Monthly Update – Apr 22

Image by tigerlily713 from Pixabay

I have tried to enjoy April and the Easter break. I avoided the worst of the holiday crowds and ventured out with my partner to visit local towns/countryside and go out and about on our motorbike to a few cafes and enjoy the sunshine and good weather. I even managed to go and see a band play – the last time I saw these play was the month before lockdown happened.

Like many, I have been trying to keep my costs down and determine the consequences of the cost of living crisis and the impending fuel bills. I still do not know where my utility account will be moved too. I have been avoiding much of the news as it is so depressing and I am trying to stay positive.

At the end of April my net worth is down another 3%, so its not good when I see my investments and net worth dropping. Ok, I know I am drawing off them now so I can expect a drop but I am also trying to gain some growth so that my income balances out my expenses so I can live a FI life and not have to seek out full time work again. On that note, I have been looking for part time work but nothing going at the moment of interest. So I will keep doing the online work even though it does not pay well as it is giving a little bit of cash.

I have started receiving my tax certificates and my notice from HMRC to submit a tax return. I think I may have a little bit of tax to pay for the last tax year. As things started to open up and companies started to recover I received some bumper dividend payments.

I have also received a letter from my old employer saying that they are ditching moving my DB pension to a pension company who will then become responsible & liable for the supply of my DB pension benefit. I am waiting to see what that really means. I was banking on this as a baseline for retirement at state pension age. The letter suggests that the DB value may be reassessed and I may not get the amount I was expecting when transferred to the pension company – really annoying way of getting out of paying what was promised. I was going to use my DC pension to carry me to state pension age – but this may not pan out as well as first thought.

I have had a large repair expense on my rental to fund this month and I am beginning to think about selling the property. It is starting to cost me more in maintenance and the rental rules are increasing which makes it not profitable as a single house landlord. I entered this by accident rather than design and the rules are growing and I would rather have my money back and look to place that elsewhere and lower my potential stress levels. I know that house prices have gone up but with the current climate I may find it a hard and slow sell. I can’t initiate anything until the current rental contract is up and I will have to issue a section 21 to initiate the process of obtaining the property back from the tenant. I have to assume that the tenant will be reluctant to leave as looking at the local market there are no equivalent rental properties available. So I need to be prepared for a long repossession and sale process while still having to cover the basic costs (mortgage, tax, etc.) I have had a look at the past property sales but nothing has sold in the immediate area for months so it is hard to gauge the market and how easy or hard it will be to sell.

I am preparing to go on holiday soon and paid the balance so that will be great to get away from home and have a change from my normal environment. I could do with getting away as the good weather appears. I have a wanderlust and am so glad I am not in an office looking out at all the sunshine. I can be the master of my day and determine what I want to do based on the weather.

Income

On the income front, I have earned more doing surveys that on the online platform, yet again. Watching my investments decline and net worth drop is a bit worrying now I don’t have a working income.

I have started to withdraw money from my matched betting accounts – although one account is a painful process. My original card has been replaced and I now have to register a new one and wait until this is completed before I can withdraw money. To make it even more annoying, I have to deposit money with this new card before I can use it to withdraw to…. Other accounts have just let me change the card details. I am not sure I will continue with match betting, I just don’t find it stimulating enough even though the profits are tax free, which is an incentive. I just cannot get into a rhythm and I don’t seem to get many offers to make it worthwhile. I’m not their preferred punter. I should have tried withdrawing money before to make this process easier. My bad! Its easy to add money into the accounts but near impossible to remove it!

Expenses

My main expense this month have been rental repairs. With limited access and inspections during lockdowns the house has a few issues that have built up and now need to be resolved. It is now eating into my income and making this an unprofitable income stream. In addition to the taxation increases and the new rules coming in it will be impossible to comply with them without spending huge amounts of money to upgrade. The main one is energy rating. At the moment it is ok but I need to get a new energy cert next year – which will be required if I want to sell anyway. In a few years the minimum rating level will be increased and to get my property to comply will require considerable outlay… It’s a small mid-terrace and to go up a level, the recommended upgrades are solar panels and/or a heat pump. There is not much roof or wall space to squeeze these in never mind the upheaval of retro fitting the interior.

Month End Summary

With my net worth dropping and cost of living rising, I am worried how this will affect my long term plans. I would rather not have to find full time work again. I would rather use FI to bridge my transition into retirement at SPA.

I have some maintenance costs on my own property to complete this year and the increasing prices mean I am fighting a moving target. I have the time now to arrange them but do I have the money? My FI funds need to support both the repair outlays and my normal living costs without ending up being unable to do any more than heat my home and eat in the years ahead.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s