July 2015 Savings, plus other stuff

Here’s how I did in July savings-wise:

Well I’m pleased with a savings rate of 47.2%, another month on month improvement!

This does however take my average down to 49.6%, and it’s going to be a tough slog to drag it above my 50% goal.

This month’s savings was topped up with £76.19 from TopCashback* and £50 from rent received.

Future Fund and Net Worth

Yo-yo-ing stocks in China again had an effect on my Future Fund, which now stands at £42,481.46

It would appear that I’m no longer on track for my year end goal of £50k – I would need to get an average increase of at least £1.6k per month over the next 5 months and that could be a challenge too far for me – I don’t have that much spare cash to save/invest and the markets aren’t likely to be that favourable!

On top of that, there are going to be changes to my priorities which will drastically affect my savings rate for the last few months of the year. More on this at a later date. Still, my Future Fund is heading in the right direction, despite what the market is doing!

Net Worth is now £109,895.00, an increase of 23% so far from the start of the year, so I’ve smashed my goal for the year already! 

I originally included this goal on here because I’m taking part in MoneyStepper’s Challenge and that was one of the goals I submitted.

Yes, that is a big jump from last month, from when I finally crossed the £100k milestone. It was M who pointed out that I should consider using Zoopla to value my property and to my surprise, my property is worth quite a bit more than I thought! It seems like property prices have actually been going up outside of London – woohoo!

Whilst I’m very happy to have achieved this goal, the truth is, achieving my savings rate goal would mean a lot more to me.

Anyway, there should be another big increase to my net worth next month, when I finally pay off my car loan – another woohoo! 🙂

Dividends and other Income

I received £9.69 from Amec Foster Wheeler, £2.42 from Scottish Mortgage IT, £7.79 from GlaxoSmithkline and £2.36 from Land Securities Group Plc IT.

So a total of £22.26, and bringing my monthly average now to £21.87.

Dividends received in 2015 now total £153.13, so I have smashed my dividends goal! Yay!
I won’t set myself a new goal but I shall certainly set a more challenging one next year.

Oh, I also received a £50 P2P referral from Funding Circle, thanks to JimF, much appreciated and put to use already! 

No new shares or investment trusts purchased this month.

Current portfolio here.

Non-Financial Goals Update

Food/Groceries Budget – I spent only £92.74 this month (I was away for a week and a bit), averaging £23.19 per week. My average weekly spend so far is now £23.49 so still on target. 
Cooking Recipes – I learned 1 new recipe this month – Pan Haggerty Lite (apparently a Geordie recipe). Carb-heavy but a decent cheap recipe for the weekend for when I want to save pennies!
Online Earnings – Still on the backfoot on this one but I received a nice payment from TopCashBack as listed above, bringing my total online earnings so far this year to £176.45. It looks unlikely I’ll be anywhere near my £500 goal but I’ll keep at it and see how close I can get.
Library books – One book borrowed this month and currently reading – Jordan Belfort’s ‘The Wolf of Wall Street‘. I may cheekily include it as a ‘win’ for my ‘Read two financial books’ goal but fully intend on attempting another ‘proper’ book on personal finance/investing before I fudge the figures haha! Anyway, am halfway through the book, it’s a pretty entertaining read – not so much finance, more about greed, power and illegal activities, depicted in a humorous way.

At 10 books borrowed so far, I’m halfway to my goal for the year. Still doable though I reckon…best get borrowing and reading!
Here’s how I’m doing against my goals in brief:

Lots of green this month so a good one by most accounts, smashing two of my goals, on the back of an excellent holiday too! 🙂

Hope everyone had a great July too.  

August is going to be an expensive one for me – two birthdays and V festival.

Oh and meeting up with fellow UK bloggers/FI wannabes in York on 14/15th August 2015!

As usual, I’ll be saving and investing what/where/when I can.

Have a fab weekend all!

[* referral link]

16 thoughts on “July 2015 Savings, plus other stuff

  1. Nice progress, weenie!

    Glad to hear that despite the bumps you're going over at the moment at work it is still a pretty smooth ride elsewhere!

    How often do you tend to "revalue" your house to work out your net worth? Or is this just a new thing?

  2. Hey Weenie,

    Congrat's on keeping the 50% saving rate within your sights.

    I'm in a similar position with my Net Worth goal, which has been made harder with em leaving my job, but you never know what'll happen to the market in 5 months.

    Great payout from TCB! I bloody love that site. It's just a no-brainer for anyone that wants to live more frugally and increase income at the same time. It also makes sense for anyone that buys stuff online. Scrap that. EVERYONE should use cashback sites – TCB or Quidco etc, it doesn't matter which one. You're just missing a trick if you're not.

