19 September 2017

Pensions and other stories

I finally got round to printing and filling in the SIPP forms this week. This task had been sitting on my to-do list for a while and as usual I had applied my own particular brand of procrastination to it.

With the new auto enrolment pension rules, I had been opted in to a works pension in my previous job, where I stayed only a short period of time and have been left with a pension of about £23. I also have a Virgin Stakeholder Pension which I started a few years ago and have been regularly adding to. What I wanted to do was consolidate these two into a new pension, one that I would have better control over. I will also be continuing to add to this every month to the tune of £100.

I also have a third pension, newly opened for my current employment and as I intend on staying in this job long-term, I shall consider this to be my main pension and continue to enjoy the free money added to it by my employer and the government. The auto enrolment rules change from April 2018, when my contribution and also what my employer contributes will increase again.

After looking around, I decided to stick with Halifax and open a SIPP with them, this means I can see my SIPP and S&S ISA all in one place. They tell me the transfer will be fairly quick and should go through with no problems. I can then choose what to purchase with the funds in the account. The plan is to buy more VWRL which is what I currently hold within my ISA. Hopefully this exchange will be completed by the end of the month.

In other news, Bella Bird was back in the garage again this month, for some more upgrades. This time she had three new skylights fitted, although there was a bit of a problem with the third one, so she is going back in again next month so they can fabricate an extension to the locking mechanism. I also had some brake work completed, which wasn't urgent, but was on my very long list of things to get done and if they are going to have her in the garage for a few days, I like to have more than one job completed.

We are now almost 2/3 of the way through the month and I have done all my savings transfers for the month. I am pretty pleased with the total figure saved, and with how my expenses are looking so far for September. I have always found that paying myself first works far better than just saving what is leftover at the end of the month.

I have booked ten days off work in October, the first half I am away on a road trip with G. We haven't decided where we are going yet, but it will be on a campsite somewhere in England. The second half, which is half-term week, I shall spend having a lazy time with the kids while Bella Bird is booked in to go back to the garage for another three days.

I am off work today as we are having smart meters installed. I have wanted these for such a long time! We have no electric or gas for two hours which the change over is completed, but I am excited to see if having the new meters will make a change to my utility bills going forward.

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