The Financial Dashboard – August 2019

The goals for August were:

  • Plan healthy weekly dinners
  • Exercise at least 3x a week
  • Get two more blogposts out
  • Recheck my budgets as I change jobs and drop my income by 1/4 (gotta love the NHS)

Checking the assets and liabilities:

Assets AugustLiabilities August

These are taken, as always, from my Beast Budget spreadsheet. This month my net worth grew by 5.47%, the second best this year. My savings rate, not including mortgage repayment, was 34.66%, pushing my average up to 18.69%.

Goals:

Goal failed: Plan healthy weekly dinners

Getting better at this, but continuing to be away a lot has meant that having the time and space to plan out food for the week has been tricky. I had begun to rely on frozen food, so we’ve gone back to fresh, and I’ve been making big batches using the glut of veg from the garden. We continue to just about manage a split of three meat, one fish, three veggie, but lunches are often whatever I can snatch. With a job change I need to get better at organising and preparing in advance.

Goal failed: Exercise at least 3x a week

Sort of fail. I averaged exercise 3x a week, but had a week where I only managed to go twice. Keeping this on to pressurise myself into making it a strict 3x in a week.

Goal failed: Get two more blogposts out

Miserable. Even worse than July. I’m just not at home or in front of a desk with free time enough to write at the moment. The pressure will remain on.

Goal achieved: Recheck my budgets as I change jobs and drop my income by 1/4 

A necessity, as I change my job in the annual Black Wednesday shuffle, when all hospitals are suddenly staffed by junior doctors asking; “What do I do?”, “Where do I go?”, and “Who am I?”. My new jobs incurs a pay cut of 1/4, as I’m working fewer unsociable hours. Looking at my budgets:

Budgets

  • Groceries – Budget £200, spent £299.90, last month £254.

This probably isn’t an accurate representation, as our finances are now settled enough that all food bills go through out joint account, while this was set up when we were doing food individually. Somehow I seem to have spent £135 of my own money and £250 from the joint this month, and an eye-watering £490 from the joint last month. A few £50 shops, with lots of £10-20 top ups has really bitten a chunk out of our monthly earnings. I’m going to bring the budget down from £300 to £200, notionally as £150 for the joint (£300/2) and £50 from my own. I used to survive on £20/week, so there’s plenty of fat to trim.

  • Entertainment – Budget £100, spent £81, last month £186.

This suffers the same problem as the groceries section, in that the budget was set pre-usage of our main joint account. This mainly goes on eating out at restaurants or activities with friends. We could do better at getting out into the countryside for free again, and we should only really eat out once a month. Going to trim this down from £150 to £100 and see how we get on.

  • Transport – Budget £460, spent £241.97, last month £618.29.

Looked at this relatively recently, so it’s going to remain unchanged. Will hopefully be driving less in the new job, so can save some petrol money. Really need to get back on the bike too.

  • Holiday – £150, spent £0, last month £103.50.

Planning something for later in the year, and putting the budget towards that in a Starling pot.

  • Personal – £100/ £62.99/ £30.76.

This is clothes, gifts, books, games, DVDs, trips to the barber etc. I always feel like it should be more, but I suspect a lot of stuff ends up under Misc or Groceries (supermarket clothing etc). I’m going to keep this the same.

  • Loans/ Credit – £0/ £152.25/ £493.30

Big changes here, as now my credit card debt is cleared I want to make it an exception if I have to use and pay off any credit card. Dropping the budget to £0, as this is what I should be aiming to be paying.

  • Misc – £50/ £30/ £119.35 

This is my catch all for unexpected or difficult to classify things. I have empty fields in my spreadsheet capture the data. No change to this, as you always need a float

  • Fees – £70 /£209.75/ £-

New data. This is all my monthly fees for services; mobile phone, internet, bank account fees, life insurance, plus professional subscriptions. It’s a pretty jagged graph, as many of my professional costs fall yearly as a big sum which I’m now averaging across months as savings in another Starling pot. Nominally I’ll set a budget which incorporates all my routine monthly direct debits without the lumpy stuff. Off the back of this I went and spoke to my mobile phone provider, renegotiating my contract and reducing the monthly figure by half.

In the garden:

Full glut mode activated. Chutneys everywhere. Excess beans, melons and tomatoes. Potatoes finally harvested, sadly a bit grub-munched. Sunflowers drying for their seeds. Cucamelons tiny bursts of joy. Purple carrots adding colour to salads. Just in time for that first chill wind.

Goals for next month:

  • Plan healthy weekly dinners
  • Exercise at least 3x a week
  • Get two more blogposts out
  • Look for a skip bike to use for short local journeys
  • De-clutter spare room for charity shop

What’s in the pipeline: (Life continues to get in the way of blogging)

  • Stoicism and the finance world
  • Should I buy an electric car?
  • Q2 2019 – Green Credentials
  • Property Renovation Lessons Part III
  • Plus the usual Full English Accompaniments and other drivel…

Happy September everyone,

The Shrink

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The Full English Accompaniment – Three basic money skills

What’s piqued my interest this week?

In the last Full English I wrote about P2P and included Kiva, the P2P lending platform that offers loans to those in third-world countries that need an opportunity. This prompted a comment from Weenie about my opinion on charity crowdfunding. Dave Ramsey, that financial cross between Jeremy Kyle and Frasier, talks about 3 basic money skills; spending responsibly, saving and giving (1).

Spending responsibly I’m getting a grip on. I’m wired as a spender. I can be thrifty – I don’t instinctively like to flash cash and I have a tendency to do jobs myself rather than get people in, but I like things. Tools, art, books, cars. I get satisfaction from having the right thing for the right moment. Not very minimalist, frugal or FIRE is it?

Number two, saving, I’m also getting a grip on. I now have an emergency fund and I’m paying myself first every month. I was terrible and this is an upwards slope.

Number three, giving, I’m rubbish at.

I don’t mind giving time, effort or my skills. In my head, I make this trade off for my work. I could earn a lot more abroad, in the private sector, or even in another line of work. I don’t, because I like my job and I like to help people.

