October 2022 Savings, plus other updates

Had a little flutter on a one-horse race

Another month, another Prime Minister in charge.

Let’s hope he’s in there long enough for Mrs Sunak to be choosing the wallpaper, so things can calm down a bit.

A mostly uneventful month, with quiet weekends spent tidying up round the garden, raking leaves etc. Until last week, where I was out for a work’s leaving do one night, the Manchester FIRE pubmeet the next and then a curry night with family and friends. I’m not used to being out three nights in a row, but thankfully, I was sensible and didn’t overdo it!

After doing so well in the ‘great-company-to-work-for stakes’ by pulling out all stops on the Dubrovnik trip, work is now playing at being not-so-good guy by indirectly trying to ‘persuade’ people to head back to the office again. They have asked that all those who were provided with (rather expensive) office chairs during the pandemic to return them asap.

The question, “But what will I sit on when I’m working from home?” has been met with, “Well you can always come into the office…” – see what they did there?

During lockdown, the lease on a section of the office wasn’t renewed and was blocked off, so the reduced space meant that not everyone could fit it anymore and hybrid-working was the way to go.

However, a large section previously filled by banks of filing cabinets has now been cleared so more hot desks can be squeezed in, meaning that the number of people allowed back in at any one time has increased.

Very annoying as I’m quite happy working from home most days.  I duly returned my chair but not before I picked up my own from a second hand/office refurb place.

My replacement chair is in mint condition and cost 180 (RRP £700). I could have gotten a much cheaper one, but I considered how much more time I would spend sitting on it than on my own sofa, and deemed it was worth investing in something comfortable, ergonomic, with full lumbar support etc. That was a discounted price as me and a colleague bought at the same time and also, with this company, cash is still king.

Anyway, how did I get on with my numbers in October?

I saved 17.3% of my net salary. I’ve been nowhere near my goal of average 25% savings rate and with my living expenses pretty much as low as I can comfortably make them (and they’re only likely to go up over the next year), it looks like the days of decent savings rates for me are well and truly over.  I will keep at it howsoever I can.

The above includes £58.04 from doing Prolific surveys and a £50 premium bond win – yay!

Shares and Investment Trusts

No changes, I just topped up existing investments.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund

‘Rishinomics’ (or is it ‘Huntonomics’?) appears to have calmed the markets down a little but we’re definitely not out of the woods yet. We have to get through this loooong winter of discontent.

My Future Fund ended up at £219,164, now minus 5.6% YTD, so an improvement on last month.

Dividends and Other Income

Thankfully, the dividends continue to roll in.

An average month, with me bagging £294.58, of which £213.11 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs.  All dividends were reinvested.

Here’s the updated graph:

Goals Update

Here’s how things are looking, with just 2 months to go:

It’s quite likely that I will hit my ISA dividend income goal next month!

However, not been so organised this year with my library-borrowing so will struggle with that one now with the time left, although I will see how I get on with finding ebooks I want to read while I’m away.

Not looking so great on some of the other goals but as always, I’ll keep at it.

Anyway, happy Halloween!

And yes, this monthly update is on time for once, but I have family staying later in the week so need to get this out while I can!

14 thoughts on “October 2022 Savings, plus other updates

  1. I do enjoy reading your updates. So refreshing compared to most of the noise out in the social media spaces.
    No Matched Betting income this month ? I gave up after having so many accounts shut down / stake restricted, the odds monkey fee was not worth it.

    • Hey Steve
      Glad you enjoyed the update!
      I did actually do a bit of matched betting but forgot to mention it in my rush to get this post out. It wasn’t anything to shout about, just a very small profit and yes, it’s getting to the point where the fee isn’t worth it.

      • A little sneaky but since I have a new address/driving license ID. I am tempted to see if I can start again with new account offers.

  2. I hear you about working from home. We’ve been asked to come in 3 days a week, despite a survey where the largest cohort (39%) said they’d prefer to work at home 100% of the time. I’m trying to see the bright side that we still have some flexibility at least. It’s a another reminder of why we work for FIRE. Right now, they are my boss and can tell me what to do!

