February 2019 Savings, other updates + Meet Up News

I have family staying with me at the moment so while I wait for them to come back from shopping (I only worked half-day today), I thought I’d get this out. The post was all prepared in advance, I just slotted in the numbers.

I will need to figure out my posting schedule and how I’m going to keep up with this secret blogging lark when my sis is living with me…

This month has just whizzed by – work’s been really busy and I’ve gotten into the bad habit of staying late when it’s not a gym night; need to stop doing that as it’s making me feel really drained.

I successfully claimed for a delayed flight and received £168 compensation, which will nicely pay for my next planned trip – I was delayed for 5 hours at Amsterdam on my way to HK just before Christmas. First time I’ve claimed and it was a relatively painless process.

Anyway, how did I get on with my savings this month?

I saved 37% – a couple of social outings, Chinese New Year and stocking up my beer fridge pushed the spending up somewhat this month.  I can’t seem to get into the ‘zone’ at the moment to do some more home brewing, hence the beer purchases.

The above savings includes top ups of £30.07 from TopCashback* and £131.69 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thank you to all who signed up via my links!).

Shares and Investment Trusts

No new investments, just added to existing ones.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

I think the markets have continued to recover as my Future Fund has grown by more than the capital I’ve invested, now sitting at £153,555.

Dividends and Other Income

Historically, February has the lowest dividends:

I received £167.96 in total, of which £135.25 was from my ISAs, the rest in my SIPPs.  Very happy with this as it’s the first time there’s been >£100 in this month. Next year >£200 maybe!

Still early days yet, but here’s how things look on the main dividend income graph:

Matched Betting (MB)

A good month for a change, with total profits this month coming in at £533 (of which £304 was from each way (EW) betting. Let’s hope this run continues.

As mentioned last month, if there are any other matched bettors out there who are trying out the risky (though potentially lucrative) EW betting strategy, they might be interested in downloading the Slack app, and joining the EW Betting chat which Dan from Pursue Fire has kindly set up. Here, we share strategies, highs and lows of EW betting, our daily profits/losses, the occasional hotshot tip from TFS (don’t back his international tips though 🙂 ) and you get to gawp at his (and Dan’s) mad stakes and huge profits! [**SECOND EDIT** (03/03/19) Due to a flurry of people joining, Dan has decided to close the group to new members until further notice, to keep it manageable and more ‘private’]

As mentioned before, the MB guide I subscribe to is OddsMonkey*, which is great for beginners and experienced matched bettors alike with quality tools such as the Oddsmatcher, Each Way Matcher, Racing Matcher and Acca Matcher among others. There are step by step guides and also a friendly forum for you to ask questions and get help on any of the offers.

Some people find Matched Betting tedious and not worth their time or effort, but you won’t know until you try it and for me, it’s the ideal ‘side hustle’ to do when I want to. Anyway, check out the free trial* (with no obligations).

Goals Update

Still not a lot to see really:

I’m not doing too badly on the library book front already so the next few books I read (after the current library book I’m reading) will be physical books I own so I can get them off my shelves (by donating to charity once I’ve read them – part of my decluttering plan).

Meet Up News!

And finally, Ms ZiYou says she’ll be up in Manchester with work and wondered if anyone fancied meeting up for a bit of a chat and a drink or two?

Date & Time: Friday, 8th March 2019 (from around 5pm)

Venue: Where else to talk personal finance stuff but The Bank pub on Mosley Street!

**DISCLAIMER** – this meet up will likely bear no resemblance to the ones arranged in London last year, where hordes of FIRE wannabes/FIRE’d peeps flocked, making mainstream media news and causing Daily Mail readers to froth at the mouth (probably).

In fact, it might even just be me and Ms ZiYou but hey, if you’re in the area, please come and join us! 🙂

And on that note, hope you all have a great weekend!

[*referral/affiliate link]

30 thoughts on “February 2019 Savings, other updates + Meet Up News

  1. It must be so rewarding to see those dividends come in month on month and grow year on year!

    Unfortunately I’m a good few miles away from Manchester otherwise I would pop along!

    • Hi Jase

      Yes, it is – this graph is probably my favourite one and keeps me investing!

      Never mind, hopefully there will be a future one which might be convenient for more of us to meet up!

