What Financial Independence really means to me…

I have done a post previously on what financial independence means to me but I wanted to now write it from a slightly different and more interesting angle fitting more of where I am now along the journey. I thought it would a good idea to construct a few different scenarios and paths towards FI. This is also good timing for me as I will be coming towards the end of Project 2235 next year and will likely commit towards one of these such paths. An important reason for this possible change is due to the income from my second side hustle coming to an end after three years (£500 less per month). Also, as a reminder, Project 2235 is essentially a big target of mine to reach a portfolio of £250,000 (Base bare bones FI) at the end of 2022 when I will just about by a whisker still be 35 years old. 

After detailing these different paths, I will then focus on some different attributes and circumstances where financial independence and finances influence in ways that matter to me, specifically when it comes to that all important lifelong happiness. I will then score and rate how my different paths help in achieving these whilst also adding in a few others that might not matter so much to me personally but might to others just to make it more interesting and fun. From these scorings, I should then be able to choose the path with the most points overall. I will weight the attributes in scores according to their importance to me.

Once I have done this, I will then look at reviewing which path I would choose if I were to start again from scratch with different circumstances. I will update the paths timeframe to FI and the scores accordingly.

General Paths to take

Below shows different paths I could take towards FI given my current circumstances. I chose the amusing two opposite ends of the spectrum of being a Monk where almost no money is spent other than bare bones outgoings and that of a gangster where nothing was saved/invested and everything was spent, I then included some more middle ground strategies. I know though that there are many variations of these one could take and I could also look to improve salary, get another job etc to change this even more but these are the base level paths for myself as it stands with my projected portfolio as of next December (End of Project 2235).

Age 35 (Mortgage free, £250,000 PortfolioMain job with a side hustle)


It’s worth clarifying that I am currently more or less in the same position as Gangster monk when it comes to weekly disposable albeit slightly less and have about three quarters of the yearly big expenses fund due to my 2nd side hustle which as previously mentioned is unfortunately coming to an end after 3 years and I will then be £500 a month down on my current income.  This is a big reason for looking at a possible strategy change as I am currently happy with things as they are at my current income and I don’t wish to get another side hustle unless it involves almost zero effort to replace the £500!

What do I actually want out of life? Why Pursue FI?

I could probably write a ten part series on this topic but I certainly won’t be doing that right now :). So… If I was to focus in on just a few key areas of importance to me in the grand living of life that would cross over with financial circumstances then I would highlight the following.

Increased Peace of Mind & Freedom (Remove negatives)

When it comes to finances impacting your life, it is often due to the lack thereof no doubt. As much as there can be different  unique problems with being a multi-millionaire, it’s pretty much the not having of money available that cause many of life’s worries and problems. One of the biggest benefits for me out of working towards Financial Independence has been the bonuses picked up a long the way, some of which are unlocked fairly early on.

Being able to lower or completely eliminate having bad debt and having a financial buffer are two hugely impacting benefits that can be obtained well in advance of even getting a third of the way toward achieving FI. The removing of a lot of the worries and others negative emotions that can exist when having debts hanging over you, and in not having money available for unexpected outgoings is awesome.

The next level of increased peace of mind comes from having such a big financial buffer that this buffer turns into FU Money. This helps in giving you the warm fuzzy feeling of not having to stand an awful job for the fear of not being able to cope financially in the interim, it allows you to speak your mind a little more freely as living month to month is now so far back in your rear view window. It allows you take take more risk, possibly to even start your own business or perhaps to consider a different career. Doing these such things from the position of FU is far easier and options available become far greater. The possessions of a large financial buffer also means there is much less immediate impact from a job loss triggered from redundancy or ill health.

Scoring attributes
Financial Buffer, Low or no debt, Less Job-loss impact, FU Money

Increased Abundance

When it comes to the impact of healthy finances and in particular a good flow of money being available to spend – The increased level of abundance that can be obtained is a huge benefit. Life can already provide much abundance of course and often times much of this can be free and relatively cheap no doubt. It however is also true that there is increased options and choice available when there is more money at hand. This can help add more food and drink to the buffet table of life so to speak. This can be in the form of increased travel and holidays, expensive purchases that can then provide on-going experiential happiness going forward such as buying an iPad, ps5, new guitar etc. There can be more disposable income which can allow you not to sweat over frequently gifting things to people, eating out, going on weekends away etc. This all helps to lubricate life in a positive way.

Scoring attributes
Holidays abroad, Multiple weekends away, Good disposable income (multiple activities), Everything designer Label, Big ad-hoc expensive purchases, Frequent Gifting, Frequent big expensive purchases, Amsterdam every month

Early retirement possibility

Now we get to discuss one of the major elements and goals of Financial Independence for most people involved in the pursuit – the ability of course to retire early. As readers will be aware, there are many different attitudes and goals within the FI scene and some people will simply aim to retire as early as possible whilst others may be pursuing just the ability to retire if so desired. I certainly now fall into the latter camp although originally I was firmly entrenched in the first.