I don’t like giving things. I’m shit at gifts (Mrs Shrink fully embraces this role). I don’t mind lending stuff out, but I get very grumpy if I don’t get it back promptly. I collect things, that often have sentimental value, and I struggle to extricate the emotion from the object. I am getting better at de-cluttering, giving lots of stuff to charity if I can no longer see a utility.

I’m even worse at money. This is for three main reasons:

  1. Most of the companies which come round asking for your money as a charity are not interested in the giving either. They are businesses, and by giving you are supporting their business model. Only a fraction of what you give goes to the needy cause.
  2. In many cases, the charity model causes more harm than good. Foreign aid to places like Africa usually comes with caveats. The expectations on behalf of the giver deprive the recipient of truly deciding the direction of need. It continues a historic power imbalance. By maintaining dependence it prevent true progress (2, 3). This dependency and strings attached approach is also present in domestic charities. Gifts to the homeless are often tied to religions. Medical research charities have a point to push and a public to please. If I’m giving my hard earned, I don’t want it attached to someone else’s agenda.
  3. A lot of charity work does not address the underlying issues. I spend a lot of time working with people from downtrodden and despairing walks of life. I work with the homeless, addicts, abused and dying. Giving £5 in the street to a homeless person does nothing to lift them out of their situation, it just assuages your own guilt. The charities offer sticking plasters for wider problems, hiding them from society so that we don’t recognise them. Societies problems become the charities problem.

I find myself wondering if these are all ways I deflect and manage my own guilt.  I am buying from and giving more to local independent charity shops recently. Peer to peer charities would seem to offer a good route through problem two and three (although problem one remains). They help communities find their own directions to overcome problems. Wikipedia’s P2P charity page suggests there are 14 operating, although only Kiva and Global Giving I’ve heard of (4). I’ve also been looking at Credit Unions, following the logical track that they, like P2P charities, encourage responsible financial decisions and support independent choice. Credit Unions are also local, and by ‘saving’ with them, you’re offering your pool of cash as a resource to those locally who need it (5). Given most banks are currently offering crap interest rates anyway, what’s to lose?

I’m not sure I’ll ever be as good as MrsShrink, who supports about five different charities each month and always buys a Big Issue if she sees a seller. Kiva and my local Credit Union perhaps offer a route for me to get better. A new personal target for the next year.

Have a great week,

The Shrink

P.S. Since setting up an email link I’ve started to receive offers of guest posts. I’m flattered, but sadly can’t accept. This blog is a window into my own internal mono/dialogue, nothing more. 

Other News

And finally, on Brexit, here’s a great summary of Why (17).

Opinion/ blogs:

The kitchen garden:

What I’m reading (affiliate links):

Food Of The Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs and Human Evolution – Terence McKenna – An ethnobotanist explores humanitys’ fascination with hallucinogenics, and the role of altered states of consciousness on the development of human society.

References:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m3-lMdIlJw
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/jul/22/africa-rescue-aid-stealing-resources
  3. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/05/africa-doesn-t-need-charity-it-needs-good-leadership/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Peer-to-peer_charities
  5. https://www.findyourcreditunion.co.uk/about-credit-unions/
  6. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2019/08/nationwide-s-flexplus-packaged-account-is-changing—is-it-still/
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/sep/07/why-uk-savings-rates-may-be-heading-for-zero-what-to-do
  8. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/saving/article-7400089/Savers-warned-against-locking-money-away-easy-access-accounts-outshine-fixed-deals.html
  9. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/investing/article-7436487/Protect-savings-Corbyn-chaos-Brexit-worldwide-downturn.html
  10. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49543575
  11. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-7411339/Homebuyers-face-negative-equity-no-deal-Brexit-hits.html
  12. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49606757
  13. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/aug/28/recession-looms-for-brexit-britain-two-experts-on-the-economic-outlook
  14. https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2019/09/151157-fastest-startup-to-ever-hit-4-million-crowdfunding-on-crowdcube-curve-kills-it-now-at-5-5-million/
  15. https://www.wired.co.uk/article/ppi-claims-deadline-industry
  16. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-right-buy-scheme-houses-landlords-tenants-john-mcdonnell-corbyn-a9088211.html
  17. https://www.quora.com/Why-are-Remainers-so-convinced-that-staying-in-the-European-Union-is-what-is-best-for-the-UK/answer/Barry-McGuinness-1?ch=1&share=a9239dc8&srid=T9uP&fbclid=IwAR2HR7LrNKtFPm-OsAkzUrz8IfDMK-Z3hdfkHhMNNaZi5xKJZ4C3LgOHSPc
  18. http://archive.is/eTkMs
  19. https://amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/596728/
  20. https://monevator.com/should-you-consolidate-old-pension-plans/
  21. https://monevator.com/find-the-best-online-broker/
  22. https://www.ukvalueinvestor.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-value-investing-checklist.html/
  23. https://www.ukvalueinvestor.com/2019/09/selling-sse-a-defensive-utility-stock.html/
  24. https://theescapeartist.me/2019/08/28/the-beauty-of-minimalism/
  25. https://earlyretirementnow.com/2019/08/29/you-are-a-pension-fund-of-one-swr-series-part-32/
  26. https://cashflowcop.com/financial-grit-to-retire-early/
  27. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2019/09/vanguard-lifestrategy-portfolio-sale.html
  28. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2019/08/itm-power-portfolio-addition.html
  29. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2019/09/mid-wynd-trust-full-year-results.html
  30. https://firevlondon.com/2019/08/29/the-tools-i-use-to-track-my-money-vs-the-tools-i-want/
  31. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2019/09/02/august-2019/
  32. https://drfire.co.uk/august-2019-report/
  33. https://drfire.co.uk/is-a-phd-compatible-with-financial-independence-part-2/
  34. https://ditchthecave.com/living-before-dying/
  35. https://thesavingninja.com/savings-report-13/
  36. https://awaytoless.com/monthly-spending-august-2019/
  37. http://www.thefrugalcottage.com/dividend-income-august-2019/
  38. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2019/09/02/month-end-august-2019/
  39. http://eaglesfeartoperch.blogspot.com/2019/08/sipp-performance-comparison.html
  40. https://asimplelifewithsam.com/2019/08/23/stretching-the-food-budget/
  41. https://thefifox.wordpress.com/2019/09/06/heating-your-home-what-thermostat-temperature-is-best/
  42. https://thefifox.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/how-we-got-married-on-a-1000-budget/
  43. https://indeedably.com/earn-to-love/
  44. https://indeedably.com/falsity/
  45. https://twothirstygardeners.co.uk/2019/08/5-best-home-grown-herbal-teas-mint-lemon-verbena-sage-basil-rosemary/
  46. https://sharpenyourspades.com/2019/09/01/allotment-jobs-for-september/
  47. https://agentsoffield.com/2019/09/01/late-summer-in-the-kitchen-garden/

