Bristol ERE journal.

Where are you and where are you going?
bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:22 pm

Long time no see.

I stopped updating as there wasn't really anything to say, but I've still been lurking.

Spent last year plodding along with nothing too spectacular
Here are some quick updates:
2015
May: -2%
June: 42%
July: 77%
August: 30%
September: 58%
November: 38%
December: 55%

Giving a 2015 total saving percentage of 46.85%

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:36 pm

Having plugged these numbers into the standard FIRE calculators and deciding I wasn't up for 17 and a half years more of the current situation I knew something had to change.

Some redundancies were made at my firm, so I wasn't confident at getting a decent raise any time soon so I decided to change it all up. My partner leaving town (US citizen lost job and therefore visa) spurred things on as well.

I left my job at christmas and took some time off to consider next moves, travel with partner.

So January through June were negative. Spent a few months in morocco for really low cost of living, cycle touring and learning to surf. Then a month in Paris which was very expensive.

Picked up a remote PHP contract (not great money for PHP at all, £160 a day, but short term and wanted to break the 6 months off stigma for the future) for July and August and cheap living with partner and parents gave July a savings rate of 83%. I hope august will be the same, so I'm starting to get back to where I was before I stopped working.

My on going plan is to pick up more contracts of a higher day rate (I’m seeing £450 in london and 400 Euros in europe) for 6 months at a time and live cheaply for a couple of months in between at parents, in low cost countries or Woofing, avoiding the pitfall of recent expensive time off.

----------------
edited to correct selective memory about travelling expenses

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:28 pm

August was a little more expensive, but still managed to pull off a savings rate of 72% for the second month of my contract job.
Not really that great, I should have been able to get it higher.

This month I plan to get back on with tracking expenses rather than just totalling everything up, so hopefully that in itself will bring the next months expenses down.

With my contract up and no fixed housing arrangements I've gone to visit my family for what I hope will be a one or two week period while I find the next job.

Plenty of interviews lined up, excited to see where I am by the end of the month.

Aside from that, trying to get back into good habits such as working out, eating right etc after being a bit all over the place for a few months.

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:14 am

I've got 6 Currently lined up interviews, all sound like good fits for me. the variation is only really in location and pay.

3 in London ranging from £350 - £450 a day
1 in Brighton for £300 a day
2 that are mostly remote (the first couple of weeks onsite to get to know the team) for around £300 a day
(after tax will be about 75% of the above)

After some brief research I think I could easily (not very well optimised housing, this will be short notice when it happens) live in London for £1400 a month, and Brighton for £1100.

Whereas I know I can easily get around £900 in Bristol, and cheaper elsewhere. I've also enjoyed working remotely in the past, no commute and freedom for chores to fit into the day makes a big difference.

I guess we'll see what comes back, and find out if I get to choose!

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:34 am

I put all the data I've got on the last 19 months into a spreadsheet so here's a tasty chart.

Image

I'm disappointed that my monthly expenses are averaging around £1300, I think they should be more like £1000. some work to do there.
Hopefully the yellow line should start moving up in an encouraging fashion shortly.

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:04 am

Interesting month on the work front. After several offers I took a 12 month remote contract for a company in Belgium. I started midway through the month with two weeks on site and then came back to the UK for the remainder of the month. Nice to get back to working with a team again, and it's been interesting so far working that dynamic remotely.

I'll need to go out a few more times over the year but there is a rate increase for on site so no problems.

Rough calculations indicate that this contract should get me around £50k after tax in the next 12 months.

This month looks pretty bad from the numbers however (most expensive ever), as I'll receive no income until next week and all of my business expenses were paid out of pocket.

There are some big one off expenses in here, accountancy and insurance for the year as well as travel and accommodation in Belgium. I'll be repaying myself for these from my business account next month as they will be tax deductible.
I also did very badly while abroad with eating out, next time I need to get a handle on that.

Incoming:
£119 - One odd job

Outgoing:
Business expenses: £1729
Eating out abroad: £336
Alcohol £62
Groceries £84
Mobile £8.50
Clothing £53
Cycling gear £30

The rest of the expenses are imporroved by no housing cost. The groceries would have been higher without all of the eating out though.
Clothing was probably due a refresh but brought forward a bit to be smarter in my clients office.

