August 2021 update

Not happy with another car bill on the horizon, I decided the best thing for it was to sell the car. I did the usual of checking out the dealer buy-back price, We Buy Any Car, and the local garage but none of them could come close to motorway.co.uk

I took a load of photos of the car, chatted with them about the condition and they sent the details out to all their buyers. The next day I had a really good offer come in that was £2.5k higher than expected. So, the next week the Polestar was loaded onto a transporter and made its way up to Edinburgh.

Farewell!

Bit disappointed with the V60 Polestar in terms of reliability, my previous V60 I had for a couple of years longer and it just needed new tyres.

It was a beast of a car and so much fun to drive but by selling that I could buy a Toyota Auris hybrid which saved me £585 car tax each year, around £100/year insurance, and sooo much on petrol. Plus it left me with a fair-sized pot of money 🙂

With the extra cash sitting in the bank I decided to pay off my student loan so I called them up, got my redemption figure and paid straight away. Such a good feeling to know that another debt has been cleared. I know people have mixed feelings on paying off their student loan and some see it more as a “tax”.

Interesting thing is, after a few days the online balance for my loan showed the debt had been cleared and also that there was a small credit on the account – not sure how that would be given that we worked off a redemption figure. Oh well!

Of actually annoyance though was that my employer still took a student loan repayment from my pay this month and that hasn’t shown up on my loan account. I guess the notice from SLC & HMRC hadn’t been received in time. Not the end of the world as I expect to get that repaid some point in September.

Talking about repayments, I should be getting my car tax refund through next month too which should be around the £450 mark. I’m in two minds as to whether invest it or tuck it away in a new savings pot potentialy to pay for my Masters degree.

The frugle side of me takes over this time of year when both my car and home insurance come up for renewal. This kick-starts a flurry of comparision site searches for the best deal which I then check against TopCashBack for any further goodness.

This year I have saved £30 off my car insurance and got roadside recovery included plus £40 cashback from using the TopCashBack service.

At the time of writing I have still to finalise my home insurance but my renewal offer is the same as last year so at least I know I’ll not be paying more if I decide to stay with them.

Additional Income Streams

  • Matched Betting £29 (July £9.16)
  • Surveys/studies £0.93 (July £0)
  • Amazon FBA/eBay/FB Marketplace £50 (July £13.79)
  • TopCashBack £0.14 (July £2.37)

Continued to clear out items via eBay and Facebook Marketplace, mainly due to pressure from my wife! 😀

I know some of the items I’ve sold could have been priced higher but to be fair, I just wanted the items gone. At the end of the month, anything that was being advertised and hadn’t generated any interest was taken to the local Nansa charity shop.

The income from matched betting is starting to be a more consistent flow as I’m making more effort to take adavantage of bet clubs and offers around the football World Cup and a few other major sporting events. Still a long way off what I was making in my early matched betting days but something is better than nothing.

I use a service called Odds Monkey to help with my matched betting, I’ve been using them for several months now and find the tools they provide to be essential in making a profit. If you are interested then drop me a message or you can sign-up via my affiliate link – OddsMonkey. The great thing is you can do as much or as little as you like and it fits around your life.

How did I do in August?

Assets

  • Emergency Fund £3,192.51 (July £2,928.621)
  • ISA, Freetrade £4,240.64 (July £3,228.42)
  • ISA, Hargreaves Lansdown £3,435.97 (July £3,249.52)
  • Pensions £120,869.69 (July £117,335.14)
  • SAYE £660.00 (July £630.00)
  • House £375,000 (£360,099) *Nationwide HPI 2020 Q4

Liabilities

  • Student Loan +£13 (July -£2,503.82)
  • Mortgage -£185641.19 (July -£187,074.21)

Total Assets (excluding house) – Total Liabilities = Net Worth
£132,398.81 – £185,628.19 = -£53,229.38 (July -£62,236.33)

Month-on-month

Very satisfying to have that final payment listed in the spreadsheet this month. It will feel strange not reporting on any debts next month!

Slightly up on the EF payments – these are a combination of round-ups on certain transactions plus regular payments.

Future Fund

Future Fund

My next milestone is £150,000 for my Future Fund. It’s great to see this number increasing and my negative networth (excluding house) inching toward a positive figure.

Dividends

Just under £40 for this year and with four months to go, it’s looking good for my target. My average monthly dividends are £4.92 which is nearly enough to cover one of our mobile phone bills 😀

Goals

Read more – not so much reading this month, the same with audiobooks which I normally listen to when walking Skyla – I’ve just been enjoying the sounds of nature which I find very calming.

