Month-end: June 2021

I’ve come to the sudden realisation that whilst all my finances look backwards, that’s not the way my life is heading.

Apologies for not writing much recently. It’s been a busy few weeks and I hope to write more in the coming weeks once things have settled down. In the meantime, here is the month end report for June. Even though it’s September.

Time marches on… I started this blog almost 3 years ago and one of the things that I thought I would do was create a month-end financial review. Something with the key details (IODA) Income, Outgoings, Difference & Assets. A simple what’s come in, gone out, moved around and what we have in our gentleman’s family finances. A consistent theme was that outgoings > income (due to pension payments as well as childcare costs!) but that our net worth rose over time, and time and time. There’s been changes, upsets, surprises and a whole lot of monotony (thanks covid).On the brightside, I haven’t had an morning alarm since covid started and I don’t need to commute anymore, spend more time with the kids and we’re happier as a family.So looking at June’s numbers; it’s all good. We ended up spending about £5,300 of which £1,800 was childcare, £940 in home costs and £2,580 in family spending. That £2,580 is a huge number and whilst childcare and home costs are what it costs to have have kids/a home – and we don’t have much control over these, every penny of the rest is discretionary. So what on earth is GFF spending all that money on? Well, the big spend in June included:

£200 on car insurance

£200 on chartership/professional fees

£100 on a haircut (not for me!)

£400 in cash withdrawals (who can remember why?)

£250 in eating out (mostly takeaways)

And July will be even worse as we’ve got a few trips booked and the bills land in July. Well, I’m not too upset about this level of spending – it would be nice if it was lower but I don’t want to deprive my family so that my numbers in a spreadsheet are higher. Income after tax income was well below the spending figure. I didn’t take a dividend from the company but my hours have been low recently and I don’t really have the reserves (especially after paying off the stooze debt). But my side hustle has been storming it recently and if you add it to other dividends, we made over £3,000 in June. Helped by an annual payment from Rumbling Bridge Hydro – paying out a record 6.4%/£640 – part of our Rainy Day Fund.

Investments

If paying off debt is an investment – I’ve been busy doing that. Interestingly – my creditworthiness has improved. I was previously able to borrow at 6.9% but after the stooze card was repaid could access a loan at 2.9%.

Assets

The great irony of penny pinching is that after 20 years of doing it you can have trouble balancing your money day-to-day or month-to-month and your net worth can jump massively in the space of a month. So net worth was up by almost £20,000 (or 1.6%). Our FIRE Assets were up by £10,000. So everything is doing great: our Pensions are performing, ISAs, VCTs (up 5% on the month!) are doing great.

House prices are going crazy here is the least desirable Scottish city – anecdotal evidence indicates that we live in a goldmine. I check the ROS or UK HPI monthly for a price on houses in the area and index that to our house – but some houses nearby are selling at what ours is (conservatively) valued at. One example is a 1 bedroom house that is less than 40% of the size (it’s tiny and the upstairs room has a sloping roof making it even smaller) which went under offer within days of being on the market higher than the book price that I have our house at. So the market is crazy here – but since we already own a house and don’t need anymore – this frenzy doesn’t affect us at all. So who really cares?

The Months Ahead

The Master is off to school in a few weeks. Like all parents, we have mixed feelings about this big step. I’ll try to write more. Obviously, I can’t give too many details but we are excited about him going to school and terrified of the change in environment and bad influences of other kids.We’ve a few weekends away and a big trip to England booked which will be amazing I hope. Although, with the way the covid numbers are looking – everything could be shut when we get down there.From Brewin’ to Bust.

I wrote previously about how I had some shares in a brewery. I invested about £,2000 back in the day, sold about £10,000’s worth in 2015 or so and still hold a number valued at around £60,000 or so – but the shares are illiquid and recently the company which had a knack for creating good headlines and PR, has suffered from a pretty damning public letter from employees stating that power corrupts and alcoholic power corrupts alcoholically. They may have also overvalued a few microns of precious metals on a drinking receptacle – I don’t think that all PR is good PR, this is very bad press. So, my shares may be worth around £60,000 or so – who knows – if Ronaldo can knock a few billion off sugar water corporation, then sustained bad press will hit my shares (plus most of their drinkers have outgrown their drinking years).

What I do know is that the company prospectus mentioned that dividends would be payable almost 10 years ago (and mention it to the faithful shareholders/fans and you’d be called an un-punk capitalist), so profits were instead used to grow the business – and grow it did moving from logical areas for a brewer (more beers and products, more breweries, more bars) into the more esoteric. Latest adventures include planting a forest in Scotland to make drinking beer even more environmentally friendly. All well and good except for the inconvenient fact that there are already organisations who do exactly this (like these guys https://forestry.gov.scot, or these guys https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk or this bunch https://treesforlife.org.uk or these guys https://trees4scotland.com – there’s no shortage it seems). For a beer company to do this; it’s all a bit unnecessary, not exactly core business (and a waste of money) and makes me wish that I could just sell up. I’ve nothing against trees but let brewers brew please! Also, where’s my promised dividend and let me sell before you piss away the company???

Finale

That’s it for June. July will have more pre-school jitters! To be published soon (in September)

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