Review of 2014

Although it isn’t quite the end of the year and I have some income yet to account for in my figures, I have updated my monthly savings rates for this year and the passive income sources.

I have increased my share holding in Glaxo this month as the price has been dropping and although I have a loss at the moment, I am expecting this to even out over next year as –fingers crossed– the price rises.

I will receive a small dividend payment in the new year from them. I have only received £50 in dividends this month, which although small, is an increase from this time last year.

I am trying to invest in shares that provide a good dividend income as I would like to use this an income source in the future. At the moment, I am re-investing this dividend income to build my holdings.

In general, my monthly savings rate has averaged over 50% this year as I have tried to concentrate on saving and cutting down on my expenses. My consumerism addiction has waned considerably this year plus I am enjoying walking and exercising and not shopping – thanks to my partner who wants to get out and be active rather than watch TV and use retail therapy as a form of exercise..lol..

My net worth has increased this year overall but the last few months have been running at a plateau as the fluctuating share prices have impacted my portfolio v cash/assets.

Looking back over the past few years I can see how my general income source has declined. Since I was made redundant from what was my best paying job, I have lost out due to my employment being so shaky. I have been employed by 4 companies over that time due to buy outs and that has meant that I have not had the opportunity of sharesave schemes which really made a difference to my income sources in the past. I only have my basic salary to work with now (no share options/scheme or bonuses) and reducing my expenses has helped to maintain my savings opportunities it is easy to see how those ‘extras’ that I had access to in the past have made a big difference to my income.

At least when I had these, I used the money wisely rather than frittering it away, so I have no mortgage on my main residence.

I can end the year feeling happy that I have grown my net worth and my financial position is looking better. I have learnt a lot this year about saving and investing and am continuing to aim for FI. The day I can give up work will be ‘the best’.

Can’t you tell its Christmas

Now the 14th December and the Christmas rush to ‘buy,buy,buy’ is well underway.

I have bought most of the gifts for my family and friends and only have a few bits n bobs to buy to complete my shopping. I hate Christmas, it is so commercial and working in the industry only helps to turn me off from the consumer hype. The business is working on Christmas from June so by the time Christmas actually turns up – you are sick of it – or at least I am.

It helps to concentrate my mind and keep to frugal living and let me recap on the year. I have been looking back on the past few years and how my Net Worth has grown, it looks like its averaging about 20% per year which I don’t think is bad, although I have no idea what I could get as a target. I should really start looking at my expenses again and see where I frivolously spend cash which I could invest more wisely. I am sure my worth could grow considerably more if I put my mind to it – but would that be at the expense of living ‘in the present’.

My shares NISA this year is looking healthy, although I have noticed that since I have moved to buying trackers, they have poorly performed and it is only down to my managed income funds that I am actually seeing a profit. Yes, they are managed funds and not a good idea according to the theories but they do at least provide a profit – even if its after the management charges and their slice of the gains.

I have bought some more Glaxo shares this month as they have no gone ex-div, only for their price to plummet again so holding onto a loss – but as they go downwards I may buy some more to try and average out my price on them. I should received some dividends this month and next so my income is starting to look at bit more rosy that it was at the start of the year.

I am also pondering whether to buy some shares in the company I now work for. They seem to be doing OK and I missed out on their sharesave scheme this year (if I had joined a month or two earlier) so will have to wait another year before I get an opportunity and in the meantime there may be a chance to get some profit. I have cashed in the sharesave I had with my old company as their share price has tumbled and its below the offer price so I may use this money to invest in my new place.

Not sure if I like the new job, its management practices are quite different but there is quite a bit of growth and loads of new employees there. They are rapidly expanding, I have only been there a little while but it makes me also realise what I am trying to target – Financial Freedom – so I don’t have to work and don’t have to put up with these bullying style corporate institutions which just treat you as a number and not a person. I am fed up of being treated poorly and expected to work silly hours and ‘be lucky you have a job‘ and feel that my voice and contribution is not needed or valued.

The only down side I can see with not working at the moment is the amount of rules that try to hinder you from being FI:

– caps on the amount you can put in a pension annually

– higher car insurance premiums

– health and income insurance policies become void

– mortgage and banking rules which mean services either become void – or you have to pay charges for them.

Maybe I can actually have more of a life once I reduce my working hours, at Christmas you start to evaluate your life and that’s when you realise that another year has gone by. What I have noticed is that I have few friends (because of my job – I have stupidly put that first which has resulted in missing out on social occasions and losing contact with friends as a result). As my workplace has been either travelling around the country or at a distance – it has made making and keeping friends harder as you need to travel and find places to stay-over to enjoy an evening out. I have been too tired and it has worn me down to the point that I can only say I have 1 friend – who is away in Austria for Christmas.

Nearly the end of the year

I’ve just been sorting out my November figures. A poor month as I have no dividends from any companies in November and I haven’t invested in any share purchases either so my savings percentage was only recorded as 38% although I haven’t spend the money, I just haven’t invested the extra in shares or pension. It is just sitting in my bank account.

I have received my redundancy payment and also started my new job this month. I am not sure I am very happy there but at the moment I will tick over and pocket the salary try to hold my cool and learn a few things while I am there.

Why loose my cool? Because I am sick of working in teams where management just don’t want to make decisions (or have already made bad ones) and you are there trying to make the best of it – because you don’t have any say!

The rat race in all its glory – now that’s a big incentive to release myself from the world of work and reach FI so I dont have to suffer this cycle of continuous meetings and indecision.

I have updated my monthly income to include November.