Hello and welcome to another monthly update!
September has been a busy month. I celebrated my 42nd birthday with a night away at a lovely country pub which was a real treat; my eldest two children started back at school (hooray!) and work has been busy as it always seems to be. What else did September bring?
What Happened In September?
I had three goals for September:
- Finalise the second car switch
- Complete my Each Way Betting Guide
- Start engaging with other FIRE bloggers
Car Switch #2
Well, during the month I managed to complete the second car switch so we are now completely free of all car financing and I solemnly swear never to return 🙂
With the second car, it was a case of clearing the remaining finance and then trading in the car for something of similar value – a straight swap. The existing car was a diesel and with all the negative press around diesel cars right now, it felt as though the value of the car was falling faster than it would do be depreciation alone. I think the negativity is a little bit overdone personally, but valuations appear to be plummeting as a result, so I was keen to swap out of that for a petrol equivalent. Job done!
It certainly feels good to know we own both our cars now and are not on the hook to any finance companies.
Each Way Betting Guide
My Full Guide To Each Way Betting is now complete so take the time to check it out should a side hustle in betting be your cup of tea 😉
The guide itself is quite long, but hopefully lays out exactly what is involved with a clear step-by-step process you can follow along with. I’ve tried to keep things as simple as I can but do let me know if you need any help or have questions.
Having started back in July, I now have three full months under my belt now and managed to double my money so far so this is certainly a promising source of side income if a little unconventional 🙂
Engage With Other FIRE Bloggers
Now that I have a little bit of content on the site I am trying to focus on getting readers to come and say hello! One such way to do this is to reach out and comment on other blogs that I enjoy reading and follow. I need to do more of this, as well as getting my social media profiles structured properly but this is all work-in-progress and building an audience I suppose.
Going forward I think I will start to provide links to my favourite FIRE reads of the month from other bloggers that I like and follow, so keep an eye out for those next month!
Net Worth Snapshot
Right, let’s take a look at some numbers for September. Below I break down my current financial assets as at the end of the month and compare these to last month totals:
Much like the turn in the weather, clouds formed on the Pursue FIRE financials during September!
Overall, my total net worth took one on the nose, dropping 1.2% to £540,435 (a decrease of £6,551). Excluding property, this was a slightly higher 1.8% decrease to £303,021 (a decrease of £5,574).
In all reality, the bulk of this drop was due to the £5,841 spent from our cash & equivalents, which was money spent to complete the second car switch I talked about above. This cash was left over in last month’s figures and was being kept aside for September. Everything else was mostly sideways if a little negative overall. Unsecured debt edged down a little; investments and pensions were flat and house equity took a noticeable drop.
In terms of property itself, trying to accurately value your home is always challenging but its clear that the UK housing market is stalling and that is starting to be reflected in my figures. If you are interested how I track the value of my home, I do this by downloading the Nationwide House Price Index returns each month and apply the returns against the purchase price of my home from 3-years ago. This gives me a rudimentary ballpark figure based on broad averages.
To refine this a little further, I then refer to Zoopla and get their estimation of my actual property value. Again, this is anchored around the most recent purchase price, but then overlays price trend data specific to my local area. I then take the median of these two figures to arrive at a fair consensus for the current value of my property.
In terms of working out the mortgage balance remaining. I have built my own amortization schedule so that I know each month exactly how much I have paid and what equity I have in my home. I then confirm this by getting an up to date balance with my mortgage lender by way of their smartphone app.
Of course, it’s not ever going to be 100% accurate but I think this is a sensible approach. Now that we have been in our current home for three years I will probably get some estate agents round to give us an idea on valuation. If we are way off the mark with our numbers we’ll refine up or down accordingly.
So how does this impact the year-to-date picture? Well, my total net worth remains 13.4% higher than at the start of the year (+£63,865) and, excluding property, that’s an overall increase of 17.9% (+£46,067).
I’m still very pleased with these rates of growth and they are consistent with previous years. I’ve been tracking my net worth consistently since December 2014 and my annualised growth in net worth since then (3 years and 9 months) is 13.7% including property and 20.8% excluding property. Perhaps next month, I’ll put up a longer-term chart showing you these values over time.
Focus Areas For The Coming Month
In the coming month, I will have one main focus area:
- Create more content – I need to get all the posts sitting in ‘draft’ mode out the door!
As always, thanks for taking the time to read 😉
Until next time!
Do you have any comments, questions or tips for me? Please let me know by leaving a comment below