Bangernomics 2019

I preach, but do not devoutly practice, Bangernomics; do as I say not as I do being a common mantra among the medical profession as they down their sixth pint surrounded by a cloud of cigarette smoke. For the past five years I’ve kept spreadsheets tracking every cost from my motley parade of shonky motors. Inspired by a recent JL Collins post, I thought I would share my yearly running costs here (1).

The current fleet stands at the 15-year old daily driver, and the classic, which MrsShrink never tires of telling me is older than her. There’s also MrsShrink’s car, but I don’t include that in the numbers as it’s entirely her property. This fleet is much reduced compared to recent years, generally more reliable and responsible, and less of an environmental waste hazard. At one point I had vehicles and parts scattered across several counties, and inhabited by a surprising variety of flora and fauna.

The reduction in general tat has come with the realisation that owning said tat is less a joy, and more a millstone. My head hung heavy with the weight of untouched projects. I can only physically drive one car at a time, so better to make it one really good one, than lots of good-ish ones.

The daily driver is a good-ish one, bought at 11 years old on 80,000 miles for £2,000. Four and a half years later it’s ticked round 135,000. Here’s the vitals for 2019:

  • Completed 14,000 miles
  • Required £1,052 in repairs and pro-active maintenance
  • Cost 16.54p/ mile in petrol, for a total of £2,316 (I use the fuelly app to track my fill-ups and spending (2))
  • Plus ~£300/year in tax
  • And £350/year in insurance
  • £0 depreciation – it’s old!

For a total annual cost of £4,020, or 28.7p/mile.

It’s been an expensive year for repairs, with a new clutch costing £650. Beyond servicing and perishable parts there was nothing else out of the ordinary. Unfortunately the old girl is starting to reach the age where lots of things go wrong every year, and it’s time to evaluate the trade-off of ‘better the devil you know’ versus ‘shiny new thing’.

Now I would never buy a shiny new car. My favoured choice is buying something ten years old and running it for five years, hitting my own personal sweet spot of depreciation vs reliability. As for data to back that up, well the clever spreadsheet jockeys over at r/UKPersonalFinance have come up trumps.

Seven months ago, /u/tirboki posted this thread (3). They wrote a python script which scraped data from Autotrader on price, age and mileage, and then compared it to data the DVLA publishes on MOT failure rate. This produced some fantastic results:

But was also largely based on summary data, and therefore wasn’t nuanced. Their suggestion was that:

If you want to own a car for 1 year, buy a 5 year old car. If you want to own a car for 3 years, buy a 4 year old car. If you want to own a car for 8 years, but a 2 year old car. If you want to own a car for more than 8 years, wait for the right month (August, February) and buy a brand new car. (3)

Now I’m not going to buy a brand new car. Nor am I going to buy a base model car. /u/tirboki went on to publish a further analysis thread recently, breaking down the DVLA MOT statistics further (4). This looked at the time it took for cars to go from peak volume (i.e. the most number of the road), to 5% of peak volume, as a marker of life expectancy. There’s a great variety here, a bimodal distribution where high end marques outlast lower quality manufacturers by five years (4). Top spec models also outlast base models.

So where does your car fit? /u/adam-a has the answer for you, developing a website rate my ride which produces MOT survival curves for popular car models (5, 6). It allows you to navigate MOT pass rates as a proxy for reliability (but actually for maintenance and quality, but close enough).

My buying criteria have been <£2,000, around ten years old, high end manufacturer, high spec model, regular servicing and few failed MOTs, moderate mileage (aiming for 6-8,000/year). Cars that spend years inactive tend to come with their own problems, and are often a worse bet than something high mileage but cared for. Ten year old models of my current daily have 80% MOT pass rates, compared to 72% for a Vauxhall Astra. At 15 years the daily is still 68%, the Astra 62%. Worse when mileage is factored in.

So is it time to buy something new(er)?

Bangernomics says it’s time to get rid when the cars value is less than remedial work. I’m anticipating another £1,000 year of maintenance, and with that the cars value will be £750. Being averse to debt, I’m planning to save up for the replacement. When it comes round to it I’ll document the sums here with reasoning (like Mr & Miss Way) (7). I’ll also make use of the excellent UK vehicle stats website (8). For the time being the old girl will continue to see service, but the chop beckons.
References:

  1. https://jlcollinsnh.com/2019/11/10/what-does-buying-a-new-car-really-cost-over-the-years/
  2. http://www.fuelly.com/
  3. https://www.reddit.com/r/UKPersonalFinance/comments/bv4wwc/faq_on_car_ownership_answered/
  4. https://www.reddit.com/r/UKPersonalFinance/comments/czk6ps/life_expectancy_of_cars_an_analysis_using_dvla/
  5. https://www.reddit.com/r/UKPersonalFinance/comments/cz4x5v/inspired_by_a_post_here_a_few_months_ago_i/
  6. http://ratemyride.info/about
  7. https://awaytoless.com/how-to-buy-a-car/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-buy-a-car
  8. https://www.vehiclestats.co.uk/

