Financial independence update: December 2020

Christmas eve brunch – Early outing of the sprouts, my fave veg!

I really do hope you all had a lovely Christmas as I have. It’s been different, but really nice nonetheless. Gone were my work papers off the dining table. I downed tools and used it as a dining table (oh, the audacity!) for the first time since lockdown began. And how pleasant it’s been to share meals in this way, and to have more time for each other, as well as (in our case) to delight in Junior’s revelrous delight in the magic of Christmas.

I’ll keep this one short as I did promise another post that was not just the monthly update. I’ve been very bad at that, but honestly the last weeks have involved working about 50 hours or more a week. It’s been one tough semester (September to 18 December), but I survived! That’s not to say that this FI blog is in the distance of my mind. Far from it! Knowing that I keep this blog makes me mindful of spending and accountable. 🙂

So, anyway, I’m a bit early for the month-end but since Firelite Junior has slept earlier than usual tonight (playing is hared work!), it seems as good a time as any to count from now as month end or else risk another late post from me! Admittedly, some pressies bought via Paypal that haven’t gone through yet, so Jan will probably be a lower savings rate. Besides that, I’m doing well with a 74% December savings rate! Let’s say I’ve spread present buying across Nov/Dec/Jan.

I’ve not had to dip into cash savings this month to cover my investments. So £2k went to Vanguard index funds and £50 went to shares in my Freetrade account. I continue to invest in separate index funds as I seem to enjoy that process, although I do have some money in a FTSE Al-World UCITS ETF.

I decided this month to transfer all my Emerging Markets fund into the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) version that Vanguard have for ethical reasons. That is, it omits companies that are involved in controversies, non-renewable energy, vice products and weapons (rather than investing in those proactive in ethics). Given the level of corruption in developing economies, it seems a low benchmark but I think a step up. I only have about £2300 (8% of my index fund investments) in there anyway, but it’s a start.

How’s this month going for you? Talk again soon!

4 thoughts on “Financial independence update: December 2020”

  1. Well done on increasing your savings rate, that is an incredible figure that I’m unlikely to ever approach, so I’m a little jealous! Right now I am at around 42% if I consider the amounts being saved, invested and paid off of my debts, so I’m aiming for 50% by the end of this year and to increase it by a few percent each year from now on.

    I’m just starting a new project to invest £100 Every Month which will hopefully show people that they don’t have to invest much to get on the ladder. It’ll take a while to get up to your impressive level, wish me luck!


    1. Hi Jay! Thanks for commenting and I enjoyed reading about your new project. An unusual amount of drama with share trading apps at the moment though! I started exactly this project back in Lockdown 1: I ended up being a little fluid with my £100 maximum, investing a little more sometimes (e.g. £150) and only £50 or not at all occasionally. There were bargains to be had in those early months that I didn’t want to miss out on, but I’ve stayed sensible. I was going to write an update post on my fun mini portfolio (now £1370, so getting a bit less mini now), but of course the app is down atm! I’ll update soon though.

      As for the savings rate, I’m only doing this well because of lockdown, but thanks! For my personal situation, there isn’t that much opportunity to spend. I have very little desire to online shop as well. Good luck with your portfolio.


  2. Hey PTL2
    Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year.
    Anyway, awesome savings rate as always, incredible that you managed that in December but you were obviously super organised spreading the costs across different months.
    Wish you all the best for 2021.


    1. Hey Weenie, I had a lovely Christmas break, thanks, and hope you did too. 🙂 It’s made the rest of winter feel like a major chore though, in contrast.

      Heheheh, if only I was super organised to spread costs over the months! I think it just happened that way. It had escaped me that a reason Dec spends were so low was due to lockdown. And Firelite Junior’s main Christmas present (a bike) was already bought in November. This was less about being organised and more about trying to find a bike which had/has become a hard-to-get item.

      You seem to be plodding on pretty well through this pandemic, taking it in your stride. 🙂 Thanks for your support through the year and all the best to you too! Maybe happy CNY would be more appropriate now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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