August Review

We are lucky to have stunning countryside almost on our doorstep
Relaxation

We actually got out walking in August and decided to go to our local national park. I was meant to be away with my mother, but chose to cancel for obvious reasons. Mr Simple then booked the time off so we could have some days out together. It felt strange to drive so far from home. I hadn’t driven outside of our county since March and I think that I had forgotten how to drive on the motorway. It felt great to be out hiking again.

Mr Simple and I used to spend time walking every weekend when we first met. Now we’re going through a period where we’re focusing on renovating the house, but it was fabulous to be out again. I had forgotten how beautiful it is in that area. The views are breath-taking.

We have a week off this month and promised ourselves we would spend at least one day walking again. We also went on a cycle ride locally, discovering lanes and villages that we’d never visited before. I think that I am at my happiest when I’m enjoying the outdoors. As they say, it’s the simple pleasures…

Instead of sugar I focused on reducing my bread consumption
Personal Development

The topic in my life coaching programme Grow You was managing input e.g. sugar, social media, alcohol. I chose to focus on bread, although I have decided not to cut it out completely and am just eating it on weekends. As you know if you’re a regular reader I have been a committed meal planner for a while now, but over the past month I have not only been planning my evening meals, but also breakfasts, lunches and snacks. When you’ve got a plan it makes it takes the decision-making out of eating. In that way it’s easier to make good choices. I just look at the plan and prepare what it says.

I have not yet mastered ‘Teaser’, but my Pilates is still progressing
Exercise

I have continued to follow my Pilates routine, which although it is only 20 minutes on some days is I feel making an observable positive difference. Mr Simple even commented that I was looking more muscular. I’m far from having the body I would like, but I’m certainly going in the right direction.

My average daily steps were 8,150, slightly lower than my target of 9,000. It is also lower than I have done in a month since March, reflecting perhaps some of the atrocious weather we had in August, which always makes me more reluctant to step outside. In planning for the rain that we always get over the winter I have bought a waxed hat. Mr Simple says that I look like Paddington Bear in it. I think it’s very practical. When you wear glasses, as I do, a hood simply isn’t enough.

Another good month for investing
Numbers
 BudgetActual
Food£100.00£136.51
Toiletries£30.00£33.43
Cleaning products£10.00£9.50
Miscellaneous£40.00£31.95

Like last month I spent nothing on social activities or petrol. Mr Simple and I are very cautious and unlike others have not been tempted to ‘Eat Out to Help Out’.

We made our usual payment of £497.11 towards the mortgage and an overpayment of £650.00, leaving a balance of £63,419.39. I invested £2,180.00 into my ISA, some of which was unspent holiday money and by the end of the month the balance was £23,881.35. Adding other savings to that which are in a fixed term savings account my total was £37,179.33. That doesn’t include the £8,000 I have saved for a new car.

Compared to other’s savings my totals always look very paltry, but what I don’t include is the money in my pensions, which are both defined benefit schemes. One is just growing with the cost of living rises as I no longer pay into it, but my current one increases each year. As they are both defined benefit schemes the total amount invested is not disclosed. This morning I was having a quick look at what I would receive if I worked to aged 67, which I don’t plan to do, but that’s when I will receive my state pension. The three funds combined would provide me with an annual pension of £43,000 i.e. I would achieve a FI number of £1,075,000. I suppose that’s one of the benefits of working in the public sector, although unfortunately it means working until traditional retirement age.

Well, that’s all folks. I hope that August was a good month for you. Perhaps you got out and about a bit more as lock down has eased. I’m just still trying to enjoy spending more time at home and looking forward to a healthier bank balance at the end of the year! Take care, Sam

2 Replies to “August Review”

  1. Hi Sam

    That was quite a good month for you both! Congratulations.

    I have cut out alcohol across eight weeks since the beginning of August ( i may have a glass or 2 on the weekend of the 25th – we are having a 4 day weekend). I have also significantly reduced my bread intake – definitely flattening the curve!

    Instead of Daily Pilates, I am doing daily Yoga. I hope that you are enjoying your pilates as much as i am enjoying my yoga!

    Looking forward to hearing about your September.

    Shaun

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