I realised in the summer that I’d forgotten to do a Q2/H1 trading and general goals update… I guess there was just too much going on with summer and the quietness at work etc. before all the stock market volatility started kicking off in August. I’ve not really made any big changes to our portfolios, but there are some good points that happened in terms of dividends and our goals for this year.
To earn at least £125 in dividend income To save more per month and put into dividend shares (target to beat £165 p.m. i.e. ca. £2000 p.a.) To save £250+ per month for travel and holiday expenses To save money for Christmas by July (£375)
As you can see, we crushed all our financial goals already. This is awesome… I was thinking maybe we weren’t ambitious enough?! So we decided to change things around a bit and double our dividend target to £250 for the year (this is just a target for M’s NISA account, we also have accumulation trackers in this and other portfolios, which have no goals associated with them). However, it looks like we will comfortably beat this too, due to some changes we made to our savings routine. We decided to save up our irregular expenses into the NISA too, and receive the dividends back to a current account. We just don’t invest in the months where we have to pay for things like house insurance, car tax, etc. This has really boosted our dividend income! Here it is in chart format, with the predicted income for Q4 included:
We’ve also made progress on several of our general goals. If you see the original page on goals, you’ll see that these cover a timescale of anything from 2 to 20+ years. We’ve made lots of progress on the up to 5 years goals and a bit on the longer term goals.
Our allotment is coming along nicely, in fact we are going there today or tomorrow to dig over some new beds and cover them over for the winter. We will also be planting overwintering onions in our 2nd vegetable bed. We’ve had a great harvest of veg this year, and we’re currently harvesting apples – soon to be followed by some pears. We also collected some pallets and have a compost pile. We got a free barrel for rainwater collection and lots of 1 gallon bottles as well as a watering can to transport water to the opposite end of the plot. Our first veg bed was recently dug and filled with brassica plants i.e. sprouting broccoli, red cabbage, and a row of mixed cabbages. You can also see a few leeks in the bottom left (might move these to veg bed #2):
We visited the Baltic coast of Germany earlier this year, and to be honest having been here, I now have no huge desire to tour around the other Baltic states, so I’m probably going to remove that goal from our list. It was a beautiful trip with lots of great memories, but I’m under the impression that the architecture and so on is pretty similar all the way up the coast. Never say never, but probably not.
We also snook in a trip to Northern Ireland in August, and got to see some pretty cool sights, such as the Giant’s Causeway, which is utterly surreal:
We were originally planning for a trip to the USA in 2016, however it will be our 5 year wedding anniversary, so we are going back to Berlin (where we honeymooned) instead. This is a way more frugal trip, not because we’re trying to keep it super cheap, but just because Berlin is astoundingly cheap in almost every way – accommodation, food, and transport.
Finally, we managed to make it to both of the FIRE Escape Meetups that have take place so far this year. This is something that Huw (FFB40) has organised, and they are a great opportunity to swap tips and talk about what we’re interested in i.e. personal finance, investing, etc. The first FIRE Escape Meetup was in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and the second was in York. The third is imminent, so if you would like to hang out for a day or two with some like-minded frugal people who love saving, investing, side hustles, online businesses, and self-development, then please check out Huw’s blog NOW and contact him to book your place!
T is taking the next level up in German, as well as practising vocab most days. Woodwork is on the back burner in order to focus on language studies. My language studies are also on the back burner due to being into the last trimester of my pregnancy – this also has pushed back the goal to learn sewing and dressmaking, as evening classes are just too tiring after a day at work/looking after our son.
We’ve been saving up in our piano fund, so that we can buy a second-hand upright in 2016 (after the arrival of baby TV #2). We’ve been putting aside £100/month and we now have £1100 put aside. We’re putting in a bit more than what we think it’d cost, so we can buy things like a piano stool, some sheet music, and pay for any transport costs when we buy the piano itself. Afterwards, we’ll be using the monthly savings to pay for piano lessons.
We had a 5 year goal to run our own business, well, technically we already have our own company. However, we are not doing much with it, other than owning some websites (like this one!). Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to take on a research contract under the business, however due to funding delays, it has only just started and it’s now been passed to someone else due to my imminent departure for maternity leave. I’m not bothered about this, but I do plan to work on the business between now and when I return to work in 2016… if I do go back that is. It is likely that I might not go back to the same thing I do right now, but I will still be involved with startups and mentoring/facilitation in some capacity or other.
I’m pretty happy with how this year has gone so far. We’ve achieved a lot already and we still have a few months to go! However, as the due date for baby TV #2 approaches, we will obviously be doing less and less active pursuing of various goals, so I’m pretty happy that we have had a great year so far. The main things that will be going forward from now until the end of the year are investing and working on businessy stuff.