  2. That’s a really good idea to read your physical books before donating them. I’m on a bit of a decluttering purge just now, but I find it really painful to let go of books. I think if I read them before I let them go that will make it easier to make a decision. I’ll imagine there’ll be a few books I don’t even want to read again, which will tell me I’ve hung on to them for far too long.
    Great work on your dividends. It must be so satisfying to see that graph rising.
    A bit far for me to travel from Scotland to Manchester, so have a drink for me when the meet up comes around.

    • Hi Angie

      Like you, I find it difficult to let go of books – my problem is that my shelves are half full of books I’ve read (and might read again) but also books I’ve purchased over the years and not gotten round to reading yet. It’s these latter ones I want to tackle right now.

      Thanks and yes, the dividend graph gives me a lot of motivation to keep going with the strategy.

      As with @Jase above, never mind, hopefully there will be a future one which might be convenient for more of us to meet up! Cheers!

  3. Woot I’ve just found your blog! have been urgently seeking UK FI followers. So grateful for your secret blog. I will follow and read back avidly. I’m 47, 4 kids, have always been frugal, but I’ve been increasingly intentional and financially aware since 2013. I’m hoping to institute the FI ideas within our position, understanding that it will be delayed due to having moved house 2 years ago in order to care for my mum. Its also helped, in a sense. We now have half the monthly outgoings. We rent out our family home. But the flip side is we are about to rebuild the chalet bungalow – mum’s home in which we live. So to begin with a lot of our savings will be in equity / mortgage, hopefully overpaying almost double each year to begin with. Thanks again. Really great to connect with you!

    • Chantal, just wondered what other UK FI bloggers you are following. There aren’t many around. So far I have found the following: ‘The Humble Penny‘, although he does post about other topics as well. Other British bloggers include ‘Gentleman’s Family Finances‘, ‘Ditch the Cave‘ and ‘The Saving Ninja‘. I am sure Weenie will be able to recommend some others, as well as those commenting here.

    • Hi Chantal

      Hah, thanks for reading my secret blog! There are quite a few of us UK bloggers now – check out the blogroll on the right hand side of my blog for some more which you may not have discovered.

      And thanks for sharing your story and I wish you all the very best with your journey to FI!

      • Thx Weenie, Sam! I’ve been tiring of the US FI podcasts. Wading through endless slap on the back stuff hoping to learn a new little detail! Little Miss Fire is another and Fiukmoney.co.uk are the others I’ve found so far.

        I’m also interested in UK FI followers as I think we have more width to our approaches and more to learn from each other. So far about 7 years ago I had to go super frugal, hosted students to cope with a big drop in salary, and that was my own ‘house hack’ part one. Things have changed a lot and we now care for my mum. But its enabled us to halve our monthly costs. Slowly does it!

        • Hi Chantal & Sam,

          I am in the UK and have a blog born out of my love of pursuing FIRE (Inspiring Life Design). I tend to talk mostly about the side hustles I’m trying, about my goals and I’ve started doing quarterly updates on my FIRE progress.

          If you fancy stopping by for a read would be lovely to connect with more UK readers. This is a fantastic online community.


  4. I’ve been facing the same thing at work lately. I was off for a week and then had loads to do. I stayed longer to catch with it leaving me drained after the third day. I did catch up with work but after soon after I would have another ton of work to do anyway, a circle that repeats itself, so now I finish sharp at 5pm no matter what.

    It’s nice to see how your dividend income is growing year over year, and how much it relates to the month.

    Good luck figuring out the way to keep your blogging secret I’m terrible at keeping secrets so there’s no advice I can give you on that one.

    BTW, my savings rate nearly matches yours this month. hi hi hi. I know it’s not a competition, just mentioning 😉

    • Hi Tony

      The next couple of weeks will be a bit of a test as my boss will be on annual leave and I will feel under pressure to get ‘more’ done. I think I might just set an alarm on my phone so I leave on time/not too late!

      Yes, it’s very satisfying seeing the progress of my dividends, truly passive income!

      And BTW, congrats on your savings rate! 🙂

  5. Woohoo, we’re back to our book costs. Hopefully, with a no-deal looking less likely, we’ll continue to have growth!

    I’m gutted I can’t make the Manchester meet up 🙁 One day!

    • With ‘Brexit Day’ looming, I reckon there’s still time for the markets to get all jittery again this month – keep calm and carry on investing!

      As you mentioned SN, perhaps next time you’re up visiting your folks we can catch up!

  6. February can feel a bit like it’s just head down at work can’t it? I’ve not had to stay late very much but it has felt like a bit of slog…I think it’s because Easter is so far away.