Accommodation for a friends birthday / surfing trip next month: £40

Next month should be much better. I'll have real income again and no housing costs (housesitting). I am going to start learning to drive but try to keep the cost down. I don't plan on owning a car but there have been several occasions recently that a rental would have been cheaper than public transport and I feel like I should have this skill by now.

I need to sort out my housing for the next few months, I've been floating around parent's and partner's houses and have now landed this housesitting gig. With this remote Job I have no need to be anywhere in particular until my partner starts a masters program next September. Considering cheap places in southern Europe for a three or four month stretch.

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:56 am

Other notable things:
I opened an ISA and deposited £1000 which will soon be my first serious investment.
(I have a few hundred pounds in p2p and some green energy debentures)
I got hold of some freedompop sim cards, so my mobile bill will hopefully be £0 going forward

Noedig
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:15 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by Noedig » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:23 am

Hi Bristoldude

Sounds like your ass is in gear. Brussels. Awesome. Area near station somewhat alarming I recall. Oh however the moules frites with biere.

Managing a homeworking situation is a challenge when you are in a distributed team: hope you find a way to make it work for you without having to cudgel yourself against your tendencies. Seriously, best of luck with managing to feel the flow there.

Re Accountants I hear good things about the cheapo Crunch accountancy. However don't use them myself, still with SJD after many years.

Excellent news re investment. Keep the savings rate going for a year and you will be *amazed* when the money and gains start to steadily roll in. Like most here I have slowly gravitated towards Vanguard, with my current faves being the High Yield and High Div and Global funds. Monevator did a study this year on cheap brokers.

Re Considering cheap places in southern Europe, chap I met on the bike bus down to Orange from UK, had spent winter on beaches in Portugal. Still warm by standards of Barnsley, he said.

Good luck mate. Sounds like you are in gear and all set.

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:08 am

Thanks @Noedig

I did go with Crunch accountancy, as I'd used them a few years ago. I paid for the whole year up front for a 10% discount, just caused a bit of a spike in expenses!

Very alarming all around Brussels at the moment, with a large military presence at many of the stations.

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

October update

Post by bristoldude » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:39 am

moneydashboard.com just rolled out an update that's messed up my accounting so the expenses are subject to change when that all gets sorted out. They say there's another update due mid november.

Expenses seem to be around £550.
There's no rent in there as I'm house sitting this month, but there is a flight to Spain in January where I plan to relocate for 6 months or so.
I'll get into more details here once moneydashboard sorts itself out.

Income:
£2340
Some investment income and I sold an old guitar pedal on ebay but most of this is 2 months salary from my web development company.
There's a fair bit still in the company as well, to cover expenses of an expected business trip before the end of this year and starting to cover my salary to the end of the financial year. I'll worry about how / when to take the rest of the money out once that's all covered and I've repaid myself the expenses from last month.

That puts me at approximately 77% savings rate. pretty good but perhaps not great with no rent!

I'll be renting a room from a friend (back in Bristol) for the next two months and then visiting family for Christmas for a few weeks before heading to Spain. Currently looking at Airbnb for the first month then I'll see if I can get a better deal. Airbnb in Spain already feels like a great deal, whole apartments for what I'm renting a room for in Bristol.

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:08 pm

so an update for october now the software has sorted itself out..

Expenses were actually £660 putting me at around 70% certainly should be better with no rent!
The big culprits as I see them are:
eating and drinking out £59.65
Take-away £70.90

The takeaway is particularly pointless. Removal of this as an expense is my new aim!
Eating out and drinking out will be bad in november december as I'm visiting my old city, lots of catching up with friends and Christmas parties. I'll try and keep it together.

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

November update

Post by bristoldude » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:28 pm

November was my highest earning month on record!
Also the most expensive month as well, but quite a lot of expenses for the next few months included:

in £4720 - a good lump of this is repaying myself business expenses from a few months back, but a good month anyway.

out: £3160

rent £1,605.00 - so, the good things first, this includes 3 months rent, I've no more accommodation costs until the middle of February.

and the bad things:
Take-away £21.02
Dining and drinking £325.4
Hotel: £500
fairly ridiculous spending here. obviously overexcited about being back in my old city. Not much to say except somehow December needs to be less and then I'll be clear..
The hotel I may get half back at some point. It's an airbnb for me and partner for a week. This was essentially a required relationship expense that comes from not having my own place. Need some private time. I can't see this being repeated at all next year as we will either be living together or with enough privacy anyway.

