Month-end: May 2021

May’s been great! Great family times, great weather (mostly) and I’ve paid off the tax man, new record high net worth, FIRE assets and pensions and even our spending was under control. We’ve even got our Covid jabs meaning we are invulnerable – bring on June!

Family Funds

We’ve smashed through the one point one club this month. I can’t really believe it to be honest. It’s maybe due to the markets dipping a bit at the end of April and they made a recover in May. I don’t know, I don’t really care about the markets days to day. But looking at the numbers we’re up almost£10k on the month:

  • My side hustle did will, contributing almost £2k to the family coffers
  • ISAs jumped £3k in part thank to a legacy share that is roaring in value
  • VCTs are storming – read here for my VCT guide for FI
  • Pension funds are actually down!!! By £800 but who really cares, I’m not 57 yet.
  • I paid off a huge tax bill to the HMRC which was a bit difficult as I stupidly impoverished myself in April.

In June, I have a £5,000 Stooze debt to repay. Once that’s out of the way, no more debts (besides the mortgage) and with the sale of some VCTs in the summer, our cashflow position should improve massively.

Family Income

I am working about half time at the moment – I’m happy with that but it does mean that my monthly invoices are somewhat meagre and I’ve not really built anything up on the business bank account (due to pension payments). The truth is that both the Lady and I earn enough and together we earn more than enough and add on our dividends/hustle money and we are sorted for our average monthly spending. Except for the cost of nursery which at £1,800 per month is extortion and it’s worth every penny!

Family Spending

GFF Cash

Our spending of around £4,650 this month was split between:

  • Nursery costs, £1,800
  • Household costs, £950
  • Family spending, £1,900

That family spending figure is higher than normal due to some one-offs, spending a bit on travel (some short breaks ahead), a lot of food and drink and too much eating out. Our average spending has been £4,100 of which nursery is the biggest component. That’ll be cut soon when the Master is at school.

Anyway, income covers spending and our net worth grows unabated.

Family Fun

Cheap and Nasty

Today’s a bank holiday which means that the markets are shut and many are taking the day off – Spring Bank Holiday it’s called but after the weekend we had, it feels more like summer. We had a funny weekend where we went to a city where I used to live on Saturday and to Edinburgh on Sunday (very much recommend the Edinburgh Children’s Festival if you have (or even if you don’t) kids). The difference between where we live and these two cities is immense. The first one is suffering a seismic change in its fortunes and the city is strewn with monolithic office buildings all begging to be let. It’s truly bizarre as when I worked there, I often either had a crappy office or visited offices where people had poor quality office accommodation. Then there was a building boom and everyone got a nice new office with those fancy ergonomic chairs that don’t give you whiplash and desks that move up and down and bean-to-cup coffee machines (instead of instant). But now that the Golden Goose is hitting menopause, the jig is up.

I had a few hours in the city while the Lady had her hair cut and it’s an overall very beautiful city. I with the Little Lady and Master went to large park near the centre and played in the play park, had a picnic on the grass and I wondered how much different would it have been if I’d have stayed there instead of moving a few years ago.

We sold my old flat in 2014 – due in part to my concerns over an independent Scotland but also we weren’t living there any longer, probably would never move back (turned out to be true) and the lights on the stairwell didn’t work so selling it in anything other than the summer months would prove to be impossible!

My old flat might sell for about half what I sold it for in 2014, which was twice what I bought it for in 2006. In the meantime, the proceeds of the sale have doubled through my own investments. Maybe I got lucky… But I’ve seen that property is a double edged sword – it can bring riches by earning more money than you ever could but it can also be like a millstone around your neck – making you poorer.

The Grass is Always Greener

Edinburgh was a lovely return to normality. An exquisite art’s programme for kids in the beautiful Botanic Gardens as part of the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival. Edinburgh (the City of Festivals) is a lovely place and I wish that we could live there – but bigger cities come with bigger problems. We’re just getting to know people who live in our locale, that we see in the park, that we invite over for play/wine dates, that we’ll know from school and clubs, birthday parties and everything else that goes with living in a community. I think that we’re better off where we are; settled, happy and unburdened by an oppressive mortgage and the pointed elbows of the pushy parents of Edinburgh.

Thanks, GFF

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