May 2020 Net Worth Update

I spoke a little too soon about being on an even keel with working and living at home more. May has felt a real rollercoaster mentally. I have felt stressed and anxious, to the extent I have had to take a ½ day leave. Fortunately, my line manager and colleagues are caring and supportive people thatI can talk  to about how I feel and try to understand the help I need.

I think many of us know what we should be doing to improve our mental wellbeing, and on the face of it, they are very simple things. Simple, but not easy. Get enough sleep, meditate, reduce alcohol, exercise, do more of what bring you joy, take regular breaks… breathe deeply etc. Like financial wellbeing it is about building good habits and automating as much as you can.

So how can I use how what works for me in my financial wellbeing to help my mental wellbeing? Part of what works for me is tracking and following the process. Deciding ‘this is what I will do’, track I have done it, and measure the results. I saw a great simple little chart flash by me on Facebook ….

It doesn’t matter what the categories are, meditate or go for a walk, read one chapter of a book or listen to a podcast, it is just about each of us identifying the things we know are good for us or that we like doing. Then commit to doing at least one or two of these a day and make sure we do each one at least once a week.

I think the root cause of my stress is not having the face to face interaction really enjoy about work. Separating work from the place and people makes me question the value and meaning of the work – but I will have to try and understand and manage it as I think it will be a few months before we will be able to return to the office and even then it may not be full-time.

Many bloggers have been very busy during lockdown, but I am still behind with both reading and writing, but what has been clear is that many of us have seen an increase in monthly net worth figures.

Since last month I have decided to give my savings rate a boost by using my net rather than gross income – which has meant an increase from 40% to 50% – just like that! Also due to a reduced monthly expenditure I was able to save an additional £463 which boosts me to a 63% savings rate for May.

My net worth has seen an increase of lovely £5,076 or 4.3% from last month (huge yeah), and up 2.9% from the end of 2019. What a difference a month makes. But we are in it for the long haul and we just don’t know what is around the corner.  

Actions from April

  • This month I wanted to concentrate on my financial education – have progressed with completing ‘The Simple Path the Wealth’ and a good way through ‘Your Money or Your Life’. More still to read with the Choose FI book and David Sawyer’s RESET still on my to read list, and have ordered Dave Ramsey’s Total Money’s Make Over.
  • I completed FI101 ChooseFI’s online FI course. Can’t recommend this enough, a really clear, engaging course that takes you through their ‘blueprint for FI’, it uses text and video to explain concepts, has activities to work through and links to supporting resources. I would like to do a full review of the course as it is worth promoting.
  • As part of being my work team’s ‘wellbeing champion’, I saw a gap in the wellbeing resources provided by my workplace – nothing on financial wellbeing directly though they do do a pre-retirement course – so I have drafted a session I am planning on offering to my colleagues.

Personal Expenditure last month

Total personal expenditure for May £286, an increase from last month but still 38% of what I actually allocate. Largest categories Charity and ‘Entertainment’ which now consists of books, posh take outs and booze. I did spend some accrued underspend from previous months on a lovely iPhone 11.

Action for next month

Next month am continuing with my financial education, reading etc and also, I am putting a plan together to, at some point over the next 2-4 years, when I reach FI, change career to something in Financial Services. To this end I have set up a Facebook group for likeminded people to share their journeys on ‘Becoming a Financial Advisor’. Join us if you are interested. I am also exploring other avenues of financial coaching and researching FIRE.

It’s also the June MCR FIRE meet-up online – FI Book Club on 19 June via Zoom. If you’ve read books come and share or come along and pick up some tips for some good reads.  

10 thoughts on “May 2020 Net Worth Update

  1. Interesting update, Squirreler!

    First, sorry to hear your wellbeing has been suffering of late. If we work at the same organisation, clearly you’re in a more team oriented role than me, as I don’t miss the office or colleagues. I miss having a space to go to with my papers and stuff.

    Fantastic idea with the wellbeing goals! It inspired me so I downloaded a free tracker app for mainly physical wellbeing goals. Will see how I get on. Great you manage to drink so much water! I pretty much live on coffee atm.

    Woah, financial advisor?! I was a little surprised to hear that, but it’d be a great way to put your learning to good use. I personally found Reset more useful for me than the other books you mention, though I know they’re highly regarded.

    I’d love to read the full review of the Choose FI course. Did you get new actionable points or was it mainly a refresher for someone like you? I mean, either way would be useful to you, I guess.

    Great that you give so much to charity. That’s admirable.

    Yay, welcome to the net SR club!! Always made sense to take it out of the amount you can control, in my mind. Great saving rate increase! Mine will be nomalising this month somewhat as nursery has reopened so I’ll look back at my rate with nostalgia, lol!

