August 2018 status update

Time for August’s status update..

General

I recently wrote a post Drinkers Like Me which was a public acknowledgement to the problem I have with alcohol. Despite feeling like a negative thing to do at the time, publishing that article has really helped me address the issue in my own head. It’s early days yet but things have greatly improved since – I am far more conscious of the drinks I consume and the impact they are having on my health and wellbeing. I even went for a run this morning which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Mrs FmC has been busy with her DogBuddy side hustle and we have decided to funnel more of that money into weekends away rather than on lots of booze to drink at home, which had become the norm in recent months. I’ve just booked a long weekend trip to the seaside later this month which we’re both really looking forward to.

I managed to gain a little weight during August so am still struggling to lose the final few kilos needed to reach my goal. You can track the current figure on my Now page. With the current focus on drinking less I am determined to make progress in September!

Another perfect month of closing all my Activity rings – the 8th consecutive month!

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July 2018 status update

Time for July’s status update – sadly not as positive as last month’s, but here we go anyway..

General

After completing Dry June I seem to have lost the plot during July and over compensated by drinking way too much! So much so that I’m seriously considering another dry month – we’ll see. I just don’t seem to be able to drink in moderation, and my sleep is really suffering as a result (and all the other knock-on effects such as not doing any running).

My end-of-July weight ended up being the same as my end-of-June weight, so I’ll blame the alcohol for that too! Must try harder in August.

Another perfect month of closing all my Activity rings though – the 7th consecutive month!

I only managed to log one run in July, and the #walk1000miles challenge has been officially abandoned due to Mrs FmC’s ongoing heel pain 🙁

Finance

I haven’t repaid any more of my parents’ loan and neither have I paid for our big holiday. Both are due late next month and I’m on track to have the money available. Looking forward to clearing them both.

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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