Savings Report #21 – M-m-m-my Corona

This is a Saving Ninja savings report. Go to How To Track Your Savings to check out the Saving Ninja Super Spreadsheet. Please note that I split my expenses equally with my partner and the savings rate, house equity and house value represent my share only. The spreadsheet calculates my savings rate based off £12,000 worth of expenses per year, even though my expenses are actually Less Than 10k Per Year. This is to create a buffer; I’m aiming for at least 12k to reach financial independence.

Click here to see all of my past Savings Reports and view my interactive net worth chart


In March I recorded the biggest loss since I began investing.

My portfolio dropped by a staggering £13,613 in a single month, about -13.35%.

The total gain on book cost in January stood at a healthy £9,866 and now it is negative £12,167.

As it’s only been a short amount of time since I began investing, with a huge ramp-up just before COVID-19 wrecked the stock market, I haven’t had time to earn prior stock gains so my total portfolio is seriously in the red.

I still believe that in my position, a bear market is a good thing (unless we begin a 10-year-long great depression) so I’ve ramped up my contributions and will continue to do so.

I increased my salary sacrifice slightly in March and deposited £5,239 before tax, I also added an additional £2,000 into my ISA. This bought me to the first year that I’ve ever maxed my SIPP and ISA allowances…

This would call for a celebration if it didn’t happen at the WORST time possible. As I was rushing to max my ISA and pension before the end of the tax year I ended up contributing £28,000 in the 4 months leading up to the COVID bear market. That’s absolutely decimated my total interest earned as most of my savings were made right before the drop.

To try and balance out my heavy savings at the peak, I’m going to continue saving heavily. I hope to increase my ISA contributions to £3,000 this month and leave my pension contributions at around £5,300.

This month I also invested £1,000 into Freetrade but it’s currently sitting in cash. I did this as I wanted to buy more Tesla stocks if they fall below £350; I see my ‘Other Investments’ section as a fun-fund and I’m going to try and time the market!

So far, my heavy contributions have managed to keep me above £100k invested. But another fall like this month would probably see me dip below this milestone.

Other News

COVID-19 has seemed to put a halt on everything, this month has really shown that and I’ve started to become a little frustrated. I’m not worried about financial loss, I know that with continuing to contribute, I can hopefully mitigate my net worth decline. But what I am worried about is the lack of progression.

This year was meant to be a pivotal one for progression. I’d finally begun to feel happy with where I was in life; we’d decided to go on more holidays and increase our happiness over the next two years; my goal was to climb the career ladder and find a new job, my wife had dreams of beginning a new career in London and had attended her first successful interview, which she aced…

Then COVID-19 hit and stopped everything. My wife’s potential London employer withdrew, it will be much harder for me to progress my career, and it looks like we’ll be going on no holidays this year.

There’s still no light at the end of the tunnel as to when we can get back on track, and for me that’s terrifying. With my fast-paced and analytical brain, I hate the thought of losing a year or two to stagnation; of staying in my ‘pre-FI’ life for longer; of freezing in time.

I’m starting to get in the depressive slumps again…

Maybe that’s because I forgot to take my cod liver oil tablets for the past two days?

Blogging

Yes, I’ve been absolutely terrible. I had pretty bad writers’ block before the COVID outbreak, now the will has gone completely. There just seems nothing worth writing about when this is the only thing on everyone’s mind.

Not only that; I got my best writing done on the train to work, which is of course not happening right now.

I feel that there’s going to be a few more diary entry months before I can get back to any quality content. I’ll focus on apps and interview training until I get out of this funk!

Coronavirus

Myself and my family (even the ones in Italy) are all OK. Luckily, we’ve all kept our jobs as well. I’ve actually been working over the weekend as there is so much support needed for COVID-19 programming, I’ve not worked this hard for a long time!

I should have been Snowboarding during Easter. I think that being cancelled is one of the main reasons that I’m down as it was my first foray into ‘happiness-first.’

We did get all of our money back for the flights, AirBnB and trains – so I guess we’ve got more to invest!

How are you coping?

OddsMonkey

17 thoughts on “Savings Report #21 – M-m-m-my Corona

  1. Its a difficult time for all, try to keep your head up. Serious kudos on maxing the isa and the sipp. I am doing my march review today so lets see how bad the damage is!

  2. Good to hear that you and your family are ok and wow, fantastic job on maxing your ISA and your SIPP and maintaining your >£100k invested.