For me, the huge benefit when it comes to early retirement goals is the ability to be in a sense early retirement ready. Work in older age can become completely voluntary and along the journey, there can be a sense of progressing along a scale of working also becoming more voluntary the closer and closer you get to being able to retire early. This feeling and situation certainly makes work stress feel less of an issue in my experience. The other main benefit of course relating to pulling the trigger on early retirement is the increased freedom of time. You can then choose to free up time by stopping working early but still have the option to carry on if you feel the time spent at work is still valuable and enjoyed.

Scoring attributes
Voluntary work in old age, Early retirement, More freedom of time

Risks

When it comes to working towards financial independence. There can sometimes be risks of having the pursuit rise above all else. It can be possible to pursue it from the perspective of fully admitting that you are delaying happiness now and depriving yourself to an extent for future predicted happiness. This can be done by investing every last penny and forgoing things in the here and now. The risks with doing this could be that you will never actually see your idilic version of early retirement or that when you get there, your health may not allow you to enjoy it as fully as you had hoped. There is also of course the opposite risk of not being able to retire early and due to this, you may need to work in a job you dislike for a long time and perhaps even during some period of chronic Ill health where working could make your illness even worse – work becomes pretty much forced.

Scoring attributes
Depriving yourself, Early death/illness risk, Working mandatory during Ill health/old age, Longterm work stress

Strategy Review Scoring (Age 35 – Mortgage free, £250,000 Portfolio – Main job with a side hustle)

Now that I have detailed some of the most important themes and attributes of why financial circumstances and seeking financial independence matter to me, I will now look at reviewing the strategies against these.

Points awarded are out of 5, with 5 being the best and 0 the worst

(N) This equals the weight of the score so if this is two then the points will be doubled


FI strategy at 35 Post Project 2235 – And the winner is…

Gangster Monk

Using the scoring adjusted for weighting based on importance to me, I can see that the middle path of the gangster monk gives me the biggest bang for buck on life happiness. This strategy would result in me taking around 3 years longer to reach FI however when balancing for risks and considering in turn focussing on happiness both in the now and later, it should result in more happiness when spread over the 12 years it would take to actually achieve financial independence. This really does confirm my gut feeling choice which would have been somewhere between FIRE Monk and Gangster Monk. I already have so many of the benefits at this stage of my journey towards FI that delaying my actual fully FI ready date by just over 4 years would not actually matter to me as I know I’d likely be happier along the way. 

What if I was starting from fresh?

As described in the introduction, I thought it would be interesting to see whether my choice of path was influenced more by my current position of being mortgage free and having a large portfolio to begin with and if I would choose the same path if starting again. I have chosen age 30 as this might be a typical age to start after getting to a decent salary and perhaps paying off some debt etc. I could of easily have been in this situation myself if it wasn’t for fortunate circumstances and the discovery of FI. I have adjusted the investments and weekly disposable figures slightly due to having £700 less income due to now having to pay for a mortgage. These however still reflect the broad ratio of my first scenario figures.

Age 30 (Mortgage monthly £700 payment, £0 Portfolio at start)
Main job with a side hustle (same income as now)


Strategy Review Scoring – Age 30 (Starting from fresh)

Points awarded are out of 5, with 5 being the best and 0 the worst

(N) This equals the weight of the score so if this is two then the points will be doubled


FI strategy at 30 (£0 Portfolio with a Mortgage) – And the winner is…

Gangster Monk

This result is very interesting to me as if I were in this position and I was starting from scratch, I would value more of the benefits along the way it would seem than actually being able to retire very early. All of these options barring the Pro Gangster and Pro Monk approach would likely have to involve a bridging period in order to be able to retire decently early. This would mean my eventual post FI income figure may need to rely and come more from my pension income than is with my current actual position. In that option I am planning to use my state and private pensions more as contingency and safety nets in the worse case scenario where my FI Pot was depleted. These would provide more of a basic income. This has always given extra peace of mind and is done for similar reasons when preferring to own my home outright mortgage free.

I do know that this option will also include the fact that during the latter years of this strategy, I may no longer be paying the mortgage and also that there would of course be room for possible job promotions etc but for simplicity and due to this matching with my current circumstances barring the highlighted differences, I have no intentions right now of working for higher management roles or changing my job for higher pay. I like to imagine that in this imagined scenario, I am also doing the same exact job where I am happy in my role and company.

Conclusion


Well… it really does seem as though I am going to be leaning more towards the gangster monk strategy going forward. This will mean that my investments each month will be close to halved and I will be in effect delaying being Early retirement ready by 3 years. I feel though that this is completely worth it due to the benefits in happiness along the journey itself and also to mitigate some of the risks of depriving yourself and of possibly not being able to see this proposed better future life, especially when you have deprived yourself along the way to reach it.

