Monthly Update – Dec 21

Image by tigerlily713 from Pixabay

December has been a bit of an odd month. I have been finishing off some house jobs and preparing for Christmas. I have been good and tried to find useful gifts for people and cut back on over indulging on useless (wasteful) gifts. Christmas has been quiet and scaled back for me. Only one group event for a friend’s birthday. We all tested ourselves before we met as one of the party is still recovering from major cancer surgery. Everyone made the most of the event. A few of the attendees had had COVID before the vaccines were available and explained the extent of their illness. Luckily none of them required hospital treatment and have now had vaccines and boosters. I had an interesting conversation with someone I had never met before (a friend of a friend). They were telling me how they feel down with their job and want to quit. They caught COVID, lost loads of weight and now feel so down with their job and work life. They are a year older than me and seem to have some good savings and they were interested in how I was managing to live without a job. They have gone away to go through their finances and see if they can ‘retire’ early. They have a well paying job with healthy savings and a good pension and they have just inherited a house and looking at whether they should sell it or rent it out. It was interesting to compare notes and it made me feel good to be able to live without a ‘proper’ job and enjoy some freedom. I don’t have the luxury of a potential inheritance so have to earn and build my FI fund.

I think I am still going through the phases of ‘retirement’, I have had the ‘grief’ stage for a while now. It has lingered due to the pandemic and I have been struggling with the status anxiety of not having work. I have no real sense of meaning or purpose at the moment, made more so by this pandemic. I am getting out a bit more now and meeting others and listening to other’s work issues has made me feel more relaxed and confident over what I have done. The anxiety of not working is starting to ease as I don’t feel so worried about what people think. I saw a review for my last employer and it was very scathing, I am so glad I left that place. It hasn’t got any better and the review was pretty damaging, with a quote to avoid working there.

I had a pet sitting job which I completed just before Christmas, So a little bit of extra income earned and it was enjoyable. I was also supposed to have a repeat session in Jan but they have cancelled. They had booked a ski holiday in Austria but this was cancelled due to the Austrian lockdown. It would have been good to earn some extra money but hey, it is not a big problem at the moment.

My net worth has ended the year well and is 10% up, mainly due to the recovery of indexes and in the latter part of the year, an uplift in dividend payments as companies start to recover and restart dividends. So even though I am using and depleting cash to live, I am managing to offset this with income from investments.

I am still waiting to see what happens with my energy supplier. I just pay the bills and wait to see what happens. I dread to think what the costs will be next year. The rumours of large increases in April are worrying. I need to assess my usage v. charges. I don’t think I can reduce my usage any more than I currently have. Other than sitting in a cold house with no heating on I have done everything I can to keep my usage down. If anything it’s the increase in standing charges and unit costs which increases my bills and I cannot prevent this.

Income

On the income front, I have converted some online earnings to GBP so I can use towards Christmas expenses. Compared to last year I have not earned anything like as much online income this month. It has been really poor. I really need to look at other sources of income and see if I can diversify and increase passive income so I can go out and about and spend time enjoying life rather than tied to an online portal. At the moment it would be better for me to find a part time job give the earning rates per hour as it would be a more lucrative use of my time. I feel I am giving my time away for free.

My ISA has received some good sized dividends this month, the most I have received and I hope this growth trend will continue into next year. If I could get this value paid every month then I could happily stop looking for additional income sources and just live.

I have been looking at drop ship and other ventures which I could possibly use to generate some cash in a more passive way. I did setup another betting account and made another small profit on match betting but would need to add more money into the accounts to get them to generate some additional profit. I assume others are moving money around the accounts which feels like a grind to earn a few pounds.

Expenses

My main expenses this month have been related to Christmas, birthday gifts, meals out and meeting up with people to celebrate Christmas and the end of the year.

Month End Summary

I am pleased with how 2021 has ended from a financial viewpoint. My net worth has increased by 10% and my ISA and pension funds are looking healthy. I am still drawing down cash and leaving my ISA untouched so I can try to get the benefit of reinvested income. Some of my cash accounts have raised their interest rates, not enough to make a big difference. I will continue to look at moving some of my cash to generate a better return. I see that the markets wanted to try and end the year up. My passive income has improved and is higher than last year. I have dividends already declared for next year/month so that will be a great start for 2022. I just need things to keep moving in a positive direction so I can make next year better than this one and continue to move through the ‘retirement’ phases and get a more positive view of life and future.

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