The Financial Dashboard – December 2019

The goals for December were:

  • Continue to exercise 4x a week
  • Keep a record of all dietary intake (what gets measured gets managed)
  • Sell 5 items (need to get back on my de-clutter)
  • Save 30% of my salary

Checking the assets and liabilities:

Dec 2019 AssetsDec 2019 Liabilities

These are taken, as always, from my Beast Budget spreadsheet. This month my net worth grew by 14.42%, though not due to any stonking savings rate. Instead it was down to a house revaluation, which brought our equity up in our home up by £20k. My savings rate missed my goal at a measly 23.85%, leaving my average for the 12 months at 23.52%.

Goals:

Goal failed: Continue to exercise 4x a week

Work, Christmas parties and a break away to stay with family meant that I only managed three times a week. There’s a recurring theme this month…

Goal failed: Keep a record of all dietary intake

Failed at this too. I’ve downloaded an app to try for January.

Goal failed: Sell 5 items

Nope. Next…

Goal failed: Save 30% of my salary

Not even close. Should and could have been, however we had a plumbing emergency the week before Christmas, requiring a dip into the emergency fund. A couple of years ago this would have gone on a credit card, and hung around my head like a noose for the following year. Now the £2k could be paid immediately, without breaking a sweat, and the emergency fund topped straight back up at the end of the month.

Budgets

  • Groceries – Budget £200, spent £195.46, last month £157.76 – This probably should have been more, but we ate out a lot and didn’t host for Christmas
  • Entertainment – Budget £100, spent £242.95, last month £119 – Christmas parties, breaks away, beers, beers and prosecco!
  • Transport – Budget £460, spent £406.16, last month £394.05 – More work to the daily, and it needs further if I’m not to replace it soon
  • Holiday – £150, spent £0, last month £0
  • Personal – £100/ £56.99/ £102.90
  • Loans/ Credit – £0/ £0/ £0
  • Misc – £50/ £25.50/ £109.16
  • Fees – £70 /£109.49/ £135.40

In the garden:

Harvesting root veg, and now tidying up in preparation for planting next year.

Goals for next month… take 2:

  • Continue to exercise 4x a week
  • Keep a record of all dietary intake
  • Sell 5 items 
  • Fix my car

Happy New Year everyone,

The Shrink

The Financial Dashboard – November 2019

The goals for November were:

  • Exercise at least 4x a week
  • Automate investments
  • Repair pushbike
  • Look at new emergency fund accounts

Checking the assets and liabilities:

November AssetsNovember Liabilities

These are taken, as always, from my Beast Budget spreadsheet. This month my net worth grew by 3.46%, as my good run came to an end. My savings rate was also a paltry 21.86%, dragging my yearly average down to 23.64%. My payroll is still incorrect, so I’m paying PAYE tax, pension and student loan contributions incorrectly. Despite hounding the payroll departments they continue to get it wrong every month. We also bought some furniture for the house which dragged the savings down.

Goals:

Goal achieved: Exercise at least 4x a week

I actually managed this, surprisingly myself. Self-motivation must be improving; like a muscle the more you exercise it the stronger it gets. I’ve yet to decide if paying for the extra local gym is worth the added cost for the convenience, but it has meant I can squeeze in early morning workouts with ease. Need to focus on diet now to achieve some of my goals.

Goal achieved: Automate investments

Going back to the investing basics, I decided I needed to make my investments automatic and also use the paying myself first approach (1. 2, 3). As such I’ve set up a standing order to my regular investment platform, and another to my new emergency fund account. These will go out on the day I get paid, and I can use the spare cash for discretionary spending.

Goal achieved(ish): Repair pushbike

Took it to the local charity workshop for a quote, likely to be £150+, may get it fixed, may buy a crappy skip bike to replace it. Most importantly it’s no longer sat in my garage.

