Many of my colleagues are enjoying working from home using those extra commuting hours to exercise, spend more time with their family or just enjoying the extra free time. Not me. The lines between home and work are blurred and my working day is expanding. Some of things I would like to do in my spare time, such as blogging, I just can’t seem to find the time or more usually I just do not want to spend any more time on the computer. So this is now a quarterly and not a monthly update!
I am still working from home 100% of the time and finding I am actually quite enjoying ‘some’ things about it, in particular fitting in domestic chores (sad I know) and getting up later. But I waiver between exhausted and tired. Working at home, focussing on a computer screen and meeting via Zoom is draining without the variety and activity a day in the office brings. I miss my colleagues. At the start of lockdown we all amazed ourselves how quickly we managed to shift gear to working online realising lots of benefits of remote working. Now 6 months on the gaps and difficulties are more visible, largely for me around the informal and social aspect of work which oils the wheels of how we get things done as well as being genuinely enjoyable, the quick catch ups where things can be moved on quickly or you pick up important details about a change or a project. But here we are and here we will stay as infection rates increase and there is talk of increased restrictions in the north.
I still have a poster I created above my computer ‘I am not my job’ inspired by Vicki Robin and Jo Dominguez in ‘Your Money or Your Life’ reminding me not to link what drives and interests me with how I earn my money. It sounds like I don’t like my job, I do, I just doing like all of it all of the time!
Finance wise its a bit of a mixed bag in terms of net worth increase but I am continuing with a really good savings rate. Even in September when we had a week away in London, Brighton and Kent and a long weekend in the Eden Valley I still managed 53%. In summary
Month / Savings Rate / Net worth Increase £ / Net worth Increase %
July / 62% / £703 / 0.6%
August / 59% / £3654 / 3%
September / 53% / £701 / 0.6%
With 10% YTD increase in net worth.
Also financially I know I have my biases – I tend to hold onto assets for emotional rather than financial reasons. My biases were confirmed by the ‘Beam app‘ which assesses your biases for borrowing and investing. It is super interesting and engaging app. I apparently have a very high ‘endowment effect’, which causes me to inflate the value of an object, simply because I own it, a typical ‘confirmation bias’, which is the tendency to favour information that confirms my existing belief and a ‘high probability neglect’, which describes my tendency to disregard probability when making decisions. I am hoping, time permitting to do a future post on the app.
Anyway the three actions I have taken to be more rationale in my financial behaviour
- sell the Royal Mail Shares I have seen rise then plummet since 2013, and invest in tracker funds
- transfer c£11k held in a cash ISA to a Stocks and Shares ISA, so I am fully invested
- made the decision to sell our buy to let apartment. It will be difficult emotionally to let go. It has not been a terrible investment financially but financially and hassle wise it doesn’t quite stack up as nicely as invest and forget!
Actions from July
I finally finished Grant Sabatier’s ‘Financial Freedom’ where he describes his journey from 0 to over £1 million in 5-6 years, becoming financially independent by the time he was thirty. Key takeaways were about earning more money through side hustles – he really focussed on increasing his income by both using his 9-5 skills of digital marketing to pick up his own clients and more usual side hustles such as cat sitting ! He took any and every opportunity to make, and then invest more money. A very inspiring read. Am also nearly at the end of David Sawyer’s RESET, a great actionable book which has motivated me to do some digital and physical streamlining as well as making me feel comfortable with my current investment strategy of Vanguard Life Strategy funds. But he also describes a number of different portfolio options which, if I get bored of invest and forget, I might consider!
I also completed a free Open Learn OU course ‘Managing My Financial Journey‘, about the history of the banking and finance industry, causes of the Great Financial Crash and how it changed Financial Services, Financial Regulation and financial products. It has helped a bit in providing some foundation knowledge to (R01) Financial services, regulation and ethics 20 CII credits. I finally signed up for the ‘Award in Financial Administration’ and started all enthusiastic, but have been a bit on the back foot since I returned from holiday earlier in September. It is very detailed and some of it is very boring! But I am committed to taking the exam hopefully in November then review how I feel taking the next module (FA2) Pensions administration 10 CII credits.
I did some great things this last month
- A Manchester FIRE meet up – with SA giving us a fantastic intro and overview of Match Betting
- The London FIRE meet up
- Week in Brighton, Kent and London
- Long weekend in the Eden Valley
- Cocktails, eating out and cinema
- Cycling the Cheshire Ring
- My first hair cut since lockdown
Its all feeling a bit more normal.
I also celebrated two anniversaries. My first year blogging and a full year of being involved in MCR FIRE meet-ups which are going from strength to strength. Our next meet up is ‘Hack your 9-5‘ 23 October.
Action for next month
I need to pull my finger out and do my 20 CII credits Financial services, regulation and ethics module to make sure I can finish this calendar year with one module under my belt. I also want to carve out some time to take full advantage of the help Siu Ann gave us at the August FIRE meet-up demystifying Match Betting and give it a go.
I’ve also got to prep for our next MCR meet up ‘Hack your 9-5‘ on 23 October.
So how has your net worth faired these last few months? How are you managing lock down? Has your routine changed much? What are you financial biases and have you made any behavioural changes?