    Great work on the dividends. Yes, you're capable of a much higher total than than your initial goal, and I think I you'll be in a position next year to continue building on what you're earned this year. I have a feeling at the end of next year you'll be hugely into dividend investing!

    Your goal progression is going very well Weenie. I like how well rounded they are in their topics too. It's not just about the financial side which I think is important.

    Keep on keeping on, and here's to Frugal, Fun Filled August!


  3. Hi weenie,
    Great savings rate (again). I am a total coward about this and have never calculated ours – probably because I know it will look very feeble when compared to most out there.

    I wouldn't get too pessimistic about your target for your "Future Fund" just yet. These things just don't seem to like to work to averages – you may find you get a massive boost for a couple of months which means you can take a few low performing (or negative) months in your stride and still get there.

    Looking forward to seeing you soon. 🙂

    (btw I do have one rider on the blind fold stock pick – I wouldn't want to be buying any fossil fuel companies if that's OK. I know I probably own a fair bit already in my funds but I'm reluctant to go further down that line and doing so would take the fun out of things for me. Hopefully I won't pick any out but if I do I'd like to be able to throw it back in the mix if that's not going too far against the spirit of things?)

  4. Hi Cerridwen

    I have to admit that I occasionally suffer from 'savings rate' envy when I visit blogs and see savings rates of 60-70%! This does spur me on but I know that I couldn't reach those dizzy heights and live the life I currently lead. The thing is, everyone is different, with different circumstances and at different stages of their FI journeys, ergo different savings rates. There are people out there with ZERO savings rates and you are certainly not one of those!

    Yes, I was being a bit down on my Future Fund – I guess I won't write off getting to my goal just yet.

    And yes of course, with regards to the stock picking, that's absolutely fine to throw fossil fuel companies back into the hat. I'm hoping not to pick any shares that I own already but chances should be slim!

    Looking forward to it all and to meeting you too! 🙂

  5. Hey Huw
    Thanks. That 50% is a real challenge but I will keep gunning for it!

    I am still surprised at people at work who have never heard of TCB or Quidco – I've just recently passed my link to someone who I overheard complaining about how the car insurer she has used for YEARS keeps putting the fees up – advised her to switch immediately and get £30-£40 cashback at the same time!

    I need to keep an eye on my dividend investing – I can't deviate too much from my investment strategy but I will certainly be buying more stocks than I planned to originally. The idea of receiving income rather than having to use up all of my capital is quite appealing and I will factor into my plans.

    Thanks for your continued support and see you soon!

  6. Hi DD
    Thanks – my investments and life outside work are going great, even work isn't that bad, so I'm mostly in happy mode! 🙂

    This is the first time I've 'revalued' my property (it's a flat, not a house) – the reason why I used a static figure previously was because I saw very little movement when I first started my blog, so didn't bother checking and the press only talked about how property prices were moving in London but hardly up north. However, it seems that there has been some movement. Not sure if I will adjust every month, or just quarterly – maybe the latter to keep it simple.

  7. Looks pretty awesome! 50% savings rate is definitely doable.

    Do you find Zoopla really volatile? I use it as well and it really jumps about.

  8. Pretty awesome progress. Savings rate is looking good and the big growth in net worth is even better. Dividend income is looking good too.

  9. Glad you found Zoopla useful. As Mr Zombie says, it can be a bit volatile – our price has fluctuated slighlty over the months, but having checked others in the area and the prices of those that have been sold recently, I think it's a fairly accurate estimate.

    Also if you're looking for cheap recipes… Thrifty Lesley's site is getting my full attention right now! I've just finished the first day and I am full to the brim with tasty, cheap food!


  10. Thanks for the words of support, Mr Z.
    Yes, in the short time that I've started using Zoopla, I have noticed that it jumps about by quite a bit, almost like it's on the stock exchange! I've not decided if I want to update my figures monthly or quarterly – I'll see what it looks like at the end of the month.

  11. Thanks Tawcan – yes, things are looking pretty peachy but may not look so rosy by the end of this month! I'll be trying my best though to save as much as I can!

  12. Thanks for your help with Zoopla, M. I'll continue to monitor the price, it's as good as any estimate.

    Yes, I've been checking out Thrifty Lesley – got a few recipes in mind to try out, so thanks for the link!

  13. Love the blog!

    Just wondering what exactly makes you invest in premium bonds? I would personally roll that amount into your ISA or high interest current accounts.

  14. Hi Anon
    I guess it's partly the chance of winning something that draws me to premium bonds. I don't have a lot of cash, so this is part of my cash allocation and yes, I know it's not earning me any interest. This is the equivalent of my 'cash under the mattress', except that it's in a safer place haha!

    I don't have the patience to do the high interest current account thing, although I can see why many are attracted to it. I do however have First Direct's regular savings account, which is paying 6% interest.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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