Mid-Year Financial Review

It’s July  of Summer 2019 and the weather in Dublin has been great. I am taking a moment to do a mid-year financial review which also involves me looking at my goals. I like to review my financial and personal goals regularly to see if they are still relevant and how much progress I am making.
Goal 1

Paying Off My Mortgage Early

I continue down the path of paying off my mortgage early because I’m one of the people firmly on the safe side of guaranteed savings and the psychological benefit of getting close to owning my primary residence free and clear. I am averaging an over-payment of €500 per month and some months I manage a little more. One other thing I am doing on the mortgage front is my FOURTH and final attempt to switch my mortgage. The application is currently processing with KBC. Fingers crossed!

Mortgage Balance
Overpayments made so far in 2019
0 %
Paid Off
Goal 2

Add Value to My House

New Silent Shower

It’s all about that bathroom maintenance this month. One upgrade I am making is a new electric shower. I purchased the Triton T90 SR for €243 euro from Eurosales. They were the cheapest place I found to buy it plus free delivery. Woodies was €10 more expensive. When I did the research I found a few plumbing services for upwards of €350 that would buy and install the shower. I am taking the DIY task on myself and am working around my housemates to plan a suitable time for that disaster. We will see how I get one. 

Cleaning and Re-Grouting Shower Enclosure

Ahead of the installation of the shower I decided to clean the shower really thoroughly. This meant stripping back all the old silicone which had broken down and become a perfect petrie dish for green algae and black mold.

I used my dremel to strip back some of the grout affected by the black moldand cleaned everything down with bleach. After letting it dry, I mixed up some new grout, filled the gaps I replaced the silicon with new anti-fungal sealant.

It did cost me half a sanding disk…

Mid-Year Financial Review - Cleaning Shower Grout
Mid-Year Financial Review - Sanding Disc
Goal 3

Live a Minimalist and Frugal Lifestyle

Bulk Buying Food in Dublin


This month I have decided to experiment with bulk buying some of the most common things I eat to see if I can make a saving and also reduce the amount of waste I generate through grocery shopping. I will be posting a break down of what I bought, how I will use it and if it was worth it in the end. Keep an eye out for that one which I am hoping will include a nice bean burger recipe.

Mid-Year Financial Review - Bulk Buy

Simple Planter Box from Free Pallet Wood


I also continued with my DIY adventures and built a small planter from pallet wood I had collected. It’s a very simple design but also a really enjoyable way to spend a few hours on a nice sunny afternoon. I plan to try to make some more of these and either grow some fruit/veg or propagate some new plants from cuttings or collected seeds.

Mid-Year Financial Review - DIY Planter

I Bought a Second Hand Bike

A relatively small €120 investment that has already starting saving me money in fuel. I am very happy to be reducing my carbon foot print by swapping the care for a much a healthier way to to get around. I was tempted to buy a brand new bike but did that twice before and both were stolen. It’s a particularly infuriating heartache. Honestly, I was angry about it for months afterwards. So I decided on second hand. Yes, I took photos of it and the frame number and I kept the receipt (duh!).
Mid-Year Financial Review - New Bike
Goal 4

Grow the Gap - Increasing my Income

Big News About My Salary for this Mid-Year Financial Review

Big news to report on this financial goal! Good things come to those who wait, or in my case, good things come to those on a pay scale. One of my part-time jobs ticked over on to the next step of the pay scale. Because of this, I now see an increase in my annual salary from €18,555 to €20,203. That’s an increase of €1,648 annually or €137 monthly (before tax).

My other employment also now has a set contract worth €12,000 per year which means my minimum gross annual salary (excluding any overtime or income from other sources) is now €32,203. To give you a bit of context the national average salary in Ireland in 2018 was €38,871 according to the CSO

While some people I know think that my salary is comparatively low, I am actually very happy! You have to bear in mind that I do get more time off than most people and that’s the freedom I am chasing!

