Welcome to my monthly savings report for February 2020. In contrast to January which seemed to last forever, February passed in a flash. (Possibly because I spent to much time playing on my Nintendo Switch.)
Of note, for the first time in my life, I reached my ISA allowance. This may be slightly less of an achievement when taking into account the fact that I never tried to reach it before. Nevertheless, it means I am one step closer to financial independence and early retirement (FIRE).
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Why you should have an emergency fund
This month I really realised the importance of having an emergency fund. I was given a one-week notice at my old place. Meaning I had to leave WITHIN ONE WEEK. Since I had not done anything wrong, I know I could have argued that by law, the landloard would have to give me more notice. But I just wanted out.
Having enough savings to back me up meant that I did not have to worry at all. Worst case, I could have stayed in a hostel, or even a hotel. Luckily, all ended well and I found a new place to stay.
That said, I am now seriously considering buying a place. This event has made me realise that I would like more security in the future. However, since I am single, a house is probably to big and not financially sensible. I need to really think about this some more.
Monthly savings report: February 2020
As described in my savings report for last month, my goal for February was to finish updating all my old post to ensure they are current and search engine optimised.
I am still not completely finished with this as I rather played on my Switch and had to suddenly move. However, there are not many posts left now so at least I am making progress.
Monthly savings report summary for February 2020
My total after-tax income this month was £2,824. This is comprised of the salary from my full-time job, matched betting and blogging income.
Last month, I bought a Nintendo Switch at Argos using Airtime Rewards. Airtime Rewards tracks your purchases at affiliated retailers and automatically gives you cashback. Sadly, the cashback did not make it in time for this month’s savings report:
If you are not with Airtime Rewards, I highly recommend signing up. It is entirely passive and you will get money off your phone bill for all kinds of purchases. My code BVPJVUG6 will give you a £1.50 bonus.
My total expenses this month were £1,059. A lot of this was due to me having to suddenly move and paying related costs. It was stressful and that is reflected in my expenses e.g. less time to cook, more eating out.
- Rent: My rent (bills included) plus internet/phone bill
- Groceries: Practically everything I buy in a supermarket
- Transport: Everything I need to get from one place to another
- Personal: Clothes, hair cuts, make-up, etc.
- Fun: Eating out and social expenses
- Other: Everything that does not fit elsewhere
My index tracker did not do too well this month. I lost -6.5% but due to this month’s contribution, I still had an overall growth of +1.1%. The coronavirus is to blame but I am actually glad this happened (not the virus, just the stocks falling).
Up to now, I only knew growth. I think this could have led to me becoming less and less risk aware and eventually making poor choices. Overall, I think it is good to experience a downswing early on. Though I hope the stock market recovers soon!
From this month’s savings, I also contributed £903 which covers my leftover ISA allowance.
I took another step towards FIRE this month by transferring my old workplace pension into a SIPP. This SIPP will give me more control over my investments and also has a lower fee. I am excited! At my current workplace, I am still paying into their pension scheme and will either transfer this to my SIPP when I leave or at regular intervals. This is something I still need to clarify.
Apart from my index tracker, I still have £1,000 invested with Ratesetter for 14.9% interest (due to their sign-up bonus). If you are interested in opening an account with Ratesetter, you will receive a £20 bonus if you deposit £10 with my link.
Goals for March 2020
In March, I totally need to rejoin the gym. Because I moved to London, I had to leave my old gym but now the lazy times will be coming to an end. Other than that, there is of course Cheltenham, the biggest matched betting event. I am still thinking about whether I should take a day off for this given that most of my accounts are restricted or closed.
In April, I will need to move my money around a bit and I will need to have a think of what to do:
- I will be receiving my Ratesetter sign-up bonus of £100
- The promotional interest period of my current account runs out
- My second current account halves its interest rates (in May)
- The ISA allowance renews
Here is my savings report for March 2020.
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