Welcome to my monthly report for April 2021!
In these reports, I go through a thorough breakdown of my finances and update you on my progress towards financial freedom. Which, for me means retiring in my 40’s.
For the more observant of you, you’ll have noticed that this is the 12th report post I’ve published! Which means one whole year of tracking and sharing my progress with you all.
To celebrate I have something huge for you at the end of this article.
Seeing as this is the 1 year anniversary of these posts, I wanted to use this edition to not only update you on this month’s progress, but also take a leap back in time and compare this month’s numbers with the same report from 1 year ago!
This should be fun!
Let’s get stuck in!
Overall the balance sheet is looking much better than last month!
Income vs Outgoings is healthy, and our saving’s rate topped 37% last month thanks to my yearly performance bonus at work 🙌
That means we put away £1,900 in a month!
We also managed to release a small quantity of cash flow this month by spreading our council tax bill over 12 months instead of 10, which reduced the monthly bill by around £40.
I’ve also been able to transfer my phone bill over to my business account as it’s considered a tax-deductible business expense. This is because I almost exclusively use my phone for my side business now. So, that’s reduced our household bills by £68/month.
We did however get an unexpectedly high mechanics bill for one of our cars in April though 😐
Fortunately, we budget for and save into a ‘car maintenance’ fund which covers these ‘unexpected’ bills and takes some of the sting out of them.
I highly recommend doing this if you aren’t already. Just £50/month means you have £600/year for covering services, MOT’s (UK), etc. That way, these events don’t wipe you out every year when they come around, leaving you wondering how you’re going to get through the month.
So, how are our expenses looking compared to last year?
Before I even look, I’m expecting some considerable difference for the following reasons:
1. We have an 18-month-old who’s childcare costs are £560/month. On top of that, she eats like there’s no tomorrow and grows out of her clothes every 2 months!
2. My sister-in-law is still living with us. And although she’s paying rent, it still makes our outgoings appear higher than they are for our family of three (and the Dog, of course).
Let’s take a look…
See bottom right corner:
Expenses April 2020: £2,602
Expenses April 2021 (Previous image): £5,875 🤯
There are some thing’s we need to consider here. As this is not pure and simple lifestyle expansion…
– £1,500 went towards savings this month. Not technically an ‘expense’
– £560 is on childcare we didn’t need 1 year ago – but this is now a part of our outgoings.
– £495 went on a professional family photo shoot that I arranged for my wife’s 30th
– £395 went on clothes, shoes and toys for our daughter.
– £392 went on a one-off car bill for this month.
– Then there’s additional money on food and bills due to my sister-in-law living with us.
So, if we take off these amounts it comes to £2,533!
Goes to show how expensive kids and cars can be 😂
All-in-all, things aren’t drastically different. Our living costs are certainly higher now with the childcare and an extra, very large mouth to feed. But we’re doing a good job of limiting lifestyle expansion to counter these additional expenses.
No changes this month for this tab. So, I will jump straight into the comparison to last year to spot any differences…
(See middle-right of image) The ‘complete yearly expenses’ amount has increased slightly, from £40,767 last year to £41,613 in this years tracker.
This is good! It shows I’ve been updating and being realistic about our expected outgoings in retirement.
I continue to update this as new expenses come or go and as prices change.
The difference in what’s required to achieve early retirement is not too dramatic however, increasing from £636K to £650K.
And as you can see from the next image (middle -left), I’m well on track to exceeding this number.
Currently I’m ahead of target with my investments by quite some margin, too. I’ve anticipated that I will achieve a 12% return on my investments for the next 18 years and this will enable me to retire early.
However, for the previous three years, my investment strategy has returned avg. yearly returns of >60%.
You can learn my stock research & selection strategy here.
We’re still not quite where we were in January of this year, but we are gaining ground again!
The stock market has been a real grind in recent months. There’s various reasons for this that I won’t get into in this post (Join my Private Stock Group where we’re discussing this in more depth) but this stalling in the markets, where nothing is moving much to the upside whatsoever is obviously taking it’s toll on my savings growth.
It’s important to remember though, I’ve achieved incredible gains in the previous years. These market conditions are a necessity to ensure valuations don’t get out of hand and to avoid markets heading into bubble territory, which can result in massive losses when they go ‘Pop!’
I’m continuing to double down on those companies I have strong conviction in and I’m confident this is going to result in a considerable move to the upside when the markets start ticking over again.
Watch this space!
So, how does this quantity in savings compare to last year?
(See April-20 and April-21 columns in above images)
Around £15,000 MORE in saving’s compared to April 2020!
And my workplace pension pot has nearly DOUBLED! 🤯
From £17K in April 2020 to over £30K in April 2021. That’s seriously impressive! Especially considering only £4K of that is my own contributions.
On top of that, my investment ISA has nearly tripled in value! From £3,269 to £9,117!
Total non-retirement savings have increased from £1,829 to £7,450.
And retirement savings have increased from £21,285 to £39,773.
Considering we are at the very beginning of our compounding journey, this is VERY exciting and I’m very, VERY proud!
There is a lot to be said for tracking your finances and your progress in a spreadsheet this way.
It changes your focus and mindset. And makes you want to do better every day so your monthly numbers improve all the time.
This can only mean good things for your finances and your future!
Like I mentioned, there’s something big that will help you do just that at the end of this report.
Equity & Assets
I’m expecting a pretty significant difference here…
Our equity has increased by around £38,000 in a year.
This is down to us owning more of our last home, selling it and moving to something which is not only worth more, but has also grown in value since we moved in 6 months ago.
Overall, the value of our physical assets (not including investments) has increased by just under £40,000.
Definitely can’t complain about that!
I was dreading this one…
Debt has increased by £145,178!!!
BUT – this isn’t a surprise.
And it’s exclusively due to our larger mortgage.
We’ve bought our forever home before 30 years of age and this was always part of the plan since before we bought our last home.
We have some other small debts to clear right now, after which we will begin tackling our mortgage and have this paid off within 15 years.
This is the real measure of whether our efforts have been paying off…
Net worth currently stands at £186K after another tough month in the stock market stopping our investments from growing too much!
Let’s see our net worth 1 year ago…
See April-20 and April-21 column on previous two images.
My net worth has increased from £121K to £186K in 12 months.
That’s a jump of £65K in 12 months!
Again, being at the very start of our compounding journey. This is HUGE!
Safe to say, we are well on track to meeting our early retirement goals thanks to this incredible spreadsheet, the plan it helped us to build and our continued monthly tracking of our numbers helping us to pivot and make changes where needed.
I hope you’ve gotten as much enjoyment out of reading this as I have from writing it.
These numbers are something I’m extremely proud of and I feel even more determined to stick to our guns and keep on this awesome journey to financial freedom.
If you’d like to get started on your own journey. Or, you’re already on your way but have no way of tracking your finances in the kind of detail you’ve seen above, this is where that ‘something HUGE’ I mentioned at the start of this post comes in…
To celebrate 1 full year of this blog series and growing my net worth by £65K in that time…
You can get a copy of the spreadsheet and the ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ebook, 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom
With not 10, not 20…
Not even 50% off.
You can get it right now with 65% OFF using code ’65K’ 🥳
This offer will be running until Friday, so don’t miss out!
Click the image and lock in your discount now ☝
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