The Full English Accompaniment – Crowdfunding maturing

What’s piqued my interest this week?

Over the past few years I’ve watched the crowdfunding field grow, with various platforms and companies gradually expanding into robust and trusted investment sources. I’ve thought about trying Crowdfunding investments before, the 2011 Brewdog prospectus still sits on my old laptop, but I’ve always been dubious about the liquidity. As a student I chose to spend my cash on beer in my hand, rather than beer in a portfolio. Other bloggers did invest, and have been stuck trying to reduce their exposure and sell up (1). Due to this liquidity risk I lump all crowdfunding and P2P investments together, including all of the stock, property and loans in one big, high risk, ‘invest and don’t expect to get it back’ bucket. They’re all basically junk bond grade investments. The percentage returns on these investments supposedly account for this risk of losing your money.

I think my concerns are largely justified. If you look past the odd moment a few months ago when Seedrs stopped it’s own investment round due to it’s own rules, there’s been plenty of warning signs (2). We’ve had Lendy’s collapse, and there could be more on the way (3, 4). In response the FCA is bringing in new rules to clamp down on poor practice and protect investors (5, 6). The P2P and Crowdfunding market is maturing, less wild west. P2P and Crowdfunding is going mainstream (7, 8).

So, if everyone’s doing it, I might as well too. I decided it was time to start dipping my toe, as part of my satellite active investments. But for me this wasn’t about attempting to increase my returns with a >10% P2P loan, like the one Monevator affiliated RateSetter offer (9). This was about getting in on the ground floor, like I coudla-shoulda-wounda with BrewDog, with a small amount of throwaway money. I was tempted by a number of options: MoneyDashboard (too many competitors, unclear valuation and monetisation strategy) (10, 11); Curve (not happened yet) (12); Tickr (too many competitors, unclear valuation) (13). I became aware of the gameification of crowdfunding investment, and the methods employed to prey on the ‘fear of missing out’.

My first Crowdfunding investment went on FreeTrade. I missed out on the earlier round after the glitches meant it was closed before I could complete (14). I got in with a small, test the waters, investment sum on the June round (15). This means, like Weenie, I have free stocks to share (16). I have concerns about FreeTrade, not least the proliferation of other free trading apps, and the recent move of Robinhood into the UK (17, 18). If it goes tits up, then I put in enough to be along for the ride. Invest, forget, and definitely don’t bank on the returns. (And if you want a free share, contact me or leave me a comment!)

Have a great week,

The Shrink

Other News

Opinion/ blogs:

The kitchen garden:

What I’m reading (affiliate links):

Food Of The Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs and Human Evolution – Terence McKenna – An ethnobotanist explores humanitys’ fascination with hallucinogenics, and the role of altered states of consciousness on the development of human society.

References:

