Hello readers! I hope you are all keeping safe and well during these strange times. The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly turned the world on its head and I feel grateful that my family and friends have so far avoided any serious impact on their health (as well as their finances!).
I haven’t posted since October 2019 – how time flies! – and I have been considering closing the site but thanks to the kind comments from @ryangibsonuk I have decided to keep posting on a quarterly basis with an update in my net worth and other news from my life that impact my saving journey.
First of all, a life update. I started a new job in December 2019. This was a sideways step in terms of salary but offered more career prospects in a larger organisation and a much shorter commute. The downside was a backwards step in responsibility and with a much bigger team it also meant a narrowing of work activity.
At the end of January, I found out I was pregnant and we were both thrilled and terrified to make the first step to start our family. I struggled through the first trimester with all of the symptoms I knew about and plenty that I didn’t. The morning sickness (should be called all day nausea) really hit me hard and made going to work very difficult. At the first scan in early March, we found that I had miscarried – to be specific I had a blighted ovum, which means that my body had reabsorbed the embryo because it wasn’t viable but my body had continued to grow the birth sac as if there was a baby inside. We were obviously very upset and the next few weeks were quite traumatic as I underwent an operation under general anaesthetic to remove the sac and the country went into lockdown during my recovery. My recovery also took a lot longer than I expected it to as my body healed – queue weeks of bleeding, pain and fatigue.
Emotionally I have, so far, been able to remain positive and I think this is partly because I was prepared for this potential outcome having listened to endless episodes of the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast with Giovanna Fletcher, especially the episode with Chris and Rosie Ramsey. The statistics are shocking – 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage or still birth mostly in the first trimester – and in my opinion we don’t talk about this enough, especially in cases where there are no symptoms such as mine. Too many women go into that first scan excited to see the first glimpse of their baby with no thought for what could go wrong and what to do if it does. I don’t think we should scare women or make that first trimester any more stressful than it already is but we need to do more to communicate how common miscarriage is and what the implications are for trying again. To be clear, there is no reduction in your chance of carrying and giving birth to a healthy baby just because you have had a miscarriage. With that in mind, we plan to wait another month or two to allow my body and hormones to settle and then we will try again.
On a happier note, this experience and the ongoing lockdown made me evaluate my priorities and in particular my career with the result that firstly I applied for, interviewed, accepted and started a new job during lockdown! All completed over Skype with a short, socially distanced visit to the office to pick up my laptop. This job is a step backwards in salary but an increase in responsibility in a smaller, less corporate organisation, which I think I will enjoy more. It is also based on less hours, which led to my second move to commit to being self employed as well, with my own business training accountancy students – something that I really enjoy doing.
Unfortunately, I don’t have much to report on our land and self build – I have undertaken a short course in project management as we’ll be doing that and a lot of the other work ourselves. We are continually discussing what our priorities are and what the best layout is as well as saving, saving, saving!
This is already a long post so let’s get to the net worth!
Since my last updated at the end of September 2019 my assets have increased slightly to £385k – keep in mind that the September figures included the cash on hand I used to pay for the land in October and I haven’t included the land in my assets as we’ll be living on it (eventually!).
My liabilities have decreased slightly to £107k – I haven’t been able to pay as much extra off my rental mortgage as I would have liked as a tenant moved out just before lockdown. I have just managed to get a new tenant and thanks to some small renovations completed by my trusty dad I’ve increased the price so will be able to resume overpayments shortly.
My net worth has therefore increased slightly to £278k or almost 4%, which over an 8 month period and given a sizeable purchase of land, I’m quite happy with! I’m interested to see how close I can get to the next FI marker (made up by me!) of £300k by the end of 2020. If my new business goes to plan, I think I can hit it so watch this space!
I’ll post my next update at the end of August but in the meantime, please do let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments and take care of yourselves and your families.