Well, what a year so far. At the end of Feb I have lost 7% of my net worth. It is a short month but plenty has happened. Pretty much everything is down and with the cost of living rising I am worried how this year is going to end. The government are ending all the COVID restrictions – but not necessarily all the legislation and rules that went with it. A war has now begun in Eastern Europe which has crashed the markets and begun a fear of additional division.
The energy crisis is getting worse. I am still waiting to see where my account will be reassigned since my energy supplier went out of business. I have received my new energy rates and from April my electricity standing charge will increase by 70% ! Yes, given that the future is electricity only and that we will be driving electric cars in the future, it makes sense for the utility companies to start piling all the increases onto electricity rather than gas rates. New houses will be built with electricity only and with car charging being the norm, the fees for electricity use will climb. I cannot see prices being reduced.
I am trying to stay positive, at least I am not living under the nightmare of invasion and I feel sorry for Ukrainians trying to find safe places and flee for their lives.
On the income front, I have earned more doing surveys that on the online platform, again. I have been trying to build my new side hustle. No sales yet and I am doubting it will but I can but try. It may take 6 months to see any sales, so I have to wait for some time to see if anything will happen. I will be glad when the warmer weather appears, it may help my mood. Like others, I am now sick of the winter and need some sunshine and some positivity to lighten my mood. Watching my investment decline makes me think about the sequence of returns risk and how I stopped working at just the wrong time. Since I quit, there has been a pandemic and now a war with its associated economic turmoil. I am trying to survive on my savings and leave the investments to recover and maybe I can then look to draw from them in a few years when the markets have picked up. I will continue to spend some time doing some social things while I still can.
My main expenses this month have been social, going out and trying to enjoy life while I can. Meeting up with people and having a laugh. I am enjoying not working and want to maintain this lifestyle. I have spoken to a few people who are working and they are envious of my free time and spending my day doing other things, like walking & cycling to improve my health. I met up with an ex work colleague who has now decided that they are officially retired. They have updated their linkedin profile to indicate this too. They have a few more years to go until they can claim their state pension but just want to enjoy life while they can and have their health to do so. They can afford to retire, although they need to adjust their finances, they have recently received an inheritance and will use that to fund their early retirement.
Month End Summary
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 have started investigating the repossession options on my BTL and I am expecting, given the current climate, that I will have to go down the court eviction route so need to look at the costs required for this and then look to sell. Not sure what the house market will be like at that point given the cost of living crisis and economic conditions.
I will just keep pottering along and determine a route to survive this downturn. I will hunker down and try to find positive things to focus on and keep a smiling and be grateful.