  1. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/how-to-put-out-a-fire-use-liquidity/
  2. https://www.altfi.com/article/5635_seedrs-suspends-its-own-shares-after-entering-advanced-stages-of-a-new-funding-round
  3. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/07/28/wake-lendys-collapse-britains-peer-to-peer-lending-bubble-go/
  4. https://www.altfi.com/article/5404_dont-panic-but-were-in-the-middle-of-a-peer-to-peer-lending-crunch
  5. https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/fca-confirms-new-rules-p2p-platforms
  6. https://www.independent.co.uk/money/spend-save/peer-to-peer-investing-maximum-limit-fca-regulation-a8947886.html
  7. https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/peer-to-peer-lending–what-you-need-to-know
  8. https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/crowdfunding–what-you-need-to-know
  9. https://monevator.com/ratesetter-high-interest-offer/
  10. https://www.insider.co.uk/news/money-dashboard-raises-46-million-18983490
  11. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-48349943
  12. https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/34273/curve-set-to-embark-on-a-mighty-crowdfunding-campaign/retail
  13. https://www.altfi.com/article/5470_impact-investment-tickr-200-crowdfunding-target
  14. https://www.altfi.com/article/5290_freetrade-shutters-19m-crowdfunding-round-technical-difficulties-new-round-june
  15. https://www.cityam.com/freetrade-to-close-7m-in-second-crowdfunding-round/
  16. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2018/05/25/wisdom-of-the-crowds/
  17. https://techcrunch.com/2019/08/07/robinhood-fca/
  18. https://qz.com/1684107/robinhood-is-heading-to-the-uk-where-it-will-compete-with-freetrade-revolut/
  19. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49356248
  20. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/aug/14/south-of-england-house-prices-fall-for-first-time-since-2009-brexit
  21. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/aug/08/house-prices-fall-unexpectedly-pre-brexit-caution-bites
  22. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-7382937/Britains-expensive-cities-including-London-Cambridge-affordable-buyers.html
  23. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/09/chase-bank-cancels-all-credit-card-debt-for-canadian-customers
  24. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-7333403/Government-comes-fix-doctors-pensions.html
  25. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-7341053/Interest-rate-cut-cards-pound-takes-leg-down.html
  26. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49352760
  27. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49452366
  28. https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1164081/pensions-news-national-insurance-stamps
  29. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/news/article-7385337/Investors-ploughed-cash-Kevin-McClouds-business-told-expect-lose-penny.html
  30. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/14/the-guardian-view-on-brexit-and-the-economy-storm-clouds-on-the-horizon
  31. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/aug/18/meet-people-saving-retire-by-40-fire-movement
  32. https://www.mrsmummypenny.co.uk/financial-independence-why-i-think-it-is-unrealistic-and-unachievable/
  33. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/money-makeover/money-makeover-earn-36k-can-retire-15-years-age-47/
  34. https://thefifox.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/crunching-the-numbers-should-we-be-overpaying-our-mortgages-or-investing-instead/
  35. https://monevator.com/how-to-invest-as-an-expat/
  36. https://monevator.com/weekend-reading-75-not-out/
  37. https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2019/08/22/1000-per-hour/
  38. https://www.ukvalueinvestor.com/2019/08/stagecoach-investors-bumpy-ride.html/
  39. https://theescapeartist.me/2019/08/06/milestones-on-the-path/
  40. https://theescapeartist.me/2019/08/14/heres-whats-in-it-for-you-right-now/
  41. https://theescapeartist.me/2019/08/21/getting-rich-with-property/
  42. https://cashflowcop.com/financial-independence-reality-check/
  43. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2019/08/orsted-half-year-results.html
  44. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2019/08/legal-general-revisited.html
  45. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2019/08/scottish-mortgage-trust-portfolio-sale.html
  46. https://firevlondon.com/2019/08/16/how-to-become-a-millionaire-in-london-on-40k-p-a/
  47. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2019/08/09/return-of-the-dogs/
  48. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2019/08/19/manchester-fire-meet-up-in-sept/
  49. https://drfire.co.uk/uk-government-to-raise-the-state-pension-age-to-75/
  50. https://drfire.co.uk/my-newfound-appreciation-for-podcasts/
  51. https://www.msziyou.com/veggie/
  52. https://www.msziyou.com/intergenerational-unfairness-part-2/
  53. https://awaytoless.com/inheritance/
  54. https://www.iretiredyoung.net/single-post/2019/08/09/Early-retirement-numbers
  55. https://www.iretiredyoung.net/single-post/2019/08/23/Why-we-lie-about-being-retired
  56. https://asimplelifewithsam.com/2019/08/20/how-to-live-a-balanced-life/
  57. https://simplelivingsomerset.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/work-is-not-a-job-and-the-web-of-life/
  58. https://simplelivingsomerset.wordpress.com/2019/08/21/monzo-metal-cards-and-bullet-journals/
  59. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2019/08/21/6-personal-finance-numbers-that-are-bullshit-2/
  60. https://pursuefire.com/pursue-fire-updates/
  61. https://indeedably.com/a-goldilocks-decision/
  62. https://indeedably.com/meltdown/
  63. https://indeedably.com/fools-errand/
  64. https://ditchthecave.com/perfect-day/
  65. https://thesavingninja.com/what-is-happiness-to-you/
  66. https://lovelygreens.com/vegetables-to-grow-for-autumn-harvests/
  67. https://agentsoffield.com/2019/08/11/its-all-systems-go-almost/

The Financial Dashboard – July 2019

The goals for July were:

  • Plan healthy weekly dinners
  • Exercise at least 3x a week
  • Get two more blogposts out (slipping off the bandwagon!)
  • Clear last of credit card debts

Checking the assets and liabilities:

July AssetsJuly Liabilities

These are taken, as always, from my Beast Budget spreadsheet. This month my net worth grew by 4.33%. By sheer fluke it was the exact same net figure as last month. My savings rate, not including mortgage repayment, was 28.99%, nudging up my 2019 average rate to 16.28%.

Goals:

Goal failed: Plan healthy weekly dinners

The last two months have been properly hectic. There was a solid four week block at the end of June/ start of July where I was only at home for 8-12 hours every 2-3 days, through combination of some horrendous shift patterns, work trips and conferences. It’s therefore been pretty difficult to actually eat a healthy diet. I found myself snacking or having whatever was convenient. The last two weeks of July have been better, with proper healthy meals cooked using decent ingredients. The goal now is to set an actual meal plan for the week that we can stick to.

Goal failed: Exercise at least 3x a week

This is part of an ongoing goal/ battle to maintain some semblance of fitness. Same reason for failure as above, same excuse. When you’re working 12-16 hour days, plus commute, how to find time to exercise. One of the big issues was that the main gym I go to has very limited hours for the classes I do. I absolutely love it, and find it difficult to achieve dem gainz without going to these classes. I can probably manage two a week if I prioritise, but it’s a steep £55/month. I know from experience that on my own I lack the motivation to achieve my fitness goals. On top of this I pay £20/month to a sports club to go one-two times a week. This isn’t just exercise, but also a hobby and an interest, so I’m reluctant to give it up. So I’m left with £75/month for classes which sometimes I can only attend once or twice a week.

I could drop one of the above and go somewhere else. The logical option is to drop one. The emotive, irrational, behavioural driver of my decisions said no. Again from experience, exercise is incredibly important for my mental wellbeing. My self-image, self-confidence and tension/ stress levels are all tied to my exercise frequency. Instead I joined another (very local, very cheap) gym. It adds £26/month, but means I can exercise pretty much 24/7. I’m up to £101/month for my exercising choices.

How do you put a price on improved wellbeing?

How do you do a cost-benefit analysis for the spending choices you make?

Most of my cost-benefit spending choices are emotive. I write pros/ cons lists. I challenge myself- “Will I regret not making this spending”. But it’s not logical. So how to lay it out as cold hard facts.

