Month-end: August 2019

The Summer is over and the days are getting shorter. It’s now feeling like Autumn. How’s the Family Office looking?

From a family point of view, things have been changing a bit here. The Little Lady is becoming more and more fun and enjoys a good laugh. The Master is becoming clingy (to his mother – not so much me) and is developing signs of OCD! Not good.

The Lady is back in work again in a month’s time after 12 months on maternity. My job situation is… mmm… fluid I would say. Watch this space!

Income – Steady

More or less steady. The Lady got another surprise £150 from work as the company is doing well – although her maternity pay is Zero. We also made another £50 from AirBnB which was swallowed by investing in new sheets to make the turnaround betweeen guests easier.

Dividends – Super

Total dividends of around £2300 including £1200 from P2P lending (thanks Abundance) and £750 from VCTs, £50 from AirBnB was nice. ISA dividends are too low but I expect to top-up my ISAs this month/next to boost them up in coming months.

Besides movement in P2P investments, no investments were made in August. I will invest some of the pent up dividends in our ISAs/SIPPS this month using the regular investment costs of £1.50 with HL & Youinvest.

Outgoings – Not too bad but too high!

We had an expensive month with spending above the 6 month average but about £900 less than July. The heavy hitters were the cost of our recent holiday in Ireland and also some forward spending for a trip to Italy in September we are taking. Other items including some personal goods (clothes, shoes, phones) – one offs you could say. 

Outgoings were more than dividends – meaning we need the income from work to fund our lifestyle.

Savings Rate, SWR & Budgeting – So so

Savings rate of around 45% – which is good considering our dropped income due to maternity leave.

Our average dividends made up 94% of our average spending – which is a bit of a record. That’s probably the high-water mark as having kids saves you money! But once you get back to your old habits, life becomes as expensive as usual.

SWR sits at 4.0% and for FIRE funds it’s 9.0% – meaning that we still need to work to maintain our lifestyle or achieve a comfortable 9.0% + inflation return on investments (which I’m not doing right now).

Assets, Net Worth & FIRE funds – Steady

Networth dropped 1.4% moth on month and is up 6.3% year on year. FIRE Funds were DOWN on the month and only up 5% y/y. This is concerning stuff because if we are spending less than we earn and our net worth and funds are not increasing – then our investments are doing badly. When I look at where our money is invested – it seems hard to say much other than the markets have moved against us – but that’s a shit excuse.


My god, I do focus a lot on money. The more money you have the more boring it all becomes. There’s more important things going on with our lives at the moment.

How was your August?

Thanks, GFF


    1. I’ve been doing that for 18 years now. 🙂 I would say that money is a bit like stones – it can weigh you down but if you get it rolling, you’ll soon gather momentum and pace.
      I don’t think I’d sleep so well at night (despite the kids) if we didn’t have so much stashed away – this is an expensive time in our lives (raising kids), but I’ve always had an eye on the money (and probably always will.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Money = freedom in many ways, but not in every way. We have always focused on money for security for our children as well, and now they are almost grown and on their own way – making their own choices, finally we can think of money for ourselves, which is another focus altogether.


  1. Ignoring the month, you’re looking good with an SWR of 4%, and spending 94% covered by dividends after only 18 years.
    We had a total return of -2.42% in the month, but +9.92% in the year to date of 9.92%. After draw-down spending that has given us a capital uplift of 7.24%.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The big difference is that about half our money is in pensions – making the next 20 or so years on an 8% withdrawal rate and managing to pay off the mortgage…. tricky without further income or a rich aunt.
      Rich aunts are not known for their generosity in gffs family


  2. When you can get a 6% withdrawal rate on your FIRE (non-pension funds) then I think you could consider yourself FI given that you have the pension funds in reserve.


    1. I’m starting a new job soon and in all honesty, I think that if I need to spend more to do it- then I am more than happy to do so.
      What matters more is not your savings rate (%) or SWR but how much money you can save/invest/grow – assumming you can get spending back under control if you do stop working.


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