Another good quarter personally and financially. Professionally things as very much the same which veers from good to OK to please let this stop! With the not so startling conclusion that we are in this working from home for a good while yet I decided to create the ‘office of my dreams’, not quite but definitely make a concerted effort to create the best office I could. This involved tidying, a basic I know but something we can all be a bit lax on! A new paint job, new blinds, curtain to cover all the crap on my selves, blackboard paint and the piece de resistance two 24″ screen in addition to my laptop screen. While not quite Minority Report, something I am definitely bragging about.
The transformation of my working space has made the space so much nicer to be in and while it is still my ‘work’ environment I enjoy being in it. I did ask myself why did I not invest the time and money earlier (all in all it cost around £500 for screens, stand and decorating and furnishings. and maybe a week of my time).
I work in change management so it is ironic that I have been hoping for things to go back to how they were rather than accepting how they are and taking steps to integrate this new way of working effectively into my life. The change curve is a well known model or framework to understand how we as individuals engage with change, it simplifies things of course and our journey is not always as linear as the diagram suggests with lots of too-ing and fro-ing. However it does describe the processes I have been going through moving from low mood to exploring solutions and accepting the need to spend some time and a bit of money to improve my work environment. And now according to the model am apparently moving forward and accepting this can work for me and even be good for me! Let’s see.
Reviewing previous posts Q1 2021 it has been a much quieter three months, winter shrinking still further the already limiting effects of the pandemic restrictions. However I am still connecting regularly with family and friends, face to face and online and getting out walking, running and cycling.
Another big fat tick personally has been finally passing R01 Financial services, regulation and ethics, a 20 CII credit module towards a qualification in personal finance back in February. It was a huge confidence boost to pass it, and pass it well as I had struggled with the content. I do not work in financial services and had to spend much much more than the recommended study hours. Now on to R02 Investment Principles and Risk which already I am finding much more interesting, but just as challenging.
Finance wise a good quarter with an average savings rate for the quarter of 59% (1% less than my goal of 60%), total increase in net worth, £7,169, that is 5.1%.
Actions from last quarter
Last quarter my goals were to pass my R01 exam, which I did do and to start match betting, again which I did do but immediately stopped. I really didn’t fully explore it but it just didn’t feel comfortable. While I am ok with numbers I am not agile and need time and on a Saturday morning I just didn’t want to do it. I felt put off – I think I did have a slight hang over as well, not sure if that had an impact?! Anyway have dipped my toe in the water and may go back, but lets see!
I also participated n ChooseFIx courtesy of an introduction by JK, which was about testing a model of building a community around FI and personal development. The activity is on pause while the ChooseFIx team are taking on feedback and developing the next step. The key activity I enjoyed was goal setting and participating in a health reset which resulted in me losing 16lbs, getting back into cooking and being carb free for 2 months. I have not progressed as well with either my side hustle goal of earning £3,000 this year (see above for my aborted attempts at match betting) or my reading goals, one book a month.
We are still in the process of selling our flat as the buyers sale fell through and they had to go back to square one. We are looking at a 1/5 completion date. I will then invest the money in my S&S ISA and a GIA and redirect all the money I would have put in my ISA into my pension.
The FIRE Meetups are going really well with one per month. And we now how events diarised until September, which a face to face event in August, all going well. This last quarter we covered
- Being the change – using financial independence to improve the workplace
- Let’s talk about the Savings Rate
- Finding your way in Finance – Pensions vs ISAs
After ‘Finding your way in Finance – Pensions vs ISAs’ I decided to divert money from my ISA to pensions and invested an additional £2,000 into my ISA from savings. Another financial achievement – nearly maxing out my ISA allowance for the first year ever (£700 spare). I have also had my first vaccination and looking forward to May for my second.
Actions for Q2 2021
- Review my goals and make sure I am on track, particularly in terms of
- increasing side hustle income
- read at least 1 book per month
- running – increasing frequency to 3 times per week and length of run to 50 mins
- Sell the apartment and invest profits
- Review savings and investment direct debits to
- Pass my R02 exam
- Plan a cycling challenge with my friend
- See friends face to face more regularly, go to the cinema and theatre
So how was your last quarter of the year? Hope it went well and good luck with Q2.