In the medical world we use Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYS) to make utilitarian decisions about whether a healthcare intervention is cost effective. QALYS are defined by NICE as:

A measure of the state of health of a person or group in which the benefits, in terms of length of life, are adjusted to reflect the quality of life. One QALY is equal to 1 year of life in perfect health.
QALYs are calculated by estimating the years of life remaining for a patient following a particular treatment or intervention and weighting each year with a quality-of-life score (on a 0 to 1 scale). It is often measured in terms of the person’s ability to carry out the activities of daily life, and freedom from pain and mental disturbance. (1, 2)

It’s a pretty rough and ready system. It boils down a host of human experience to binary outputs. It’s led to a lot of complaints as exorbitantly expensive therapies are not supported by the NHS, because the cost does not outweigh the cumulative population benefit. E.g. spending a million quid to give a cancer/ cystic fibrosis/ MS patient an extra year, or spending a million quid to give 50,000 people with high blood pressure a 10% lower chance of a heart attack. Because it’s working on a population level it’s not really applicable to an individuals choices, but I wondered if there I something similar for individual wellbeing. EQ-5D-5L

The measure expected by NICE for the calculation of QALYS is the EQ-5D-5L (see above) (3). It’s brief, easy to answer, and primarily assess function. There is a push from the MRC towards developing a wellbeing-adjusted life year (WELBY) (4, 5). Some scales and tools are already being trialled, including the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (6). They have emerging evidence, but primarily function as an adjunct to existing disability measures (7). Trying to quantify functional happiness resultant from choices is something I’ll come back to in the future to flesh out as a separate post. Suffice to say I haven’t got an answer to my utilitarian question, so the heart will continue to rule.

Goal failed: Get two more blogposts out

Really struggled with this too. I’ve fourteen (count ’em) posts sat in my drafts box in various states of preparation, but had no time to actually finish any off. We’ll try this month.

Goal achieved: Clear last of credit card debts

I forgive myself my month of failures because for the first time in (I think) six years I’ve cleared all my credit card debt. Not since I started university have I had no unsecured debts. It’s a good feeling.

Short-Term Debt Q2

N.B. Eagle-eyed readers will note the £150 on my credit card in the liabilities dashboard above. I forgot to change some payment details on an online account, so that appeared after I had been at £0. 

Budgets

  • Groceries – Budget £300, spent £254, last month £139.65.
  • Entertainment – Budget £150, spent £186, last month £75. Turns out we didn’t spend nothing last month, my spreadsheet was out of whack. Now updated and we overspent this month by having a few dinners out and buying gifts for friends.
  • Transport – Budget £460, spent £618.29, last month £631.07. Lots of driving to different sites, plus a service means another expensive month.
  • Holiday – £150, spent £103.50, last month £0. We had a short break away.
  • Personal – £100/ £130.76/ £198.43. Saved much more this month.
  • Loans/ Credit – £350/ £493.30/ £890
  • Misc – £50/ £168.31/ £314.37. Soft furnishings mainly.

In the garden:

Overflowing with tomatoes (little cherries mainly), dwarf french and runner beans, courgettes and cucumbers. Onions going off, and some other bits going to seed. Pumpkins and squashes starting to really spread, and I’ve got some little cucamelons on the way.

Goals for next month:

  • Plan healthy weekly dinners
  • Exercise at least 3x a week
  • Get two more blogposts out
  • Recheck my budgets as I change jobs and drop my income by 1/4 (gotta love the NHS)

What’s in the pipeline: (Life continues to get in the way of blogging)

  • Stoicism and the finance world
  • Should I buy an electric car?
  • Q2 2019 – Green Credentials
  • Property Renovation Lessons Part III
  • Plus the usual Full English Accompaniments and other drivel…

Happy August everyone,

The Shrink

  1. https://www.nice.org.uk/glossary?letter=q
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality-adjusted_life_year
  3. https://euroqol.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/EQ-5D-5L_UserGuide_2015.pdf
  4. https://mrc.ukri.org/documents/pdf/improving-cross-sector-comparisons-using-qalys-and-other-measures-a-review-of-alternative-approaches-and-future-research/
  5. https://concepts.effectivealtruism.org/concepts/measuring-healthy-life-years/
  6. https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/med/research/platform/wemwbs/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5016960/

The Full English Accompaniment – Sticking my head in the sand

What’s piqued my interest this week?

As per the last Full English (wow it’s been some time) I’m pretty fed up with the news. It’s just one long tirade of the world going to hell in a handbasket. I guess because doom sells much more than positivism. Everyone’s a critic. I also try to keep this blog fairly free of market commentary or news analysis, but it’s hard when everything currently seems to be dominated by Brexit. The whole situation leaves me teetering between tearing my hair our in frustration and a sort of savage karmic justice. Just in the news in the last fortnight we’ve heard that house prices have stalled due to Brexit, Brexit has decreased living standards by more than the last recession and we’ve watched the pound tank as investors start to actually take No Deal seriously (1, 2, 3). Almost as if the experts in ‘project fear’ knew what they were talking about.

The rise of populism, and popular, non-expert opinion political decisions is going to have consequences. We’re leaving our level-headed reputation behind (4). Sarcastic/ sardonic responses to ineffectual elected officials are everywhere:

Plus we’re left with a pretty weird field of economic play (I’ve been listening to a lot of Test Match Special). The pound offers little source of cheer, and it seems unlikely to stop falling in the short-term, but it’s long term direction depends upon… Brexit (5). The FTSE100 will likely go up due to global holdings increasing returns on a weaker pound, but long term… who knows? The wider FTSE might tank if the economy stalls, but… who knows? The global markets, driven mainly by the FAANG stocks (and otherwise largely treading water) could falter; there’s lots of calls and warning signs out there about the longest ever bear market, but… who knows? We live in exciting/ perilous/ infuriating times.

Now if you’re a good investor, wise to behavioural mechanisms and carefully plodding on with your long-term plan this should make no difference. You will buy wide and ride the rollercoaster. It’s only your physical life that will be stuck yo-yo-ing in the current political/ economic climate. The pound in your pocket, not in your platforms, is the one that leaves you wondering if sterling/ economy collapses and it’s going to be pulses for dinner for the forseeable. FIRE theoretically will allow you to ride it out, but that’s no consolation if you’re not there yet.

