Into month 4 of lockdown and if I’m honest, I’m not in a hurry for things to change (apart from a much-needed haircut!).
No plans to venture into any pubs on ‘Super Saturday‘ – I’ll make do with socialising online a while longer.
This month, it was my birthday and I celebrated by going for a nice walk in the woods, a boozy Zoom night in with friends and my sis cooked me a steak dinner.
We’ve had some lovely hot days, which would have been more enjoyable had I not been working. I’ve got a ton of holidays left so I’d better start using them up.
As well as the hot days, we had the typical rainy ones too and I spent such time engrossed with The Great British Sewing Bee, which I think I enjoyed more than the better known The Great British Bake Off, probably because I’m a better seamstress than I am a baker!
There was an online Manchester FIRE meet up, which was fun and interesting. Although I really enjoyed the meet ups we had in the pub, these online ones meant that people from afar could dial in, including various people from London and even one lady from Uruguay!
The next meet up is Friday 21st August – sign up to Meet Up for the details (time and Zoom link).
I’m trying my not-very-green-fingered hand at growing vegetables and whilst I’m nowhere near the level of expertise as Jase of FIRE Lifestyle, I hope I’ll be able to share some photos of the fruits of my labours at some point! The veggies I’m trying to grow are green beans, carrots, potatoes and cherry tomatoes.
At work, our office has reopened and those who want to go back in have done so and although it looks like they’ve made the place appear safe, I’m in no rush to return. At some point, I do want to go in to retrieve some things from my locker and I guess it would be nice to see some of my colleagues.
Anyway, how did I get on with my numbers?
I was able to save 66.8% of my net salary! I received a credit card refund for my Wimbledon tennis tickets, so an extra £180 got chucked into my ISA.
The above savings includes top ups from yet another £25 premium bond win, £10 lotto winnings (from charity lottery) and £68.91 affiliate income from OddsMonkey* (thank you to all who signed up via my links!).
Shares and Investment Trusts
No new investments, I just topped up existing investments.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
The stock market continues to do its own thing without a care for what’s happening in the world.
My Future Fund stands at £192,197, which means it’s finally higher than what it was at the start of the year, so all losses have been recouped (not counting capital deployed in the last few months).
Heading back in the right direction but really, who knows for certain?
Dividends and Other Income
What dividends did I receive?
I received £347.54 in total, of which £154.95 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs.
Seemingly a good year-on-year increase but some dividends paid last July were paid early. Not good news really as July is historically my highest month of dividend income so there’s going to be a sharp fall next month.
Here’s what the main graph looks like:
Matched Betting (MB)
It’s business as usual with the matched betting and a return to decent(ish) profits.
One added bonus of working from home is there’s no fear of my boss peering over my shoulder and I’m no longer limited to just placing bets on my phone!
I made £377 profit (from football and horse racing) – taking things nice and steady, not rushing or being greedy with offers, but still managing to double my total profits for the year! Ok, not difficult when I didn’t do any MB in March and April!
As mentioned previously, the MB guide I subscribe to is OddsMonkey*, which is great for beginners and experienced matched bettors alike. There are step by step guides and also a friendly forum for you to ask questions and get help on any of the offers.
As per Kid Cocoa’s comment against my last update, lockdown has meant that my savings rate has been a lot higher than normal. No social life = more money to invest.
It seems pointless to be smashing my goal month on month so I’m going to increase my average savings rate goal to 60%.
Although unlikely, there’s still a remote possibility that I will be able to make a trip overseas at some point, so I need to be mindful of those expenses which would affect my savings rate. Big birthdays coming up next month might put a dent too on what I can invest, so the new goal is still a challenging one to aim for.
Here’s how the goals look at the halfway stage:
Think I’m going to struggle with the ISA dividend income goal, with cuts made to payouts. Didn’t see the point in reducing the goal however, nor the MB one, although the latter one will be impossible to achieve.
The terrible and needlesss death of George Floyd by police in the US and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests prompted me to try to educate myself (more) about racism.
Cashflow Cop wrote an interesting piece from the viewpoint of a serving policeman in the UK and has provided some good links to check out in his post. indeedably wrote an interesting post touching upon the subject too.
Being a second generation immigrant, I’ve experienced the odd unpleasantness of racism, but not so much that I have to deal with it on a regular basis.
Despite me and my siblings being the only non-whites in high school, living in a working class town where there was only one other non-white family, we grew up very much unscathed and unscarred by racism.
In fact, I had to contend with initial racism from my own parents (not telling them I had a white boyfriend…) but they got over it.
I don’t believe that my not being white has hindered my life or career in any way, not as far as I’m aware of anyway.
Most of my encounters in the past have been due to ignorance (as opposed to maliciousness), so I strongly believe that education is key to tackling racism in society.
Perhaps because of my own experience, I admit that I have been largely ignorant myself (and perhaps a little dismissive) of the racism that others might endure, hence trying to educate myself more about it.
I sought out charities which try to teach people and have made a donation to Show Racism the Red Card, a charity which provides educational workshops and training sessions, including presentations in schools. I will add this charity to the list of ones I regularly donate to.
Thirty Years of Hurt
I’ll finish off with a mention of my team’s momentous and long-awaited Premier League win.
Yes, I cried tears of joy!
Hope you all had a great June!