Another month has flown by, our humdrum lives just go on.
I’ve had a more positive outlook this month, with the better weather, brighter days and the prospect of lockdown restrictions being lifted.
Work eased off a little, allowing me to tackle my mountain of boring admin and although I’m still trying to catch up on my blog reading, it’s better than it was before.
A few ‘highlights’ this month:
- Had my COVID jab (AstraZeneca) – felt crap for a few days (shivers and aches) but not so bad that I couldn’t work. Thanks go to the volunteers and the nurses at the local medical centre for making the whole process so smooth and easy.
- Attended the latest Zoom ‘Manchester’ FIRE meet up. This one had a good presentation by an independent financial adviser on ISAs vs SIPPs, so there were some good discussions.
- Started a daily stretching routine – the creaking, popping and cracking sounds emanating from my joints show me that this is long overdue and that I seriously need to keep this up.
- Followed this guy on Twitter and got some lighthearted updates on the (now resolved) ‘traffic jam’ on the Suez Canal :
Some Bad News
My boss revealed that she has handed in her notice at work because she has ‘had enough‘ (her words).
No, she hasn’t reached FIRE in her 30s but she has saved enough during the pandemic (built up her FU fund!) to allow her to take a long break from work.
I can’t say that I’m really surprised as there’s been an unreasonable amount of pressure put on her this past year (her boss left and wasn’t replaced) but I’m pretty devastated all the same at the news, as I have a great relationship (work and non-work) with her and we work well together as a team.
My job will become very tough without her having my back and there’s potential here for it to go from something I like doing, to something I don’t like, way before I’m ready to pull the FIRE plug…
Some Good News
The day after my boss announced her impending departure, I was notified that I was to receive a 6% pay rise.
This came as a surprise because 1) I didn’t ask for it and 2) we’d all been told that there was a cap on salary increases this year. Unlike many in the public sector, I don’t get an automatic annual increase in pay (not even 1%), any increase is subject to the whims of the powers that be and partially based on performance (as discussed in my annual work appraisal). Since the former carries more weight, it’s usually a zero increase.
I guess my performance has been good (I did win Employee of the month in August) but perhaps this is just the company not wanting me upping and leaving too. The extra will come in handy with the bills, with my sister moving out next week.
Anyway, how did I get on money-wise in March?
I saved 50.5% of my net salary – continuing with my decent start to the year.
The above savings includes a top up of £55.05 from 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 holdings.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
Who knows what’s going on with the markets, down one week, up the next.
At the end of the month, my Future Fund jumped up to £227,628, so the rocket is back!
Dividends and Other Income
Another bumper month of dividends:
I received £418.57, of which £283.54 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs.
March isn’t normally this high for income but it looks like some dividends which are usually paid at the beginning of April sneaked in on the last day of the month. This will provbably mean that next month might be lower than normal but it doesn’t really matter over the course of the year. All dividends received were reinvested.
Here’s the graph of all dividend income received; great to see another big spike:
Matched Betting (MB)
A fairly average month I think – March is usually a time to get ‘rich’ on the Cheltenham festival but I wasn’t able to take advantage of the offers due to account restrictions.
I made just £112.38 profit, which is probably as good as it gets after 5 years of doing MB.
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.
The first quarter is in, here’s how I’m doing:
I should complete the Pennine Way virtual walking goal by the end of April so that will be one off the list.
Oh, nearly forgot to mention, I’ve started my planting, so (green) fingers crossed I will have some veggies to show for it (have started with tomatoes, spring onions and spinach):
How did you get on in March?