The Financial Dashboard – October 2020

The goals for October were:

  • Fix the bits on the cars I’ve already bought parts for – I’m terrible at buying parts and then never fitting them
  • Sell five things
  • Read a book thee evenings a week

Checking the assets and liabilities:

These are taken, as always, from my Beast Budget spreadsheet. This was a tough month. My employer has finally remembered they overpaid me, and took the overpayment off this month’s salary. I’m going to dip into the money I set aside when I was overpaid to cover me for the month. We also had a large number of expenses relating to the renovations, some unexpected, which led us to dip into our emergency fund. Given all this my savings rate for this month was -18.14%. There’s more renovation costs to come, and some health issues might require a private medical expense, so it’s going to be a lean couple of months. The usual cash regular savers were topped up, and new money in the Freetrade S&S ISA went to increase previous holdings.

If you fancy a free share, sign up to Freetrade with this link (I also get one).

Goals:

Goal failed: Fix the bits on the cars I’ve already bought parts for

Goal failed: Sell five things

Goal failed: Read a book thee evenings a week

These were all write-offs. I’ve been doing a 90-hour work week, with renovation work on top. Roll on next month.

Budgets:

  • Groceries – Budget £200, spent £216.97, last month £181.42
  • Entertainment – Budget £100, spent £65, last month £97.16 – Still spending too much on takeaways, easy to do when the house is full of dust and chaos.
  • Transport – Budget £250, spent £129.54, last month £147.72
  • Holiday – £150, spent £17.63, last month £118.99 
  • Personal – £100/ £280.50/ £87.26
  • Loans/ Credit – £50/ £43.70/ £50
  • Misc – £50/ £705.75/ £604.72 – Further renovation costs
  • Fees – £300 /£629.75/ £268.60

In the garden:

Shut everything down for the winter, harvesting off the last of the squashes. I’ve got chinese cabbage, kale and winter lettuces on the go in the greenhouse.

Goals for next month:

  • Fix the bits on the cars I’ve already bought parts for – I’m terrible at buying parts and then never fitting them
  • Sell five things
  • Read a book thee evenings a week
  • Cut down on takeaway spend

Happy November everyone!

The Shrink

The Full English Accompaniment – The Lost Year

We’re almost two-thirds of the way through a year that seems to have disappeared. Memorable for COVID-19, lockdown and, if you’re that way inclined, the fastest bear market and reversal on record. We’re now back where we started in February/ March. Sports, bars and shops are re-opening. US markets are reaching all time highs. Almost like those six months didn’t happen and COVID has disappeared.

It certainly didn’t feel like that working in the NHS in March & April.

I’m finding it quite challenging to reflect on the past six months. It’s been a blur of lurching from hypothetical crisis to crisis in the news, averting potential problems, while simultaneously blending mundane existence. One of the consultants I work with has managed to squeeze in cheap holidays to Venice, France, and now Ireland, completely missing all quarantines. I envy him. Most of us have gone to work, gone to a food shop in a mask, watched Netflix, switched off. I wonder if this is what the routine of dementia-inducing retirement feels like?

The media has been commenting on ‘revenge spending’ – people splurging after they’ve been forced to save by lockdown (1). Apparently it’s driving lots of new car sales (2). Why the hell is it called ‘revenge spending’. “I’m sticking it to the ‘big man’ by dropping 20 large on a new Corsa”. What a load of dung.

Personally I think these are all attempts by people to do things worth remembering. ‘Remember that time we went to Zante during lockdown’. ‘Remember when we came back from holiday on an overbooked TUI flight and everyone got COVID’. ‘Remember when we replaced our three year old car with a new car’. Mentally marking the passage of time with big events.

Others seem to be taking comfort from doing the same old thing. Going to the same places. Visiting favourite restaurants previously shut. Spending £300/month on clothes you wear once (3). Publicly grumbling on an anonymous blog. We take pleasure where we can.

From a ruminative Shrink, have a great week,

News:

Blogs/ Opinions:

References:

  1. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/womens-style/rise-revenge-buying-means-uk-luxury-retailers/
  2. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/09/01/revenge-buying-drives-surge-sales-70-plate-new-cars/
  3. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000m4bz
  4. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-crisis-ice-sheets-melting-global-warming-greenland-antarctic-a9699921.html
  5. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53995878
  6. https://www.ft.com/content/26b91aac-8c73-44cc-b8d7-1aae371ab951
  7. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-8698877/Technology-stocks-hammered-day-two-sell-off.html
  8. https://seekingalpha.com/article/4372406-u-s-stock-market-is-bubble-plain-and-simple
  9. http://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/03/markets-are-facing-a-potential-minsky-moment-collapse-strategist-says.html
  10. http://www.forbes.com/sites/investor/2020/09/03/the-crash-of-2020-into-the-end-game/
  11. https://www.ft.com/content/d8eb62ef-a1cb-4597-867b-15a79dbdcd5d
  12. https://www.ft.com/content/5d6fc188-2b9c-4df7-848e-a6c1795dc691
  13. https://www.theguardian.com/business/nils-pratley-on-finance/2020/sep/03/scottish-mortgage-wont-be-too-bothered-about-the-nasdaqs-wobble
  14. https://www.finumus.com/blog/do-not-currency-hedge-your-equity-portfolio
  15. https://earlyretirementnow.com/2020/08/31/the-half-percent-safe-withdrawal-rate/
  16. https://www.foxymonkey.com/all-weather-portfolio-uk/
  17. https://bankeronfire.com/magic-money-making-machine
  18. https://www.itinvestor.co.uk/2020/09/commodity-investment-trusts-are-all-the-rage/
  19. https://www.firemusings.org/should-we-consider-chunking-up-retirement-into-different-phases/
  20. https://southwalesfi.co.uk/2020/09/04/renting-v-buying-from-a-fire-standpoint/
  21. https://lifeafterthedailygrind.com/best-free-landlord-apps/
  22. https://sparklebeeblog.wordpress.com/2020/09/04/2020-reflections-so-far/
  23. https://theescapeartist.me/2020/09/06/the-what-did-we-learn-from-2020-chat-with-andy-hart/
  24. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/09/05/all-time-record-house-prices/
  25. http://eaglesfeartoperch.blogspot.com/2020/09/conservatory-design-build-part-2.html
  26. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2020/09/mid-wynd-trust-full-year-results.html
  27. https://indeedably.com/50-years-early/
  28. https://playingwithfire.uk/did-someone-say-coffee-could-you-save-money-with-a-sage-bambino/
  29. https://monevator.com/k-shaped-recovery/
  30. https://monevator.com/annual-isa-allowance/
  31. https://www.onemillionjourney.com/portfolio-update-21-august-2020-105404e/
  32. https://thesavingninja.com/savings-report-26-we-made-it-to-sweden/
  33. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2020/09/04/august-2020-plus-other-updates/
  34. https://www.thefrugalcottage.com/september-aims-7/
  35. https://obviousinvestor.com/p2p-lending-portfolio-update-september-1st-2020/
  36. http://www.cantswingacat.co.uk/2020/09/02/august-income-report/
  37. https://www.earlyretirementguy.com/september-2020-networth-update/
  38. https://asimplelifewithsam.com/2020/09/05/august-review-2/
  39. https://averagemoneymanagement.wordpress.com/2020/09/05/freetrade-diary-8-august/
  40. https://awaytoless.com/monthly-spending-august-2020/
  41. https://pathtolife2.com/2020/09/05/my-fi-journey-one-year-on-how-did-i-do/