Exercise more – August was a real struggle for exercising as I’d managed to get golfers elbow, also known as tendinitis, from weight lifting. This really set me back mentally and as a result, I didn’t attend many classes at all. I did finish the month strongly though with a Body Attack class and two treadmill sessions in the final weekend. This got me just enough MEPs to meet the minimum monthly target.

Learn more – I spent quite a bit of time working through an ethical hacking course which I found really interesting, so far I have been able to use a Kali Linux VM, USB wireless adapter, and a few packages to run deauth attacks. I’ve only done this on my wireless network for obvious reasons (I don’t want to end up in jail!) but it was cool to be able to prevent one of my Echo Dots from connecting to the Internet 🙂

I have also been spending some time looking into a framework called Flutter, which is used to develop good looking, cross-platform mobile apps.

Earn more – Effectively by paying off my student loan I will be bringing home a bit more money each month which could count as extra earnings – a pound saved is a pound earned, right? 🙂

Guest Post

If you are interested in writing a guest post for my blog, you can reach out to me via the contact page or by taking a look at the let’s work together page – it would be great to hear from you!

April 2021 update

This month gave me a right kick in the teeth with a car bill that I mentioned was upcoming last month. I knew it would be a few hundred but can you imagine the look on my face when the quote came through at £675!

Me, when having read the quote.

Around half of this was labour and tax but the other half was just for the coil springs, £175 each as they could only be supplied by Volvo. On previous cars, I could have bought an entire set of springs for that price!

Additional Income Streams

  • Matched Betting £16 (Mar -£80)
  • Surveys/studies £2.98 (Feb £8.79)
  • Amazon FBA/eBay £0 (Feb £0)
  • TopCashBack £0 (Mar £0)

Not much activity with the additional income this month, made a small profit with matched betting. I’ve got a few things listed on eBay which will sell at the start of next month so that will be something to look forward to.

I use a service called Odds Monkey to help with my matched betting, I’ve been using them for several months now and find the tools they provide to be essential in making a profit. If you are interested then drop me a message or you can sign-up via my affiliate link – OddsMonkey. The great thing is you can do as much or as little as you like and it fits around your life.

How did I do in April?

Assets

  • Emergency Fund £2,150.68 (Mar £2,446.58)
  • ISA, Freetrade £3,128.50 (Mar £3,009.24)
  • ISA, Hargreaves Lansdown £2,942.21 (Mar £2,913.33)
  • Pensions £111,546.97 (Mar £107,559.23)
  • SAYE £540.00 (Mar £510.00)
  • House £375,000 (£360,099) *Nationwide HPI 2020 Q4

With the car bill, I had to dip into the emergency fund so I’ll be replenshing the cash levels over the next few months.

We had our house valued this month as we are looking into the prospect of moving. We were pleasantly surprised with what the estate agent told us after having a look around. There are a few jobs that need doing to get the house up to scratch but nothing we weren’t aware of. I am using the lower end of the range as I appreciate there is still work to do.

Liabilities

  • Student Loan -£2,980.38 (Mar -£3,158.16)
  • Mortgage -£189,389.70 (Mar -£190,069.79)

Total Assets (excluding house) – Total Liabilities = Net Worth
£120,308.36 – £192,370.08 = -£72,061.72 (Mar -£76,789.57 )

Month-on-month

Last month I bought into Alibaba (the Chinese Amazon), this month I have added Baidu – the Chinese Google. Both are in my Freetrade General Investment Account so subject to any applicable taxes etc.

I have also increased my holding in Microsoft, I see them as a company that will continue growing for years to come. Not only are they in the consumer market with the Xbox etc. but also they are the second biggest provider of Cloud services behind Amazon. Interestingly, Alibaba are also a cloud provider so they tick several boxes for me.

Future Fund

Future Fund April 2021
Future Fund

The value of my Future Fund is up to £118,498.36 (£3,700 month-on-month), slowly edging to the £120k mark 🙂

Dividends

Dividends April 2021

A whopping 45 pence this month for dividends, not quite at the stage where I can start thinking about retirement! 😀

Guest Post

If you are interested in writing a guest post for my blog, you can reach out to me via the contact page or by taking a look at the let’s work together page – it would be great to hear from you!

Vanity Metrics

These are metrics which serve me no purpose other than to see progress, or lack of, in the social media universe.

I have reappeared on Modest Money so I am able to compare stats again, hopefully on a consistant basis.

