Festive Correction, Thanks Santa – Savings Report #6

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.

Wow, another huge loss this month.

A staggering negative £2,530 gone from my portfolio. This loss is even bigger than October’s loss of £1,685, wowee.

I feel sorry for the people with £1m invested right now -They would definitely be down by over 6 figures.

Although saying that, they are probably still up due to the high yielding preceding years.

People starting out on their saving journeys (who have less than £100k invested) should feel pretty lucky when corrections happen. Better now than later!

To refer to a personal taste of mine, I’m going to buy hamburgers the rest of my life. When hamburgers go down in price, we sing the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ in the Buffett household. When hamburgers go up in price, we weep. For most people, it’s the same with everything in life they will be buying — except stocks. When stocks go down and you can get more for your money, people don’t like them anymore.” – Warren Buffett

VVLSRU [note]VVLSRU is an acronym for Vanguard Investment UK LT Lifestrategy 100 Percent Equity[/note] is currently trading at 19,535p which is as low as it was last April. A whole 1300p cheaper than what I bought VVLSRU for in November.

I’ll need this fund to go back up to 20,778p to reach my current average cost per share and break even with the book cost.

The loss this month has made my retirement date stay the same at 4 years and 8 months. I should hopefully be able to counter this when I invest more in 2019 after getting my bonus.

Other Thoughts

I had a pretty good Christmas. I managed to go on two 5k runs over the festive period, the last beating my 5k record getting a run time of 26 minutes and 45 seconds and the track had an elevation gain of 187 feet!

Along with this achievement, I also feel thoroughly stuffed and sufficiently unhealthy. After weighing myself when getting back home I seem to have put on nearly 4kg of weight. All that festive cheese and chocolate (and being at my parents who seem to serve 4X my portion sizes) really didn’t help.

Back to my normal routine now!

Matched Betting

Over the holidays I did manage to set up a completely fresh matched betting account, so I’ll be getting back onto this side-hustle in full swing after this weekend.

I may start off with lower bets to ensure that the account doesn’t get gubbed straight away, but hope to ramp up to £20 EW betting again soon (better to be safe than sorry).


I did hope to write my 2018 review/2019 goals post whilst away but I found it incredibly difficult to get started due to not being in my normal environment.

I’ll be writing this over the following week and hope to release it soon! I’ve also got to add some snazzy charts, similar to the ones that I made for the budgeting spreadsheet to the savings spreadsheet as we’ve come to our first end of the year, so there’s data to be analysed! I’ll talk about those changes in the 2018 round-up post.

I’m going to post-pone the Thought Experiment series until next month due to the festive break. It may actually be better to do these every 2 months instead of every 1 month as there’s a whole ton of articles I’ve got planned for 2019 that I need to finish!

How was your Christmas?

Are you coping well with the current stock market correction?


19 thoughts on “Festive Correction, Thanks Santa – Savings Report #6

  1. Looking on the bright side, as you say, a healthy downturn now means you’ll be getting more shares for your money in 2019.

    A quick question about VVLSRU if I may….. If you buy a Vanguard ETF that invests in other Vanguard ETFs, do you end up paying double charges or not?

    1. VVLSRU’s charge is actually more than what you would pay if you invested in each of the Vanguard funds directly. This is due to the cost of Lifestrategy rebalancing the portfolio for you, so it’s more of a ‘set and forget’ approach.

      You don’t pay the 0.22% for the rebalancing AND the additional costs for each fund though. But saying that, the direct funds could be accounted for in that 0.22% figure.

  2. Happy New Year, SN!

    Re the correction, it’s definitely “Better now than later!” although it just doesn’t feel very nice! However, it would be a nightmare if this was happening as I just pulled the FIRE trigger! We just need to try to ignore all the noise and continue investing as normal. I’ve read that some people are starting to hoarde cash but when and how would they know when to jump back into the markets? I’d rather not be faced with that choice.

    By the way, are you taking part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge?

    1. Happy New Year Weenie!! 🙂

      Yeah it’s weird, it fundamentally doesn’t feel nice but when I think about it logically, it’s actually a very good thing, for me at least. I’ve been investing for under a year. We all know a crash WILL happen at some point, better now.

      There’s always the daunting thought of, what if the slump continues for the next 20 years, that WOULD be pretty darn shitty.. But unprobable. No point in borrowing sadness from the future.

      I think the saving cash for when the markets are low thing is against all of the passive investor rules, it’s just a different form of trying to time the markets, big no-no! 🙂

      I set my book target today to match yours at 30! My most ambitious one yet!! Probably a bit silly considering I failed my 25 book goal last year only having read 17 books. But saying that, I think I read way more pages than I’ve ever read in 2018, so with my target of reading more factual (thus smaller) books in 2019, I’m hoping I can smash the challenge!