    Great job with the matched betting profits. That always does good things for a saving rate (which is still excellent by the way). After seeing how well you and so many other people are doing with I’m wondering if I should get back into it.

    Sorry I can’t make this Manchester meetup, but I’ll be in Manchester with work at in the autumn so hmmm let’s see if you or others may be up for another one then…

    Also I’m liking the idea of you as a blogger leading a secret double life…I feel that there is the nugget of a sitcom there somewhere!

    • Hi Caveman

      I never know when it is (get confused by the Easter eggs on sale after Christmas!) and only checked just now when you said it was ‘so far away’!

      If you’ve done matched betting before then you know what you’re getting (back) into – seem to recall that you were after a more ‘sexy’ side hustle and ‘sexy’ certainly isn’t a word I’d use to describe MB haha! As a side hustle which you can easily pick up and do when ever you want though, I don’t think you can complain.

      Oh, give me a shout when you’re up in Manchester in the Autumn, see if we can catch up then.

      Haha, perhaps a goal of mine will be to see how long I can maintain my secret from the family!

  7. Good progress all round! My 50 book target is starting to look a little unrealistic although I’ve nearly finished Birdsong which is one of the longer books on the list. I have a few physical non-fiction books that I’d like to finish reading and then get rid of but they just don’t encourage me to read them in the same way as a good fiction book especially just before bed which is my preferred reading time.

    Also, I’m definitely coming to the meet up but will be more like 5.30pm by the time I get there and find somewhere to park (especially on a Friday). Very excited to meet you and Ms ZiYou!

    • Hi TSJ

      Ooh, wow, really looking forward to meeting you on Friday, although how does one anonymous FIRE person know another? Do I wear a red carnation or something, haha? I’ll figure something out…

      Non-fiction books take me forever to read and like you, my preferred reading time is just before bed. I’m in the middle of a 700 page sci-fi tome at the moment and although reading every day, hardly seem to be making a dent in it (although it is good!).

      I’m afraid I can’t even give any recommendations on where to park as I rarely drive into city centre these days and if I do, I park on the outskirts. Still, see you on Friday!

  8. I’m fairly new to FIRE and this blog, I would love to meet you all! I’m coming from Cambridge so please update if the meetup moves!

    • Thanks Mike. Would you consider 3 years long term or short term? As of this month, that’s how long I’ve been matched betting. I’m not sure it’ll still be about by the time I retire but if it was, I’d hope to still be doing this as a side hustle of some sort!

  9. Hi Weenie

    I hope your meet up goes well

    I would love to join you for your meet up but am currently away in Blackpool playing boardgames.

    I FIRED from teaching 2 and a half years ago

    One idea for your Manchester Meet might be Manchester Credit Union
    If you live in greater manchester you are entitled to join.
    Their gold saver savings account pays 2.5% at the moment and it means any cash savings go out into the local community. It is FSCS protected.

    If you organise another meetup I would love to come


    • Hi Matt

      That’s brilliant that you’re FIRED already – playing boardgames, sounds like my kind of retirement!

      I had never heard of the Manchester Credit Union so will read up about it, thanks.

      It would be great to catch up at a future meetup, will be interesting to hear your story and background.

  10. Great job on the savings and the matched betting profits!

    Maybe you need some lessons from Saving Ninja on being stealthy, haha. I know I personally need long periods of uninterrupted time to get any writing done, so I don’t know how you can hide that from someone who’s living with you. Hopefully you find a way!

    Unfortunately Manchester is too far away from me, but hopefully I can attend a meetup another time. Hope it goes well! And maybe this will be the start of a “Northern FI” meetup, to balance the regular ones in London??

  11. Hey Weenie,

    As always I love your dividend chart. I’m playing catch up on my blog reading again, sorry for the delayed comment!

    I’ve actually just invested in my ISA before this tax year ends and decided to go for income rather than accumulation, hopefully this will allow me to see any dividends paid. Or of course I might be completely misunderstanding how these things work! Either way I’m happy to have finally invested this year.

    By the way, I notice you mentioned in your comments about the blogroll in your sidebar. I didn’t know you had a blogroll/sidebar as it doesn’t display in tablet view (and I do 95% of my reading on tablet). I don’t suppose you also have the blogroll on a separate page you could supply the URL for? I’d love to see any blogs I’m missing from my reading list.


Comments are closed.