July 2017 Savings, plus Other Updates

The other day, I was pleasantly surprised to spot a guy reading a copy of ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad‘ on the tram into work! I’m glad he was really engrossed with his reading and didn’t look up, otherwise he would have seen some strange woman grinning at him, haha! I’ve not read it myself but I wonder if it will change his life as many readers have claimed?

Anyway, the month has flown by – I had family staying for a while so had a great time with them, plus the weather was lovely, which was a bonus.

I’ve also belatedly started having work done to the kitchen. It should have been sorted while I was unemployed and had lots of free time, but well, I actually didn’t think I would secure a job so quickly, so I’ve been busy sorting things there. And eating microwaved food as I have no oven or cooking hobs!

So, how much of my net salary did I save this month?

I saved 47.9%! A couple of meals out with my sis carved a little chunk out of what I could have saved but as I don’t get to spend a lot of time with family, it was worth that bit of cost.

My average for the year is now 47.8% so still slowly creeping towards my goal of an average 50%, but I need to get a few more >50% to hike it up. Might struggle with next month (more family members coming to visit), but we’ll see.

The above savings includes £50 from matched betting profits, £50 from my Premium Bonds win, £10 lotto win, £12.77 from TopCashback* and £57.08 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thanks to all those who joined via my link – much appreciated!).

Shares and Investment Trusts

I sold my XP Power shares to take 55% profit (including dividends received over the 10 months I’ve held the stock) – yes I did it, FiL and of course, will now attempt to avoid checking up on XPP as I don’t want to see that it’s doubled in price now that I’ve sold, haha! :).

I don’t usually sell any of my shares, mainly because my strategy is to buy and hold, but also because I find it very difficult to decide when I should be selling. Banking some profit can’t be a bad thing I guess, plus at some point, I want to simplify my portfolio so may as well sell stocks off bit by bit.

The funds from the sale will be added to my usual monthly capital to top up one of my existing ITs. Current portfolio can be found here.

Future Fund 

Markets have continued to be mostly favourable, so my Future Fund now stands at £122,659. Continuing to advance towards my next big milestone!

Dividends and Other Income

Dividends received this month (which will be reinvested):

Those late June payments made it a record-breaking month, with dividend income crossing another line – I received £386.53 this month! I didn’t quite get to £400 but that will come next year! Plus, only the second time where dividend income was greater than matched betting profits (though that wasn’t too difficult to achieve this month!).

Total dividend income this year now stands at £1,054.18. and it looks like I’m back on track to hitting my dividend target. With five months to go, I have already received more dividend income than I did during the entire of 2016!

Here’s how things are in the graph, which looks good again after the ‘blip’ in June:

Matched Betting (MB)

With family visiting and me not spending hardly any time on MB, my profits were at an all time low this month, scraping in at £85 profit! Seems pitiful but still, it’s something and better than nothing!

Things should improve once the football season starts, although part of me isn’t looking forward to the extra effort I will end up spending to make the most of those offers.

Total profits so far this year now stand at £3,350, so looking like I might hit my MB goal of £4000 profit if I keep at it.

The matched betting guide I subscribe to is OddsMonkey*.  It’s a nifty little website for beginners and experienced matched bettors alike – for beginners, there are plenty of tutorials which provide you with step-by-step guides on how to make profits and to work through special offers. They also offer one-to-one sessions for those who need a little more help. For the more experienced, OddsMonkey offers quality tools including the Each Way Matcher, Extra Place Matcher, Dutch Finder, Racing Matcher and Acca Matcher, all of which I have used successfully. There’s also a friendly forum for you to ask questions. Anyway, you can try it out for free*.

Goals Update

Here’s how things look:

I finally read a non-fiction book (‘Orange is the New Black‘ by Piper Kerman – I’m a fan of the show). I didn’t learn anything that would really help me with my financial goals, except to stay on the right side of the law, haha!

Anyway, one down, two to go – I’ll try to make the other two non-fiction books semi-relevant to this blog!

How was July for you?

And finally, RIP Chester 🙁  I’m fortunate that I was able to see the band perform live on two occasions – what a sad loss

[*referral/affiliate link]

15 thoughts on “July 2017 Savings, plus Other Updates

  1. Hi Weenie,

    Firstly congratulations on a great savings rate, and especially while being able to spend time with the family – a great combination!

    Finally pulled the plug hey – a very nice profit turn for 10 months, that has to be a nice feeling – question is which IT will it go to 🙂

    That’s a great rack up on the future fund as well, over 20% of the way there and after what feels like a very short time… the dividends are starting to come into play 🙂 Looking at your portfolios though I couldn’t see any of your vanguard holdings in there?
    The dividend graph is really starting to take on a good shape now and what a mega july! At this rate you will totally smash your Dividend income target.

    July was good and bad for me – good with the savings rate but bad as I dont feel I made any progress as didn’t build up my Cash Flow Fund!

