I’ve got around to updating my figures for my net worth. I’m actually doing a little bit better than I thought I was. It’s really easy to feel that you’re banging away doing not much, but actually the things that I’m doing are having an effect.
So here are my figures.
Money in sharesave £9,304
Net Worth including house equity
£287,192-£89,432 = £197,760
Net Worth excluding house equity
£59,192-£89,432 = -£30,240
So with the house value included I’m pretty happy with those figures. I can almost taste that elusive £200K figure. Realistically though I’m going to need somewhere to live, so unless I can find a comfy cardboard box to call home then I definitely haven’t got £197,760 to play with. Saying that I live in a fairly large 4 bedroom detached house which I bought last year. Once the kids move out then I won’t need that much space, but whether I would actually sell up and buy something smaller is another matter. I want to have enough space for the kids to come back to stay whenever they want to.
Without the house equity included it’s not looking quite so rosy in the sassenach saving world, but that’s ok, I can work on that. I’m aggressively overpaying my mortgage(well as much as my single income household budget will allow). I reckon within 3 years I should be able to get to the point where I’ve grown my assets and paid off enough of the mortgage that I no longer have a negative figure when I exclude the house equity. That will be a happy day. In the meantime I’ll continue to overpay the mortgage, keep contributing £500 a month to my work sharesave scheme and keep working with my budgets to keep my spending under control and ensure that I have enough left over to invest. When my sharesaves mature the plan is to take the money with the profit I’ve hopefully made and invest in some low cost index trackers.
All the shares I own are with the company I work for, so I think the key message for 2019 is that I need to diversify. About £20k of the shares are in an ISA, so I’ll probably keep those. Also some of the shares I need to keep for a number of years as there were conditions whereby I got free shares and it will be tax and NI free, but only if I don’t sell too quickly. But once the share price is a bit more favourable then I’ll offload some shares and stick the money in trackers.
I’ve included my AVC’s in my figures, but not my defined benefits pension. If I stay with the company and retire at 60(in just under 12 years) then I’ll get about £10K a year. It should be much more, but the company pretty well screwed us on that a good few years ago. The salary that your pension was based on got capped, so basically any pay rises don’t have an impact on your pension. At the time I was in a lower grade job and working part time so it’s had a huge impact on the amount of pension I’ll get when I retire. I realise I’m lucky to have a pension, especially as this scheme isn’t available to people who joined the company later, but still. It is what it is. I try not to think too much about it as it annoys me. I just need to sort my finances and be glad that I’ve got something there in terms of a pension.
I’ve just updated all my budget spreadsheets for the year end, moving over the final figures to the 2019 spreadsheets. Overall I’m pretty happy with how my budgeting went in 2018. I’ve gone over on a few areas of spending. I had an expensive couple of months with the car, but then it is 8 years old now, so I guess that’s to be expected. Also my petrol and entertainment budgets went a wee bit over, but I know why that happened.
After five years of being completely and utterly singe I bit the bullet and tried out internet dating. To say I was sceptical was the understatement of the century, but as one of my friends famously said to me “Men aren’t just going to come knocking on your door to ask you out”. Apparently I had to put myself out there a bit. Who knew? So four months ago I decided to go for it. One Sunday night I stuck a profile up and waited to see what would happen. I didn’t even bother looking at any profiles, I rather lazily just waited for people to contact me. My rather haphazard plan worked pretty well. I got a few messages through. Plenty of the expected dross. Any that said “hi sexy, want to chat?” got dingied straight away. Luckily there were enough normal people on there too. Sky Running guy was the most interesting, and we were soon messaging away. I was quite enjoying myself when he totally freaked me out by suggesting we meet up. Did he not know I wanted to take things slowly? Anyway we met for a safe hot chocolate at Costa at the cinema. I was actually so terrified I was shaking and could barely string a sentence together. I can’t remember all that much about that date. It can’t have been that bad though, as that was followed up with another date for crazy golf and a meal. Four months later we’re still dating and having a great time. I’m not sure frugality and dating are natural bed partners necessarily. You kind of have to do the whole going out on dates thing. Saying that, we’re not exactly splashing the cash all the time, although it has been nice going to a few different events that I probably wouldn’t have gone to on my own or with the kids. Also he lives an hour’s round trip away, so I’m spending more on petrol than I used to. All in all though I think it’s money well spent. It’s always a balance in life isn’t it? I want to be financially independent, but not at all costs. I want to enjoy the journey too.
So overall I’m fairly happy with my current finances. I’m not on a massive salary, but I’m managing to budget well enough to live within my means, overpay my mortgage and save each month. I’m keeping the wolf from the door in single parenthood land, so I think I’m doing alright for myself and my boys. I need to rejig my investments so I haven’t got all my financial eggs in one basket, so that’s a job for this year. I’ll be getting a small payrise in April of about an extra £50 or £60 a month, so if my budgets are all still balancing then I think I might try investing in some index trackers. That will let me dip my toe in the water and get comfortable, so hopefully when my share save money comes through I’ll be happy to stick that in trackers too. Watch this space.