And why the savage karma? Well the No Deal course is properly uncharted territory. The great economic tides that have carried UK finance are turning. UK prosperity has risen with high waters of international plunder (straight up colonialism), international plunder through companies (East India Co etc), global industrial powerhouse, and most recently global financiers. I have a dark optimism that, like some bedraggled phoenix, the UK might rise from the ashes in decades to come. Our national culture values creativity and inventiveness. But just as the 50s-70s saw thousands lose jobs as the economic juggernaut was set on a new path, so No Deal offers a gaping chasm of redundancies and poverty as the track is laid. And No Deal offers it on a scale that dwarfs the miners’ strikes and Three Day Week. At least there was a plan then. Who suffers most in that scenario? The less-educated, less-wealthy and less-informed. Who voted for Brexit?

Have a great week,

The Shrink

Other News

Opinion/ blogs:

The kitchen garden:

What I’m reading (affiliate links):

Food Of The Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs and Human Evolution – Terence McKenna – An ethnobotanist explores humanitys’ fascination with hallucinogenics, and the role of altered states of consciousness on the development of human society.

References:

  1. https://metro.co.uk/2019/07/15/house-prices-stall-brexit-hits-buyers-confidence-summer-10312534/
  2. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/brexit-economy-uk-living-standards-household-income-recession-a9007821.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvref-8e74wIVS7TtCh33LwBvEAAYASAAEgIBUPD_BwE
  3. https://www.ft.com/content/dfab58d2-b512-11e9-bec9-fdcab53d6959
  4. https://simplelivingsomerset.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/schools-not-even-out-and-the-silly-season-is-well-underway/
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/business/nils-pratley-on-finance/2019/jul/16/for-the-pound-there-is-little-or-no-short-term-cheer
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jul/15/jaguar-land-rover-offered-500m-loan-to-develop-electric-cars
  7. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48995511
  8. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/16/true-cost-of-cheap-food-is-health-and-climate-crises-says-commission
  9. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/bitcoin-price-crash-latest-usd-prediction-value-facebook-libra-a9007761.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvref-8e74wIVS7TtCh33LwBvEAAYASAAEgIBUPD_BwE
  10. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/long-term-savings-rates-raised-n08jb9f0h
  11. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jul/17/renting-millennials-homelessness-crisis-retire
  12. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/pcp-car-buyers-in-negative-equity-3j0drpq9c
  13. https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/scotland-wind-power-on-shore-renewable-energy-climate-change-uk-a9013066.html
  14. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jul/25/uk-solar-power-pioneer-solarcentury-profit-grows-860-in-a-year
  15. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-7305237/Virgin-Money-launches-Brexit-proof-15-year-fixed-rate-mortgage.html
  16. https://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-sunday-papers-money-sections
  17. https://www.theguardian.com/business/nils-pratley-on-finance/2019/jul/25/cobhams-demise-could-herald-a-flood-of-private-equity-takeovers
  18. https://www.reddit.com/r/UKPersonalFinance/comments/ceaqne/zoopla_estimates_how_accurate_are_they_an_analysis
  19. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jul/24/millionaire-retired-30s-kristy-shen-bryce-leung-fire
  20. https://simplelivingsomerset.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/fire-is-for-the-few-not-the-many/
  21. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-7240513/Should-fake-divorce-wife-split-pension.html
  22. https://monevator.com/weekend-reading-how-are-you-setting-your-table/#more-46828
  23. https://monevator.com/scared-by-a-share-split/
  24. https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2019/07/20/estate-planning/
  25. https://theescapeartist.me/2019/07/18/op-loaded-getting-rich-in-the-military/
  26. https://theescapeartist.me/2019/07/31/living-low-cost-in-a-high-cost-city/
  27. http://www.retirementinvestingtoday.com/2019/08/refire-and-2019-half-1-review.html
  28. https://earlyretirementnow.com/2019/07/31/rising-equity-glidepath-4-percent-safe-withdrawal-rate-60-year-retirement/
  29. https://youngfiguy.com/working-to-work/
  30. https://cashflowcop.com/avoid-failure-to-launch-into-adulthood/
  31. https://tuppennysfireplace.com/how-to-go-green-thrifty-lifestyle/
  32. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2019/07/my-concerns-about-investing-in-fossil.html
  33. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2019/07/greencoat-uk-wind-portfolio-addition.html
  34. https://firevlondon.com/2019/07/24/why-the-markets-about-to-drop-and-what-im-doing-about-it/
  35. https://firevlondon.com/2019/07/30/angel-investing-1-10-top-tips-for-a-virgin/
  36. https://firevlondon.com/2019/08/04/july-2019-3rd-best-month-yet/
  37. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2019/07/20/adjustments-to-my-investment-strategy/
  38. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2019/08/02/july-2019-other-updates/
  39. https://ditchthecave.com/cheap/
  40. https://firehub.eu/bloggers-on-fire-dr-fire/
  41. https://drfire.co.uk/july-2019-report/
  42. https://www.msziyou.com/using-housesitters/
  43. https://www.msziyou.com/portfolio-july-2019/
  44. https://www.msziyou.com/net-worth-updates-july-2019/
  45. https://awaytoless.com/all-change/
  46. https://awaytoless.com/a-frugal-engagement/
  47. https://awaytoless.com/monthly-spending-july-2019/
  48. http://www.thefrugalcottage.com/july-2019-a-month-in-review/
  49. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/back-to-airbnb/
  50. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2019/08/01/month-end-accounts-july-2019/
  51. http://thecannycontractor.com/passive-income-quarter-2-2019/
  52. https://asimplelifewithsam.com/2019/08/02/july-review/
  53. https://www.iretiredyoung.net/single-post/2019/07/19/Difficult-early-retirement-question-%E2%80%93-what%E2%80%99s-next
  54. https://www.iretiredyoung.net/single-post/2019/07/26/Early-retirement—whats-next-Take-2
  55. https://www.iretiredyoung.net/single-post/2019/08/02/Early-retirement-costs-targets—July-2019
  56. https://firethe9to5.com/2019/07/22/things-i-havent-done-since-i-retired-early-and-a-few-i-have/
  57. https://indeedably.com/retirement/
  58. https://indeedably.com/on-the-margin/
  59. https://indeedably.com/a-very-british-fire/
  60. https://youtu.be/rzmOYU5Wpdk
  61. https://www.jackwallington.com/google-is-the-best-plant-id-app-and-it-will-only-get-better/
  62. https://www.jackwallington.com/allotment-month-45-salad-harvest-colourful-potatoes-and-rainbow-tomatoes/
  63. https://agentsoffield.com/2019/07/28/the-new-kitchen-garden/

