I feel I owe an apology to my loyal readers for the lower posting rate of late, hopefully the following may go some way to explain! But fear not, I am still very much firmly set on my overall goal of FI/RE, but have been simply taking a step back from the noise and working diligently and squirreling away in the background.
Firstly, I believe I had COVID-19 symptoms in mid- April which set me back for about a week. Although not diagnosed (at the time, only patients submitted to hospital got tested in the UK), I did have a fever, the aches, a cough, a sore throat and breathlessness and was bed-bound for the most part.
I would say they were mild-moderate symptoms. However there are many who did have to go to hospital and many who have come off far worse than me. I’m very grateful that I was able to manage it at home. And as I’ve mentioned here before, the heroes of this crisis are the front line key workers, who are quite rightly getting heavily praised at the moment.
As soon as the fever hit I worried for those close to me. My main worry was having to go to hospital, and maybe something worse happening (thanks to the press for this). I worried about how I had left my affairs, but thankfully I had previously covered everything with those close to me.
In time like these it might be worth considering keeping something like an ‘In Case of Emergency’ (or ICE) folder, so that key details are on hand when needed the most. Having money saved in times of trouble means that in a crisis your loved ones can look after you or themselves and any dependents. Prudent planning can remove some of the obstacles to ensuring they can access what they need with most of the hurdles removed.
April 2020 Financial Updates
Another reason for the radio silence is that I’ve had overtime approved at work and I imagine that this will carry on for at least another month. At the same time, I’ve had increased responsibility given to me at work, so I’ve been quite busy. I’ve managed to save a lot this month, and the overtime payments will really help next month.
Throughout the market downturn I’ve been contributing as much as can where I’ve had spare cash, which led to me putting most of my matched betting float into my ISA and hitting about £18k contributions by the end of the tax year. This is the closest I’ve got to the limit and I’m determined to hit it one day!
All said and done April was a good month for market returns compared to March and my ISA value rose by over £8k.
Offers were few and far between last month. If you regularly read my blog you’ll know that most of my matched betting profits come from casino offers nowadays. With all sport being cancelled I thought we might see an increase in the number of casino offers, but alas it was not to be.
I only managed to make £25, in a fairly turbulent month for EV. I think the decrease of offers available led to me taking offers I wouldn’t normally, and taking offers with higher-variance slots and slim EV margins. Overall the amount of EV available was about half of my monthly target.
Although it doesn’t seem like a great total this month, bearing everything in mind I’m just pleased it wasn’t negative and when I look at my all-time profit vs EV it’s hardly even noticeable.
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Hopefully in the coming months there will be more offers appearing as the lifting of social distancing measures and restrictions are gradually considered. There’s obviously no certainties here, so it’s good to have overtime at work to fall back on.
I’m continuing to sock away £550 a month into regular saving accounts as I’m getting 5% interest on these until later on in the year. I’m also looking to replenish some depleted cash reserves for future projects.
So that’s the summary for this month, please let me know how you all got on through April in the comments, and here’s to a prosperous month of May!