The rest was a bit spendy but not outrageous. £75 on some shoes I hope will last for several years.

saving 36% - obviously not great, hopefully the rent free months will make this worthwhile.

I'm only working 7 days in December due to clients Christmas slow down, so there's not going to be loads of money coming in at the start of January, but I'm looking forward to having some clear time to sort through my seemingly endless todo list before heading back to visit family for the holidays.

The next few months are looking good. I've booked an AirBNB in Granada in Spain for mid January to February. If I like the place I'll look into moving into cheaper accommodation after that. Pretty excited about the trip!

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:57 am

Nice embarrassing new year update, without any rent payments I managed to spend £1058 in December.

£200 of that is Christmas presents, £160 groceries and £80 public transport around the country visiting family.

The remainder was holiday related drinking and eating out. Not happy about the amount I spent but had a very good time at least.
Not going to be too down on this, just need to do better in the future.

Income was low at £1232, mostly the minimal salary I'm drawing from my company with some cash gifts.
The company is now in the position to pay this salary until the end of the tax year (April) cover all expected expenses and start paying out to me in profit.

I'm not sure there's any advantage to me removing the profit before April just to inflate my income numbers, so I'll probably leave it in the company to save on paperwork, then take it all out in one lump. (march should look very good!)

JollyScot
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:44 am

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by JollyScot » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:34 pm

Good to see your contracting route is going well, I’ve had a couple since being “retired” and the risk that people usually associate with it just doesn’t seem to exist.

From what I have seen in the UK the multiple between a permanent role and a contract role is much higher than elsewhere. The UK seems to have come to the point where those with in demand skills seem to get paid a lot less than equivalent roles in other regions.

Still keep up the good work you will be done in no time

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:33 pm

This contract is actually coming to an end at the end of the month, quite a bit sooner than expected due to a lack of work in the client company..

I'll have had essentially 4 months of work from this gig, and cleared about £2k under what I would have taken for a whole year of regular employment (after tax on both).

Seems like a good deal, ideally now I'll take a few weeks off and then land something else.


Something that struck me was how well I took the news that the contract was ending. The cushion is getting comfortably large.

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:44 am

January:
in: £1,161
out: £749
35.49% saving rate brings me to only negative 6% for the last 12 months. ha.

If I don't pick up another contract before then I've currently got this salary covered to the end of April and around £9,000 profit to take out as well.

Lingering £250 drinking / eating out expenses, Mostly at the front of the month while still in the UK.
£60 health insurance for 3 months in Spain.

Spain is a wonderful change from the UK, sun shining, great food. Working on my Spanish.

Interested to see what a full month in Spain means expenses wise (I'll still be in an airbnb) and how quick I pick up the next contract when I really start looking.

Hoping to stay remote and in Spain, but won't be picky for too long.

Jason
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by Jason » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:04 am

I heard Barcelona is beautiful. I've never been to Europe. The world scares me. Good luck with everything.

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:19 pm

Barcelona is beautiful as is the rest of Spain, and the world is on the whole very very safe.

Thanks for the luck.

Jason
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by Jason » Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:54 pm

My in-laws are Italian and went to Italy and then Barcelona and were raving about Barcelona - its architecture and its cleanliness. I think if they could have said, it they would have admitted to liking it more than Italy. But that would be treason.

I will use this opportunity to vent a frustration with America: lack of high-speed rail.

I hate flying, but don't fear flying, I fear airports, I fear waiting in line. I fear taxis and snoring people sitting next to me. I fear losing time and getting lost.

When my father was dying, I was sitting with him and saying how does this friggin country not have a high speed rail that I can get on in order to see you every weekend. People are flying through Europe at speeds of excess of 200MPH as we speak and all we have is Amtrak and now I have to get in my rent-a-car drive to the hotel, then drive to O'Hare and fly to Newark and take a bus to get to my car.

Its obviously the airlines lobbying against this.

Thank you for hearing me out.

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:37 am

Long distance relationships are expensive. Worthwhile though, and thankfully it should only be long distance until September.

