October 2020 Savings, plus other updates

So, after months of effectively living under Tier 2 rules (before the government had thought of the name ‘Tiers’), I’ve been living under Tier 3 (Very High) rules this month, a pre-cursor to the national lockdown we’ll all be facing soon.

Tiers for Fears

No significant change really in how I’ve been living my life since July but I’m just glad that I was able to continue going to the gym (I can squeeze in a couple more sessions before they’re forced to close their doors on Thursday).

I’ve finally shifted my ‘lockdown pounds’ and am back up to strength, using my previous weights for training. My gym sessions have definitely helped to keep me sane during these ‘interesting’ times – I’ll somehow have to muddle through this month of lockdown – might see what home exercise kit I can pick up.

Anyway, highlights this month for me included:

    • Venturing into Manchester City Centre for the first time since March. It was like a ghost town but when I returned the following week during half-term holidays, there were more people about so it felt a bit more normal. Both trips were necessary (to order and pick up glasses).
    • Eating out in a restaurant. Twice!
    • My niece coming up to stay during half-term holidays – teenagers don’t appear to need much apart from wifi, food and a friendly ear to listen to them witter on (endlessly) about their interests/school/teenagey stuff.
    • Succumbing to Amazon Prime Day and buying a new wok (needed) and a food chopper (not really needed but already used).
    • Attending the (online) Manchester FIRE meet up – sign up here if you’re interested in future FIRE meet ups (next one is Thurs 26th Nov).
    • Attending two (online) Investing meet ups, which would have taken place in Liverpool and Leeds respectively during normal times – sign up here if you’re interested in future investing meet ups.
    • Winning a £150 Amazon voucher on the online Bingo and quiz session run by work!

Since I mention highlights, I must also mention the not-so-good things which happened this month (lowlights?!):

    • A visit to the dentist which left me £770 out of pocket (replacement crown and replacement filling). The whole social-distancing experience made me feel like I was in a sci-fi movie, with my dentist the futuristic scientist performing experiments on me!
    • My friend was tested positive for COVID-19; it wiped her out for a week but she recovered the following week at home.
    • Discovering my property did not meet fire safety regulations, as detailed in my previous post.

And on those drab notes, how did I get on with my savings in October?

I saved 44.2% of my net salary – I used some emergency funds to cover part of my dental bill so took a bit of a hit on the savings rate. Still a decent number by all accounts but not helping me get towards my revised goal.

The above savings includes top ups from another £50 premium bonds win and £40 Matched Betting profits (from last month).

Shares and Investment Trusts

Although I used some bits of dividend income to make very small purchases of a few random shares, I made no significant new investments, mainly topped up existing investments.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

The stock markets have continued to be all over the place, resulting in no real change for my Future Fund which stands at £199,109 – I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I hit that £200k milestone again – so close I can smell it! 🙂

Dividends and Other Income

Another fairly average month for dividends:

I received £289.54, of which £56.16 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs. All dividends were reinvested.

Here’s how my graph is looking now…

Not sure I’ll get enough over the next two months to hit my target – oh well, who was to know that so many companies would resort to reducing or cutting their dividends in such a way when I originally set my goal back in January?

Matched Betting (MB)

I did set aside a bit more time for MB this month but pickings were slim and I was unlucky not to make more.

In the end, I made just £140 profit, which for this year isn’t so bad.

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.

Goals Update

With just 2 months of this annus horribilis left, here’s how the goals look:

I made the effort to read a lot more this month, so making more headway with those goals.

The savings rate goal looks like a stretch too far now but we’ll see.

Cube Update

I’ve made good progress on doing the 4×4 Rubik’s Revenge or the Master Cube but am struggling with the final stages – can’t quite get my brain to remember the last few algorithms or to recognise when to use them:

I need to memorise the top (15-step) sequence before I move onto the final steps!

I will get there eventually so will keep at it.


