2024 Goals

A week into 2024 and already, the boom we saw at the end of last year is beginning to fray a little around the edges. This is more or less how 2023 started so are we going to get more of the same?

The doomsters are still shouting the loudest and while I intend to try to avoid falling into the pit (of doom) they are digging, I’ll just roll with the challenges as they come and will as usual try to make the most of what is thrown at me.

So here goes with my Goals!

Please contain your excitement, there will be nothing radical or wildly different here.

I still prefer to keep to simple annual goals, ones which have some meaning to me, even if they might be meaningless to others. They provide me with some focus while I get on with the humdrum day-to-day stuff.

Continue reading

July 2023 Savings

Hello, I’m back after an enjoyable holiday.

I shall just quickly post the belated numbers for July.

I saved 16.1% of my net salary.  The above includes £77.08 from doing Prolific surveys.

Shares and Investment Trusts

I just topped up existing investments.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

Finally, things were looking up but for how long!? As at the end of July, my Future Fund stood at £235,744, so the rocket makes an appearance but is highly unlikely to be sticking around for the August update!

Dividends and Other Income

Not a bad month for dividends.

Continue reading

June 2023 Savings, plus other updates

This month saw me celebrating my birthday by playing crazy golf and drinking in the sunshine! It’s a sign of age experience and knowing my limits that the following day, I was able to get up and go to the gym the following morning, instead of feeling utterly cabbaged and wasting the whole day hungover in bed!

I’ve loved all the hot weather we’ve had, but was glad of the rainstorms that followed, as was my poor parched garden!

Anyway, after last month’s ‘property post‘, I am so excited to announce that ‘tenants’ have moved in!

My little house appears to have attracted a diverse community – I believe I have leaf-cutting bees (yellow arrows) and mason bees (red arrows). Apparently, it’s not unusual for solitary bees of different species to nest near one another. I wonder who moved in first though? 🙂

I had noticed funny little circular chunks chewed out of the leaves of some of the shrubs in my garden, the leaf-cutting bees’ trademark. Anyway, I am delighted that these little critters have deemed my garden worthy enough to live in!

Since that photo was taken, at least another two bees have moved in and a spider or two, judging by their webs!

This month was rather expensive – car insurance renewal, breakdown cover renewal, washing machine repair (5 minutes to fix, £107!) and a new shed (to replace the dilapidated/unsafe one) – the pounds are getting really stretched, especially as I’m struggling to say no to social outings (went to another enjoyable and interesting Manchester FIRE pubmeet this month).

MOT on my car is due next month…maybe I need to just get past this expensive summer and cut back on the expenses in the latter part of the year.

So, how did I get on with my savings?

I saved 16.5% of my net salary.  The above includes £59.62 from doing Prolific surveys and £10 from a charity lotto win.

Shares and Investment Trusts

I offloaded Civitas Social Housing and used the funds (plus new funds) to top up existing investments.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

My Future Fund seems determined to crawl along sideways.  There’s not a lot I can do except to keep on investing. As at the end of the month, it stood at £229,441.

 

Dividends and Other Income

Thank goodness for a great month of dividends.

Continue reading

February 2023 Savings, plus other updates

This month saw me and my sister attending an uncle’s funeral – he’d died at the grand old age of 91.

Although a sad affair, it was an opportunity to catch up with extended members of the family (first cousins).

There was one cousin I last saw while we were both still at uni and it was interesting to hear that he and his missus had done the whole geo arbitrage FIRE thing.

What I mean is that they jacked in their jobs in 2019 when they both turned 49 (he an IT consultant, she a dentist with a share in private practice), sold their house in Croydon and relocated to Thailand, where they’ve been renting an apartment in Bangkok, enjoying the benefits of far lower cost of living. They’ve no kids so unlikely they would have made this move if they had.

He dabbles in a bit of trading for pocket money, she spends her time helping out in the local community and it sounds like they are living their dream. Both are modest and happy to live a simple life, and they have been taking the opportunity to visit other countries in eastern Asia.

I wonder if they had heard of FIRE? I didn’t get the chance to ask them.

Anyway, attended another enjoyable pub meet up in Manchester this month (next face to face is in April) and I forgot to mention that at the end of last month, I had a a good catch up (online) with TheFIREStarter (yes, I did ask when his next update would be!) and SavingNinja, who was dialling in from the US.

No update on the Twitter issue but a big thanks to the 138 new subscribers to my blog – thanks for reading! 🙂

So, let’s take a look at how I did in February:

I saved 16.6% of my net salary.  The above includes £67.17 from doing Prolific surveys.

Shares and Investment Trusts

I can’t remember buying anything new so I guess I just topped up existing investments.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

A bit of a wobble in the stock markets but nothing to be concerned about.

At the end of the month, my Future Fund was down a little at £231,522.

Dividends and Other Income

Dividends continue to roll in as usual:

Continue reading