  3. As corrections go it’s a pretty minor one so far. Thankfully, most of my stock market exposure is via my pension and I’m not due to access that for a while (and at the same time I’m still contributing on a monthly basis to it so hopefully benefiting from the cheaper prices).

    1. Yeah. It’s actually the first time the Vanguard LifeStrategy Funds have lost money (-5.04%) in over 6 years. Pretty crazy! I wouldn’t be surprised if 2019 was worse.

  4. Happy New Year SN!

    I am viewing the current downturn as a huge opportunity, particularly with the dividend yield of some UK stocks. I try to see my negative return as a discount on the stocks that I’m buying and that little perspective change seems to help.

    Also just started my own Matched Betting adventure, £300 over the festive period, not bad!

    1. Exactly the way to look at it Improv! This is also good practice for when a recession hits 😉

      Awesome job with the matched betting! Nice little Christmas bonus. I’ve recently started matched betting from scratch again on a new account.

  5. Hey SavingNinja – congrats on the runs!

    And yeah, the market has been pants lately….although I’m quite glad the crash is happening now, not in a few years…

    1. Thank you 🙂 I’m quite ashamed as I didn’t go on one yesterday, feel utterly wrecked after Christmas! Need to get back into the regular routine.

      First time in quite a few years that Vanguard Lifestrategy has lost money. There does seem to be a dark cloud forming over us in the UK and the USA. Hold steady!

  6. Happy new year Savings Ninja!

    Ignore the market fluctuations, you’ve absolutely smashed it out of the park this year on all fronts mate!

    Nice one on getting out for a few runs as well, I only managed one haha! Totally back on it this week though as have half marathon booked up in Feb!

    I would be really interested in seeing a yearly expenses report from you showing each area of spending, if that’s possible? Just to give me some inspiration for next year as we’ve had a terrible (expenses wise at least) 2018.

    Cheers and all the best for the new year.

    1. Happy new year! 😀

      Thanks dude 🙂 Really appreciate the kind words.

      Need to get back into my routine now, we were meant to go for a run last Saturday but we were so knackered that we ended up skipping! THIS Saturday is definitely on! Good luck with the half marathon, I don’t think I’m quite ready for one of them yet 😛 Hopefully will be ready by the end of this year?

      Checking out my own budgeting spreadsheet that I filled in recently, it hasn’t actually changed that much from when I posted this. The only difference being an additional £3700 for my London commute, which I knowingly took for an increase in salary (I stick to 12k in my ‘Years to FI’ calculations as I know I won’t need the season ticket in retirement and I know I won’t be in London for the long term).

      Without the train ticket, my expenses come to £9,479 per year, £120 more than when I posted the 10k per year post! Not bad. I think that means I’ve combatted lifestyle inflation? To be fair though, I do cheat a lot. A lot of my company profits I expensed on a new Pixelbook (for writing!), a Garmen watch etc. Just so I didn’t have to pay any corporation tax or income tax on the side earnings.

      I think the main thing when it comes to keeping expenses lower are big-ticket items like a mortgage and a car. My partner’s expenses are a little higher at £13,871 as she has a car lease and spends a little more on contact lenses, petrol and presents for family/friends. This brings our combined expenses to £27,050 or £23,350 without my train ticket for work.

  7. Happy new year, SavingNinja!

    I feel your pain with the stock market correction. I lost around £1500 myself. Probably better for us for there to be one now, very early in our investing lifetime, to give us an idea of what losing money feels like! Just have to assume that the markets will continue to increase over the very long term.

    Great job with getting out on some runs over the holidays! Definitely a habit that I need to get into.

    1. Happy new year! 🙂

      Haha yeah. Maybe when a real recession happens we’ll have to start going to counseling together to try and stay strong and not sell!

      I wouldn’t say it’s a habit quite yet, I think we’ve done about 10 park runs, mostly in sequential weeks. We’ll see how this year goes 🙂

  8. Happy New Year SN!

    I was wondering what pot size your aiming for for Each Way Betting? As I’m having a similar think about how large I’d like me stakes to be vs wanting to pump money into my S and S ISA.



    1. Thanks Calum 🙂 You too!

      I haven’t ever withdrawn yet, so I’m not the right person to ask haha. I’m actually dreaming of the days when I have a 20k pot size so I truly don’t have to care about the ups and downs. Right now my 5.5k pot means I’m a little under 1% for £20 EW, but I still have heart palpitations when I lose 1k+ in a day! I’ll probably end up drawing out anything over 10k or something. It’s a nice problem to have ay? 😀

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