Happy New Year!
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed the celebrations last night to see in the new year.
It’s 3.30pm as I type this and I’ve only just gotten out of my pjs so it was a late one for me! 🙂
Anyway, I had a great Christmas – no travels abroad this time but there was a 400-mile round trip over the festive period – some good times eating too much but surprisingly drinking little (apart from last night!)
So, how did I do in the last month of the year and against the targets I set?
Not flying abroad for Christmas this year meant that I more or less maintained my savings rate, ending up at 41.7%.
My average for the year stands at 46.3%. Although I didn’t achieve my goal (again) to hit that elusive 50%, I’m more than happy with this average, which is my highest to date. It’s a personal best! 🙂
The above savings include top ups from £120 matched betting profits (from last month), another £25 premium bond win and £70.67 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thank you to all those who joined via my link – much appreciated!).
Shares and Investment Trusts
I continued to top up existing investments.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
This time last year, my Future Fund stood at £142,831. As at 31st December, it stood at £188,605.
The total capital I invested in 2019 was £15,838 yet there’s been an extra increase in my portfolio of £29,935 over the year! Wow – I’m astounded!
I didn’t do anything special to achieve this – all I did was ignore the noise about political uncertainty and continue to top up/buy and hold my investments, reinvesting all dividends received. I also received a good dose of LUCK with the buoyant markets. Although I did switch some of my equity ETFs into bond ETFs (for a bit more balance and stability), this seems to have affected income rather than growth.
My investments effectively made a loss last year, so realistically, this could well happen again in 2020. I can’t expect it to be this good every year!
Dividends and Other Income
Dividends received this month:
A good month of dividends to end the year, with income of £391.27 received. This takes my total income received for the year to £3,873.06. I didn’t quite hit my target but I’m not too disappointed as I hadn’t factored in the change to my investment strategy partway through the year, as mentioned above in the Future Fund section.
So here’s how things look at the end of the year for dividend income:
It’s been great seeing my passive income grow year on year.
However, for clarity, I’m going to make a change to my dividend income reporting as I think I should separate out income in my SIPP and ISA and also from the ETFs and shares/investment trust I hold.
I’ll still maintain the above graph, will justrun a separate one for the ISA income.
Matched Betting (MB)
The weeks running up to Christmas were busy and I didn’t have much time to do a lot of MB but there were a good few profitable days when I returned for the last couple of days of the year.
I ended up making a semi-decent profit of £495.95. This brings the total profit made for the year to £3,946.39, meaning that I totally missed my target of £5k. This amount is also low compared to recent years but considering I’ve spent less time on it and had more accounts restricted, it’s still a decent sum and of course, it’s all tax free.
The matched betting guide I subscribe to is OddsMonkey*, which is great for beginners and experienced matched bettors alike with quality tools to help you make profit. There are step by step guides, a 1 to 1 service and also a friendly forum for you to ask questions and get assistance on any of the offers.
Some people think matched betting is gambling but it isn’t (speaking as a former-though-now-occasional gambler). For me, it’s the ideal ‘side hustle’/hobby to do in my spare time. Anyway, check out the free trial* (no obligation).
Here’s how it all ended:
2 out of 6 is rather rubbish! Still, I prefer to set challenging goals than ones which are easy to achieve.
It’s not as if I didn’t try – I did, although I guess with a bit of tweaking to my life/spending and some better time-management, I could have probably done a bit better.
I don’t expect to hit all of my annual goals but must try harder next year!
Oh, I managed to sneak in the twinning toilet goal on New Year’s Eve – the winner of the photo/cert was long-time regular reader/commenter, Fat Brit Abroad! Certificate should be winging its way shortly.
I didn’t set it as a goal but I pledged (to myself) to donate at least 10% of my MB profits to charity. In the end, I donated over £450 (which includes the £120 toilet twinning) so I’m happy with that.
I didn’t get anywhere near ‘House’ but got one line, with the help of the middle free space!
I think I’ll give the book bingo a rest this year, perhaps pick it up again after a break.
Round Up of 2019
Another good year I think – nothing exceptional happened, although there was that big change in my life with my sis and nephew moving to live with me. That’s worked out quite well so far or rather, I’ve adapted to it with relatively little stress. However, the dynamics might yet change when sis returns to work in the new year.
I did get behind on all the blog stuff but I seem to have settled into a 2 or 3 posts per month routine which currently suits me.
No real highs or lows this year and I’m happy with that. I’ve been aiming for ‘contented normality’, I’m not looking for excitement or drama in my life.
I think my spending in 2019 hasn’t been too bad, so I need to continue with this and maintain my focus.
It is however harder to keep tabs on my spending witih family living with me – there have been more meals out and I do find it hard not to splurge on my nephew! Fortunately, he doesn’t ask for much!
Investments-wise, I’ve continued to split my money between ETFs and investment trusts. With the help of the Freetrade** app, this year, I’ve able to invest even the smallest amounts sitting in my account (fee-free) so my money is deployed and working for me quicker than with other providers.
And that’s pretty much it. Just finalising my post for my goals of 2020 so that will be up soonish.
Hope you all had a great 2019 and that you have a happy, healthy and wealthy 2020!
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