Current Gross Salary

Peer2Peer and Stocks Investments – Mid-Year Financial Review

I am continuing to make small monthly steps forward with investing in Peer2Peer platforms and stocks through Degiro. To be honest I did the maths twice on how much interest I have earned so far in 2019 from Peer-to-Peer lending platforms. 

I give a breakdown of my current position in each one and also the interest earned so far in 2019. Please note that most of the links to the platforms are referral links so if you sign up through them I will get a bonus (if you do sign up via my referral link please let me know so I can thank you personally).

Platform NameTotal Account ValueInterest Earned so far in 2019
Mintos (This is an affiliate link)€5,330.84€271.14
Grupeer *Possible Scam as of April 2020€3,128.48€226.17‬
Envestio*this platform turned out to be a scam in January 2020, read more here€467.63€21.27
Flender (This is an affiliate link)€613.00€13.00
Interest Earned So Far in 2019
Goal 5

Save a Deposit for an Investment Property

I was looking at potential properties that would make good rentals. Specifically I was looking for small two or three bedroom houses that needed to be renovated. Ideally close to amenities with strong transport links that are within commuter distance to Dublin. I will continue to research as I save but I am now opening up to the possibility that I have actually already purchased my investment property. The house I already live in. When I started with rent-a-room my current house proved to be easy to rent out in its current condition.

I always dreamed about owning a small place in Co. Wicklow with a large garden. I love the idea of doing up an old house and garden, growing as much food as I can and keeping some chickens. But before I realise my dream, I need to get into a more realistic mindset about affording it. Paying off my mortgage and growing my income are the two best things I can do right now to make this dream a reality. Realistically, I will need at least 30K before I can seriously look at this. At my current savings rate of €500 per month it will take about 2.5 years to get to that point. By then, my mortgage should also be below the 60K mark. Stay calm and carry on saving.

Saved for a Deposit

Dungooloey, Rathgorragh, Rathdangan, Co. Wicklow W91 E5D4

I’m JUST researching! No harm in that. So I spotted this place on Daft.ie and I couldn’t resist the open viewing. It was full of people all attracted by the amazing AMV of €40,000 and the beautiful location. I have no idea how public auctions work but I do know that there is one good way to find out! So on 22nd August, I will attend the auction to try to understand more about the process. Should be fun. I’m going to guess that this property will reach the 100k mark. (EDIT: I was way off, when I attended the auction on 22/9/2019 it sold for €86,000)

The location really is amazing and close enough to the N81. It’s less than 30 minutes to Blessington. The property is plumbed but not connected to ESB. It has oil-fired central heating but used gum piping which hasn’t been active in a long time so put short it will need a new heating system. The joists that divide the property into two floors are sagging and are supported by vertical posts rather than sitting on or in the wall. 

There is also ivy growing in through the roof in various places and a good deal of rot in the facia boards. One other major thing is the slop of the floor. As you move from the bathroom to the kitchen there is a significant enough incline. The garden is a nice size but will also need a serious clearing! 

Sadly, my phone battery died just as I got there. All I managed to record was a quick video of the ground floor. 

Goal 6

Make Work Optional

I realise that this is the most nebulous and aspirational of my goals. This is because it is the one that is almost impossible to measure. I am still working but I am working towards the goal of not working as much. That’s a mouthful. The fact is, I don’t want to full stop working and I really enjoy my jobs. I want to get to a stage where if I didn’t have them, I could survive. Or I have created passive income that could replace one of them entirely. 

My Thoughts on This Mid-Year Financial Review

 I am very pleased with my progress in terms of investing and saving but one things is standing out for me – I am feeling a huge amount of personal satisfaction from my minimalist and frugal living goals.

In writing this mid-year financial review I am reflecting on what I have done. Finding ways to save money, reducing my waste generation and moving away from being a consumer whore who’s only function is to fill the world with more junk. I know I am not making an impact on a global scale but at least personally I feel I am doing what I can to change my world for the better. 

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