Jan Investments – Update

I have been tracking my income and expenses in MoneyStepper’s spreadsheet. Although I have a few more expenses this month (Xmas gifts on credit cards and unexpected motor expenses + annual insurance payments), I have still managed to get a savings rate of 67% which I am really pleased with. According to the spreadsheet my net worth has increased by 5.7% , so a positive start to the year.

This over 50% SR may also be due to the fact that I have calculated the remainder from this year’s £15k NISA allowance limit and I have a little bit spare. I have therefore invested this ‘spare’ allowance in topping up my funds NISA this month using the dividends I received on the 8th Jan. I need to make sure I have used all my tax-free savings options this year before I buy any more shares outside a tax wrapper.

I have also received some of my late employer’s pension contributions, the Pensions Advisory Service is chasing up the remainder for me. If they do pay up that should add a few hundred pound to my personal pension account which over the next few years should accumulate some additional value towards my FI status.

I am beginning to calculate my SWR as I have been using 3.5% rather than 4%. Am I there yet?

Can I give up work?

I am really unhappy with my current job – I have raised concerns with my line manager but they are not listening. The response seems to be – “tough – go on then resign – if you dont like it as its not changing”. The basis being, I was interviewed for a specific role and given another on arrival (it should have been a “short-term” placement) but I am still there and it doesnt look like there is any plan to move me back.

They are not giving me any feedback on whether I am doing well or not in this placement – they avoid the question. Their management style is ‘bullying’ and stress inducing and so in my eyes, I am doing badly and need to do better. I seem to be getting slapped every week, as is everyone else. I am doing a job that I am not actually qualified or experience at doing – so I am making mistakes and errors due to my lack of knowledge and having to pay the price with ‘verbal slaps’ for getting it wrong or not doing it as they expect.

Team moral is low and getting lower by the week. People I am working alongside are talking of leaving due to this ‘culture’. They too seem to be doing jobs that are very different to what they were told they would be doing and are also unhappy.

The lure of FI is growing strong due to this and I am even just thinking of leaving, then look for a different job in a few months time, I am not quite sure I have reached the magic figure to say I am truely FI but I have a good comfort blanket. But then, am I really not going to work again? I will probably do something, it just will not pay as well as the job I have now.

I even received my National Trust magazine with an article about volunteering and how doing this has led to a number of volunteers taking up paid roles with the NT. Some of these people appear to have been made redundant or retired and decided that doing something different via the volunteering angle gave them the personal rewards that working for ‘The Man’ did not.

I have also seen an ad for a local volunteer for a charity I support. Maybe these could be opportunities to get a break from the ‘Office Grind’ and think about a change in my life path.

Off to ponder my choices…


3 thoughts on “Jan Investments – Update

  1. That’s an amazing saving rate Sparklebee. Well done!

    Have you got there with your calculation of how far you are from FI using the 4% SWR yet? If you are so miserable in your job you are right to look seriously at other options. Please keep us posted.

    • Thanks Cerridwen.

      I am 2 years off being FI with a 4% SWR. So that is a great carrot to spur me on.

      I think my savings rate is high because I am taking the passive income (dividends and rental) and automatically reinvesting this, that gives my savings rate a baseline boost each month before I even start using my salary. I am pushing money into my pension funds and moving some of my cash savings (in poor % rate accounts) into NISA funds instead using up all my allowances. While I am working and a high-rate taxpayer, I am taking advantage of the tax relief and using that to boost my pension wherever I can.

      I have started rattling my network of contacts to see if there is any work out there, even if its part-time/temporary. The sector I work in seems to be moving to this ‘challenging’ burnout style culture. I even received an email about how to handle this environment the other day, quote “a free essential coaching session on…the importance of personal resilience…overcome the pressures and stresses of work”.

      To quote TEA…the sooner I escape the prison camp the better.

  2. I have been where you seem to be. If you are within two years of FI then hang in there. Think of the 66% bump-up in SIPP savings you are getting from the taxman (for every £60 you forgo you get £40 added in)

    > Their management style is ‘bullying’ and stress inducing and so in my eyes, I am doing badly and need to do better.

    You need to break the psychological chain they are trying to bind – don’t let their terms of engagement into your own mind. This management style is an attempt to sweat the asset. You only need put up with it for 24 months – if necessary cross the suckers off on a wall chart.

    > “a free essential coaching session on…the importance of personal resilience…overcome the pressures and stresses of work”

    Victim-blaming of the first order. We are bullying you so you need to improve your personal resilience to be able to cope with our nasty attitude. No. The correct response is exactly what you are doing, improving your financial resilience so that you can tell The Man and his bullying handservants to go take a running jump.

    Work is deeply overrated. We live in a fascinating world and there isn’t time enough to go poke an inquisitive nose into its varied workings even if you own all of your 24 hours a day 😉 It does take about six months to make the adjustment, however.

    > and how doing this has led to a number of volunteers taking up paid roles with the NT

    I talked to a fellow who was going to start work for the RSPB, he said because these roles are something many people want to do it’s a question of volunteering for a long time – 8 years in his case, before you get close to the action. There’s nothing wrong with volunteering, but it may be worth talking to some people who have made the jump into paid roles to see what the odds really are! These charities punch above their weight precisely because they can muster a lot of low-cost/free manpower. As members of course we approve of that because we get a lot of results for our subscription pounds, but the corollary is a dearth of paid roles 😉

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