Another month comes and goes. There’s been big changes for the family but it feels a bit like the changing of the seasons from Summer to Autumn. Work and jobs and life and fun – we all adapt to the setting sun.
This month things have really been good for us. Our net worth is on the up and even though the markets are not performing really well, we’ve done well. Annual increase in net worth is back positive again (after a blip last month) and we are within £5k of our peak net worth – which we might beat next month (fingers crossed!)
- Net worth close to a record high (with pessimistic house prices)
- Pensions are above £500,000 for the first time ever! That’s a record!
- FIRE Assets at a record high as well!
We spend just over £5,000 last month and I for one think that that’s not terrible. I seem to have a very tenuous grasp of frugality. Unfortunately for all of you who don’t have kids and think that five grand is a huge amount, it’s part of life for us.
The kids nursery cost about £1,800 for the month – I’ve not really written much about childcare but it’s definitely something that is worth paying extra for a good one! Our local nursery is the best (over subscribed and with mainly very good kids + families) and is only a 10 minute walk away or 5 minute cycle). Household spending including mortgage interest, car depreciation, bills, £500 home improvement provision came to about £1,100.
Spending came to £1,450 which included annual car insurance for our second car (net cost only £160 thanks to QUIDCO and my method for saving money). The rest of the money was spent on a good pair of boots (£200+) for the Lady – a theme picked up by SLIS, Eating Out (to help out) and 100kg of beer that has not arrived yet.
We have booked someone to replace our worn out downstairs carpet with new floorboards. Total cost should be about £6000 for 95m2. We have a big house and with that comes big costs. The work could have been done back in 2016 but by holding off until now that £6,000 is effectively less due to investment gains saving us money. Unfortunately, I hoard so that I may spend it one day and that day has come.
My income from my work has sort of dried up and we are now living mainly off the Lady’s employment. Luckily she was made redundant and got a nice pay-off this month. She also started a new job which is good for her – even though she has a bit of buyer’s remorse. On future employment earnings, we won’t break even if we spend £5,000 a month – which means we need…
What I call dividends includes actual dividends, interest and income from my secret side hustle. This month it was just shy of £5,000. That was a split between VCTs at £1,200, ISAs/Shares at £350, P2P lending at £1,300 and my super secret side hustle at £2,000. This side hustle is something I’m putting a bit of effort into now that my employment is on the wane.
I’m really happy with this month’s dividend total as it is by far a record haul, the 6 month average is above £3,000 which was a target of mine and if you ignore childcare costs, it makes us Financially Independent. Long may it continue! Except about £1,000 of the P2P lending was from a bad debt that paid off (partly) – I don’t expect many more bad debt repayments.
Personal Withdrawal Rate is at an average of about 4.6% right now. For just FIRE funds it’s 10.4% and without childcare it’s 8.1% – meaning we spend 10% and 8% of our funds every year at current levels. As anyone who knows their mantras, spend less leads to saving more which helps those numbers. Our average dividends cover about 86% of our total spending.
In August we had some great times. We went to Ireland to see family which was great. We had some great weekends and also some great weekdays as the Lady was between jobs and I was free! I got a nice farmers tan from walking in Fife for the day. We went to Blair Drummond Safari Park which was fantastic. The kids are loving nursery and we are enjoying the last rays of Summer sun before Autumn hits us fully.
Great blog posts I’ve read this month:
- Indeedably gives you a lot to think about and then some more
- Winter is coming with Simple Living in Somerset
- Some interesting information on global energy production and consumption
- Monevator talks about Child Trust Funds and other things – our kids have none btw
- Fire v London rebalances his portfolio
- Mortgage vs. Investing is on South Wales FI’s mind as well as Moneze.
- The decline of upward mobility in one graph a good read if you like graphs and misery
- The MadFientist isn’t as mad as he sounds but he’s having a ball in his 4th year of FI freedom!
- This one I love! Wealth Planner takes his scumlord to court – stay tuned for the outcome but it’s big bucks!
- The Escape Artist has a good two piece post on Conflict of Interests
- Sassenach Saving looks ahead to September
- and finally Banker on Fire points out which horse you should have backed in 2020 so far (big oil is not among them)
I hope that everything is going ok for you – and even if it’s not that you remain happy and kind!