Savings Report + Goals August 2020 – SR 62.4 %
Friends, thanks for visiting another savings report of mine, this time being for the month of August 2020.
During these last few weeks, I’ve been a bit sceptical about the way I report my updates.
Previously, I used to write only one update a month, which I called (lovely) monthly updates, like this one for instance. But these became long and exhaustive to write and as a result, I paid more attention to my portfolio returns and less to tracking my income and expenses, which I concluded it wasn’t the right approach.
After some months of following the new reporting system, it became monotonous and repetitive. My income and expenses don’t vary largely from one month to another after all.
But, after giving it some deep thinking, I realized that what matters are the positive habits it provides. Why? Because these habits bring results, and that’s after all the real intention behind.
I am on the process of writing a blog post where I put down my thoughts about what blogging has done to me and what I have achieved thanks to the habit of sitting down and simply write.
It may give you some inspiration if you are considering to start your own blog.
August in a nutshell
We continued with our outdoor lifestyle during the first half of the month.
We enjoyed walks and visited beaches during the hotter days.
One of these beaches was Bournemouth, which is by far my favourite beach in England, from those I’ve visited so far. Its large and sandy coastline has nothing to envy from a Spanish beach. We both absolutely loved it and even considered the possibility to at some point move there. It’s a multicultural and friendly city, just like us :-).
Anyway, these are some pictures we took. BTW, That beer (Estrella) shown at the last picture cost me £0.00 :D. Neither I nor the barman noticed that Revolut didn’t process the payment. Thanks, Revolut! (although I am sorry for the barman, I think he was a bit drunk!)
Anyway, joking aside, it’s time to get a bit more serious by bringing a numbered overview of my August savings.
Getting a pay rise in 2020?
One of my goals for 2020 is to increase my payslip by 10%. This would have been easier to accomplish if it wasn’t for covid. I won’t use this as an excuse as I am still going to do my best to get a pay rise, but the odds look not too favorable.
The plans for this year with my employer were to expand the designing team and put me on charge.
In a recent conversation with the managing director, he confirmed that his main focus right now was to provide stability to the company rather than growth and expansion, although he did not deny a possible rise before the end of 2020.
Realistically, the real impact that Covid-19 has had in the UK economy is high. The large increase in job losses leaves current employees in a much less favourable situation when trying to deal with their salaries.
I live in an area where there’s a lack of skills. That puts me on a competitive position, but on the other hand, job availability is also scarce and lower paid.
I found some job offers that pay a bit more than what I earn, approximately £2,500 gross a year. But is that worth the risk considering the time we are living in? It would also involve communing, which first I hate, and second, could cost about £150 extra a month in fuel. That is £1,800 of extra expenses in transport, considering the car does not break down.
In any case, as said before, I don’t want to use Covid-19 as an excuse to stop getting better and aiming for more. So, I’ll keep checking possibilities out there, while still focusing on providing the best possible service to my current employer. There are still 4 months left to finish this year and a lot can happen during the meantime.
Income, Expenses & Savings Rate
During the second half of August, I spent some time on improving my income and expenses tracking system. I created a new spreadsheet from scratch on Google Sheets.
Subscribers can have for free. Get in touch with me if interested.
Up to now, I have only included as income my payslip, interest from bank accounts and blog. But, since I also have other income streams — primarily passive — such as dividends, interests from my P2P investments and bonds, why not to include these too?
This will be reflected on my income chart as it grows over time, and also give me a motivational push to keep following the plan. After all, that’s why I invest in P2P and dividend stocks – to increase my income flow.
My total income in August was £2,546.96 (2852.59 EUR).
I was able to save £1,589.66, which results in a savings rate of 62.4%. My goal is to maintain an average savings rate above 50%, so things keep looking good on this side.
Monthly Cash Flow Sankey Diagram
Breaking it down into categories, this is how my cash has flown during August in Pound Sterlings (£):
August brought me another seven free shares worth £55.27 into my Trading212 Invest account. So, many many thanks again for using my referral link to join the platform.
In July I wrote a short article to explain how to get started with Trading 212 and get a free share worth up £/EUR 100. So, check it out if it sounds like something interesting to you.
Bank interest comes from my bank account with TSB, which pays 1.5% gross interest on balances up to £1500 and my emergency fund as a form of easy access saving account at Marcus which pays 1.05%.
Bonds Interest comes from a small position I still keep in the USD Treasury Bond UCITS ETF (VUTY) on my Vanguard ISA account.
P2P Interest is income from my alternative investment.
Dividends this month came solely from my dividend stocks.
RateSetter’s one-year promotion finally came due. More on this on my next portfolio update.
Capital Gains came from the 5 Disney shares I sold at a profit.
I paid the standard £450 on rent and bills.
I spent £156 at the supermarket, as average.
Transport this month includes fuel, car taxes and car insurace. The latest has increased the bill considerably.
Services include blog expenses, phone and a recently added Disney +, which we are really enjoying and you should purchase too — because I am a shareholder and you want the best for me ;-P. Now seriously, the National Geographic documentaries are great!
Time to have a look at how I am keeping on with my 2020 goals. As Peter Drucker said 40 years ago, what gets measured gets improved.
Some of my goals aren’t monthly measurable, but some others are. I’ve built a simple table to display the progress.
July goals (comparison purpose)
Overall, I am doing well on my goals except on the weight loss.
- I need to pay more attention to what and how much I eat. The first half of August was time for ice creams and not caring much about my intake. The second half was a bit better, I reckon I lost some of the weight I put on the first half during the second. We recently found out that the newest scale we have, and I use for tracking my weight, is counting +2 or +3 kilos over the older one we had (and used when I was a smoker). What that means is that I didn’t put 9kg on after stopping smoking but 7kg, which is still a lot, don’t get that wrong. Sadly, the one showing the correct numbers is the newest :(. My main goal for this year was to remove what giving up smoking put me on, so I’ll be happy if I can get down to 82/83 kg by the end of 2020 instead of 80kg.
- Resting heart rate is at 57 BMP, as I keep running and exercising on a daily basis. I am Bueno 😀 👍
- I am above the 10k daily steps target having walked more than 2.44 million steps! 👍
- I am still on track with my reading goals. I finished reading The Illusion Of Money: Why Chasing Money Is Stopping You From Receiving It by Kyle Cease*, and It was a bit disappointing. I like the main concept. Focusing only on making money is, in fact, a barrier to getting more money. Finding purpose and meaning in what we do will get us a better chance of getting to the top, and eventually earn more money. But, at the end of the day, all these money books keep repeating what was already written 100 years ago by Wallace D. Wattles in his book The Science Of Getting Rich* or Napoleon Hill in Think And Grow Rich*. It did not add a lot of value. Currently reading The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change* by Charles Duhigg. (*Amazon affiliate links).
- Albeit I only posted twice in August, I am still doing well on blog posting goal, let’s keep it going! 👍
That was it. Hope your month was ok?
Stay safe amigos and …
¡Hasta la vista babies! 😉