August 2023 Savings, plus other updates

Apologies to readers who tried to visit the blog over the last couple of weeks and got:


My blog was ‘attacked’ and the attacks pushed me up to the maximum CPU seconds quota I’m allowed on my website hosting plan. Once the quota is reached, the website is made unavailable until the following month.

Such an attack on my blog has happened before, only on that occasion, I was able to block the IP/country where the attacks were coming from, so I didn’t end up hitting the CPU limit. Unfortunately, this time, I was on holiday when I was getting numerous messages like “The Web Application Firewall has blocked 101 attacks over the last 10 minutes.”

I had just enough of my CPU quota left to post my belated July update and then that was it for the month.

Have to admit that over the years, I’ve neglected the back-end stuff of my blog, so I guess I should read up/work on whether there’s anything I can do to try to prevent such attacks in the future. Still, apart from the blog being made unavailable for a period of time, at least the firewall did its job and all seems ok.

Anyway, August was a mixed bag of a month – a great holiday followed by post holiday blues/jetlag, celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday with a cocktail-making session and then catching COVID, which, whilst symptoms weren’t as bad as last time, still had me below par for a week. At least no lingering cough this time.

So how did I get on with my numbers?

I saved 14.1% of my net salary.  The above includes £49.72 from doing Prolific surveys and £10 from a charity lotto win.

Shares and Investment Trusts

I just topped up existing investments.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

Hmmm, not great to see the dreaded ‘submarine of doom’ on the graph after last month’s rocket! However, it could have been worse, the markets were looking really rubbish mid-month but fortunately, things stabilised somewhat and my Future Fund ended the month just slightly down at £232,947. 

That sideways movement is not a great motivator, but I will just keep on keeping on, as they say.

Dividends and Other Income

A good month for dividends.

I received £565.68, of which £450.22 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs.

All dividends were reinvested.

Here’s what the graph looks like:

Looks like a big year-on-year drop but some dividends due at the end of Aug will roll over into September.

Matched Betting (MB)

I managed to squeeze a bit of time on a couple of offers and made £23.53 this month.

Goals Update

No real progress but I think I should still be on track for the dividend goal.

Am somewhat behind on my reading so I need to crack on with some books.

A bit on my holiday

I had a lovely holiday, which included:

  • lots of family dinners
  • some pottery painting/glazing
  • foot and back massage – not as relaxing as it sounds, as was more akin to reflexology and a sports massage but boy, were those knots kneaded out!
  • hiring a boat out to a remote beach so had a dip in the sea
  • ten-pin bowling – I was in good form as I scored 121 and 143!
  • lazy days watching Apple TV; there were a couple of days when it was just too hot and humid (even for me!) so I just chilled/relaxed indoors!
  • buying a new mobile phone – a planned purchase

This wasn’t a cheap holiday – I of course paid my share of the family dinners (have an outstanding IOU with my Sis for one particularly expensive meal out) and still wince at the peak price I paid for the plane ticket.

The phone was to replace my current 4-year old one, which needed upgrading after I received notification that my main banking app would soon no longer be supported for that Android version (8). I researched mid-range phones and was able to get my chosen handset (Samsung Galaxy A54) for £170 cheaper than I could get in the UK, which should last me at least another 4-5 years. I very nearly bought one of those new fancy flip phones (still remember how I loved my original Motorola Razr flip phone) but even with savings in excess of around £300, I couldn’t justify the expense.

This is my first non-Blackberry smart phone and I’m still kind of overwhelmed and dazzled by the big screen, the speed, the…everything! I miss my clunky old BB, with its little screen and button keyboard so have kept a few apps on there.

A few summer purchases for the garden (taking advantage of Wilko’s closing down sale) and then hopefully, that’s the last of the spending until Christmas (bar some necessary/unavoidable expenses).

Was a bit more successful with my ‘crops’ this year – came back from my hols to these:

However, my veggies are a little mundane compared to the pineapples my Mum has been cultivating on her balcony!

And that’s it.

Hope you all had a good August!

14 thoughts on “August 2023 Savings, plus other updates

  1. You are the second person i have read who got Covid in August.My sympathy..The other was the financial astrologer Merriman who was on holiday in Europe.He is predicting bleak times for stockmarkets but if he could not foresee himself getting Covid on holiday then…….Lots of other ‘respected voices’ are predicting a stockmarket crash before xmas.If they are right then anyone with a bankroll should be able to pick up bargains in 2024.

    • Thanks Simon. Yes, I too have been reading more and more that there’s going to be a stockmarket crash before year end – a shame I don’t have a bankroll to pick up bargains but I’ll be continuing to invest!

  2. Seems there is a lot of Covid going around again at the moment although with no mandatory testing it could be a lot worse than we know!

    Sounds like a cracking holiday. I don’t think I’ve ever scored more than 120 when going bowling – respect! 🙂

    • Cheers TFS and I think you could be right – some colleagues weren’t well with ‘flu’ when they came back from holiday but they didn’t test so couldn’t confirm it was Covid (it probably was). I used to bowl regularly but these days, not so much so chuffed with those scores!

  3. Sorry to hear about your attack. Consider this poor chap though:

    You probably have noticed that the blog has been broken for weeks. The previous hosting service ran out of disk space and deleted tens of thousands of image files without my permission. They also failed to keep a backup of the site before deleting the images. Then they shut the blog down completely and sent me this message :

    “(you are) very illustrative of why the country so hates right-wing influencers who can’t see beyond their own grift and selfish hypocrisy”

  4. Motorola Razr!
    I too had one of those! Haha those were the days! good times 🙂

    I also had a little run-in with Mr. covid last month. Seems it’s the new norm now.

    Impressive crop harvest you had there! That’ll feed you for at least a few days, eh? :-p

  5. Glad you had a great holiday weenie. That’s interesting that you are upgrading from a blackberry, I can imagine it does indeed feel very different! Also it sounds like a game of FI community bowling is in order haha.


  6. Tomorrows Spectator magazine has an excellent article by Cindy Yu on the Hong Kong community in the UK.It is already available on The Spectator online

    • Interesting article – thanks, Simon.

      “‘Most often they ask me for gardening advice,’”, which sounds true as 99% of these immigrants would have never lived in houses before, only in high rise flats.

      In the new estate where my sister lives, many houses have been bought by HongKongers (many of whom are cash rich from selling their homes back in HK) and their gardens are all paved over (front and back) as they haven’t realised that there can be joy in tending to a garden (if you know how!)

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