I don’t really know how it got through January then so far into 2021 without me posting. Not much actually changed for me, and I certainly MEANT to post a few times. I recall having a 1.5 year reflection planned for January but I can’t find it for the life of me. Anyway, I guess I was just busy living through the pandemic (oxymoron?) and doing a few financial tweaks here and there. Anyway, here are a few highlights over the last half year or so:
Finance/FIRE based highlights
- In Jan 2021 (end), I reached £130,739 (£105,739 if excluding one-off SIPP contribution of £25k, which I’d started in Jan). At the end of May, this reached £142,270 (£115,537 exc SIPP).
- As you can see, I’ve kept saving (helped by being unable to do much!) but my record keeping dropped off. My May savings rate was 71%.
- I have at long last started a regular savings into my index funds at an ambitious £2000 a month. (I am able to plug months of larger spends with current savings should this be required.)
- As three fixed rate savings accounts matured and as I’m not buying a BTL property anymore, the proportion of my net worth in investments has continued to rise, which had been a long-term aim.
- In work news, I am requesting to go part-time (0.5fte) – argh!
Yes, you read right. Totally gonna kill my accumulation, but I’d thought about it long and hard really, and while I have made enquiries with my manager, it is not guaranteed. The policy is that they will try to accommodate. Two things expedited this (in hindsight): I have a performance review soon and in preparing for that (CV, achievements to date, colleague and student feedback etc.), I have been quite reflective. Probably with the pandemic too. My health, family, we only live once, that sort of thinking.
Secondly, you may recall that I considered applying for voluntary redundancy last year when the pandemic was fresh with uncertainty. With that, I applied for a few Open University teaching positions (each amounting to several hours a week work). Well, I never heard back… until now. I have a job interview! Well, I think I’ll turn it down, but it has definitely made me think. I hope to write a separate post about all this (but won’t say I definitely will in case I jink it!). Anyway, even at 0.5fte, I think I can save *something*! Could I technically be in “partial FIRE” if my request is successful?! I am stopping myself making financial plans; I just know I won’t eat into my savings or investments with this request, though I’m mindful that my spending might increase.
For good measure, here are a few non-FI “highlights”:
- Darn, home schooling was chaotic when it was happening (Jan – 8th March)! Not really a highlight, but we survived it! Between this, school hols and school social bubbles ‘popped’, it’s been a helluva year for us as working parents and for kids starting school (and everyone else!).
- Since the end of March, I’ve been learning the ukulele. It’s very relaxing and uses a different part of my brain. If truth be told, I may have written a blog post earlier if it wasn’t for this newfound hobby! Together with my bike (I’d not ridden a bike since I was a kid really), these are 2 new things I’ve started doing since the pandemic which enrich my life, and which I never thought I’d start doing. 🙂
- Since lockdown lifted (May 17th), we have enjoyed a few trips away. Caravan in Morecambe, B&B in Scarborough etc. It’s been sooooo good! I miss travel – Understatement of the century, Mr Firelite would say. It’s good to be out of hibernation.
- I’ve continued working from home this whole time. I was going to go in for a meeting this week for the first time since March 2020, but I’m now self-isolating (due to Covid exposure, the app tells me, although I am well. I went to a pub/cafe to work last week.) You can hardly make it up (well, you can, but hey…)
So, this is where I’m at. Eek! My (top) manager told me she’ll certainly look into it for me – whether I can go part-time. So, I eagerly await an update… While it’s been a tough, tough decision (partly because it’s bye bye, career!), I already feel lighter since I requested it (so I know it’s the right decision) and I’m having to stop myself daydreaming about the possibilities of what I’d do with all that free time…!
How has your year been so far, financial and otherwise? Thoughts for another escape plan should my p/t request be unsuccessful? Anyone move to p/t in their role and regret it??!