May 2021 Savings, plus other updates

A big influx of work has kept me really busy, and as the company I work for pivots and stretches to try to claw back business lost through 2020, deals are ever more complex and I’ve found myself working late just to get through my workload. The only evenings I’ve been finishing on time have been my gym nights – sacrificing those will affect my sanity for real.

As mentioned in previous posts, my boss has pretty much got one foot out of the door and while she continues to help when I ask for it, her mind’s not fully focused, she is obviously not as engaged as she was previously and I understand her reluctance to get involved in new (and what look to be protracted and drawn out) issues. Not her problem any more.

When sis and nephew were still living with me, it was rare for me to work long hours because we couldn’t eat too late in the evening as nephew had school. Back on my own again, I’ve slipped into bad habits which I must stop.

Anyway, I escalated my workload issue and the good news is that I will get some  support, which will take some pressure off me. I’ve also booked some days off to clear my head (and do house stuff) and it looks like I’ve picked the right time –  even Manchester is enjoying a little mini-heatwave!

A few ‘highlights’ this month:

  • I’m now ‘fully’ inoculated – had my second AZ vaccine, no side effects this time, just a sore arm for a couple of days.
  • The Fitbit my friends bought me two years ago stopped working. However, after a lengthy discussion with Fitbit Customer Services, they told me I was eligible for a free replacement (worth around £150), which arrived a week later! Very pleased with that, as I was only asking for help, not a freebie!
  • Had my first ‘harvest’ from the veggies I’m growing – this is a kind of Japanese spinach, which was so easy to grow from seed, even for me!

  • Work have announced they are reopening the office doors ‘officially’ on 21st June, subject to government announcements. Flexi-working will be introduced, with various departments scheduled to go into the office on a certain number of days (no more than 3). However, I’ve been told that if I want to, I can continue to WFH 100% – I guess they can squeeze more hours from me that way! Suits me, but I think I will go in once or twice a week to be sociable and so I can catch up with friends.
  • I had my first ‘non-family’ hug (from a friend) in a long time. It was rather marvellous.

Anyway, how did I get on with my savings in May?

I saved 50.5% of my net salary. Despite things opening up, I haven’t been anywhere and my social life has yet to be resurrected, but I’m ok with that. Increased payments into premium bonds because as mentioned, it’s looking likely that I will have to dip into my Future Fund for my property purchase, so I need to build up cash reserves.

The above includes top ups from a £25 premium bond win (yay!) and £46.37 from doing surveys with Prolific.

Shares and Investment Trusts

No new investments, I just topped up existing holdings.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

The markets were all over the place but settled down towards the end of the month.

At the end of May, my Future Fund was at £236,836, so staying steady on course.

Dividends and Other Income

A bumper month for dividends – nearly too many to list:

I received £584.64, of which £445.87 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs. I think this pretty much matches my previous record for the highest dividend income received in a month (July 2019 from the graph), so perhaps this is the year I finally breach £600 in a month.  All dividends received were reinvested.

Here’s the graph of all dividend income received so far:

Matched Betting (MB)

With my head being fogged up with ‘stuff’, I found it hard to concentrate and lacked the motivation to do anything. In the end, I just did the bare minimum to keep my accounts ticking over (and to cover my MB subscription), so made a paltry £21.60 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.

Goals Update

Five months in and here’s how I’m doing:

Looking clear already that the MB goal will be unachievable but I’ll keep plugging away at it. I’m on track for the ISA dividend income and charity giving goals.

Hope you all enjoyed the bank holiday weekend!

[*referral/affiliate link]

9 thoughts on “May 2021 Savings, plus other updates

  1. I like the look of that Japanese spinach; is that Komatsuna? Do you find it fairly resistant to bolting (putting out flowers early and then getting leggy and bitter)? I’d love to get an alternative to normal spinach which is very prone to bolting – I’ve tried Swiss chard, but it’s just not the same.

  2. Loving the spinach shots! Definitely looking forward to a post of all the vegetables your growing.

    Most importantly though, is did they taste better than the shops version?

    Hope work, works itself out regarding boss leaving etc and the house sale isn’t causing too much stress!

  3. Hi,
    Happy to see you have had your covid jab, while I had no side affects I was annoyed at the chaos getting the second inoculation (two hour long queues, no one in the correct one, staff telling person in wheel chair she would have to make her own way ,crawl, up to the first floor….).
    Anyway euros are coming so you could make a little matchbetting.
    I finished work after 38 years and 284 days with the same company !
    Strange final 12 weeks and not sure how I actually feel about leaving.
    Next week I head north from London to sightsee along Hadrian’s wall, I have learnt a lot about the wall and the night watch from the TV documentary Game of Thrones.

    • Hi Gary

      I think it was a bit better organised where I was for my second vaccination – it was as smooth as the first, only no queues this time, although I did go first thing in the morning.

      Yes, I hope I will have some time for MB on the euros so will be looking out for those offers.

      Congratulations on completing such a long career – 38 years is awesome and I expect mostly enjoyable. All the best with your life after the ‘9-5’ and hope you enjoy your trip.

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