June 2018 status update

We are just back from a lovely weeks holiday in North Wales (we climbed Snowdon!), so I am feeling suitable refreshed and ready to post a status update for June! 🙂

The only status updates I have previously posted were for Jan and Feb of this year – which is not good enough. I still don’t know what format they should take, but rather than worry about that, I’ll just get on with it and assume they will slowly take shape as I get into a more regular routine of posting updates!

General

I’m proud to have completed Dry June! I enjoyed my first beer after arriving in Bangor for our holiday on the 1st July (at my 139th unique Wetherspoon’s). Since then I’ve slipped into old habits and have been drinking far too much in recent days. I am actually looking forward to returning to work tomorrow and going back to a more disciplined routine!

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Dry June

I have decided to have a Dry June – no alcohol for a whole month!

I love my booze (craft beer & real ale in particular!) but things were slowly getting out of control. Mrs FmC and I were consuming wine on an almost daily basis – with 1 bottle no longer being enough each time. For me that was on top of a couple of cans of strong beer – and several double bourbons would often round off the session (especially at weekends).

In the back of my mind I knew it had become a bit of an issue. My running has seriously tailed off in the last year and I’m just not getting anything practical done during my evenings or free weekends. Any excuse resulted in being a suitable time to start drinking.

An ongoing health issue made me re-think the situation too (as it so often does). There is nothing like a doctor asking you about your consumption and suggesting that it could be a factor in the symptoms you are experiencing.

I’m now half way through the month and things are going OK. The first week was certainly hard and I found myself pretty crabby and short tempered. But things have settled and I am not really missing it at the moment.

But I need to learn to drink in moderation. I love trying different beers and am a bit of a Wetherspoons spotter to boot. I don’t want to ever get to the point where I am told that I can’t drink anymore. That would be awful!

Once I retire, I look forward to more travel and more social drinking than ever before. I just need to keep it in balance with exercise and general good health.

On 1st July we are heading to Wales for a week’s holiday. We intend to do lots of walking and even climb Snowdon, all being well. But I’m also looking forward to enjoying a few drinks 🙂

February 2018 status update

Where did February go? No idea – but it’s time for another update!

I’m still not sure about the format of these posts. One of the issues is the way I track my finances in YNAB. Because most things in my world are a budget category balance (rather than a physical account balance) I am constantly moving money between virtual pots. As such, I’m not sure which figures I can rely on to accurately reflect my progress. So again I’m not going to worry about it, and instead just post (shoot?) form the hip!

February was a busy month trying to get things in order for the end of the tax year. I’ve decided that my highest priority has got to be making the most of my annual ISA allowance, so I’ve been busy preparing to add the full £20,000 to my recently opened (transferred) IWeb ISA.

What’s more, I’ve decided to try and make the most of Mrs FmC’s allowance too – so want to max that with £20,000 as well! A big ask with such short notice, for sure. I’ve started this one by opening a Vanguard ISA with an initial £5,000 deposit. I’m just not sure where the rest of the money will come from (although I have sold some crypto to help fund these investments and make use of this year’s CGT allowance).

With all this planning I have finally settled on a asset allocation strategy (following this recent post). I have documented it here.

My SIPP and ISA performance have recovered slightly since my schoolboy error earlier in the month, but I’m still down a few points. I am hoping they will get back into the black before I swap to the intended funds for my new strategy.

Matched betting brought in a measly £53.74, mainly due to cock-up I made which wiped out much of the month’s profits.

My P2P loans brought in £259.24, although one loan is in default with interest payments on hold until (hopefully) the debt is recovered. It’s nearly 2 months overdue at present!

I managed to save £1,300.93 so here is the summary for February:

Savings £1,300.93
Matched betting £53.74
P2P loans £259.24
Total £1,613.91

January 2018 status update

Well, it’s my first attempt at a status update and I honestly don’t know how best to write it. So rather than procrastinate for days/weeks/months like I usually do, I’m just going to draft something and click publish. It’s better than nothing and will hopefully improve over time!

January was a good month financially as I managed to save £2,630. Not too shabby! In fact unusually high for recent months. I notice that other bloggers post a percentage of income figure to show their savings rate – I’m not quite sure what formula to use here, as I’ve seen different ones used. So I’ll leave that until a future post when I understand it a bit better.

My SIPP and ISA performance were non-existent – mainly because I decided to transfer them both from HL to IWeb (expect a separate article on that at some point). That took longer than planned so my investments have sat around in cash for the best part of two months. Hopefully they will be back on track soon.

Matched betting brought in £245.84, which I’m happy with. My plan is to only work on one offer at a time (I get confused with some of the more complicated ones if I’m trying to progress multiple offers together).

Finally, P2P lending brought in £217.41 – the first time it’s peaked above the £200 mark. Very satisfying!

So that brings January’s savings total to £3,093.25.

I’m sure this post will need editing over the coming days. I would certainly welcome any feedback that might help improve my blog! 🙂