Q2 2019 – Green Credentials

Quarterly return posts supplement my monthly Financial Dashboard, covering investments in detail and looking at my yearly targets. Here I track purchases and sales, document progress against my (in progress) investment strategy, and discuss re-balancing and changes over time.

Q2 Returns:

Q2 Net Worth

  • Cash Savings Accounts £3200 (+£400)
  • Investments £1550 (+£1000)
  • Property £33,300 (-£1000)
  • Cars £3000

My net worth now sits at £~35,400, an increase of £2.2k over the past three months, which is a little less impressive than the previous quarter. This makes my rolling twelve month increase £14,900. Cannot complain.

Yearly Targets:

Goal 1: Build an emergency fund

My first 2019 goal was to build an emergency fund, as per the r/UKpersonalfinance flow chart (1). My goal emergency fund is three months total household expenses (£6k) in my name, plus a further three months (£6k) held jointly. I now currently hold £2650 in my name, and £300 held jointly. Some way to go.

My Santander 5% saver matured, so those funds were moved into a new high interest Nationwide current account. I used the excellent Bank Account Savings website plus Money Saving Expert to select another regular saver, opening a joint current account with First Direct for their switching bonus and then a linked 5% savings account (2, 3). I’ve also started squirreling cash into a Starling pot. The intention is to have liquid savings spread across three or four independent banks, with different card providers (MasterCard vs Visa). Protection against business and liquidity risk.

Goal 2: Pay off short-term debts

Short-Term Debt Q2

This has been the area of greatest progress. At the start of 2019 my short terms debts stood at £1.25k to family and £2.6k on 0% interest credit cards, then £250 and £2k respectively at the end of Q1. Those figures are now £0 and £650, and the credit card should be cleared this month. This will leave me free of unsecured debt for the first time in (I think) four years. Once the debt is clear, my money is free to be channelled into…

Goal 3: Save 25% of my earnings

Savings Rate Q2

I calculate my savings rate using this formula:

Savings rate as % = ((Income – spend) + Cash savings + Investments + Pension contributions) / (Income + Pension contributions)

My current mean savings rate for 2019 is 18.4%, short of my goal. I had a March outlier thanks to a tax refund, and in May my effective savings rate was close to zero due to work-related bills (exams, course fees etc). Worth noting in the NHS it’s expected you pay for your exams, courses and training yourself. You can claim it back through tax, but only certain elements. The rest you take on the chin.

Goal 4: Live more sustainably

I’ve been pretty crap at keeping track of what we’re using from the garden rather than purchasing. With summer in full swing we’re getting at least two dinners a week just from home-grown produce. We’ve also made lots of little changes around the house to move away from plastic. These have included:

  • Switching toilet roll

We looked into the brand ‘Who Gives A Crap’, but I was pretty pissed off to find out all their recycled/ bamboo eco loo-roll comes on a slow ship from China (4). Not exactly sustainable. Instead we used The Ethical Consumer, an amazing website that ranks consumer products by multiple ethical/ sustainable/ fairtrade measures, to find Ecoleaf by Suma (5). Suma are a co-operative in the UK who have been producing sustainable, fairtrade products since the 80s.

  • Shampoo bars

Again we tried to use The Ethical Consumer. We actually found the Lush ones are pretty good, and despite costing £8.50/each, they seem to last a couple of months (6).

  • Washing powder ball

The Ecozone Eco-balls we bought are supposed to last 1000 washes (7). A recent change, so we’ll wait to reserve judgement.

  • Switching cleaning products to Method

Nice and easy as they’re stocked in mainstream supermarkets.

There’s loads of guides and blogs out there with tips on how to live with less plastic. I’d recommend starting off with the 100 Steps to a Plastic-Free Life (8).

Goal 5: Commence investing

I’ve not been very disciplined investing this quarter. In April I topped up my existing holding, but in May I held cash back to open a crowdfunding investment (still pending). My cash savings are calculated towards my Personal Allowance, whilst my investments are held in my Vanguard ISA. I have managed to get my investment portfolio spreadsheet at a stage I’m happy with (for now), so here’s a few example graphs:

Tax Efficiency Q2

Region Allocation Q2Country Allocation

Because I’m contrary, I’ve decided to actually try to calculate my worldwide exposure on a country by country basis. I currently just hold Vanguards Developed World Ex-UK Fund. I’m far more exposed to the US than I’d like, and so I’ll be opening some new holdings to diversify over the next two quarters.

Until next time,

The Shrink

References:

  1. https://www.reddit.com/r/UKPersonalFinance/
  2. https://bankaccountsavings.co.uk/
  3. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/savings/savings-accounts-best-interest/
  4. https://myplasticfreelife.com/2017/09/who-gives-a-crap-recycled-or-bamboo-toilet-paper-without-plastic/
  5. https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/home-garden/shopping-guide/toilet-paper
  6. https://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/christmasgifts/fashion-beauty/shampoo-hair-soap-plastic-free-green-beauty-environmentally-friendly-a8505026.html
  7. https://www.ethicalsuperstore.com/products/ecozone/eco-balls/
  8. https://myplasticfreelife.com/plasticfreeguide/

The Full English – Media narratives

What’s piqued my interest this week?