Goal achieved: Look at new emergency fund accounts

After a few months of poor cash savings, I decided to set up a new emergency fund account. I had been using a savings pot as an emergency fund in the Starling bank account I use for my day to day spending. This returns 0.5% and is generally a bit naff. I also found myself dipping into it for discretionary spending. I have a high interest current account with a further £2.5k sitting returning 5%, but I find moving money every month to satisfy the requirements of the account a bit of a faff. Therefore the new plan was to set up another regular saver. The local Monmouthshire Building Society offers a 3% regular saver, so I popped down to the local store to set one up. This was like stepping back in time thirty years, and I take some re-assurance from their old-fashioned safety procedures. This is how my income savings structure now looks:

Savings breakdown.JPG

Budgets

  • Groceries – Budget £200, spent £157.76, last month £176.39 – We ate out more and spent less thanks to weekly meal planning
  • Entertainment – Budget £100, spent £119, last month £101
  • Transport – Budget £460, spent £394.05, last month £301.82 – Daily car passed it’s MOT with only minor work. Not bad for an old snotter.
  • Holiday – £150, spent £0, last month £336.40
  • Personal – £100/ £102.90/ £46.56 – Black Friday wardrobe updates
  • Loans/ Credit – £0/ £0/ £140
  • Misc – £50/ £100/ £215.15 – Christmas gifts now!
  • Fees – £70 /£135.40/ £177.91

In the garden:

Everything quiet now apart from some overwintering veg settled in the ground

Goals for next month:

  • Continue to exercise 4x a week
  • Keep a record of all dietary intake (what gets measured gets managed)
  • Sell 5 items (need to get back on my de-clutter)
  • Save 30% of my salary

Happy December everyone,

The Shrink

References:

  1. https://monevator.com/the-investing-basics/
  2. https://monevator.com/no-time-to-invest/
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/payyourselffirst.asp

The Financial Dashboard – September 2019

The goals for September were:

  • 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

Checking the assets and liabilities:

September AssetsSeptember Liabilities

These are taken, as always, from my Beast Budget spreadsheet. This month my net worth grew by 3.32%, modest but enough to push me over the £40k barrier. My savings rate, not including mortgage repayment, was 43.76%, pushing my average up to 21.48%. That’s my best savings rate of the year.

Goals:

Goal achieved: Plan healthy weekly dinners

Within the confines of eating out/ in with friends, and the times when we’ve been away, I think this has been achieved. We’ve eaten less oven or ready meals, and more stuff fresh from scratch using our home grown ingredients. I want to build on this, by adopting a meal plan – a goal for next month.

Goal achieved: Exercise at least 3x a week

This was actually really hard. Life has a tendency to throw curveballs, and trying to fit in three workouts every week around work commitments, socialising, house chores and sleep has been challenging. Again I want to build on this – for next month it’s 4x a week.

Goal failed: Get two more blogposts out

Slightly better. June and July were a real lull, with only three and four posts, compared to eight in one month at the start of the year. I managed five in August, but still not back to my old standard. I’m going to aim for six this month.

Goal failed: Look for a skip bike to use for short local journeys

I decided not to do this, as I don’t need more stuff. I’m going to get my old bike repaired again instead.

Goal failed: De-clutter spare room for charity shop

Still a work in progress.

Budgets

  • Groceries – Budget £200, spent £144.75, last month £299.90
  • Entertainment – Budget £100, spent £101, last month £81
  • Transport – Budget £460, spent £257.49, last month £241.97
  • Holiday – £150, spent £0, last month £0
  • Personal – £100/ £87.75/ £62.99
  • Loans/ Credit – £0/ £152.25/ £152.25
  • Misc – £50/ £75.65/ £30 – Gifts mainly
  • Fees – £70 /£110.40/ £209.75 – Vets fees

In the garden:

More chutneys this month as our tomatoes and beans come to an end. A few courgettes still soldiering on, but I think this weeks weather might kill them off. Despite a strong start my pumpkins are sadly the size of plums. I’ve planted a lot of new stuff this month; winter potatoes, onions for spring, spinach beet, carrots and spring cabbage.

Goals for next month:

  • Adopt a weekly meal plan
  • Exercise 4x a week
  • Get six blogposts out across the month
  • Repair pushbike
  • De-clutter spare room for the charity shop

What’s in the pipeline: (Hopefully a couple this month)

  • Stoicism and the finance world
  • Should I buy an electric car?
  • Q3 2019 – Steady as she goes
  • Property Renovation Lessons Part III
  • Plus the usual Full English Accompaniments and other drivel…

