Well, April came and went in the blink of an eye!
Work on my driveway was completed and I’m very happy with it – looks so much better and is a lot safer (for me and my car!).
I used most of my work bonus to pay for it and also pretty much cleared out my ‘House Fund’, so need to save up for the next bits which need doing.
Work was extra busy, with me covering for colleagues on annual leave (I can’t wait til I no longer have to do this any more!), so it was a big relief to have that nice relaxing long Easter weekend.
There was also a week where I had a really bad cold, which was so bad that I tested myself in case I’d caught COVID again (I was negative). I’m sure I used to catch colds all the time and they were only ever mild, just the ‘sniffles’, but perhaps my immune system still isn’t quite right yet.
Anyway, some good news at work was that I received the maximum performance-related pay rise offered by my company.
The bad news was that at 5%, it doesn’t beat inflation but hey ho, I’m not going to cry about that – increases are not guaranteed and there have been years when no pay rise was given (performance-related or not). Average wage increase in the UK this year is apparently just 3%.
Some people would complain and even consider leaving due to the size of this pay rise but for me, it’s not such an issue. I know the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere, even if the pound signs might appear to be bigger. I don’t love my job but I mostly like what I do, I get on with my boss and my colleagues and enjoy a fair amount of flexibility and autonomy in my job – those things I value far more than ££££.
Also, as promised by the government, I duly received my £150 Council Tax rebate.
I chucked this into my ISA. I know, this rebate wasn’t really meant for people like me, who didn’t need help with bills, but my house meets the criteria (Council Tax band A – D) and I’ll not say no to free money from the government.
My direct debits (utilities, broadband and council tax) have all gone up, as has the cost of my weekly shop but not significantly so. My car is only used for trips to the gym and supermarket so increased petrol costs haven’t really affected me. I’ve yet to feel the need to cut back on anything.
So, how do my numbers look in April?
I saved 13% of my net salary. Having received my pay rise, I was planning to save a bit more but social activities (paid for by credit card) caught up with me! The above includes £65.18 from doing Prolific surveys and the aforementioned £150 rebate. I also invested £374.20, a partial repayment I received from my disastrous foray into property crowdfunding, which was a pleasant surprise since I’d pretty much written all of that off four years ago.
Shares and Investment Trusts
I opened a new investment in European Assets Trust, to add to the income-paying part of my portfolio.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
The markets waivered somewhat after last month’s apparent recovery, but I really can’t let myself stress about it – just gotta keep at it.
My Future Fund wobbled down a little to £230,752 by month end.
Dividends and Other Income
As always, when the markets are down, dividends always bring a smile to my face. Actually, scratch that, they make me smile regardless of what the markets are doing 🙂