Changes Afoot

So I mentioned in my goals post that one reason why I wanted to keep my goals simple and familiar was because my life (as I know it) was going to be turned ‘upside down’.

Not in a bad way, I was being a little melodramatic there but certainly, there will be a big change happening later in the year.

So what’s the big change? Continue reading

2019 Goals

Before I go into my goals, I will mention that I intend to continue to throw my cash into investments in the face of probable continued turbulent markets, uncertainty due to Brexit and whatever else happens around the world which might cause share prices to go down (or up).

I don’t intend to hoard cash because I don’t know how to time the markets and wouldn’t want the anxiety of trying to decide when to invest so I’m just going to continue investing monthly regardless. Keep calm and carry on and all that.

I need to ensure that my emergency cash funds are topped up (having dipped into them recently to fund some holiday excesses)  – my aim is for them to cover 3 x monthly expenses for now.

Anyway, back to the main topic…Goals!

As with recent years, I find that setting only a few goals works well for me, allowing me to focus, with little room for distraction so I’m going to do something similar exactly the same for 2019.

Not every exciting, I know and perhaps not really stretching either but there’s another reason why I want to keep things simple and familiar, which I will go into later.

So without further ado, here they are:

Continue reading

December 2018 Savings, plus Round Up

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and enjoyed the celebrations last night to see in the new year, whether you were out in a noisy pub/bar or at home watching ‘Jools’ Annual Hootenanny’ – I was doing neither, as I was already tucked up in bed suffering from jet lag well before Big Ben’s chimes rang! I could have dragged myself out to meet up with friends but FOMO can’t compete with sleep these days!

Anyway, I had a great break in Hong Kong, spent a lot of quality time with family, ate too much, though surprisingly drank very little.

So, how did I do in the last month of the year?

I saved 38.4% – surprisingly higher than expected but I put some of my Christmas shopping on my credit card so that will appear on next month’s bill.

My average for the year ended up at 43.2%. Although I didn’t achieve my goal (again) to hit that elusive 50%, I’m quite satisfied with this average.

The above savings include top ups from £155 matched betting profits (from last month), £42.61 from TopCashback* and £66.32 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thank you to all those who joined via my link – much appreciated!). I also withdrew £1k from my Smarkets exchange account which was chucked into my SIPP.

Shares and Investment Trusts

I made an investment in JPMorgan Asian Investment Trust – don’t have a lot in this region so thought I’d diversify a bit.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

I think this is the rockiest year of investing that I’ve encountered so far – no Santa Rally this time.

My Future Fund ends the year at £142,831, which was around what it was back in April 2018 – one step forwards, three steps back it seems! Hitting my £150k milestone back in September seems like a dream now but I look forward to hitting it again in 2019!

Dividends and Other Income

Dividends received this month: Continue reading

Very Muscular and other Things

Just thought I’d take this opportunity to share a few brief updates before I sign off for the year.

I’ve finally shifted my excess poundage and have reached my notional ‘desired’ weight. It’s taken a couple of months and whilst I can’t say that Huel was the sole reason for the success, incorporating the ‘liquid food’ into my diet has certainly helped.

Not just in terms of calories but focusing on portion control of my meals and upping my weight training. I’ve also incorporated strength exercises which have really helped with my on-off shoulder problems.

At the gym, I decided to try out the newly reinstalled Boditrax machine, a machine which measures your weight but also (via a small electric signal through your body) measures your body composition.

Physique

So according to my body measurements, I’ve got a very muscular physique! Haha, I nearly fell off the machine with laughter because the description just conjures up an image of a bodybuilder, which I most definitely am not!

The category has been calculated using data for my age and gender and based on my muscle score (which is apparently higher than normal) and fat percentage (lower than normal).

My metabolic age is 15 years younger than my actual age, which I’m really happy with – oh if only that were my actual age! 🙂

At least this gives me an indication that I’m doing alright in terms of my training and diet, although I still feel that there’s always room for improvement.

Toilet Twinned

Here’s the framed certificate confirming the twinning of my toilet, to a school block toilet in Afghanistan.

I want to continue to support the Toilet Twinning charity but have now run out of toilets in my house to twin!

I’ve not decided what I want to do yet with my charity giving next year but I think I’ll do something whereby some lucky reader(s) of my blog will get their toilet twinned (for free).

Award

The works Christmas party was the usual drunken affair for many though not for me, as I had been feeling a little under the weather leading up to the night.  Anyone else would have not bothered to attend but I’ve pretty much always turned up at such events and enjoyed them. Plus it’s the only time of year I get to put on a party frock and have a bit of a dance! I had a couple of free glasses of bubbly before moving onto soft drinks for the rest of the night.

So it was without the glow and courage of inebriation, that I stumbled on stage to collect one of the Employee of the Year awards at the annual ceremony!

Wow, I am so very chuffed to have won, it’s great to be recognised for my efforts. I’ve learned a hell of a lot this year, which has enabled me to put in a more than decent shift.  That said, I still feel like I’ve not quite hit my top gear yet with this company.

Out of Office

And to my final point, which is that I’m off to Hong Kong shortly to spend the festive period with my family. I’ve blown my budget buying gifts for them  – will check the damage upon my return but I reckon I’ll probably have to dip into my emergency fund (will be paying back in, of course).

I don’t have any scheduled posts for the blog and haven’t even thought about what goals I need to set for next year. I’ll get round to them (and reading people’s blogs) once I’m back online.

Zippy’s back!

So, I’ll sign off by wishing everyone a safe and happy Christmas/holiday; eat, drink and be merry, and I look forward to joining you all for an eventful and prosperous 2019!