Savings Report #2 – August

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.

Month two already! This month has gone really quick as I was on holiday for half of it. It’s always nice when you go away and come back to it almost being pay day again!

My net worth has increased by a decent 5.77% this month, with an even more decent 10.89% rise if you exclude the house equity. These changes are so big due to the still relatively small amounts which I have invested, I should imagine they’ll get smaller and smaller as time goes on. There was actually a decrease in my stock values since Julys Savings Report. I’ll let FIREvLondon do the explaining for this one as he’s the expert :] They’ve only fallen by a very small fraction, and we FI pursuers are in this for the long hall so, not to worry!

Again, I contributed £1000 into my ISA and £1800 into my pension. My pension contribution change to £2500 per month has yet to go through. It takes bloody forever for HR to do things in a big corporation! I’m hoping that by the next Savings Report, it will have increased.

My expected FI date is now 5.7 years. I’m hoping to see this jump down when my pension contribution increase has gone through.

Other Thoughts

I’d quite like to have this section as a kind of diary entry as I’ll be doing this reporting malarkey each month so it seems like the perfect place to jot down my thoughts and rambles. If I didn’t do this, it might get quite monotonous droning on with “I deposited another 1k, woo.” each month! I’ll be keeping this informal, so, sorry if it comes out all backwards, the words will be coming straight out of my head :]

With regards to money, I’ve been offered the option to participate in my employers share-match scheme this month. It sounds pretty good; I can basically deposit up to £500 per month into the scheme for the next 3 years. I’ll then get the option to either buy company shares at the value which they were this August (at a 20% discount!) or, withdraw all of my money. This could potentially earn a lot of money as even if the share price has doubled or tripled, I’ll still be able to buy them at the price that they were on this exact month. That with the additional 20% discount makes it an awesome offer. On top of that, if the share price drops, I can always just withdraw the cash instead. It makes the deal a win or draw situation. The only thing which is making me think twice is that I don’t know if I’ll be there for another 3 years. If I leave before the maturity date, I’ll just get my money back. Which will be frustrating as I could have been filling my ISA or pension instead and reaping the rewards of those accounts. I’ve got to make my decision within the next 2 weeks! I’ll let you know what I choose in my next Savings Report :]

On top of that I’ve got another couple of big expenses coming up. First is our new kitchen! This is going to be installed in October. We’ve still got a lot of shopping to do with this one. This will be our first new kitchen and it’s so bloody difficult to decide on things like what tiles and paint to use, especially when you’re thinking about cost too! Don’t even get me started on finding builders that won’t rip you off! Second is our wedding. I’ll be getting married to Mrs Saving Ninja in 11 months time. Luckily our family is helping with funding but there are still contributions and costs to be made by us, I’ve yet to settle all of this up!

TheFIREStarter mentioned me in his blog last week. This was a pretty exciting thing to wake up to whilst being on holiday! A lot of my new subscribers have come over from him (Hey!). This was my first mention, and for a new blogger it can be quite demotivating to write at the beginning when you think that nobody is reading, so I can’t thank him enough for this. Now I’m fuelled up and raring to go!

I’ve got a lot more content planned including side hustle guides and more offer seeking good’ness. I’ll also be ordering a blog writing/development MacBook from Apples new line-up which will hopefully be announced on the 12th (which will awesomely be funded by one of my side-hustles-turn-business tax free!). So I’ll be able to get hunkered down during commute time and lunch and write a lot more articles for you guys!


11 thoughts on “Savings Report #2 – August

  1. Hi –

    Really enjoying reading your posts so far. The layout and look of the blog is very pleasing and your writing style and content is top notch – I can see you having many many readers if other successful blogs are anything to go by!

    I recently got married. We had everything we wanted and had a brilliant day – and didn’t break the bank. Came in at a touch over £6k which is exactly what we planned. The things that saved us the most money involved planning well ahead and doing it ourselves. We had a local pub – with a great reputation of fantastic food – they charged us a price per head and no venue charge. We decorated the night before with home-made table decorations, the place names were pictures of us and the guest as we knew them etc etc – people really liked the personal touches. The best was the table flowers which my (now) wife did the day before by going to tesco and buying three bunches of their finest bouquets and tying them up with some garden flowers – she told the tesco worker that she was getting married the next day and they put discount stickers on all of them! So 15 table flower decorations cost £30 instead of £30 a pop from the florest. Anyway – that’s the gist of it! We also sold a load of the wedding stuff after and got around £100 back and my wife is happy to sell her wedding dress so that is currently online too. Funny thing is, I can see loads of areas we could have saved more money!

    Oddly enough we are getting a new kitchen too. Ours is due for the first week in November. We have gone through Wren and a friends dad, who is a kitchen fitter, is installing it. No mates rates but he has done work for friends and family and is very good. The total cost is going to be about £7k! This does include putting in ceiling lights, moving and installing a new radiatior, painting, tiling and flooring – as well as fitting the kitchen. We are also removing the old units ourselves and doing lots of the stuff we can do. Original budget was £5k but I think that was wishful thinking!