Recently I’ve pretty much stopped listening to/ watching the news. This is not just down to the ongoing spin-doctoring in the Tory leadership election/ geopolitical elite, which frankly makes me so disenfranchised I feel like burying myself in soft peat.

No, what’s really getting my goat, is the descent of the media into a selection of soundbite opinions amongst a race to be first on the scene to a news story. This is even at the expense of editorial correctness or narrative structure. There’s a few exceptions to this: certain broadsheets (The Guardian, The FT, The Independent) appear to still be pursing the long read investigative journalism route. On the whole, and with finger squarely pointed at the BBC, the media seems to constantly be chasing a story first circulated on Twitter/ Reddit. In the days of social media, everyone is the first reporter on the scene. They share online, and whatever gets shared gets picked up, even if it runs counter to the print media’s planned direction. The print media then has to sprint to keep up, and has to include irrelevant people’s opinions to appear relevant to the common man. What does the common man think about this niche piece of technical news of which he has no understanding?

Case in point one: The NHS and Doctors’ pensions.

I’ve written about this before, as it hits close to home. Mr YFG did a far better job at explaining the technicalities, and the ins and outs of the Lifetime Allowance (1, 2). The nub of the issue is that many consultants are breaching the LTA when working extra shifts to make-up for the shortfall in NHS staff. Yes they’re paid well, but because these extra shifts, which the NHS requires in order to meet targets like the 2-week-wait for cancer referrals, are over the LTA the effective tax rate can be >100% for the shift. They’re effectively paying to work extra hours. Rather than working the extra hours they’re opting out. So the NHS is short-staffed. Which it has been for years, partly due to the hostile working environment created by the current government (despite their rhetoric). The Financial Times has been reporting very clearly on this for months, and within the health service Doctors’ reps (e.g. the BMA) have been banging on about it all year (3, 4). So why can’t the Guardian get its head round it? The article they’ve put out in the last week is titled something about “working to rule”, with a tagline:

“Doctors warn health services in danger of meltdown and facing ‘existential threat’” (5)

They can’t seem to decide where to take the piece. How do they make it relevant? Oh, I know, lets make it about the Tories dooming the NHS… ish. With a bit of confusing information about potential solutions for good measure. They can’t just report it with explanations. There has to be an angle. And they can’t compete with the likes of the Daily Mail, who appear to be on a one-way crusade against those vicious, spiteful, mean doctors. After all ‘waiting lists have doubled in three months as doctors refuse to work’ (6). How could they refuse to pay to work, to pay to take on responsibility for people’s lives (7). See here; Steve the welder from Leeds interviewed as a bloke off the street stating doctors should be forced to work. Why hell does Steve’s opinion matter?

Case in point two: PCP contracts on cars

I included two links to this last week. My god it does my nut. If you can’t afford a fancy car with simple maths, why the hell do you expect to get one when the maths is more complicated? Despite this there’s a slew of whinging Karens’ in the media, complaining that they were sold things they can’t afford (8). That they didn’t understand their contract (9, 10). Why is that anybody’s responsibility other than your own? A fool and his/her money are easily parted.

Ohh righhtttt, people don’t like being told they’re fools. Especially when sharks wearing lawyer suits are telling them that they’re owed compo, backed up by tit-rags (11). Because as the PPI gravy train ends those sharks are looking for a fresh meal, and they follow idiots to mis-selling like blood to an injured baby seal (12). They’ve already missed out once, when they waited with baited breath for the FCA to adjudicate mis-selling (13). All they got was tighter regs. Now they’ll be damned if they can’t find another way to that mis-selling cold-call (14). Never mind the fact it’s just people being idiots. I’ve talked before about how I think PCP is the next financial bubble, despite whatever wonky statistics the car industry share (15). In my opinion, the mouth-breathing hordes clamouring for compo because they can’t afford their finance deal are just the storm-clouds on the horizon. The fact the media follows their narrative of misery is just one more reason for my loss of respect.

Have a great week,

The Shrink

P.S. A bit late getting this out, what a day of sport!

Other News

Opinion/ blogs:

The kitchen garden:

What I’m reading (affiliate links):

Food Of The Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs and Human Evolution – Terence McKenna – An ethnobotanist explores humanitys’ fascination with hallucinogenics, and the role of altered states of consciousness on the development of human society.

References:

  1. https://youngfiguy.com/nhs-pension-scheme-and-doctors/
  2. https://youngfiguy.com/the-lifetime-allowance/
  3. https://www.ft.com/content/e6d3e03c-4e12-11e9-b401-8d9ef1626294
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jul/08/nhs-faces-existential-threat-as-senior-doctors-work-to-rule
  5. https://www.hsj.co.uk/topics/pensions
  6. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7223053/Hospital-waiting-lists-DOUBLE-three-months-doctors-refuse-overtime-NHS-pension-reform.html
  7. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/07/07/nhs-waiting-lists-soaring-consultants-refuse-work-overtime/
  8. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-your-money-48776454
  9. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-7140919/Can-modify-car-finance-dangers.html
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  13. https://www.am-online.com/news/finance/2018/09/13/ppi-lawyers-ready-to-react-to-fca-s-verdict-on-pcp-car-finance
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  20. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-7240443/Lookers-shares-tumble-25-car-dealership-warns-profits-reverse.html
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  27. http://earlyretirementextreme.com/preliminaries-to-retiring-in-5-years.html
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  30. https://www.iretiredyoung.net/single-post/2019/07/12/Is-normal-life-better-than-FIRE
  31. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/why-lending-to-people-who-need-to-borrow-is-a-bad-idea/
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  33. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2019/07/13/ski-holiday-2020-booked-fire-snow/
  34. https://www.msziyou.com/appeal-quits-working/
  35. https://www.msziyou.com/enough-funds-retire/
  36. https://thesavingninja.com/the-10-commandments-of-fire/
  37. https://thesavingninja.com/update-a-thought-experiment-about-happiness/
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  39. https://ditchthecave.com/work-less-hard/
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  42. https://lovelygreens.com/blackcurrant-rum-infusion-recipe/