October – like all the months this year – flew by. Writing this update for The Twenty Percent feels surreal but somehow, it’s that time again.
This month was fun in many ways, but I’m ending it exhausted. I’m hoping November will bring more sleep.
With only two months left of the year, there’s still so much to do. It’s looking like I’ll have a lot to write in the next two months
Here’s what I’ve been up to in the past month…
- October overview
- Work update
- Freelance update
- October’s investing and saving
- What’s coming up this month
As I’ve already alluded to, this month has been busy.
Socially, I’ve spent a lot of time with my friends and boyfriend. This isn’t always conducive to reaching your financial goals and fitness goals – but it’s part of what makes life worthwhile. I’d rather take a little bit longer to reach my goals than make so many sacrifices to get there slightly quicker.
Tomorrow is never guaranteed so you need to enjoy life while you can and spend time – and usually some money – with the people you love.
Despite these slight fitness setbacks, I still had some running successes.
I competed in three races in three months. The first was the Royal Parks Half Marathon. This was a fantastic race with great support all round the course. It was strange to be around so many people again. I also got a new PB of 1.43.00, so I was very happy!
The next two races were both cross country races. Yes, these do exist outside of school and yes, I do them voluntarily. The latter of these two was a South of England relay championships. My team came 10th, which was a big achievement considering it was the first time we’ve entered.
Apart from running, I’ve enjoyed many a lovely walk with the pup. I’m not enjoying the sheer amount of mud on the ground, however. Fitz is having far more baths now the weather is turning – I don’t think he’s very impressed.
Covid-19 booster vaccines are also underway. I’ve done another two volunteering shifts this month, both in care homes. I’ll be doing more shifts as the winter moves on. It’s incredibly rewarding work and I’m grateful to be a (small) part of the effort against the virus.
Work is still very busy – no surprises there. The news never seems to slow down.
I’m also preparing to take on a much bigger role, so have been undertaking a lot of extra work to prepare for that. This opportunity is equal parts daunting and exciting. So, I’m trying to do as much as possible in advance to put myself in the best position when I officially take on the role in a couple of weeks.
October also saw my first business trip in over 2 years. I went to Jersey and Guernsey for four action-packed days.
Here, I gave two speeches in front of over 70 people – something my anxiety would never have allowed me to do a couple of years ago. I was really proud of myself for pushing through the barriers my mind created and actually enjoyed the experience.
While I like the flexibility of working from home, I’m quickly discovering some things are much better face to face. Socialising with colleagues and contacts in person makes networking far easier and more fun!
In between all of this, I somehow managed to find time for some freelance work. The beauty of writing for a living is you can do it from anywhere. I regularly write on trains, at my boyfriend’s flat, and even in cafes or pubs.
Downtime is very important and I make sure I do switch off and relax every day. Even with this, I still find time to freelance. Being organised allows me to make use of time that would otherwise be wasted.
I’ve written 5 extra articles this month and taken on a couple of editing tasks – leading to invoices totalling £600. Now to start thinking about my self assessment tax return again…
October’s investing and saving
I stepped up my investing this month. I’ve been guilty of keeping a lot of my savings in cash because I’m hoping to buy a house relatively soon.
However, interest rates are virtually non existent and I’m unlikely to be buying a property in the next 12 months. So, I decided to take my own advice and transfer a significant proportion into a Stocks & Shares ISA instead.
Already I’m up 3.5%. Considering I put 5 figures into the ISA, that’s a large return. Of course, it could go down again this month. Overall, I know I should get better returns than keeping the money in cash.
While I’m living with my parents, I’m trying to keep my savings rate high. So far this is working well, but the desire to spend more is strong. Everyone is making up for lost time and it feels there are multiple invitations to go out every week right now.
What’s coming up this month
November is going to be a big month for me.
I’m taking on a new role at work. It’s a big promotion for me and comes with a lot more responsibility and opportunities for me to really make my mark. I’m excited about the new job title but am slightly nervous about all it entails. There’s a lot of work I’ve got to do to get up to scratch first.
For this reason, I may be a bit quieter on here for a while. I’ll try to keep the content coming as much as possible but please be kind if my posts are slightly less frequent than normal. Hopefully I’ll be back to a normal posting schedule by December!
On top of this, I’ll be launching my 2021 #FoodbankAdvent campaign in partnership with the UK Money Bloggers Community. Keep your eyes peeled for ways you can get involved – I may have a few competition prizes on offer…
Don’t forget to follow me on social media @Katie20Percent to keep up to date with all my latest posts.
If you enjoyed The Twenty Percent October spending update, please like and share it on social media. How did you find October? Was it a good month for you or are you hoping for a better November? Can you believe there’s only two months left of the year? Comment your thoughts below!