    Understand how you’re down regarding the timing of your investment but you’re doing the right thing by continuing to buy.

    Sorry to read that you are feeling frustrated about your lack of progression but it’s not just your plans which have been derailed, it’s the World’s plans! This isn’t in your control so unfortunately, all you can do is wait. Yes, it is terrifying that no one (ie the government) can tell us when this will all be over but it will be over.

    In my mind, I’ve convinced myself of a worst case scenario, ie this year pretty much written off in its entirety. If we pull through before then, I consider that a win and I will get on with my life. This episode could add years to my FIRE plans but nothing I can do about that.

    All have different ways of coping and putting my stoic blinkers on is my way, so I hope you will be able to find some way to ease your frustration (and keep taking the cod liver oil tablets!)

    1. Thank you Weenie.

      You’re right, the whole world has stopped, so I should try not to get as annoyed! We’re all still getting older though 🙁

      Maybe our commuting savings will be able to reverse the effects of the drop a little bit? 😀

  3. If it makes you feel any better saving ninja alot are in the same boat.

    I had a retention bonus of around 40,000 which I split 27000 into my pension and took about 10k net and put it in my isa in January

    I then saw my pension fall from 223000 to 153000 and my isa going from 88k to 69k. Ouch though its since recovered slightly. Like you I’m increasing my contributions though I am going to build a bit more cash first. I can always put it in in a year or so and I have to start thinking long term that a year here and there doesn’t make any difference.

    I find comfort that I’ll have replaced that drop within 3 and a half years. Providing my job stays stable. Proving contributions are the single most important factor

    1. Ouch dude. Yeah, I do find comfort with the same line of thinking; “I can regain the losses in a relatively small amount of time with contributions alone.”

  4. Congratulations on getting your holiday funds returned!

    A small win in these times, but a decisive win nonetheless.

  5. High-five for ‘fun-funds’…I think they’re a great complement to our main FI fund portfolios, teaching you how hard it is to pick the right stock while not taking too much of a hit because well…they’re ‘fun-funds’. Is it just Tesla in your Freetrade account or do you hold anything else?

    1. *High five*!

      It’s just Tesla and my ‘free shares’ from referrals (not much) at the moment. I was considering maybe adding £1k of Alphabet instead of Tesla, I’ll see which drops the lowest.

  6. I think it’s going to be hard for everybody, in same way or another. The plan for us (and most I expect) is to batten down the hatches, keep jobs wherever possible, and just stay above water. Hoping it doesn’t go on too long, and if there is any spare cash- invest whilst it’s cheap!

    1. Wise words! I consider myself extremely lucky that my industry is relatively unaffected with remote working being the norm anyway.

  7. I know how you feel, mate!

    These are strange and odd times indeed! But like the dent in the stock market is going to pass eventually, so will the pandemic. It’s difficult to sit at Home and feel like your life is being wasted somehow. I find comfort in reminding myself that it’s all temporary, and once we’re out on the other side, we will look back on the “fun” times we had while being imprisoned in our own minds 🙂

    I had days like you while the cod liver capsules hadn’t become a fixed part of my daily routine. I also forgot them a few days here and then, and then felt a little bit down (extra down once I noticed I had forgot them. It’s like not noticing the hurt from a wound, until you see the blood 😛 ).

    I’ve added daily walks to my routine, and given the nice shift in the weather, I feel like that has really boosted my mood too. I don’t know if you have the option where you live, to go for a stroll and look at some birds and some trees – but I find it helpful and relaxing. I remember you wrote about a 6-hour hike once, and how it helped clear your mind. It’s that feeling that you want to try and replicate a little, every day. I try to reach 5km on average per day (my watch count my steps), and it’s surprising how many steps you can get from just taking the vacuum for a spin, or mowing the lawn 😛

    I’m positive next month will have better numbers 😉

  8. Hey, I’m enjoying catching up with your posts, SN. Yeah, agree with SouthWalesFI, gonna be a tough time for most and most will be in self preservation mode. My hubby’s company has done a round of redundancies already and taken a substantial pay cut. I’m personally struggling to work f/t and parent. It’s impossible and got myself unwell trying. If you got to the point of being happy with life as you say, then I find it’s helpful you keep reminding myself of that. You are doing excellently despite current frustrations. Amazing SR too! Stay well and take care.

  9. I completely agree with your approach Ninja. Hang in there and carry on doing what you’ve been doing up until now. It will all come back, it just might take a while. Be safe.

    Chris@TheFIJourney

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *