The Financial Dashboard – May 2020

The goals for May were:

  • Tidy the loft and begin to clear
  • Read three books
  • Update my investment tracker spreadsheet and sync with allocations
  • Strip out kitchen for renovation
  • Fix minor problems on the modern(ish) car

Checking the assets and liabilities:

May AssetsMay Liabilities

These are taken, as always, from my Beast Budget spreadsheet. Lockdown is treating my finances well, as a reduction in commuting and socialising means I can squirrel away more cash. My savings rate for this month was a best ever 57% (44% excluding pension), with my total net worth increasing by 3.6%. The usual cash regular savers were topped up (pretty happy about my 5% and 3% now). Two previous Crowdcube offerings, FreeTrade and Cornish Lithium, both opened up pre-emption rounds which I used to increase my speculative investments. A further £350 also went into my FreeTrade ISA, to be deployed on a new passive tracker.

Goals:

Goal failed: Tidy the loft and begin to clear

This has been rate limited by the availability of the loft legs/ stilts we’re installing to add extra storage. Lockdown means they’re not being shipped, so waiting for them to come in.

Goal failed: Read three books

Set myself up to fail here, as one of them was The Intelligent Investor. Making heavy weather of it.

Goal failed: Update my investment tracker spreadsheet and sync with allocations

Continue to work on this, particularly trying to get the googlesheets systems to pull in prices working.

Goal achieved: Strip out kitchen for renovation

Bricks and mortar work starts next month, with floors and walls coming out. DIY naturally.

Goal achieved: Fix minor problems on the modern(ish) car

Going to call this a success as I fixed the worst of the problems. There’s still minor niggles, but on exploring them it seemed impractical (many hours of work and the potential for damage to other systems). As there’s no effect on the daily drivability they can be ignored for now.

Budgets

  • Groceries – Budget £200, spent £176.91, last month £238.77
  • Entertainment – Budget £100, spent £16.50, last month £55
  • Transport – Budget £460, spent £237.36, last month £429.79
  • Holiday – £150, spent £0, last month £0
  • Personal – £100/ £65.74/ £156.85
  • Loans/ Credit – £0/ £0/ £0
  • Misc – £50/ £71.45/ £3.25 – Bought a refurbished vacuum
  • Fees – £70 /£295.49/ £522.94 –  The punishment continues

In the garden:

Everything is going great guns now. I’ve avoided most root veg this year as it takes up a lot of space, but the leafy greens, potatoes and alliums are all doing well. I companion planted sunflowers, climbing french beans and pumpkins/courgettes, which are starting to create a nice little jumble of green. Greenhouse full of tomato plants too.

Goals for next month:

  • Tidy the loft and begin to clear
  • Read three books
  • Update my investment tracker spreadsheet and sync with allocations
  • Explore overpaying mortgage

Happy June everyone, I hope you’re all keeping well,

The Shrink

9 thoughts on “The Financial Dashboard – May 2020

  1. Hi there The Shrink. Impressive savings rate! Interested to see where you land when you explore overpaying your mortgage. Also, how do you calculate the value of your NHS pension? I assume it is a DB career average salary scheme? Unless you’re lucky (old?) enough to remain in one of the DB final salary schemes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey CFC,
      Overpayment at the moment is a bit of a no-brainer for us, as the mortgage interest beats any cash savings rate and MrsShrink is fairly anti-stock market.
      It’s a DB CARE scheme as you say, actually split between two schemes. It’s very difficult to make any predictions, but each year the scheme provide an equivalent annuity price, so I now use that in my calculations. I don’t include it in my overall net worth because it isn’t formally calculated and crystallised until my retirement date. Plenty of chance it will change.
      I imagine both of your pension schemes are similar?
      The Shrink

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, both our schemes are similar. We had final salary ones but it moved over to CARE in 2015. The final salary element is still safe and locked away for the years we contributed. What calculation you do to come up with the estimated value? I do a simple annual pension amount obtained from yearly pension statements, multiply by 20 and add any lump sum amount. From the reading I’ve done, a multiple of 20 is being fairly conservative for the pensions we have. Of course, like you say, these numbers a purely done out of interest since we can’t touch them for many years to come yet.

        Also, the public pension case which the government lost and are not appealing is going to affect us. It would be interesting to see what they offer us; maybe entry back into the old scheme perhaps?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The majority of my pension is in a 2015 scheme which is a CARE 1/54th proportion. Your calculation method seems a lot more sensible than mine; my scheme offers a figure which would be the equivalent annuity cost price as part of each yearly statement, and I take that. I suspect yours probably allows better planning!

        I’m waiting to hear further on that public pension case. I was moved against my will and the old scheme was much more generous. Public sector pensions are probably an easy pot to raid for a cash-strapped COVID-19 government sadly.

        Cheers for your continued readership!
        The Shrink

        Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re a recent addition to my emergency fund with the fall in regular/ instant access savings rates, so early days. No winnings yet.
      Thanks for reading!
      The Shrink

      Like

  2. I’ve gone all in on premium bonds too since the recent BoE rate cuts. Something must have gone wrong with ERNIE as I was supposed to win a million in the June draw, but I actually won nothing. I can’t understand it.

    Persevere with Graham. Its a dense book but you have to have read it to hold your own in FI polite society.

    Glad the garden is going well, bit of rain going forward may be welcome by it

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another great post!

    I’m just wondering how you calculate the value of your NHS pension. I’m part of the pension too and struggling to figure out how to incorporate it into my calcs! From what I understand we essentially pay a membership fee, and then get a set amount paid out upon retirement that’s dependent on our salary throughout our career (1/54th of our yearly salary). So it’s not as simple as adding up our contribution and our employers contribution each month since our contributions won’t equate to how much we receive from the pension.

    Are you working out the 1/54 of your salary each year and then multiplying that by how long you’re expecting to receive the salary? I’m new to all of this stuff so may be missing something completely obvious and please correct me if I’m way off!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi J,

      You’re right in your understanding.
      I cover how I calculate a bit more in this post:
      https://thefireshrink.wordpress.com/2020/04/01/the-nhs-pension/
      MedFI also does a great series on the NHS Pension.

      I essentially use the equivalent annuity cost provided as part of the NHS Pensions Total Reward Statement that is distributed each year. I find that significantly easier than trying to calculate a final sum given that they re-value each year for inflation.

      Hope that’s useful and thanks for reading,
      The Shrink

      Like

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