    So all the best – I look forward to reading more of your posts as I move closer to FI – albeit much slower than you!

    1. Hi Steve,

      Thank you so much! That’s awesome to hear 🙂 I’m glad you’re enjoying the content.

      Your wedding sounds awesome, ours will be a similar price, we’ve not got a lot of guests and don’t have a bridal party so that helps! We’re thinking of doing some stuff ourselves and getting a Costco wedding cake (or a bunch of them). You’re worrying me by saying the best thing is to prepare early, I better get a move on! 🙂

      It’s very spooky how our situations are so similar, your kitchen cost seems almost the same as ours! And we too, saved £700 by opting to remove the old kitchen ourselves! We’ve currently removed all of the top cupboards and tiling, have to remove the worktops and bottom cupboards this weekend. We ended up going with Benchmarx as they seemed to offer us the lowest price, will be buying our appliances separately.

      The thing I’m scared to death of is making the wrong decisions with units/decorating. I’d hate to spend this much money and get it ‘wrong’, but hopefully it will be nice no matter what 🙂

      1. Sounds like you’re on the right track. Much of the planning ahead involved homemade things and personal touches and we only really started about 3 months out so you’ll be fine!

        Completly agreen about the kitchen – lots of money to not like it at the end! However our current kitchen was cheap and nasty 20 years ago so the only way is up!

        Best of luck with both! Look forward to reading much more!

    1. Haha, no – of course not! Even if I can’t quite follow all of your content, I know you’re definitely more qualified to speculate what the stock market is playing at! Maybe if I read your blog for a couple more years, I might feel confident enough to pick a couple of stock areas to monitor 🙂

  2. Hi SavingNinja,

    Great to see another new UK based FI blog on the scene, loving your content so far!

    It looks like you are pumping huge amounts into your pension pot, but isn’t that skewing the accuracy of your 5.7 years to FI? (With those funds not being available until 55+)

    Finding the right split between accessable funds and pension funds is something I’ve been pondering for awhile. Would be great to hear your take on it?

    1. Hey Darren,

      Awesome, I’m glad you’re enjoying it 🙂 – and thanks for bringing this point up, someone else said the same thing on Facebook. I actually plan on depositing a full 40k into my pension this year, with only 12k deposited into my ISA.

      If I pull out the ol’ compound interest calculator, let’s dive into some numbers.

      If I continue to deposit £1000 per month into my ISA, along with my initial £11,759.75 which is already invested – sticking with 6% expected returns – I should have around £103,681.38 in my ISA in exactly 6 years time. Now, I couldn’t find anything online which could calculate how many years that should last me if I drew out my expenses. So I built a new VB Macro and added it to the Saving Ninja Super Spreadsheet <- Check it out! So - The calculator tells me that my £103,671.38 should last me 16 years and 2 months with 10k expenses. That should leave me a hefty 16 years off my pension access age (and we all know that's gonna go up). Bummer. BUT! We've forgotten about house equity. So; lots of people don't include house equity as part of their net worth, but I think that's fundamentally flawed. I've yet to do a post about this but trying to put it simply - If you can re-mortgage, release your equity and pay the same expenses, it most definitely should be added to your net worth. If you don't remortgage, you'll only end up with no mortgage and lower expenses anyways. A house is basically a savings account! So - adding my current house equity of £26,887.50 and 6 years worth of £258.75 payments into the house savings account, that gives me a reasonable £45,517.50 pushing my total to £149.188.88. My calculator states that this should now last me 37 years! This should last me until retirement, with a nice buffer at that. Saying all of this, it doesn't actually take into account if the house value goes up (or down for that matter). I'm also not actually planning on retiring early when I hit my exact numbers, I plan to go way beyond that (although I may change careers/go part-time), so whether my pot is locked away for the time being, isn't as relevant. On top of that, I also have 2 businesses which are bringing in passive income, so this could theoretically lower the retirement expenses needed if I see them carrying on. There are another couple of reasons I'm 'front-loading' my pension: 1) I don't think the awesome 40%+ tax incentive (which actually goes up to 60%ish with student loan and NI savings) is going to be around much longer. I'm "Making hay whilst the sun shines!". 2) It's within my life plan to move away from England, potentially to Canada or the US. Not a lot of places have recognized ISA's as tax-free, although many places have a pension tax treaty. For example, if I had 100k in my ISA and moved to the USA, I'd then have to pay tax on the whole lot to the IRS, BUT my pension would be saved from this (although I'd still lose my 25% tax-free bonus if I retired there - sucks!). So I'm kind of covering my ass as I know I'd like to immigrate somewhere. I should probably make this into a blog post - thanks for getting my juices running 😉 and sorry for the late reply, I was playing with my Spreadsheets!

      1. There are actually line breaks in this comment.. WordPress has decided to take them out in the actual view. Hmm…

        1. Thanks for the detailed reply. A blog post on this would be great to see as it’s not something I’ve seen covered much before.

          I’ve never really factored home equity into my calculations so gives me something to think about. Time to crack open the spreadsheets again

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.