Monthly Update – Nov 21

Image by tigerlily713 from Pixabay

November has been a ‘review’ month. My net worth dropping makes me anxious and I have been looking at long term finances to see how my plans work. Now that the days are shorter I have started looking at jobs on my house. I have fixed a few plumbing issues and re-grouted and tidied up the bathroom. I have also been looking at the house generally, after the storm the other day it has become apparent that some of the double glazed windows have draughts and need new seals. I have been watching videos on how to fix this and will look to do this once the weather gets better. I also need to look at the door which is draughty and again I need to adjust the door which looks doable. Again, another task for a warmer day. I will look at temp fixes until I can get this done, it will be cheaper than getting someone to do it, although I will need to get someone to have a look at replacing the glazing units that have failed. I have checked and all the south facing windows need doing, so that will be a large quote to fix.

Looking at house repairs I have quite a few to do now and I have also found that I have a problem with my conservatory. It is slowly dropping and there are cracks in the brickwork and frame. I have ‘googled’ this and found a very similar problem, it seems it is quite common due to construction methods, and given the issue my only permanent solution is to replace the conservatory completely. I have followed the advice of sealing the cracks and monitor the movement, it is not too bad at the moment but it will get worse and will then need to be demolished and rebuilt. Ouch, my house is 25 yrs old and is falling apart. These modern houses just don’t seem as good as older ones. I had an Edwardian house before and it was much easier to fix and the build quality was much better than now, solid not flimsy. The materials they used were more sustainable and they were constructed to enable repairs. (Why does everything need to be plastic! UPVC being a prime example!) And you could find tradespeople who could fix them too! So with the roofline to do too I have a lot to get fixed and they are large outlays. I will have to phase this over the next few years and some I cannot do until I can access my SIPP and use the lump sum to pay for it. It would have been good if I could have used my lump sum for some fun rather than repair jobs.

I have started looking at how to incorporate these costs into my financial plans and try to work out when and how to fund them. This also determines if and when I need to find a job so I can fund them.

My net worth is dropping, mainly due to the drop in the markets recently, it looks like they are beginning to recover. I should have bought into the market while it was down but I have other things to preoccupy me.

My energy supplier has gone bust. It is now being managed by the government while they decide how to split up the customer base. I will just keep an eye on the costs and determine what impact this has on my outgoings. I will need to wait and see who I get moved to then look at pricing and see if I am better to move to an alternative or not. I just need to not worry about it and keep plodding along.

I caught up with an ex work colleague who has been through the wars recently with bereavement and redundancy to cope with. It was good to see them as it has been 18 months. Their redundancy was their third and due to age they are saying they cannot find another job.( I was made redundant with them a few years ago so used to this new cycle of redundancy as part of working life). Their CV is being rejected at the first hurdle and they are now looking at retirement. We worked in similar roles and finding hard to find a new one, the sector is changing so much these roles seem to have disappeared or changed making our skillsets a non match. We discussed the idea of alternative part time work and how that may be a good option, but again, there is nothing good around at the moment. Comparing notes, they have observed the same issues I have. There are some part time roles out there but you have to be available 7 days per week, able to work any day (at short notice) and any shift. No ability to choose days or hours, no flexibility.

Income

On the income front, I have been converting online earnings to GBP so I can pay myself and the exchange rates do not help but some money is better than none. It will help to fund Christmas. Dividend earnings are down too as dates have changed, some delayed, and my dividend earnings are down based on last year.

Looking at the year as a whole, my income is down a little bit on last year but it does cover my expenses for this year so far, so I am managing to keep my expenses lower than my income.

I have had a bit of a break from the online platform so my earnings are well down this month. The work is drying up again too. Users are commenting on the low levels of work so I am trying to scan each of the platforms I use to find any income.

Expenses

My main expenses this month have been related to going out and meeting people. I have a few expenses brewing as I need some work doing on my car to prepare it for its MOT next year.

