November has been a really busy month with lots of work on our house and quite a bit of expenditure, mainly in the form of a new bed and mattress. I had saved some money towards this but it ended up costing more than I expected at a total of £937. Having said that, I would rather spend more for a quality product both in terms of bed frame, which is solid oak, and mattress which is pocket sprung. Sleep is very important to health and happiness so I think this is a worthwhile investment!
I was offered a “Buy now, pay later” option for a 6 month period on the mattress so I’ve taken that with a plan to pay it off by the end of February, well within the offer period. The bed I have paid for using my savings. Now I just have to prevent myself buying too much new bedding!
At the end of November, my assets totalled £151,107 and my liabilities totalled £64,276 leaving a net worth of £86,381. This is an increase of £6,828 on my starting figure or 8%. I’m very pleased with this as my first quarter’s results. This month I also worked out my savings rate – there are many different ways to calculate this but I am basing it on money that has gone into a savings account, into my pension or paid off my liabilities as a proportion of my net income. For November, this was a huge 63%! This is mainly because I paid off my credit card which had a significant balance so I may struggle to maintain it at that level but it is something to aim for.
There hasn’t been as much progress on my short term goals. I have started the process to set up my ISA but I still need to send my identification documents over. I’ve decided to go with The Share Centre as the range of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) is good (which seem to be the investment vehicle of choice for the FIRE community) and the fees appear to be cheap. Fees at all the online brokers seem very complicated – there are annual fees, trading fees and then fees relating to the ETFs themselves some as set prices, others as percentages and often with minimum or maximum limits – so it is difficult to compare. My plan is to use The Share Centre for 6 months and then compare the fees paid to those of Vanguard before making a long term decision.
Something else that has been taking up my time this month has been the purchase of a rental property. Family circumstances have made this possible and it’s a good opportunity to build another stream of passive income – I don’t want to have all of my eggs in one basket! The purchase was finalised at the beginning of December but with all the paperwork to be completed and opening a new current account for the income and related expenditure, I have postponed opening another savings account for my emergency fund and I’ll leave this now until the new year. I’ll include the assets and liabilities related to this in my December progress update now that it is official.
My focus for the rest of this year will be on setting up my ISA and making my first investments, which I’ll post separately about (when I’ve actually decided what they will be!).
If you’re in the UK, I’d be really interested to read your comments on the broker you use and why. Which ETFs do you hold or have you gone down another route entirely? Please comment below!