    I hope you enjoy the time with your family – are they visiting from overseas?

    • Hi Mrs ETT

      I’ve been reading more this past week about companies wanting their staff to return to offices so yes, your 3 days a week is at least some compromise/flexibility.

      I had a great time with my family – no, they weren’t visiting from overseas this time, but I don’t see them very often. More details in my next update!

  3. This kind of stuff is a false economy on your company’s part as it simply creates a bad taste in employee’s mouths. All that has to happen is that a few people decide they’ve had enough as a result, and move on – and the recruitment/onboarding costs will wipe out any saving.

    My company has been pretty decent about it all (I’ve been a home worker for a decade), but still somewhat reluctant to encourage more home working and asking people to return to the office part-time.

    • Hi G

      Totally agree, there have been unhappy mutterings. The office itself isn’t a bad place to work in, it’s the commute – driving/public transport isn’t getting any cheaper and added to that, for some, the uncertainty of trains being cancelled/on strike etc.

  4. Try Project Gutenberg for books; there’s a massive selection, and you might be more inclined to read more fiction books if they’re ready on your tablet/e-reader instead of you needing to go to the library to collect them.

    What sort of books do you like?

    • Hi Tina

      Yes, I read a few books from Project Gutenberg years ago but if I recall, they were classics, nothing modern. That said, thanks for the reminder, as I do want to read/re-read some classics, so good to remember where I can get them from!

      I use the library so I can get read new/newish books without having to buy them!

      I enjoy reading sci-fi, fantasy (including young adult), crime/thriller.

  5. Pingback: Month-End: October 22 – Gentleman's Family Finances

  6. I work for a big corporate, and we worked 9 day fortnight’s for 20+ years, only to have that taken away post covid, just when a lot of other companies were implementing them (nice and regressive!) We are supposed to rigidly do 3 days a week in the office, which I do when my boss is in, when he’s not, he doesn’t care where I am. It’s a 50 mile motorway round trip for me, so it’s a much more expensive month when I have to commute. Plus when I WFH I give the company my “commute time”, whereas when I travel in, I leave at a set earlier time to miss the traffic = less productivity.

    Ultimately, I think company flexibility will shape many employees decisions whether to stay longer in employment, or go for an earlier FIRE. Counter productive really.

    I cant believe they are asked for your furniture back!

    Would you remind me what your Future fund is made up of? DB Pension, other pensions, cash and investments?

    • Hi Starla

      That’s a shame you lost a decent perk in that 9 day fortnight.

      I used to do a 24-mile motorway round trip and that was bad enough (although it didn’t seem so at the time as I just did it unthinkingly), never mind a 50-mile one. I get that young or new workers might need to be in the office to learn about the company culture, team interaction etc, but people like us who have been round the block and just get on with our work shouldn’t have to show our faces to show that we are working. My boss is based in Norway and bar one team member in London, all other members of the team are in different countries, different time zones, so when I’m in the office, I’m just showing my face to people in other departments.

      Agree on the productivity, I’m working my commute time and it’s easier for me to stay late when I know I don’t have contend with traffic to get home. I still maintain at least my main core 9-5.30pm hours, as company is quite strict on this for people WFH which is fine.

      The new desks are in and another email has gone out asking for all those who haven’t yet complied to return their chairs…only a matter of time before individuals are approached, I guess…

      On my Future Fund, it only includes the investments in my ISAs, SIPPs, DC pension and cash. It doesn’t include my DB pension.

  7. Thanks for your update weenie. I think with regards to your savings rate, it is what it is really. It’s not worth trying to save more at the detriment of your quality of live, genuinely depriving yourself whilst on the journey is something I am very conscious to avoid myself.

    Interesting about the office chair. We are currently on a three two system where we have to be in the office 3 days a week. I still really like the hybrid setup but would personally be gutted now if had to go back in five days a week. It’s no longer a perk working from home in my field. It’s almost expected.


    • Hi TFJ
      Funny how I never batted an eyelid at decades of working 5 days a week in the office as WFH was definitely a perk enjoyed by a chosen few!

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