Oh, I forgot to mention in the above highlights that I got my first ‘beer’ (thanks to The Frugulist🙂 )

All ‘beer proceeds’ go to charity so in this case, I used the money to take part in Manchester WI’s Virtual Duck Race in aid of Marcus Rashford’s #EndChildFoodPoverty


[*referral/affiliate link]

16 thoughts on “October 2020 Savings, plus other updates

  1. Ouch! Not the first time you’ve been stung by the dentist – I had a similar problem (and bill) a few months ago, so can empathise with your plight.

    My fund took a hit this last week – lots of red abounds! Up overall a little but only due to the cash that I put in it – you appear to have broken even. Still, a chance to top up with some cheaper stock for you (last week, or this month if it persists – I fear this could be a bad month).

    Hope the 4-week (or more) lockdown treats you well.

    • Hi NewInvestor

      I think the break even is due to cash that I’ve put in so things – will continue to pick up cheaper stock as you say and hope there will be a turnaround soon.

      Who knows what the markets will do next!?

      Thanks and you too!

      • Who knows what the markets will do next!?

        Go up.
        All of my holdings are back into positive territory. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that the unclear US election has yet to have a negative effect. I know nothing. 🙂

        • Same here – I checked my porfolio today and I’m well above £200k so perhaps I should have delayed my update haha!
          But let’s see if this is still the case when I do November’s numbers!
          I too know nothing 🙂

  2. That’s an expensive dentist visit! Worth it though, I’m sure!!
    I suspect it won’t be long before you hit 200k again, is the next short term goal a quarter of a million?

    • Hi AO

      Still got the dental implant to sort out early next year and that will wipe out a big chunk from my emergency funds but at least I know it’s going to happen.

      Yes, once I finally get to the £200k, next milestone will be a quarter of a million!

    • I like how ad otium considers a £50k increase to be a short-term goal. Suppose it depends on your timescales. 🙂

  3. Even I can smell the £200k! It’s a bit irritating when you hit a milestone and don’t seem to get through it properly. It took me a year to distance from 100k properly.

    I never went back to the gym, although I miss proper training a lot, I train at home and go running often, but I am losing muscular shape and feel less strong.

    All the best during these ”interesting” times weenie. Stay safe.

    • Hi Tony

      I’ve ordered some weights to use at home – sadly, not a barbell but a couple of dumbbells which will help keep up my strength training.

      All the best to you too, during these interesting times!

  4. Lovely report as ever. I gave up on MB as so many bookies gubbed me and I am very nervous about trying the casino / EV stuff.

    I suspect that if you put up a JustGiving ( or similar ) page when your cladding liability is known you may get a bit of help from the community in appreciation of your excellent blogging.


    • Thanks Stephen.

      Yes, I’m gubbed by many bookies but still got the odd one to eke out some profits still. Not gotten round to the casino stuff either, not sure if it’s something I’d ever do.

      I think the JustGiving/GoFundMe type pages should be reserved for people whose lives will be devastated by the cladding liability – my plans will be messed up but I will be ok in the end – at worst, I’ll just have to work for a few more years.

  5. Good job on the books front!
    I went to.our local library for the first time in months this week and picked up a few.
    So far I have only listened to a very interesting audiobook entitled “the wheels on the bus”, aimed at a younger audience perhaps but I am not sure it counts towards my annual literary quota

  6. Hey Weenie,

    I’ve found the good thing with Matched Betting is that it’s easy enough to dip in and out off, sometimes I go several days without doing any, other times I’m right on it. £140 is still a helpful amount and worth having 🙂

    Good to read in your comment replies that you’ve passed the £200k mark again.

    I miss the gym since it has closed. You did well to get some dumbbells, a local guy I know who trades in used gym equipment said his phone has been going mental with people trying to get hold of stuff due to lockdown.

    Keep up the good work!

  7. Hey weenie. Good progress on the rubiks cube. I imagine you are now well back above £200k with the recent gains :D. That’s a very expensive dentist visit ouch. All the best. TFJ

    • Cheers Chris and yes, I should be reporting that I have hit my milestone in my month end update!
      I know, but sadly more expensive dentist treatments in the new year!

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