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    1. Hi there
      thanks for your concern. Am feeling a lot better now but think it is important to be honest about it – to be open about it. The image I included for tracking wellbeing was just a screenshot of an app that just came on my FB feed so haven’t be drinking that much water or doing any morning yoga, what was the name of the free app you used? I was just going to do my own chart in powerpoint – how analogue!

      Have yet to read Reset but I am very much enjoying ‘Your money or your life’ its more philosophical rather than how to, which am surprised I like – career change is something that’s been on my mind for a while – I will def be more financially flexible if not independent before I do the move but am just playing around with the idea at the minute – seeing how it fits.

      The ChooseFI course is a bit of consolidation, review, challenge rather than something new, BUT I am re-watching the videos with my partner to try and get him a bit more engaged. Can’t see he is enjoying it but he is engaging and we are managing to have some good conversations.

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      1. Oh no, I hope I didn’t make you feel worse by thinking you had been drinking so much water etc.! You did mention it’s something that came up on your feed and you could come up with anything as your goals but I thought you meant that you then used the app and please dear readers don’t feel you have to take on my goals. 😀 And there’s me thinking why didn’t I think of using an app!?!

        Anyway, I found that specific app, and it looks amazing, but too all bells and whistles probably for my needs, and too expensive, but now they are offering a month long trial for $1.

        What I’m now using is ‘Daily – Habit Tracker’, free to download but you only get 5 habits for that. You can specify what time reminders are sent (if at all), how many times a week and over which days, and you swipe when you’ve done that goal. It’s only about £2.50 for the full version but thought I’d give it a week to see how I get on with it. So far (2 full days in), pretty good!

        That’s a good use of the ChooseFI course, as a framework for conversation with your partner. Has he seen Playing With Fire? Seems to be one to show partners (and Mrs SavingsNinja mentions it in her recent post). My partner puts up very well with me going on about finances but he’s definitely not one to be enthusiastic (except when we paid of the mortgage, lol!).

        Good news that you’re feeling better now. Sure, of course, be open! It’s the best way to be. 🙂 It sounds like you’re really thinking of ways to use that energy positively, so people at your workplace can benefit too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Edit to previous response: By ‘how many times per week and over how many days”, I’m referring to the habit / goal (not reminders, haha).

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  2. I’m with Firelite in being very interested to read a more indepth review of the Choose FI course. At first glance it looks like something that is fantastic for beginners, but may not have much new to offer if you’ve been reading books and blogs on this topic for a while. But I could be mistaken!

    Great job with the reading. Have you been ploughing through all these books one after the other, or taking breaks with something different in between? I know that I can’t read too many of the same type of book in succession; I have to mix it up!

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    1. Hi DrF
      You are right ChooseFI course is something to introduce people to the idea – see my reply to Firelite ‘The ChooseFI course is a bit of consolidation, review, challenge rather than something new, BUT I am re-watching the videos with my partner to try and get him a bit more engaged. Can’t say he is enjoying it but he is engaging and we are managing to have some good conversations.’ Also for each section they do have links to their and other’s podcasts and content to take your learning, reflection and actioning that one step further.

      My reading is slow and torturous! I used to read two books a month. Your money or your life has been around for weeks now. Am just focussing on finance books at the minute so that might be the issue, maybe get some variety in my reading. What would you recommend !?

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      1. Apologies for the late reply (better late than never?!)

        With reading, I just try not to force myself. I’ve been on a finance / non-fiction kick recently, smashing through 3-4 different books. But now, I feel like reading some fiction, so will probably just do that. Reading is always going to be harder than just watching TV, playing a game or browsing the internet, so I find that you have to make it as enjoyable as possible!

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  3. Hi Cath

    Sorry to hear that you have been suffering from stress and hope things are better for you now.

    Working from home can get mind-numbing for me and I think it’s due to the lack of interaction with people. The only people I seem to chat to (and see on video) are the ones I need to speak to about something work related – I miss the random chats with people at the printer or coffee machine. At least the chats with my boss always turn into non-work related ones.

    Well done on a great savings rate – that’s one thing us FIRE folk are good at during lock down – making the most of not spending!

    Very interesting to read that you are planning a session on financial wellbeing for your workplace – I think all companies should provide this.

    And the potential change in career to Financial Adviser – when I was made redundant a few years back, I’d considered looking at roles as a Financial Planner (I think there’s slightly less regulation) but I don’t know if it’s something I would consider after this current job.

    Anyway, speak to you on Friday on Zoom!

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    1. Hi weenie – thank you am feeling much better – still very tired tho – what you miss is exactly what I miss – I do arrange virtual coffees though to meet up with no expectations of talking work – yes see you Friday !

      Liked by 1 person

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