. Defaulting will also enable us to commence legal proceedings against the guarantor, should the guarantor remain unresponsive. On a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) rating system, we would give this loan a Red status, as the prospect of recovery is uncertain at this point, however we are hopeful that this rating will improve once we have a better understanding of what the guarantors can afford to repay. For your reference, the original risk band for this loan was a B rating.

Keep Calm, Don’t Panic Continue reading