Alexa ranking: #6880720 (Mar #6,700,360)
Twitter followers: 507 (Mar 437)
Blog followers: 52 (Mar 48)

March 2021 update

After my ever-so-late-in-the-month update for February, I told myself to be better prepared.

So, on the day the clocks went forward, I made a start on my March update. This will hopefully help me remember some of the things that have occurred too.

Earlier in the month, when I was picking my son up from work, I went over a speed bump and heard this loud crack. I was only going slowly so was pretty surprised but when I parked up and took a look around I couldn’t see anything wrong.

A little while later I was hearing this metallic clanging sound occasionally coming from where I heard the sound. Driving around one of the bumpy country roads the other day I heard something fall off and bounce along the road, when I went back and looked I found part of the coil spring had come off 😦

At least it explains the noise but I don’t fancy the repair bill which will be several hundred pounds.

I have been looking at moving to an electric car, with the MG ZS EV being the target of my attention but the difference between the asking price, even for an ex-demo, and my car is too great and the break-even point would be too far off.

No doubt I will revisit this in time though as I’m keen to reduce my impact on the environment. Talking of this, I watched a documentary on Netflix the other day called Seaspiracy and it was shocking to see the impact of fishing on the environment. Needless to say, I have now cut fish from my diet and got myself a supply of plant-based omega-3 – interestingly, omega-3 is only present in fish due to them eating these algae, I never knew that!


Have you watched Seaspriracy? What are your views on this – do you think the views are biased or are you glad that the issues are getting more attention?


Finishing on a positive note, the gym reopens on the 12th of April and I can’t wait!! It has been fine working out at home and I’ve noticed some gains but I also need the classes (restarting in May) to help shift some Covid pounds.

Additional Income Streams

  • Matched Betting £-80 (Feb £232)
  • Surveys/studies £8.79 (Feb £0)
  • Amazon FBA £0 (Feb £30)
  • TopCashBack £0 (Feb £0)

Matched betting went a bit sideways this month, the loss was due to part of a matched bet not being accepted. I usually make sure the lay bet is accepted before flipping on to the bookie’s site to place the back bet, this time however something must have happened that prevented the lay which I didn’t notice.

Allow the loss looked big, it was £120, it wasn’t money from my pocket as it was profit from previous months so “just” paper money. I would have preferred not to have lost it but it’s another lesson learnt.

I use a service called Odds Monkey to help with my matched betting, I’ve been using them for several months now and find the tools they provide to be essential in making a profit. If you are interested then drop me a message or you can sign-up via my affiliate link – OddsMonkey. The great thing is you can do as much or as little as you like and it fits around your life.

No sales on FBA this month as all my stock has been sold. I’ll be keeping an eye out for any more price reductions and bargains though…

How did I do in March?

Assets

  • Emergency Fund £2,446.58 (Feb £2,226.39)
  • ISA, Freetrade £3,009.24 (Feb £2,924.52)
  • ISA, Hargreaves Lansdown £2,913.33 (Feb £2,783.11)
  • Pensions £107,559.23 (Feb £103,498.91)
  • SAYE £510.00 (Feb £480.00)
  • House £360,099 (£350,883) *Nationwide HPI 2020 Q4

Liabilities

  • Student Loan -£3,158.16 (Feb -£3,376.77)
  • Mortgage -£190,069.79 (Feb -£190,464.67)

Total Assets (excluding house) – Total Liabilities = Net Worth
£116,438.38 – £193,227.95 = -£76,789.57 (Feb -£81,928.51 )

Month-on-month

This month, I have decided to replace the tracking of my payments against my student loan. At my current rate of repayment, I should be able to clear the loan within 18 months. The interest rate is 2.6%, less than my mortgage, but I am focussing on the loan so that I can then turn the monthly payment against my mortgage in time.

Next month I’ll include my Freetrade General Investment Account (GIA) as I’ve got a few free shares in there plus I’ve just added Alibaba which is like the Chinese Amazon. They are massive in China owning nearly 60% of the eCommerce market share there, that’s compared to just under 40% of the American market owned by Amazon. They are different though as Alibaba are primarily a B2B company whereas Amazon is a B2C.

I’ll also try to remember to include some graphics for my other portfolios; income, and tech.

Some may say that tech is a risky market to be in but working in that sector, I have a pretty good understanding of good companies that will be around for a while and those that won’t stick.

Future Fund

My Future Fund is continuing to march in the right direction. If I have another couple of months growth like this month’s then I could be seeing £120k sooner rather than later.

Dividends

A great month for dividend payments this month, still tiny compared to other people but my portfolio is still in it’s embryonic stage really.

