Another blur of a month.
Work has kept me really busy, though fortunately not in a mind-numbing way – perhaps that’s due to the brighter days, although temperatures are still on the chilly side and I haven’t put any of my winter clothes away yet!
My boss has started to switch off and I can’t say I blame her – her head’s full of making travelling plans! Two more months before she goes – I already miss her.
Anyway, a few ‘highlights’ this month:
- The gym reopened! I’ve been enjoying re-establishing my weekly routines and already feel much better physically and mentally. I have noticed this past week however that although the women at the gym are still strictly following the cleaning and wiping down of equipment after use, many of the men have slipped back to old habits of sweating over the stuff and just leaving it for the next person to clean. Shame not all the equipment I need to use is in the ladies-only section.
- Attended another Zoom ‘Manchester’ FIRE meet up. This one had an excellent presentation by someone who achieved FIRE from BTLs (Buy To Lets) so it was interesting to hear about his journey and how he’s succeeded. Also attended a great ‘Leeds’ investing meet up, which had some fascinating discussions.
- To celebrate Earth Day, work gave us the afternoon off and we did several hours of litter-picking in the city centre. It was exciting to meet up with colleagues again and it was a lovely day out. I’m glad to say that there wasn’t actually as much litter as I thought there would be but was astonished and dismayed at the gazillions of discarded cigarette butts. Now that I’ve noticed these on the ground, I can’t unsee them – they are everywhere and it really annoys me.
- Watched some great stuff on TV, including the brilliant ‘Line of Duty‘ (no I didn’t guess correctly!) and Amazon Prime’s ‘Invincible‘ – violent animation at its best!
- My local library has announced that it will be reopening imminently and I can’t wait. I’ve been borrowing e-books but it’s not the same. I’m far more excited about this than of the pubs opening their doors. Getting old or just getting more introverted?
Sis and nephew have settled into their new home but haven’t really moved everything out yet as there are still some cupboards/shelves they are waiting to be delivered. We’ve continued with our family board game night so I still see them on a weekly basis which is nice.
I still haven’t been out for that first pint yet – I think I would rather wait and let those who need to go right now release all that pent-up
desperation enthusiasm out of the way, so things will be a bit more normal and calm in a month or so’s time.
Right now, I just feel that other people will, I don’t know, just irritate me. Lockdown syndrome or just enjoying being miserable? I don’t know…
Anyway, how did I get on with my savings in April?
I saved 48% of my net salary. I could have probably saved a bit more, but decided to put some money aside ready for when I might want to spend some, a couple of new outfits for the summer maybe, eating out, etc. Maybe even holidays? One can only hope.
Shares and Investment Trusts
No new investments, I just topped up existing holdings.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
Financial news seemed to be dominated with the shenanigans of cryptocurrency (which I’m not invested in) and I was momentarily distracted by the Prime Minister’s wallpaper bill (and choice), so I wasn’t keeping tabs on what the stock markets were doing, hence this was a pleasant surprise.
At the end of the month, my Future Fund had jumped up to £234,689, so the rocket continues its journey!
Dividends and Other Income
A decent month for dividends:
I received £323.48, of which £132.10 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs.
Dividends paid early in March meant April wasn’t so fruitful, which spoils my graph a little but as I’ve mentioned previously, 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:
It was a sad occasion this month as my last main betting account – the oldest one which I’ve had for nearly 15 years, from back when I was a normal ‘gambler’ – got restricted. It was only a matter of time before they caught up with me, after five years of MB, I can only be so careful not to look like a matched bettor, but they get you in the end when they see you taking too much value (and making too many profits!) from them.
MB will be even harder now to eke out the profits but while I’ve got the time and inclination and I can still make something, I’ll continue to give it a go.
This month, I made just £80.97 profit.
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.
This month, I signed up to Prolific as I’ve seen various bloggers mention that they were pretty good for both surveys and for paying out. The threshold is £5 and it took me just a few days to get that so it’s looking promising (or beginner’s luck). Any income I get from this will be logged in future.
Four months in and here’s how I’m doing:
One goal down!
I completed the Pennine Way virtual walking goal, got the t-shirt and the ‘medal’. Work have got a walking challenge for May so I think I’ll continue to make sure I move about more. My gym sessions don’t actually add a lot of steps to my Fitbit as most of my sessions consist of mostly static weight training, rather than the treadmill.
It’s looking like another year where my MB profits goal is pretty much unrealistic and unreachable but still, most of the year to go, so let’s see how I get on.
Passive income (from the dividends) is really the way to go right now!
How did you get on in April?