    • Thanks FiL

      There are a couple of ITs I’m thinking of topping up (Banker or Brunner) – I may end up just going for the one with the higher discount, in which case it’ll be the latter but I’ll end up topping up Banker at a later stage!

      I don’t have a handy blog-friendly spreadsheet for my funds, hence I only make mention of them here: http://quietlysaving.co.uk/investments-and-portfolio/ but essentially, I have investments in VWRL, VHYL, VUKE, VMID and to a lesser extent, VFEM and VGOV.

      When I transferred a private pension a couple of years back to my SIPP, I converted the funds into VLS80% and Vanguard UK Inflation Linked Gilt Index Fund but I haven’t been topping up these funds, unlike with the ETFs.

      Yes, the graph is looking good and I’m confident of hitting my target.

      Sounds like you had a good July but it’s hard when you isolate progress in a single month – take another look after a few more months and you’ll be able to see the progress you have made to your Cash Flow Fund!

  2. Sounds like a fun July.
    We kept up our high expenses as had loads on (again!), sometimes I think we just are bad at saying no to stuff! But I received my yearly bonus so should still get a fairly decent savings rate out of it.

    Would you recommend the book? I like all sorts of non fiction and find true stories more compelling than fiction.

    You still managed nearly 50% savings rate with a kitchen renovation going on, that’s impressive!

    Good luck for the up coming season, I’m going to start hitting no lay accas to see how I get on there…

    • Hey TFS

      Yes, I spotted your high-spending July but with the family holiday in there, it could have been a lot lot more so I reckon you did well actually!

      I think I’m biased regarding the book as I’m a fan of the show so although there was a lot of repetitiveness and really not a lot going on, I was fine with that. Still, it’s a pretty short read so I’d say worth a quick read!

      The kitchen renovation money has already been been put to one side (a bit of my redundancy plus some money from family, seeing as it’s the ‘family home’). However, it’s spiralling out of budget so I fear matched betting funds are going to come to the rescue!

      I still intend to do lay sequentially accas but am toying with the idea of using one account for no lays…I need to steel myself for the inevitable losses! Good luck with your accas – knowing you, you’ll be rolling in the profit haha! 🙂

      • Ah cool thanks for the reply… makes sense that you took the money from redundancy as you weren’t including that in your savings rate anyway were you… so totally fair enough – although a shame to hear about the spiralling costs… this always seems to happen doesn’t it! There is a great section in Thinking Fast and Slow about that actually (ballooning project costs and overrunning of time scales) – if you haven’t read that yet I strongly recommend it as one of your non fiction books, it is amazingly interesting! 🙂

  3. I was trying to think of some non-fiction finance that is worth reading for you. Anything by Michael Lewis is pretty good. I’m currently reading an excellent autobiography, “Shoe Dog” by the founder of Nike. I got it for 99p on Amazon, but I see it’s now £9.99 and I’d almost say it’s worth the tenner! Failing that, there’s a brill business podcast about entrepreneurship called “How I Built This”. I haven’t listened to a duff episode yet and would recommend it for the FIRE community.

    • Cheers Jim – I have a few books by Michael Lewis on my to-read list so I’ll see if I can bag one of those from the library.

  4. Hi Weenie,

    What a mighty fine dividend chart that is looking this month! Congrats.

    With regard to Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I read this many years ago and recall enjoying it, but being disappointed by the fact that it pushes you so hard to buy the game they invented “Cashflow 101” which at the time was ridiculously expensive (in the region of £200!). I’ve just been and looked it up now and you can get it from the site for about £60 & could prob find it cheaper elsewhere online. I never read anymore of his books because of the game marketing! If anyone hears of somewhere to pick up thus game real cheap I’d be interested to hear!

    Hope the kitchen renovation costs don’t spiral too much, and that you get the end result you’re after.


    • Hey OR

      Thanks! The chart shows how far I’ve come so is a great motivator.

      I heard that there was a game but never really read about it – on Amazon, it’s around £60, with a few around the £40 mark on ebay. I can’t say that I’d want to fork out that much but I guess it could be a really useful tool for people who want to follow the philosophy etc.

      Hmm…kitchen costs continue to spiral. I think it’s around 3/4 done – now that I have full cooking facilities, I’m just going to go for the stuff that ‘needs’ doing asap. I have a feeling matched betting profits may be needed at some point but let’s see…it’s still ongoing!

    • Thanks Steel!

      In July, I don’t think I put in more than 2 hours the entire month. However, with the start of the football season today, I have already clocked 2 hours (last night and just now) on the football offers! I see that the accumulator offers I was doing so many of last season have changed so I may be spending less time but taking more risk (no lay accumulators…how will I cope!!?). I reckon I will end up probably spending around 4 hours a week, spread mostly over the weekends. We’ll see anyway!

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