Well, its nearly the end of another month of limitations.
I have tried to remain positive and been taking the opportunity to enjoy the good weather before winter kicks in. I have been cycling and walking trying to improve my health and fitness. I have even been able to go to see a live gig! YES – a live gig, it was heavily controlled with limited numbers, allocated tables, temp check on arrival. Table service for drinks and food. It was an enjoyable evening and I think that is the one and only live band/gig I will get to see this year. I have also had my haircut – temp checks on arrival, masks and screens everywhere. I look less of a hobo and more like a normal person, helpful for any job interviews.
I have been doing virtual working (earning about $3 per hour – nowhere near the UK minimum wage – but it is income). Although the last few days have been poor as the platforms have had outages which means no work. I have also found that the tasks have been problematic or unable to complete so have wasted time on activities I cannot complete and claim any reward for sadly. It gives me a bit of pocket money while I try to find a more profitable income source. I have, at last, been approved by the other virtual platform and I have been able to start working this. Until I have completed tasks to a certain threshold I cannot access some of the better paying jobs. I have at least managed to start earning some cash but I have noticed that the approval process is very slow compared to the other platform and it takes days (maybe weeks) to get things approved so that payments can be confirmed. Once it gets going it ‘should’ provide a trickle of payments on a weekly basis. You cannot earn a living on these sites just supplement with a light dusting of cash.
Jobs are not looking good. I keep reading about more job losses and the jobs I am seeing are not inviting or local. I am feeling more despondent about ever getting back into a role. I was burnt out, stressed and having panic attacks at my last job so I need an easier role. All the roles I see require a ‘hard-nosed’ person who can operate and succeed in a challenging workplace. Office attendance mandatory. Sorry, I cannot fulfil that criteria at the moment, my mind is not there. I don’t want to have to deal with unwilling and unco-operative work ‘colleagues’. I was hoping to have a few months off and be back in work by now and earning but with lockdown and associated restrictions and the job market being so poor I really don’t see me getting anything until next year now.
I had moved cash into NS&I accounts only to hear that they are now slashing the interest rates down to 0.01% to match the banks. There aren’t many places I can put my cash now, it will just sit losing value due to inflation. I need to find a stable place to hold my cash so I can have it accessible but also get it to earn some interest and not lose out to inflation while it is sitting in an account.
I have pushed some into my ISA and that is already showing some growth – (at last!). I will put some more in once I have paid out some annual expenses and reviewed any surplus. But I see my ISA account as a non-drawable account at the moment, I want it to grow and not have to draw from it.
I have initiated the transfer of a personal pension account as it has been sold to another management company and I can already see the changes taking effect as funds get moved to the new company ‘shell’ funds and new T&Cs documents issued to indicate that the final ownership transfer will be completed in December. The funds have different growth prospects and higher charges so I want to move before the ownership completes. I can then just top up with my minimum non-taxpayer pension contribution.
My shares have fluctuated and I just watch from the sidelines. I am not selling yet, although I do need to trickle some of the value into my ISA and diversify.
My ISA and pension funds have reached their January levels so they are back into a growth zone, YAY !!! . A positive step and gives me some positivity. It is OK seeing my net worth grow but it needs to translates to passive income which is accessible. I cannot draw from my pension for years yet. Although looking at my current pension forecasts they really don’t seem to be worth anything. Given the current climate the forecasts are indicating a negative growth so they will be worth less in the future and annual pension values have dropped – again. Every time I get a statement they drop as they change their forecasting calculations and I just see the final annual pension value go down.
I will wait until the end of the month to see where it all lands.