Guest Post

Just in discussions with another blogger so I should hopefully have a new guest post next month or May.

If you are interested in writing a guest post for my blog, you can reach out to me via the contact page or by taking a look at the let’s work together page – it would be great to hear from you!

Vanity Metrics

These are metrics which serve me no purpose other than to see progress, or lack of, in the social media universe.

I have reappeared on Modest Money so I am able to compare stats again, hopefully on a consistant basis.

Alexa ranking: #6,700,360 (Feb #6,700,360)
Twitter followers: 437 (Feb 437)
Blog followers: 48 (Feb 46)

December 2020 update

Just a few things of interest this month that impact my finances and work, and decent form by Norwich City at the top of the Championship, make it a month that I am reasonably happy with.

Tyres for 20″ wheels int cheap!

As all my money has a purpose each month, I utilised my Emergency Fund (EF) to cover the cost of two new tyres for my car. The reason for using the EF is that I keep next to no money in my current account, pretty much just what I need for groceries and petrol.

The company I bought the tyres from are based in Andorra so to protect myself I paid for them using a credit card and then immediately paid the balance off with the EF money. There were some indifferent reviews on the web but I have no complaints at all, the order process went fine and the tyres arrived three days later.

With work, I received my variation of contract making me a permanent home worker. Some of my office-based colleagues may say about costs increasing by WFH but the heating is still going to be on at the same times as my kids and wife are home at different points during the day. Electricity will increase slightly and the broadband bill will remain the same.

My company will be paying me £26 expenses per month directly to help offset WFH expenses, this is pretty handy as it means I will not have to make a claim to the Inland Revenue myself.

Additional Income Streams

  • Matched Betting £51 (Nov £137)
  • Surveys/studies £5.72 (Nov £10.21)
  • eBay £37
  • TopCashBack £13.06

The eBay income came from the sale of our old TV which had a broken screen (teenager + game console!). The guy who bought the TV wanted it to repair his broken unit so I felt happy with this sale as it helped prevent two TVs going to landfill. The proceeds went to help pay down my credit card bill 🙂

How did I do in December?

Assets

  • Emergency Fund £1,500 (£1,150.80)
  • ISA, Freetrade £3,611.82 (£3,546.79)
  • ISA, Hargreaves Lansdown £2,713.38 (£2,682.73)
  • Pensions £98,995.33 (£97,194.47)
  • SAYE £420.00 (£390.00)
  • House £350,883 (£350,883) *HPI current valuation

Liabilities

  • Credit Card -£950.99 (-£1,728.26)
  • Student Loan -£3,656.77 (-£3,806.77)
  • Mortgage -£190,092.68 (-£189,487.04)

Total Assets (excluding house) – Total Liabilities = Net Worth
£107,240.53 – £194,700.44 = -£87,459.91 (-£90,057.28)

Month-on-month

Not so much added to my FreeTrade ISA this month as I bulked up my emergency fund and paid a bit more than usual off my credit card.

My plan to clear the credit card debt in January might be pushed back to February now although it depends on additional repayments I can sneak in next month.

The pension contribution reflects an additional one per cent, that coupled with a new Vanguard SIPP I opened for Mrs Frugalist means that we are now putting 15% of our household income into pensions. That’s another personal milestone met 🙂

Future Fund

It’s nice to see the graph continuing to move up & right, this month’s gain puts me quite near the £110,000 mark and is a good way to end the year. Just over half of the gain is from the inclusion of my Hargreaves Lansdown ISA which was missing from last month’s FF.

Dividends

A late flurry of dividends this month gave me a nice fuzzy feeling as payments crept past the £8 mark for the month.

It’s nice to look ahead to the prospect of seeing how 2021 payments compare to 2020. Who knows what they will look like as amongst many things the economy will continue to be influenced by COVID-19 and also the departure from the EU.

Looking ahead to 2021

I’ll share my review of 2020 shortly and also my plans for 2021. I’m going to try and concentrate on the processes required to meet my goals rather than just the goals themselves, I think this level of planning will help with my motivation.

Guest Post

This month I had the opportunity to share a post from Martin at Studenomics, he shares his thoughts on what to look for in your first side hustle – things to watch out for and how to choose the right one.

If you are interested in writing a guest post for my blog, you can reach out to me via the contact page or by taking a look at the let’s work together page – it would be great to hear from you!

Vanity Metrics

These are metrics which serve me no purpose other than to see progress, or lack of, in the social media universe.

Alexa ranking: #1,298,570
Twitter followers: 295
Blog followers: 29