Monthly Update – Jan 22

Image by tigerlily713 from Pixabay

Well, what a start to the year. By the end of Jan I have lost 5% of my net worth. Pretty much everything is down and with the cost of living rising I am somewhat worried what this year will bring. I have started the year spending time doing ‘free time’ stuff. I have started going out more and trying to cycle, walk and enjoy the best of the dry and sunny weather. I have also started working on my new passive income idea. I am not sure it will fly but I will give it a go. It may take a few months to get some sales to appear – if they ever do.

I am not good at marketing and with others having the same idea and with costs now rising, discretionary spending curbs my mean this idea will not fly. I have taken a break from the online platform as the volume of work and the pay rates are so low it really is not worth my time. I received some dividend income this month and this has surpassed the total income received from my online working for the whole of last year. With dividends being paid, I now wonder if it is worth the point of carrying on with the online platform.

I had another interview for a job but it really was not going to happen. Just as I had my interview, the government changed their advice to ‘go to the office’. Although the person who suggested the job to me was saying I could work remotely, it was quite clear during the interview that the successful applicant must work in the office. They may have some staff working remotely now but they do not intend taking any more on in that capacity. The commute to the office was prohibitive, it’s about an hour and a half train journey away so not really very practical.

My net worth has started the year down by 6%. I have lost half of the gains from last year. Pretty sad when I am looking at how to survive off it and cope with the inflation and cost of living rises now occurring.

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 from April. Other than sitting in a cold house with no heating on I have done everything I can to keep my usage down. The government offer of a rebate on council tax to offset the energy bills does not really do much for me. The rebate is the equivalent of one month’s council tax payment so really does not help much.

While speaking to others, we find this £200 energy ‘loan’ is a bit of a fudge too. It’s just an interest free loan and with fingers crossed that the rates lower over the next few years to help flatten the curve. I cannot see how this will happen. These new energy changes such as multiple variable day rates coming in just adds to the complexity of tracking usage. Energy is going to get more expensive for all. Can you work and live in the off peak times to cut your usage?

I was shocked to read the article about someone with solar panels and an air source heat pump who is paying £99 per WEEK for electricity! That sounds like a very bad installation and does not make me feel very comfortable about fitting any of those ‘green, energy saving’ options.

Income

On the income front, I have earned more doing surveys that on the online platform this month. My rate of pay is better from surveys even if participation is capped each week. I will keep watching for online work now and again but am wondering about getting a part time job. I will continue working on my new passive income idea and see if that takes off, I am enjoying doing it even if it does not earn me any income. I am feeling more down with life and really not interested in going back to the IT grind. Something different is needed as I just don’t feel any passion for that job any more. I will be glad when the warmer weather appears, it may help my mood.

Expenses

My main expenses this month have been birthday gifts and meeting up with people. I am enjoying not working and want to maintain this lifestyle. I have a few large expenses next month which I have been focusing on so I can manage my money and expenses accordingly.

Month End Summary

I am pleased with the dividend income this month as that was a real boost for me. I just need dividends to keep on coming this year. With my net worth dropping I am worried how this will affect me as I try to drawdown and find ways of making the pot last. The inflation rates negate any gains. I cannot access pensions for a few more years yet so need my ISA, shares, rent and cash take the strain. I spoke to some others about my BTL and want to look at selling it in 12 months. I am now looking at what I need to do to get possession of the property so I can sell it. In the area, there have been no recent sales so it is hard to see how much it will go for and also if it will sell. I had a look at Zoopla but their estimates are WAY off! There is no way the house is worth the money they are suggesting. With selling costs and taxes I may just get my invested money back and break even.

I will just keep pottering along and see how long I can last before I have no choice but to get another job.

2 thoughts on “Monthly Update – Jan 22

  1. I can imagine it being a tough time, weathering the downward turn in the markets while you need to derive income from your investments. I guess like other drops in the markets, this too shall pass but perhaps not as quickly as what we saw after the Covid dip. I hope your dividends continue to roll in, in the meantime.

    It’s obvious that you no longer have passion for IT jobs but there must still be something there as you continue to go for interviews although sadly, it looks like you’re finding they’re the same old jobs and you aren’t finding anything different. I guess home-based roles do exist but speaking to friends and colleagues, project-based IT jobs appear to be more likely office-based, unless you’re working for a global team where no one works in the same country, never mind same office.

    The company I work for has implemented hybrid working policy, which largely depends on your role: IT and Sales people are in 3 days a week, other roles one or two days a week.

    The lease on our London office wasn’t renewed (a massive rent saving) so all those people down there WFH, regardless of role (including a couple of directors).

    Anyway, well done on the surveys and good luck with the job hunting.

    • Thanks Weenie.
      Yes, as the stoic saying goes, “this too shall pass”. It’s just a phase I am going through. I will be glad when the summer returns.

      I was talking to an ex work colleague today who has decided to retire. She is older than me and feels the same, ie. has lost the passion for the job (we did similar roles). She is living off her redundancy at the moment and looking at how to structure her retirement finances.

      Seeing the markets drop when you are living off your investments does invoke some fears. My funds have dropped 6% so far YTD. I am ok at the moment, I am using a cash buffer to avoid selling investments. I can see more dividends being declared too so some good signs for future months. It’s just that change and adjustment from accumulating to spending. I have been a saver for so long, it is hard to change into the ‘spender’. With inflation and the cost of living crisis growing, I will have to curb my adventures while I cover my basic living costs. I am number crunching at the moment to define a plan. I have to get some tradesmen in to get some work done on my house – inflation will increase the prices but also need to be confident I can pay for them. Oh the joys of home ownership.

      I do need to focus on the positives ( no bursting inbox – I loved your comment in your last post!) and learn to enjoy life in the meantime and try to keep a smile on my face. I have things to be grateful for. I do have a habit of ‘venting’ my frustrations on here – but then it may help others realise it happens to us all and we will have down times but just need to keep moving forward.

      Look forward to reading your next monthly update.

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