September was a month of mixed emotions – sadness and joy.
I felt sadness over the death of her Majesty – I’ve always had a fondness for the Queen and needless to say, it brought back the raw grief of losing my dear old Gran last year.
I mentioned in my March update that I was among several employees who picked up an award for ‘exceptional services’ in 2021 and that my ‘prize’ was a trip to ‘somewhere in Europe’. More on this later.
Anyway, how did I get on with my numbers in September?
I saved 13.9% of my net salary – birthdays and social outings this month meant that I was not able to save as much. The above includes £80.13 from doing Prolific surveys, a £10 lotto win and £55.52 affiliate income from OddsMonkey. It will be interesting to see how things will look over the next few months as higher costs of living really start to bite.
Shares and Investment Trusts
No changes, I just topped up existing investments.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
A ‘mini’ budget was announced by the Government and everything went pear-shaped.
Quel horreur! By month-end, my Future Fund had plummeted to £213,243, now minus 8.2% YTD!
Nothing I can do really except to keep on keeping on – I didn’t sell anything and continued to invest as normal.
Dividends and Other Income
Dividend income was like a little beacon of light shining upon these gloomy times!
A good month, with me reaping £632.42, of which £341.47 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs. All dividends were reinvested.
Here’s the updated graph:
Here’s how things are looking, with just 3 months to go:
Not looking so great on these goals, might be able to hit two, maybe three more but we’ll see.
“I Drink, and I Know Things”
So, where in Europe did I end up for my prize?
The end of September saw me spending 3 nights in the beautiful city of Dubrovnik, in Croatia. It was my first time there and I’ve decided it definitely won’t be my last.
No expenses were spared by work – we stayed in a lovely 4 star hotel and were chauffeured everywhere. Our activities included taking a boat out to a little island to have lunch at Bowa Restaurant, which David Beckham and his family dined in just a couple of months ago; had lunch at Proto Fish, a restaurant which could name ‘famous’ guests such as Bono, Don King and err Rod Stewart! Our last night had us sampling the fresh sea delights at Posat.
I love seafood so was in my element but there were other great choices of food as there weren’t any complaints from the non-fish eaters or the vegetarians in our party. Note that when I eventually return to Dubrovnik, I won’t be dining in such posh places, I’ll be looking for the places more within my budget!
We went on a fascinating and funny guided tour with this guy, which covered the country’s history and also various ‘Game of Thrones‘ locations – the sights and views were just breathtaking. There were a lot of steps on the tour so a warning for those with dodgy knees!
There were 16 of us on this trip, including the CEO and her plus-one. The relatively small number of people gave me the chance to chat to everyone. I realised that I barely knew some of my co-workers with whom I’ve worked on a daily basis for years – just never really had the time to stop to chat properly so it was good to get to know more about them.
All in all, it was an amazing and unforgettable trip – certainly exceeded my expectations, as I wasn’t sure how I would like to be on a sunny holiday with colleagues (and strangers), never mind members of the C-Suite!
Looks like I need to make the effort to try to over-achieve again at work so I can bag myself another award!
And for my Next Trip…
The trip to Dubrovnik was my first outside the UK in a long while so for once, I didn’t mind the queues at airport security etc as it was all a novelty for me again!
Anyway, I’ve finally booked my flight to Hong Kong to see my folks for the first time since July 2019 [edit, got year wrong!]. I’ll be heading out in December – it’s been far too long and I can’t wait to see them. I’ll also be able to finally pay my respects to my Gran’s ashes.