Next month is going to be a more expensive month due to the time of year, with Christmas looming I have gifts to buy and a few birthdays gifts to source. I am not really sure what to buy and I don’t really feel like going out and about. I really do not like this time of year and it makes me feel down.

Month End Summary

I am still going. I have some extra income from a few house/pet sitting jobs lined up in the next few months and I am feeling up and down at the moment. Good, as I can see some income sources. Bad, as I can see unexpected expenses and some long term large costs looming. I will just have to keep going and FI funds have enabled me to survive with little or no work. I can be grateful to be in this position. I have now been free from a full time job for 23 months and by the end of December I will have been free for two years. Its not quite how I imagined it or how I wanted it to be. But hey! I am still going.

6 thoughts on “Monthly Update – Nov 21

  1. My energy supplier went bust too but it was among the first few to do so, so was snapped up quickly by one of the big boys (EDF). These latter-day ones (like yours) will probably all need government prop-up and we all await to see how high our fuel bills will shoot up in the coming months.

    • I have been receiving update emails from them saying they have been taken over by a Gov appointed company and at the moment my service will continue ‘as is’ on the same terms and tariffs and I will be informed at some point in the coming months about where my account will be moved to. I will just keep and eye on them and possibly start looking at the tariffs being charged by others to see how they compare and plan for an increase in charges.
      Dread to think what It will be like when we are all using electric cars!

  2. Thanks for the update. You seem to be really doing well and surviving (and some would say socially thriving) with limited money.

    Have you considered switching up completely and getting a run of the mill part-time job? Working in a supermarket, working for the national trust (some really good vacancies), or perhaps some sort of home-based data entry job? Or even retraining and setting up a small business (Dog walking for example?)

    You seem to be a skilled individual who could do something like the above which would not only keep you busy but also enable you to have a little extra cash flow. It sounds like you don’t need a great deal to go from being relatively tight financially to having a little more disposable income.

    I am enjoying your journey. Have confidence and find something which can enable you to thrive.

    Thank you,

    Ryan

    • Hi Ryan,
      Thanks for your feedback, glad you like my blog. My internal voice keeping pushing me to ‘try harder’ lol ! It’s back to the fear of running out (FORO) ! My inner voice always has that ‘could do better’ mantra, finding my life purpose and balance.

      When I comment on the inflexible contract that’s a supermarket or retail/warehouse job. Stacking shelves, packing deliveries or operating the till. They are pretty poor offers at the moment, I think the demand in my area means it’s a sellers market for these types of jobs. Am unable to pick my days or hours at the moment. Possibly because the last ones in have to take the flex hours and fill in for missing staff.
      I’m already doing home-based data entry (see micro worker post) but the time v pay is not a good ratio for me (It was useful during the lockdowns) so now moving onto something else.

      I am about to do some house sitting/pet minding as a trial. I had thought of that in the past before I quit and given the number of people who took on pets during the lockdowns there could be a business opportunity there. I would like to balance my work with free time to enable me to do other things so trying to find a good compromise. There is a bit of wanderlust in me as I avidly watch Itchy Boots on YouTube.

      I had a look at the NT jobs when I first pondered quitting my full time job years ago and didn’t find anything suitable then but I haven’t looked recently. I know that they laid a load of people off during the pandemic due to the closure of their sites. I will go and have a look at their vacancies – (thanks for the heads-up).

      My self confidence has been a bit battered by my last toxic job and from the pandemic but I am trying to pick myself up and find new paths and options for the future.

  3. For a seasonal job, Royal Mail are always after people to work in their sorting offices over the festive period – there should be different shifts available there.

    • LOL! ..Funny you should say that…
      I bumped into a RM worker a few weeks back. I asked her about the new RM hub being built nearby and jobs. She said they are being moved to the new hub next year. The hub is being fitted out at the moment so not operational yet. She said they don’t have any vacancies at the moment, fully staffed for Xmas, but when the new hub opens there will be new roles.

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