September Summary

Another month completed:

I have just reconciled my accounts for this month and it has been a pretty dismal month with the stock market volatility, my investments have lost quite a bit this month. I did top up my Unilever shares this month but all in all its a bad month on the investment portfolio side. I would like to top-up again as I sold some old employer shares a few months ago and now need to re-invest and re-balance my portfolio.

My ISAs, shares and pension are down, I have continued to invest some of my spare cash into my ISA to drip feed into the market and try and capitalize on any future growth and dividend potential. I don’t include my pension in my honey pot totals as I cannot access it until I reach NRA so thought it best to exclude it from the pot evaluation. Which is a good thing as the pension drag would not help the current figures.

My expenses have been really good this month and I have reduced them considerably. I have been keeping my grocery expenses below my monthly budget and I have tried to keep any discretionary spending to a minimum by going out cycling and walking as much as possible and enjoying the good weather. I have been trying to keep my entertainment down to anything that is free and although I have been out a few times to meet friends I have kept my spending in check. My only weakness has been buying some Aldi cycling gloves for the winter – Ā£4.99! They have a good review and they should hopefully help me continue to cycle once the weather changes. I managed to get the last pair in my size!

Cycling has helped to relieve any stresses I may have due to my ‘non-working’ status. I did have an interview for a job at the beginning of the month – which I didn’t get – their loss! šŸ˜‰ Ā (That sounds big-headed but I’m not like that – really!)Ā Ā I have been looking for work but finding nothing interesting or suitable. Its been 5 months now and I don’t regret leaving the last job. I just should have thought a bit harder on how I was going to get another one after the freedom novelty wears off and what that would be.

A few agents have come forward with possible work options but they involve working in London, which I prefer to avoid. They wouldn’t pay as my net income would be considerably less than working locally due to the extortionate train fares. One of my old bosses is currently working in London and he hates it, he has stuck it out now for 2 years and wants a local job so he can get some personal life back. There just isn’t anything going! He’s had enough, something I found when talking to a lot of people who had worked in London, they had found the commuting wearing, over 3 hours every day is not good, BTDT.

I met up with my old boss from a previous job this month and she is concerned that I am not working. She can understand why I left my last job and is glad she didn’t get offered work there too. She doesn’t like the one she is doing but it is better than nothing. She can’t see why someone isn’t taking me on, maybe because the jobs are just not there! She spoke about someone who we worked with who has just moved to a really cushy job: 5 mins from home, stress-free environment, reasonable working hours and a good salary. – What more can you ask for! Yes please – I would like that too.

Having a look at my net worth and the starting point at the beginning of the year when I was working, I was averaging a net worth growth of 12%, since quitting work my net worth has dropped to 9% as at the end of this month. This goes to show how your savings while working give you a false sense of growth, once this is removed I can see that my monthly growth is fluctuating wildly with the stock market, it has been negative on a few occasions. My ISAs for the past 2 years are in the red due to the drop in index tracker funds.

At the moment, my honey pot value is below my original FIRE target and if it continues to drop then working again will be required (not immediately) or I eat into the capital which isn’t something I would like to do with a 20 year span between now and my NRA. That is also assuming I will actually have a company DB pension to claim when I get there!

Ah well, I will continue to enjoy the good weather and ignore the market roller coaster – other than for top-up purposes only šŸ˜‰

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5 thoughts on “September Summary

  1. I empathise with many of your thoughts here! I don’t care what anyone says, “not working” brings quite a lot of pressures from a variety of external sources that you can’t always prevent. What your old boss thinks about your situation should not matter to you one jot, but I know how it does. When I meet ex-colleagues who are still on the treadmill I always feel like making excuses about my own situation. I don’t like to say “I’m retired” in case it comes across as Holier Than Thou, or More Loaded Than Thou, when neither is probably true. Add into this the plunge in investments and the dripping tap of doubt begins to flow. I’m working hard to resist these pressures, and it’s good to see some similar thoughts on the situation – cheers for that!

  2. Hi Sparkle Bee

    Seeing the value of your investments fall is never easy, but if you are able to buy more income producing shares (either by re-investing dividends or adding cash) you get more shares for your money than before.

    My dividend re-investments are noticeably buying more shares than before, and therefore growing my income faster.

    Hope you can find yourself a job soon so you can get back to serious saving again.

    Best Wishes
    FI UK

    • Hi FI UK,
      I have been re-investing in dividend shares, topping up my Unilever holding and also continuing to drip feed into some ACC and INT funds. As you say getting more shares = more dividends/income long term.
      I will continue to build by re-balancing. I hold too many shares on my old employer but they are doing too well to sell as the dividends have been exceptional this year. The biggest decision will be when to sell, keeping within CGT thresholds and also buying something just as good on the dividend and growth front. šŸ™‚

      Thanks for the best wishes.
      Sparkle Bee

  3. Typing this comment on part one of my 1.25 hour commute to London I would say you are right to avoid it like the plague šŸ™‚
    I’ve stuck it out for 11 years now, and would have been looking for a more local job had they not agreed to my reduced working hours request. For now the month of commuting in exchange for 2 weeks off seems like a pretty good deal so I’m sticking with it for now, but if I had a clean slate I would be looking for something local that is for sure!

    Good luck with finding that dream job!

  4. Hi Sparklebee. I’ve nipped over from Weenies site, and you’ve given me a lot of reading and catching up to do, so I’ll start with this latest post. I’d like to high-five you on buying a pair of cycling gloves for Ā£4.99 from Aldi! Cycling has to be a marketers dream and it’s so easy to get sucked into “needing” ridiculously over-priced gear. Cycling for pleasure is what I’d be doing in your shoes, great for the body and spirit, and free, regardless of November being round the corner. I’m lucky enough to be able to cycle to work, out of and away from London, watching the cars nose to tail trying to get in. To be avoided at all costs and I’d want a lot of job to tackle that by any means of transport and as you say balance out the travel costs. I truly hope you find a job locally, which you want to do, soon. You will, I’m just emphasising soon.

    Good to see some mutual thinking on the DB pension, I was concerned I was being way too negative for my own good, but I’m coming round to accepting I’m simply a realist. Expectation damage limitation.

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