The current contents of my wallet!
Someone reminded me the other day that I run a blog about personal finance, so I thought why not push the boat out and write a short post about how my finances are doing right now. You can’t get much more personal than that can you? If anything, it make a nice change from constantly harping on about how my garden is doing
Cash Flow Issues
It’s nothing major but since we decided to stick about £9,200 into a SIPP at the end of the last tax year our cash buffer has been lower than it has been for about 2 years. We still have plenty in the bank to cover any short term unforeseen events, but it is still a little worrying having been used to seeing a five figure amount in there for quite a while!
It’s brought it down so much that we had to move some money from our 5% paying TSB accounts into our Santander, which is the one we pay pills from (read more about how we organise our finances here). So right now we are not maxing out our £2K allowance in the TSB accounts! Waaaah!
It’s not exactly keeping me up at night but it has been something to think about and it reminds when we sort of lived paycheck to paycheck – I’d rather go for a pint with Nigel Farage than go back to those days . I don’t know how people can go through life doing that every month, and being in debt, don’t even mention it!
Anyway, this should all be fine but I have to say I am looking forward to when our next paychecks come through and the buffer is restored somewhat.
I also thought that this could be a taster of what life is like when drawing down an ISA before you get to access your employer pension or SIPP when you are 55/56/57+ and how weird that must feel after having a steady income for most of your adult life. Ermine has spoken about this many times and I am not sure exactly how I will feel about it. My best guess is that I’ll always be doing some sort of side hustle long into retirement and in fact MMM’s latest post addresses exactly this subject. Excellent!
How do you deal with cash flow issues? Do you see major swings from month to month or year to year as you put your stash away? Do you plan to keep working after reaching FI?
Share Save Bonus
Part of the reason we decided to chuck so much into the SIPP was because my company has just been sold by it’s parent company, so we are all getting booted out of the share save scheme. Bad times! However this is not the end world as it meant I could cash in my years worth of shares now.
I’ve paid in £3,500 and those shares are currently worth ~£5,000 so that is a pretty decent profit by anyone’s standards over 1 year!!! As I am leaving the company fairly soon this has actually worked in my favour.
Anyway… So I was expecting the cash buffer to be instantly restocked with the £5K… BUT!!! Then I found out you can pay in another 6 months worth of money even after you’ve left the share save scheme, and still buy and sell the shares at the preferential rates!!!!
This is as near to free money as you can get right now, and if the share price didn’t move it would mean another ~£630 worth of profit over the 6 months. The share price would have to take a serious dip to cancel out that extra gain so it is a bit of no brainer in my opinion to stay in the scheme for the extra 6 months.
Net Worth Tracking
I’ve vaguely attempted to track my Net Worth in the monthly updates but it has been a bit lame so far, with various unspoken rules I have imposed on the figure that have changed from month to month, leaving the percentage increase or decrease over each month so far to be as pointless as the upcoming Cadbury’s Teapot™. So let’s remedy that! Here are some issues worth making points about:
- Previously I was taking off around £5000 from the figure because I knew it was “already spent” on various home and garden works we are planning to do over the course of this year. This makes things too complicated. When we spend the money, our Net Worth figure will (more than likely) go down. This is better than half assed fudging of the figure.
- I was also taking off an extra ~£1000 because I knew that was roughly what we were going to spend over the next month. This also makes little sense so I will just report the exact figure on the 1st of each month after our mortgage and other monthly bills have gone out.
- I’ll also obviously take off anything we owe on our 2 credit cards that we use for cashback and pay off each month
- I was locked out of my employer retirement account so was guessing that figure. I now have access to that so this will now be accurate!
- I was also guessing Mrs TFS’s retirement account as we didn’t have the password, we now have access to that so that will be reported accurately as well!
- I’ll calculate 2 figures, one without home equity and one with. Hopefully the reasons for this are obvious but if not Mr Zombie has a good post about that here.
- For the home equity figure I will just used the price we paid for the house (unless house prices take a massive dip any time soon) minus whatever our mortgage is each month, which should give a good enough estimate
Ok so with all that said this is our current, much more accurately calculated Net Worth right now:
£143,874.00 – including home equity
£75,916.00 – excluding home equity
The breakdown is as follows:
|Total Net Worth||£143,874.00||Notes|
|Mrs TFS Sharesave||£2,000.00|
- If anyone is interested the ISAs, SIPPs are mainly invested in Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% 1
- The sharesave figure will just be how much I’ve put in until I cash in the shares, doesn’t seem worth tracking the ups and downs of the potential value of this each month!
- OK we still haven’t managed to get into Mrs TFS’s pension account yet! So that is still an estimate. It will be fully accurate by the time the April end of month update is out though… promise!
As well as the monthly updates, I’ll track this along with my savings rate on the new and improved Net Worth and Savings Rate Tracker page!
Well that’s about it for my current update on my personal finance front! Some good, not so much bad and finally tracking things more accurately… Yay!
Do you track your “FI stats” every month!? Have you found it to be a pain or something enjoyable? Let us know in the comments below!
- This is not advice! Do your own research etc… ↩