Monthly Update – January 2019

General overview

January still has one day to go but, I’ve put this together now, so it’s going up now.

Professionally, January followed suit to my last couple of Januarys. Getting back to the pace of work after the festive period always feels quite hectic and fast-paced. I can’t grumble about much. Work is going well, and I have recently had the opportunity to take on an assessor role, in addition to my classroom duties to support the development of teaching assistants and enable them to get their TA qualifications. I really enjoy getting to see the positive interactions and learning experiences the TA’s bring to the classroom. They’re such a vital (and often undervalued) resource!

As we visited The Wife’s parents in December, we were able to shed some pounds… that’s £’s not lbs… Not as many as we had budgeted for though, which left some wiggle room as we try to reach the max. £20k invested in the ISA. January saw us return to living life a little more frugally and paying closer attention to the budget. We did splash the cash on a $300, 2nd hand, one year old dishwasher. Proper spoiled! Love it.

The biggest news of the month is that property number two might be just around the corner. This was not on the agenda for this year, let alone January but when an opportunity presents itself you grasp it with both hands and enjoy the ride. If all goes to plan, we’ll have a 50% stake (mmmmm, steak) with a trustworthy partner which should return us approx. £300 per calendar month. Nothing is a done deal yet but it’s pretty exciting. Having only re-mortgaged property one, last year, it’s crazy to see how fast interest rates can change. We’ll see where we’re at in February with that.

Financial update

We’ve absolutely blasted the Vanguard ISA, this month putting in £4,500. That’s the biggest investing month and we’re getting close to 20k invested, just £1,500 to go! It feels like a real accomplishment to max it in the first year as I never thought it possible. At the end of January our ISA is comprised of:

Vanguard: £14,099.99

AJ Bell: £4,847.56

Check out the updated net worth and investment portfolio.

Blog

As FIREflyfree has only just got up and running, here are all the posts I’ve published so far. It’s been fun to learn some new skills as, for a 30-odd-year-old male, I’m not the best with ICT… I’ve thoroughly enjoyed starting to write articles. It’s not something I thought I’d ever do, to be honest.

Here’s the posts, in all their glory:

LISA – A grand don’t come for free… Well, actually… (January)

The Financial Epiphany (January)

Premium Bonds – Are they worth it?

The impact of a Frappachappa Mochachoccachino on your health and wealth

Are you making a budget?

The best fitness plan for a fatty in the New Year

The Ultimate House-Hack

Health

The gut returned over Christmas and with much indulgence in food and booze, I was able to get back to work a few kg’s heavier than before the break. Feeling bloated and heavy, it was time to hit the gym. First time we made it in wasn’t until the 8th but The Wife and I made it pretty regular and I was able to reduce my BMI from 26.8 (overweight) right the way down to 25 on the nose which is smack bang on the border between healthy and overweight. What do you know, the fitness regime is working out.

Goals for the coming month

  • Keep going to the gym 3-5 X per week (40 mins on X-trainer and do a pull-up)
  • Invest £2,000 in Vanguard to take the total to £20,000
  • Obtain a Buy-to-Let mortgage

This is the first one of these updates I’ve done. Am I missing anything? Should I dig deeper into the financial side? Let me know, if you want.

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