June 2019 Savings + other updates

Just back from my hols, so here’s my belated update for June.

This month saw numerous social outings with friends, interspersed with meeting new people at my second investors’ meet up in Manchester (similar to the first one, except in the evening) and attending my first crowdfunding event.

Reaching my milestone age and attending these events nudged me to reconsider the allocations in my portfolio. After revisiting some old Monevator posts, including one on age and portfolios, I’ll be starting to implement some small initial changes – I’ll sort out a post on that soon.

So, how did I get on in June?

I saved 50% of my net salary! I should have/could have saved more as I received the second part of my small annual bonus this month. However, I’ve put some funds aside to cover for some holiday spends, some of which may carry over into July. Perhaps a missed opportunity to really bump up my savings rate but it’s been an expensive month!

The above savings includes top ups of £33.68 from TopCashback*, £60 matched betting profit (from last month), £50 from another premium bond win and £74.67 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thank you to all who signed up via my links!).

Shares and Investment Trusts

I opened a small new investment in The Renewables Infrastructure Grp Ltd (TRIG) but mostly added to existing investments. I also made a small crowdfunding top up to my Freetrade investment.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

The markets have been pretty buoyant lately as my Future Fund has risen to £169,631.

Dividends and Other Income

A decent month for dividends: Continue reading

May 2019 Savings + other updates

The month started off with a welcome £50 win on the premium bonds (2 x £25).

It was then pretty much just a blur of work, gym, a lovely weekend away (which will be in a future blog post) and a trip to the cinema to watch ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (which I thought was epic). Is it wrong to take my own water and snacks to the cinema?

There were a couple of unexpected costs which had me dipping into my emergency fund – the down-pipe/gutter at the back of my house had blown down so I had to get that fixed and my car failed its MOT, requiring a new tyre and repair to windscreen washer.

Anyway, on with the numbers – how did I get on in May?

I saved 39.3% of my net salary, which was better than I thought as some expenses (holiday ones) have been carried over into June on my credit card.

I should be due the second part of my work bonus next month, plus a small pay rise will come into effect, so should in theory, be able to save more of my salary.

The above savings includes top ups of the above-mentioned £50 premium bond win,  £67.40 from Google Adsense income and £138.30 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thank you to all who signed up via my links!).

Shares and Investment Trusts

As mentioned recently, I sold some AJ Bell shares (which I acquired from IPO) and used this money to open up an investment in International Biotechnology Trust.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

The markets have been rather jittery this month I believe and my Future Fund has gone a little backwards at £164,227. Nothing to worry about, just continuing to invest.

Dividends and Other Income

Compared to last month, a more typical amount of dividends received. Continue reading

April 2019 Savings + other updates

Another month has whizzed by – late nights at work, gym sessions and nights out all  sort of melded together. Oh and GoT! 🙂

My spending usually starts hiking up over the spring/summer months so I really need to watch my eating out from now on, although looking at my diary, I’ve already got too many social events booked in and I have a full bank holiday weekend.

What else did I get up to in April? I was featured in a ‘Bloggers on Fire’ interview, went on a 7-mile walk, topped up my tan and also attended an ‘investment meet up’ – I’ll do a write up on this soon.

Although it looks like I’ve been doing a lot of late nights in the office, I’m not actually moaning or complaining, as things are actually pretty good at work. Business continues to grow so my volume of work has gone up. The work I do could be done at home but I don’t like working from home and I find that email or Skype tennis isn’t half as productive as face-to-face communication. I know there are ways I can work smarter but just need to smash through what I’ve got on at the moment.

Anyway, how did I get on in April with the numbers?

I saved 43.6%, only because much of my going out expenses went on my credit card so those will hit my numbers next month.

As predicted, I was not able to max out my 2018/19 ISA – I got up to £16,400 in the end and that included jiggling emergency cash and some matched betting funds into my cash ISA. I’m going to make a real attempt to max out the 2019/20 ISA, although it looks like I’ve made a poor start on this already with my spending! Must try harder.

The above savings includes top ups of £35 from TopCashback*, £200 matched betting profit (from last month) and £138.41 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thank you to all who signed up via my links!).

Shares and Investment Trusts

No new investments, just added to existing ones.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

The markets have been pretty buoyant lately as my Future Fund has shot up to £164,851.

Dividends and Other Income

A record-breaking month for dividends: Continue reading

Microfiction #1 – Fire

I wasn’t sure at first that I would take part but here’s my entry into Marc@FinanceYourFire’s Microfiction Series. He states a word (in this case ‘fire’) and participants are asked to write a short story (less than 350 words) on the subject. Head over to the article to see his own and any other entries.

*Disclaimer* I’m not an aspiring writer – the idea just came to me as I was sitting on the tram on the way home from work. Quite why I was thinking such thoughts is anyone’s guess…

Here goes:

The girl stood there alone, waiting.

Trembling a little.

Fear or anticipation?

Trying to steady her breathing.

In through the nose, out through the mouth. In, out, in out.

She tried to relax her hands but the hands seemed no longer hers to command. They were the hands of a killer.

She was a killer. Wasn’t she? That’s what they were all saying.

She watched him approach.

Small beads of sweat formed rivulets down her brow, stinging her eyes.

The girl blinked rapidly to clear her vision and swayed to one side, just as Teacher’s heavy fist came crashing towards her face without warning.

It missed by a hair’s breadth, but she reared back a split second too slow for his elbow, which glanced off her chin, causing her to stagger sideways.

She had bitten her tongue, the blood tasted of old metal.

Teacher stepped forwards to grab her and she pivoted, spinning to try to get behind him but his grasping fingers caught hold of her hair.

The girl cursed herself for not taking the time to tie it up. Or shave it all off.

She struggled this way and that, twisting to avoid the onslaught of his kicks and punches. Two blows smashed into the side of her head making her see stars, but she managed to prise away a few fingers and wheeled away, leaving him holding a clump of long brown strands in his gnarly hands.

Her scalp was on fire. Blood dripped from her left ear.

Her breathing came out in ragged gasps and she made the effort to control it again.

In through the nose, out through the mouth. In, out, in out.

“You were always such a disappointment,” said Teacher, with a little sigh.

The girl grinned, showing her blood-smeared teeth.

No more running.

The time for respect was over.

“You were always my favourite teacher,” she said. “But not anymore.”

Teacher thought she sounded sad but as he looked into her eyes, he saw only death.

As the girl stepped calmly towards him, Teacher hesitated.

His final error.