As further remote work was not quickly forthcoming I've come to the USA where my partner is working until the summer. This will probably be the last time I see her until September, or at least the only decent chunk of time. I'll stay for a few weeks.
I can't work here but I'm getting the CV brushed up and getting leads on new contracts in the UK. I think I'm going to go and do a short stint in London for the big money until reuniting with my partner in Scotland in September. I've also been doing some open source code and learning some new skills (dev ops mostly).

An expensive month: £1,340 with flights, too much eating out and drinking etc.
Really struggling to keep this in check while moving around so much. I should have a pretty stable 3 or 4 months working coming up followed by two or more years in Scotland in one place. Hopefully that stability brings more reasonable expenses.

On the income side, I started withdrawing profits from my business before the financial year end in April, resulting in highest ever monthly income of £7,039.00 (artificial really as I did no work this month), 80% savings for the month, 23% savings YTD and finally getting back to record net-worth of £18.5k. Next month should look similar, still figuring out the taxes that will be due and some final expenses.

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:52 am

I also realised today that I've reached more than 1x trailing years expenses in networth, though if my expenses were what I think they could be I'd be almost at 2x.

anyhoo, only 24x more to go ;)

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:28 pm

Wow, some late transactions from last month just showed up, a lot more stuff that I thought would show up this month.
£2,072.00 out means I'm actually only 0.94 years of savings.

I'm due a £250 refund on a flight that got cancelled, but I replaced it with a £400 flight so thats not great.

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:10 am

March:

A pretty interesting month, quite disjointed.
A couple of weeks living with my partner in the states, a long weekend in NYC, flight back immediately followed by an interesting PHP gig, that was unfortunately in a small, expensive village outside a small expensive city..

I tried for a week commuting by train and bus from a nearby larger more affordable city but couldn't bear the 3.5 hour round trip (minimum), so I gave a weeks notice on the Friday, thankfully still in a trail period.

I've just secured a new gig, in a city I don't know, but where I have some friends and my sister has recently relocated, more on how this pans out in next months update no doubt.

out: £954 - better than usual, but lots of waste in here.
in: £4176 - pulling the years remaining profit out of my business. There's a strong chance I'll hit the higher rate tax bands in the new tax year so I've pulled out as much as possible this year.

I'm hoping the new gig will provide a few months of stability to allow me to regain some good habits.
The last year has left me flabby and weak.

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Thu May 18, 2017 1:12 am

April - better late than never..

The new gig's going well, and at £450 a day is the most I've ever earned. This money appears to be a bit of an anomaly outside of London so I'll try and keep this going as long as possible. Settling into the new city (Birmingham) pretty well after a tedious first two weeks in hotels and crap airbnb's.

out: £1,745
£200 groceries
£90 on trains for a couple of trips to different cities to visit freinds
£30 on taxis
£20 dentist
£140 shirts, smart trousers, shoes for the new gig
£10 mobile phone
£300 rental deposit
£950 Drinking, Eating out & cash I took out..

remarkable lazy expenses. so many takeaways and eating out / drinking around the city move. Lots of drinking out in socialising with work and acquaintances I'd like to be friends in new city.. There was a stag weekend in here as well.
Completely ridiculous and needs dealing with (hence me actually splitting it out for the first time in months!)
At least the £300 deposit should come back.

in: £1,907
£400 of this is cash gifts, it was my birthday this month and I hadn't let anyone buy me anything for the last couple of years..

bristoldude
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Re: Bristol ERE journal.

Post by bristoldude » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:00 am

May, Getting pretty slow with these updates but trying to keep them coming.
Embarrassment at high and luxurious expenses may be playing a part.

Still going with gig in Birmingham, enjoying it and there seem to be prospects of extension, though I may need to make the location a bit less fixed to allow for relocation with my partner in September. Having moved into a shared house I feel much more relaxed and am getting to enjoy the city.

Out: £2,753.74
This is a really outrageous amount for a month, and is the highest for a long time.
~£500 of this is business expenses I'll be refunded.

In: £2,046.74
I'm averaging out the money I take out of my company from April to April for security and so I can figure out my taxes. This level could already be sustained through April and will continue to rise if / as I get more Gigs.
Anything that would take me into the higher rate of tax I'll either take as pension or leave in the company in case of time off in the future.

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