Monthly Report #4 – June 2020

It’s that time of the month where I disclose my finances to you, in full and update you on my progress towards achieving financial independence and early retirement. I’ve absolutely smashed it this month, if I may say so?! We’ve cleared a bunch of debt, increased our savings, made huge gains on my retirement savings and increased our net-worth by a sizeable chunk, too! I’ll copy the snapshots of my spreadsheet below. If you’d like to download your very own version of this spreadsheet, you can do so using the link at the bottom of this post or by visiting my FI Resources page (thanks!). I’ll start with our expenses for this month, which I’m relieved to say have settled somewhat following our huge car bill in the previous month!

Expenses for June:

The one thing that really stood out to me this month was that we spent nearly £200 on takeaway food! The convenience of ordering a quick Chinese, or pizza is all too tempting when you have an 8-month-old who can quickly throw all your evening plans out the window when they have a bad nap or decide they don’t want to go to sleep for 2 hours after you’ve put them down!

BUT.. we’re now taking action! We’ve agreed to curb this bad habit and go cold-turkey on the takeaway food. I’ve been nagging at my wife for months for us to cut back on the takeaway’s and she’s finally agreed with me! Was it because she accepts that I’m wise and that £200 per month compounded over years equate to a boat-load of cash? No. She wants a new house and realises that this is where we can cut back to make that happen a little sooner! But ‘ll take it!

Other than that, things haven’t changed much. We’re still in lock-down, although it’s slightly eased. I’m still working from home, so I’m using no petrol and it also means we don’t have to pay for a dog walker!

Also, I’ve discovered a little hack which is going to save me about £1.20/week in tax due to the whole work-from-home thing going on in the UK. Basically, I can claim up to £6/week in expenses incurred due to having to work from home without having to show any proof! as I’m a 20% rate tax payer, I get 20% tax relief on this £6/week, which works out at £1.20 (£62/year). It’s hardly impacting my savings rate or retirement ge, but hey! It’s free money! So, I’ll take it!

Retirement Expenses:

There’s no change from last month on this tab, as I’ve not altered my monthly contributions in any way. So, I’ve copied last months snapshot above.

Savings:

I feel like I’m absolutely crushing the savings game at the moment! Obviously, this is being very much helped by the massive gains in the stock market right now (which still don’t make any sense to me! By hey ho!). But still, where I choose to invest my cash each month is clearly making a big difference too!

The aim is for that orange bar to grow by a noticeable difference each year. By the time I’m 50, this needs to be worth around 3/4 of the value of my workplace pension fund. So far, I’m on track. And my investment style of picking individual stocks and carefully selected ETF’s is paying dividends (pun intended). In my first year I made gains of 16%!

The funny thing is, I made some horrible decisions as I was learning along the way. And i STILL pulled off a 16% ROI! Click Here to read about my strategy and more on how I achieved this return. In summary though…

Equity & Assets:

So, we were due to renew our mortgage around now. But, as I mentioned above, we’re actually looking to move house now. This is all pretty out of the blue! A month ago, we were set on staying in our current home forever! But we’ve come to realise that we just don’t have the space in our current home, and doing renovations to create the space we need just isn’t worth the money any more! Turns out babies need quite a lot of stuff, and space to put that stuff.

In summary, it’s going to cost more to have the renovations done than the changes to the home will add in value to the property. And the increase in mortgage payments is the same as if we just bought a bigger house, which is already built the way we want it. So, it’s a no-brainer really! We get the space we need for the same overall cost, whilst avoiding having to go through the upheaval and disruption of having the home become a construction site for several months!

We’ve just put the house on the market. Like, literally today! So let’s see what happens…

Debts:

Yup! We paid off not one, not two, but THREE credit cards this month! Again, the inspiration for my wife’s sudden expert-level debt clearing is the prospect of buying a new house. Just s small incentive 🙄.

The less outgoings we have in debt payments, the more likely the banks are to loan us the money we need for the next house. But man, it feels great! That’s over £200 per month that we no longer need to pay out on credit cards each month!

Net Worth:

Looking back to Jan 2020, just in the last 6 months, we’ve grown our net worth by over £22K! I have nothing to compare to, but that feels great!

If I can keep up with the returns on my investments, then our additional savings, dividends and compound interest should supercharge our net worth over the coming years!

Very excited to see where this goes!

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Published by Finance&Lifestyle

A Dad from the UK documenting his journey to financial freedom. Sharing my lifestyle and finance hacks so more people can find financial independence, retire early and take back control of their future.

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