July – monthly update

Better late than never !

July was a good month for income with quite a few NS&I accounts issuing interest. I also received a few dividend payment this month too.

My net worth seems to be steadily growing, I would like a nice double-digit growth figure but single-digit is it.

Next month should be good for dividends too. I have had a few expenses this month but still managing to keep a high savings rate of 50%+.

I need to review my monthly passive income and how I am reinvesting this and understand when I can live off the passive income in the future When will I be FI? Some time off from actually working would do me some good for a while.



Tax Return

I’ve just completed my tax return – pretty good for me – I have managed to complete and send it off a whole month earlier than last year!

I have managed to stay under the taxable dividend threshold for the year, by a few pounds but will have tax to pay on my savings which are over the threshold.

I am now looking at moving my savings into tax-free accounts to stay below the thresholds. With savings rates dropping they are not keeping pace with inflation so need to move them to somewhere that will!  More payments into my SIPP I think, although I then cannot access the cash until I reach 55.

I intend to fully utilise my ISA allowance this year now its up to £20k, I phase the money in monthly so doing well and on track.

While I am working – another reason to keep going at the moment –  is that I can contribute more into my pension/SIPP, I can contribute up to £40k which gives me space and capacity to move savings/taxable shares into a pension account while I can.

I am trying to hold out in a job until my BTL fixed rate mortgage term lapses so I can re-mortgage – something that’s easier to do while I have a salaried job. I am slowly reducing the mortgage to compensate for the new tax rules which will phase in over the next few years. It will be interesting to see how they have affected my tax treatment this year. I await my final statement.

Utility bills

Well, I know that British Gas has announced its price hike today.

I was looking at utility bills the other day. I have recently received my annual water bill and what’s funny is that it has gone down by a whole 1% <woop! woop! Get the bunting out! >

The usage rates have decreased which is great, 3% down, but the whammy is that they have put up the standing charge 3%. They have done this across all the parts of the bill, reduced the variable rate but increased the standing charge (fixed rate). So they are slowly sneaking the baseline cost up so that regardless of how much I reduce my consumption, I still end up paying the same.

I am just waiting for the usage rates to be raised next year then they have won – with there ‘stealth’ price increased. It’s all part of a long-term upward price plan.

It’s the same with electricity and gas – I have seen the standing charges go up so that people like me who are low consumption users are having their prices increased each year by the increase in standing charge. When the regulator made all the utility companies reduced their plans down to just 4 – it meant that those really great plans that favoured low users disappeared over night and all the baseline costs rose.

I was better off on a low/no standing charge plan with a slightly higher usage rate as this worked out cheaper. It still feels like a cartel, a fake marketplace.