May & June 2024 update – Financial ruin!

Fun stuff

This update has felt like a long time coming.  As I write, the new government is starting in the UK with Sir Keir Starmer taking over from Rishi Sunak.  I feel some relief as 14 years of Tory rule ends.  It’s time for a change.  

Enough on politics though. 

In our lives things have been very busy and a little stressful.  

May was spent running down my notice period and being worked, in my opinion, unreasonably hard.  There was a deadline which coincided with my last day which meant I got no easy weeks leading up to my last day.  Bummer. However, I can only hope that the client noticed and will consider coming to me in the future. Let’s see.

The May bank holidays were spent relaxing.  We did a nice walk out in Cambridgeshire where we walked a long loop in beautiful fields, soaking in the sun, stopping at a pub for lunch, and then finishing back where we started.  It was beautiful.  Makes me wonder about moving to the countryside.  

We also decided to do some long overdue renovations to the flat.  This included installing a wood floor and redecorating a few rooms. This was stressful because it all happened at once and our flat was turned upside down for a week.  This also coincided with my second week at my new job so not ideal although it did make me look good as I was in the office every day!  The cost was £7200 for the floor and £1600 for the decorating.  More on that below.

Other excitement was that I took off two weeks between jobs.  This was unpaid but totally worth it.  

The first few days were spent ripping up old floor tiles and prepping the floor with a screed for the new engineered timber that would be installed.  

Then I went to New York for 4 days for a stag do.  This was an insane trip but also fun.  Catching up and spending time with friends was excellent.  We stayed in a hotel which had a room for 4.  It was like a bunk room but high end.  It did save us all some money and was comfortable enough for the little time we were there.  Otherwise, it was going to be astronomically expensive.  This still cost me £300 for 3 nights!  The weather was fantastic and we took the opportunity to watch some cricket in the T20 world cup.  As you might imagine the attendance was fairly low which made it quite relaxing for us.

Lots of beers were drunk (only non-alcoholic for me) and a few dinners out were had.  Of course I had the obligatory junk food with “Raising Cains” chicken burger.  We went to a comedy show and also many many bars.  I’m not going to lie, it was a huge challenge not drinking in that situation.  But I didn’t.  

We did also visit the Guggenheim Museum which is excellent and worth doing.  It was also the weekend of the Puerto Rican parade which was quite a spectacle.  

As this is a money blog, I thought I’d share how I was also taken for a ride in New York.  

Two days in a row I got a great coffee from this Puerto Rican coffee shop.  Really nice, direct from grower kind of thing.  On the last day I thought it would be nice to grab a bag of coffee to take back and share with Mrs Wealthster.  I asked the young barista what her favourite one was.  She suggested the whisky infused coffee. Sure!  

I grabbed it and went to pay.  “That will be $42 sir”.  Christ.  I found my hand moving slowly towards the card read.  Beep.  NOOOO why did I buy it?  I felt like I’d been violated.  Anyway, I just had a cup this morning and it was pretty good.  Maybe not $42 worth… but at least I’m helping coffee growers somewhere? 

Following the NY trip, Mrs Wealthster and I travelled to Spain for a relaxing break.  We visited the gorgeous town of Cadaques, which sits on the Mediterranean and was the birth place of Salvador Dali.  It was such a peaceful place to stay.  After, we drove to Barcelona and visited some old friends who now live there.  Then we got the train to Valencia where we visited another friend.  I loved Valencia as it is slightly smaller city but not overrun with tourist.  I feel like it won’t be long though before it is overun.  It was also our 2 year wedding anniversary so it was a good reason to splurge.  We also had a delicious Paella as you do.

Two bad money things occurred on the Spain trip.  First, it was insanely expensive.  Hotels were just so expensive compared to what I remember from previous trips.  And the flight home from Valencia was £280 each on Ryanair.  I felt like I’d been robbed particularly as the flight out was £25!  I looked and looked for alternative flights from difference cities, or getting the train somewhere else, but they had us well and truly shafted.  We had to go, and because it was my first week in my job, I couldn’t take off my first day as annual leave!  

Second, I dented the rental car driving over the mountain road to Cadaques.  That cost me £400!  Luckily, it was covered by my damage insurance so we’re good.  Not a good feeling though as the excess was potentially £2500 so there was a bit of nervousness about returning the car.  

After my first three weeks at work where I’ve been in the office 4 days a week, I’ve also noticed how expensive things have gotten in the City.  Lunch is close to £10 from most places.  I’ve started making my own!  Coffee is £4 for a flat white so I will drink sparingly and use the office coffee machine. 

So this month has been fairly financially ruinous. My savings have been depleted and I’m feeling broke for the first time in many years!  But, sometimes things like house renovations need done.  I must keep reminding myself that we have around £160k available to us so we are at no risk of going broke.  It’s a temporary cash flow issue which will be resolved once I get my first pay.

Why haven’t I done the spending tracking this month? UH I can’t face it. Maybe next time!


No additional money into the ISA this month thanks to the spending on the flat and overspending on many fun things.  

However, the markets have hit all-time highs and so have my investments.  

Net worth has grown from £670k at the end of April to £692K at the end of June.  The FI fund has gone from £441K to £461k. 

These increases are despite me rinsing my emergency fund to pay for renovations as I don’t want to sell any investments.  I think I will have to take out £2000 to pay the final bill of the floor because apparently I missed the payroll cut off and won’t be paid until the end of July, adding to my financial pressure!

Networth has gone from £670 to £692K.  

I had to make a correction from last time as I notices an error in the spreadsheet which caused me to show £5k too much on the networth.  Oops.  Sorry! 

Hope you had a nice May and June. 

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