October 2020 Update – And here we go into lockdown again and I reveal a cure for COVID 19.

October has been a relatively busy month for us as we caught up with friends and tried to enjoy the autumn before the country lurched into early nights and lockdown.

As the political battle between the North and the South played out, and ended pointlessly, with a national lock down, it left me wondering what the hell is going on in our country. Added to that the PM, under Dominic Cumming’s instructions, threatening to walk away from the Brexit negotiations, refused to pay for some poor children’s lunches, before disappearing for a weeks or so, did not instil confidence in the direction our once great nation is heading.

My motivation to blog has been low this month and I will make a point of writing a new article as soon as lock down begins. Yes, even titans of FIRE like myself run out of things to say about it… (Jokes!).

Spending

After September’s high spending, this month has been more sedate. I have still spent more than usual thanks to a weekend stay at the Hoxton hotel to give myself and Ms PWF a break from working at home, a new blender, and general boozing and eating out. I also renewed the professional indemnity insurance on my limited company.

I track my savings using Emma Pro. It means I can make this table in Excel in about 2 minutes and know where every penny went with zero effort. Sign up using my referral link here.


Avios

AMEX again has been kind (well, trying to encourage me to pay my membership for another year…) and given me £100 back on my spending. I also made sure to buy anything through the BA shopping portal, so that I get Avios.

Using my blender as an example, I paid £180 for it from John Lewis, which gave me 360 Avios. I got a further 180 from making the purchase on my AMEX. I then got £85 back as a special offer. Therefore, I spent £95 and got 540 Avios, and a decent blender for a discount.

Oh what’s that? You say you can’t fly anywhere at the moment? Spot on. I’m saving this for our trip to Australia which was meant to be for Christmas, but now, who knows. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to spend these within the next 12 months to get Ms PWF and I an upgrade for the long flight to Oz. Patience…  I have 29000 Avios. The upgrade is 25000 (I think). So we need to get to 50000.

Savings and Investments

A decent 50% savings rate this month. I could do better, but lets face it, life is pretty dull at the moment, so a bit of spending is a good thing for you and the economy.

Pension

My company agreed to back pay my pension contribution that I missed last month. They also operate a salary sacrifice scheme which I’ve never had before. Its really rather good.

I also finally completed my pension transfer so that all my old pensions are now in one SIPP. Just in time to start a new work pension.

Savings

I noticed I have randomly been saving into an old savings account at £350 per month. I can’t be bothered changing the direct debit so I guess if it keeps going in there and it’s harder to get to then all the better. I just need to remember to transfer to an investment account every couple of months.

Investments

Overall the networth has risen 0.44% from last month. My FIRE fund is at £152,682, and has increased 25% in the last year. I’ve only really been focused on increasing it since I paid off my debt last year. I’m please with that increase which is a mixture of contributions and returns. This is good considering I was out of work for 3 months. It also shows the value of investment returns doing more work than savings.

Scotland Rugby

Scotland beat Wales 14-10. First time we’ve won on Welsh soil since 2002. Unbelievable. Seems like being away from the Millenium Stadium and the fierce Welsh fans allowed us to hold our nerve and take the win.

Cure for COVID

I promised you a cure for COVID-19, and like all of life’s other problems, nothing will help like a pint of scrumpy or seven.

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