Meant to get this update out over the weekend but just couldn’t get round to it.
Some recent highlights:
- Been enjoying a fantastic summer of sport – first the highs (and lows) of the Euros football, then Wimbledon tennis and then, one of the reasons I didn’t get my blogging act together over the weekend was because I’ve been too busy catching up on the Olympics. Love it all, c’mon Team GB! I’ve even been watching some of The Hundred cricket (men and women) – finally, cricket scores I can understand, haha!
- Also been enjoying eating (and having a laugh at – see end of post 🙂 !) some of the veggies I’ve grown – spring onions and courgettes have been flavour of the month. Got some tomatoes on the go too so greenfingers crossed those will be ok seeing as I failed utterly with them last year. Carrots didn’t fare so well this year sadly. But yes, it all seems to taste better when you grow them yourself!
- I’ve been back to the office. As mentioned previously, I can continue to WFH 100% but I’ve chosen to go in (once or twice a week) to see my colleagues/other people. I was very unproductive on the days I was in – seems like I will have to learn to work amid the distractions and noise of an open office again – but it was very nice to see everyone. Interesting to note how ‘back to the office’ has affected different people, ranging from utter joy and relief in some, to (sadly) panic attacks in others. One of my friends is back in the office 5 days a week again – the novelty has worn off already but it’s a new job so she’ll see how it goes.
- Had a couple of social outings with friends – I would love to keep the table service and not have to ever queue at the bar again!
- My nephew’s recent birthday present has given us a new and somewhat topical game to play on our weekly boardgame nights:
- And finally, I have found a house and my offer has been accepted! I won’t say any more right now, but the next few months will be rather busy. I feel both relieved and anxious. I’ve started my big decluttering exercise – 24 bags to the charity shop so far (not all mine, some of them ‘family’ stuff) and it’s barely made a dent… Suffice to say I’ve also just started reading Marie Kondo’s book for some inspiration… (thanks to SavingNinja for the copy).
Anyway, how did I get on with my savings in July?
I saved 13.5% of my net salary. House-purchasing fees (solicitor, conveyancing etc) means I need to put aside a chunk of cash to cover these (and any other expenses) so my savings rate will have to suffer until this is all sorted. There goes my goal out of the window but needs must.
The above includes top ups £37.03 from doing surveys with Prolific.
Shares and Investment Trusts
One new investment, I bought some shares in Aberdeen Diversified Income & Growth Trust, another investment trust as part of the dividend-paying part of my portfolio.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
Apparently the markets were down this month due to share sell offs, but my Future Fund didn’t get the memo and ended up at £244,342, so continuing in the right direction.
However, I now know that I will definitely have to use some of these funds for the house purchase so there will be a chunk taken out, which will sadly mess up my nice graph and likely have impact on my FIRE plan, just when I’m so close to my next big milestone.
Dividends and Other Income
A decent month for dividends:
I received £363.22, of which £132.48 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs. All dividends received were reinvested.
Here’s the graph of all dividend income received so far:
Another nice recovery from last year’s pandemic/lockdown dividend cuts.
Matched Betting (MB)
With the house purchase thing going on, I struggled to find the time to do any matched betting. Managed to squeeze in some each way bets and made a tiny £28.33 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.
Into the second part of the year and here’s how things look:
Life as we know it
With the return to the office and social outings with friends, it feels like things are returning to how they were before but not quite – I still have no idea when I’ll be able to travel to see my family so I guess until I can do that, things aren’t anywhere near normal for me.
Plus the next few months of ‘house shenanigans’ aren’t going to be ‘normal’ so I just need to make sure I keep on top of everything.
Anyway, I’ll end this post by showing what had me chuckling in my garden 😀
How was your July?