April 2020 Report

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.

COVID-19 Symptoms

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.

Matched Betting

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.

If you are new to matched betting and are interested in trying it out, Profit Accumulator* offer a free trial for new customers.

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.

Other contributions

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!

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5 thoughts on “April 2020 Report”

  1. Glad you got over your (likely) Covid spell! I too have thought about an ICE folder but yet to put it into action – Mrs. MedFI has one stashed away somewhere. What’s your plan once the well of higher-interest regular saver accounts dry up? Not many locations left for reasonable returns on cash.
    A combination of lots more work and less play meant that we managed to save a significant amount more in April that usual. Given our new work schedules and the on-going lockdown looks like May will be the same!

    1. Hi Mr MedFI. The ICE folder is a bit daunting at the time but it’s also an opportunity to bring everything together. It can also act as your ‘life portfolio’, which might make it a bit more palatable for some. Once the high-interest rate regular savers dry up, I imagine I’ll move the cash to an easy access account in readiness for next year and potentially buying a bigger house. If not, it will serve as a handy emergency fund. Thank you for spending the time to read my blog, I’ve certainly been reading yours. Interesting to get some clarity around the NHS pension, as I’ve always viewed this as a bit of a mystery.

  2. Pingback: The Full English Accompaniment – Dumping Shit – The FIRE Shrink

  3. Hi AO

    Sorry to read that you could have had the virus and hope you have completely recovered.

    Well done on being close to maxing out your ISA – I too have never managed to get to £20k, I think £17k was my most from a couple of years back.

    It will be interesting if the government will keep the allowance at its current level in the forthcoming years – I think there’s going to be a lot of change in respect of taxes as the government has to claw back all those furlough payment somehow!

    Stay safe!

    1. Hi Weenie, I hope you are ok – I’ve been reading the encouraging updates on your blog. Yes I’m completely recovered and it disappeared fairly quickly. The ISA was so close to being filled, I’m going to aim for it again this year but it depends what happens at work. I think if I can get this close to it for a few more years I’ll be well on my way.
      Do you think they might decrease the allowance? In that case maybe I’ll not have to work as hard!

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