Premium Bond Win, plus my New Gadget

Just because there’s crap going on at work, I don’t want to just blog about doom and gloom so here’s something on a lighter note.

I recently read that it was going to get even harder to win in the Premium Bonds – the odds of winning any prize were being reduced from 26,000:1 to 30,000:1.

However, I received what is now a ‘regular’ email from NS & I – does 3 wins in 6 months count as ‘regular’?

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Ok, so it was just another £25 win, but it’s not bad for what I consider as my ‘cash under the mattress’.

As I’ve mentioned before, premium bonds are rubbish investments, so just as well I don’t consider them as investments!

As before, I think I’ll chuck the winnings at my recently depleted emergency fund.

Here’s hoping for some more (and bigger) wins!

Shiny New Gadget

I also got myself a new ‘gadget’ recently.

It was a gadget which I didn’t really need, or even something I particularly wanted.

Still, the main thing was that it was completely free!

Yes, I got myself a smart meter fitted and my new gadget is the little monitor that came along with it.

For those who don’t know, a smart meter is a meter which can digitally send meter readings to your energy supplier. I’ve only had this fitted for my electricity and it will apparently ensure more accurate energy bills and the monitor should help me understand my energy usage better.

It shows you how much electricity you are using (either spend or wattage), compare different days, how much you have spent/used in the past etc.

With just my fridges, fridge freezer, clock radio plugged in and nothing else switched on, it appears that I spend £0.02 an hour.

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My ‘standing’ electricity spend per hour

Put the kettle on for a brew and this goes up to £0.45 an hour!

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Sticking the kettle on pushes up the spend by quite a bit!

Of course, this doesn’t mean that to save money I’m going to stop putting the kettle on, stop using the hair dryer or washing machine, but I will think twice about taking my time when ironing (including leaving the iron plugged in to go to make a cuppa….).  I also have a habit of pre-heating the fan oven and then forgetting about it, so the oven ends up being on a lot longer than it needs to be.

Switching the lights on in the kitchen also causes a spike, which means that I’ll need to make sure that I replace the old light bulbs with more efficient LED ones.

Does anyone else make use of these kinds of gadgets?

Another Premium Bond Win and O.O.O

prembonds

Another February, another premium bond win!

I only won £25 but by massive coincidence(?), I also won this time last year.

I’ve now won £100 in just 12 months, with only a very small premium bond holding of £2,250, beating the oft quoted 1.35% “return”.

Despite recent articles like these talking about premium bonds being ‘bad investments’, I continue to buy a few more bonds each month.  And I actually agree, they are rubbish investments but I see the bonds as the ‘cash under my mattress’ so to speak (except actual cash under my mattress isn’t ever going to win anything!), not as investments – my investments are in shares, index trackers, investment trusts and p2p lending.

Anyway, I think I’ll chuck my winnings at my recently depleted emergency fund.

Out Of Office

The big holiday that I’ve been putting money aside for has finally come round, so I won’t be about for a few weeks. Funnily enough, I don’t feel like I’m ready for a holiday as I don’t normally go away so early in the year (not jaded enough from work, haha!) but I’m really looking forward to catching up with the family and trying new things in a country I’ve never visited before.

I don’t have any blog posts scheduled so will do some catch-up ones when I get back.

Hope you all have a great February – see you in March! 🙂

Premium Bonds Win, plus Home Brew #6


Unbelievable yes, but I got another premium bond win, my second this year! Yay!

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Ok, so I only won £25 but prior to my win in February, I hadn’t won anything in years!

It could well be just a massive coincidence that I’ve started winning ever since I’ve been regularly buying more premium bonds – my holding is tiny though, only £2,135 and according to this premium bond calculator, if I have ‘average luck’, I would expect to win just £25 over a year. Let’s hope I’ll be VERY lucky at some point in the future! In the meantime, I will chuck my £25 into the investment pot.

As premium bonds carry no risk (apart from erosion due to inflation) I will continue with my small top ups. I don’t have a lot of cash in my total portfolio so this forms part of that allocation.

Home Brew #6

Time for another home brew update! The brew I made this time came from a Vienna Red Lager kit.

After brewing cider last time round, I was really looking forward to making my brew of choice!

I started this one at the beginning of October, the instructions were easy to follow, although there was no info on how much sugar was needed when bottling, so I just went for my usual 1.5 teaspoons/bottle, which turned out to be right!

I managed to get 43 bottles (just over 21 litres/37 pints) and it’s another free brew as the kit was a birthday present!

After around 1.5 months of conditioning, the beer is fairly clear – the red colour makes it look like an ale but its flavour is a little sharper, a tangy taste. I’ve managed to get this one to pour with a semi-decent head too, so I’m very happy! Alcohol strength is around 4.3% ABV (although the box said 5% ABV, I couldn’t get it to that level) but after swigging a couple of bottles, it feels a lot stronger, haha!

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I like this beer although in general, I think I prefer ales to lager. As with previous batches, 10 bottles have gone to friends and colleagues for their appreciation! One colleague has already hinted that he’s going to buy me a kit for Christmas – see, there’s a reason why I share the fruits of my labours! 🙂

I have got a kit waiting that I was thinking of doing as a winter warmer. Space is the factor though (30+ bottles of lager and around a dozen of cider still, all sitting in my garage!) so I’ll probably put it on in the new year, unless that lot gets drunk quickly over the next couple of weeks!

[Unfortunately, this was one post where the comments didn’t copy over from Blogger – think I messed up here!]

Premium Bonds

Just a quick post before the weekend after a blur of a week.

Recently, M from There’s Value mentioned in a comment that she had no idea why people buy premium bonds and why not just stick the money in my ISA?

 

I replied that premium bonds were my equivalent of sticking cash under my mattress, readily available, (and getting eroded by inflation, I know…) but with a chance of ‘winning’ something.

Anyway, this morning I got this email (slightly adjusted for blog purposes):

Woohoo! First time I’ve won in years!

Ok, so I only won £50 which represents a 3.1% gain on my ‘investment’.

Hardly worth the bother perhaps, considering I got 0% the past few years.

MoneySavingExpert has done a good piece on the pros and cons of premium bonds here. The cons appear to outweigh the pros but the main thing is to be aware that premium bonds are more for ‘fun’ than ‘returns’ and yes, I’m aware!

The £50 will now be chucked into the pot to be invested ‘properly’.

Have a good weekend all!