Happy October everyone,

The Shrink

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 – 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
  10. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-4469742/Why-won-t-car-finance-let-hand-PCP-vs-HP.html
  11. https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/8673492/drivers-owned-compensation-car-finance-deals/
  12. https://www.gladstonebrookes.co.uk/blog/2019/03/29/pcp-compensation-new-car-buyers/
  13. https://www.am-online.com/news/finance/2018/09/13/ppi-lawyers-ready-to-react-to-fca-s-verdict-on-pcp-car-finance
  14. https://www.confused.com/car-finance/finance-options/car-finance-mis-selling-scandal
  15. https://www.independent.co.uk/money/spend-save/new-car-buy-consumers-finance-on-credit-diesel-registrations-drop-income-a8246106.html
  16. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48926232
  17. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48941011
  18. https://www.investing.com/news/stock-market-news/futures-push-higher-on-rate-cut-optimism-1922051
  19. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-7241921/Trump-fires-broadside-Facebooks-online-currency.html
  20. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-7240443/Lookers-shares-tumble-25-car-dealership-warns-profits-reverse.html
  21. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48954323
  22. https://monevator.com/why-your-pension-wont-be-plundered/
  23. https://www.ukvalueinvestor.com/2019/07/3-high-yield-bargains.html/
  24. https://theescapeartist.me/2019/07/10/how-to-own-the-world-and-how-to-move-the-world/
  25. http://www.retirementinvestingtoday.com/2019/07/pf101.html
  26. https://cashflowcop.com/financial-freedom-by-making-decisions-like-a-police-commander/
  27. http://earlyretirementextreme.com/preliminaries-to-retiring-in-5-years.html
  28. https://indeedably.com/the-red-pill/
  29. https://simplelivingsomerset.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/schools-not-even-out-and-the-silly-season-is-well-underway/
  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/
  32. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/a-12-year-review-of-zopa/
  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/
  38. https://drfire.co.uk/june-2019-report/
  39. https://ditchthecave.com/work-less-hard/
  40. http://www.frugalwoods.com/2019/07/12/a-vacation-and-other-june-2019-expenditures/
  41. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2019/07/12/timing-of-fire/
  42. https://lovelygreens.com/blackcurrant-rum-infusion-recipe/

The Financial Dashboard – June 2019

The goals for June were:

  • Finish my portfolio spreadsheet
  • Compare current insurance rates
  • Look into further financial planning: wills and income protection
  • Plan healthy weekly dinners
  • Exercise at least 3x a week

Checking the assets and liabilities:

Assets June

June Liabilities

These are taken, as always, from my Beast Budget spreadsheet. This month my net worth grew by 6.54%. I’m very close now to clearing my credit card debt, and I’ve been quietly saving cash into emergency funds. I invested a bit in a CrowdFunding round (more on this in my Q2 update), so didn’t top up my ISA which has been merrily growing. The wonders of compounding!

Goals:
Goal achieved: Finish my portfolio spreadsheet

Pretty much there. Think I’ll be adding to it in the future, but for now I’ll be sharing some screenshots of it in my Q2 update.
Goal achieved: Compare current insurance rates

My car and house insurance both came due this month. I took advice from Money Saving Expert; renewing three weeks before time, optimising my job title and using multiple comparison sites (1). The usual comparison sites turned up some likely suspects, and like any good frugal bod, I did a bit of switching and saving. Perhaps most amusingly, Hastings Insurance quoted me £150 less through Confused.com than on my renewal document. They were cheapest and agreed to honour their online quote. That pays for a few drinks!
Goal achieved: Look into further financial planning: wills and income protection

I’ve been listening to a few podcasts lately, and it’s a big feature and recommendation of Meaningful Money and Money To The Masses that you should get proper financial planning for the worst as foundations for building wealth (2, 3). Shouldn’t be surprised really, given they’re mainly Chartered Financial Planners. I don’t have a will, but all my assets would go to MrsShrink and there’s no complicated stuff to deal with. I have some income protection through my job and life insurance to pay off my mortgage. MrsShrink is a different story, so we may get some professional advice to head-off difficult discussions in the future.
Goal failed: Plan healthy weekly dinners

Trying my best for this, but been working away a lot or on horrible hours. No excuse, so going to double down next month.
Goal failed: Exercise at least 3x a week

Again failed this for the reason above. Pause for thought considering I’m paying £75/per month on gyms/ sports clubs. I tell myself if I can go twice a week to both then it is cost effective. Need to look at my schedule and work out how I can sort this.

Budgets

  • Groceries – Budget £300, spent £102, last month £264.72. Eating whilst away a lot, hence spending little
  • Entertainment – Budget £150, spent £0, last month £139.47. I feel like this is incorrect, but turns out we’ve actually not done anything. How dull!
  • Transport – Budget £460, spent £631.07, last month £119.25. Car insurance!
  • Holiday – £150, spent £0, last month £0
  • Personal – £100/ £198.43/ £15. Spent some cash on new clothing, which was saved last month in a Starling ‘space’.
  • Loans/ Credit – £350/ £700/ £407.40
  • Misc – £50/ £14/ £59. Misc payments this month:
    • £14 for student membership

In the garden:

All going great guns now. Early potatoes eaten and feasted upon, maincrop trimmed back. Tomatoes and cucumbers doing well. Courgettes planted out and spreading. Dwarf french and climbing runner beans overwhelming sunflowers. Peas cropping and tasty alongside spinach beat, salad veg and early Chantenay carrots.

Goals for next month:

  • 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

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 July everyone,

The Shrink

References:

  1. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/car-insurance/
  2. https://meaningfulmoney.tv/
  3. https://moneytothemasses.com/