When looking at the strategy if I were to hypothetically start this again without some good fortune that I had along the way, I am further more made to feel very grateful to my current circumstance. I would though in this imagined scenario still strive fully towards financial independence. I would in turn pick up some of the benefits very quickly towards the start of the journey and would still live life well now, I would live for both now and tomorrow. The longer length to achieve FI might indeed mean I would have to create a bridge between my FI Pot and pension money to retire in my early 50s however the fact early retirement would still be an option would still be incredible. I would still be a gangster monk. 😅

As always, Love to hear your thoughts, TFJ.

Get Rich Quick versus Get Rich Slowly…

What with the recent GameStop events and Bitcoin reaching almost $60,000 per coin. I thought a good subject to discuss would be my own thoughts on getting rich quick, sometimes very quick. I also wanted to make the post a bit broader to include other methods that are perhaps not exactly get rich quick approaches but could no doubt result in getting to FI quicker than my current get rich slow approach.

I am writing this post as much as anything to also help get down my own thoughts on paper so to speak, in a structured way to help myself work through my own recent FOMO feelings and to as always get much valued opinions from my friends in the FI community. 

My current position & plan (Get Rich Slowly)

First to lay down the foundation here. I myself am in a very fortunate position to have a good opportunity to end up becoming financially independent in my life. I have a shot at reaching close to 1 million in liquid portfolio terms perhaps by my mid 50s and to achieve Base Bare Bones FI at 35.  It will take me another 20 years or so to get to this Full Fat FIRE stage and I am already several years into my FI journey thus far. I feel immense gratitude for even having a shot at this to begin with which I have discussed here before.

To recap, I am taking the following broad approach to achieving FI:

  • Have a decent good professional main income
  • Have a side hustle earning a little extra income per month
  • Own a mortgage free home
  • Have £10,000 in a Cash is King Fund at all times 
  • High savings rate (50%+ Plus)
  • Invest monthly into Vanguard funds with a mixture of stocks/bonds (LifeStrategy)
  • Essentially my strategy is Investing into the continued growth of humanity through being invested in all major companies and governments (Their failure would likely be bad for all of us irrespective of whether you are invested or not)  
  • Using the 4% SWR with plenty of buffer available monthly so I can take less money when large bears appear
  • The insurance policy if the above didn’t work will be having State and Public pensions that would kick in at 68+
  • The additional insurance policy would also be of a likely inheritance at some point

Two friends seeking Get Rich Quick plans

The reason for this post as mentioned has in large part been from the recent huge gains in cryptocurrency and the increased awareness by many of communities online like wallstreetbets. These events in particular have rubbed off on people I know personally. I have two good friends who have been discussing at length with me of their journey towards riches – one of which is a very good friend of mine who has been studying get rich quick schemes in general and who really really wants to become a multi-millionaire at some point in his life. 

The other friend is an ex boss who is obsessed with all things crypto and who is, it seems currently strapped on top of a rocket heading for the moon no less. (Why you would want to go to a cold and desolate land devoid of life is odd to me but still…)

Crypto moon landing ex boss

This ex boss of mine who I consider a good friend has been chronicling the journey of crypto for me for a few years now. I first got to know him just before the crypto bull-run in late 2017. He had always been bullish on crypto before this but during this rise, he insisted that I get into it and ride the money train as he called it then. From memory he tried to encourage me daily to invest when it was around $10,000 and with it going to $20,000 before a collapse I would of indeed made some money if I had sold at the right time however I had a feeling that it would certainly crash and I simply didn’t want to join in on something that firstly, I didn’t really understand, and secondly what appeared to me something that was only rising due to people wanting to make money. I didn’t want to follow the crowd at the time.

Fast forward to when Bitcoin was at $5,000 just over a year ago. My boss almost begged me to invest my money as he assured me Bitcoin would be at $100,000 within a year or 2. He said it was pretty much a guarantee but then occasionally would advise not to go all in but you should put lots on the table he said. I set up an eToro account and created a virtual fund comprised of Bitcoin and Etherium to the value of over half of my money at the time which was £100,000. I did this to show him what might have happened if I listened to him and held (diamond hands 💎💎). I checked this account at various times and saw that it had doubled and then went up to £400,000 sometime last year. I recently checked and saw that the value was now stood at £1.1million.

EToro Virtual Wallet


Original Investment£100,000.00
Increase %1018.6%
Holdings£1,108,012.98

I’ll be honest, I was a little bit annoyed at this no doubt but I found it amusing to be fair. I was expecting to prove to him that it was a bad idea to listen to him at that time but the reality is that its still hindsight to me as at the time when he told me it would go up and I’d make loads of money, just in the same way as if someone would right now say it will go to $500,000 a coin I’m a year from now. It would not be a rational move with my current goals or mindset to invest £100,000 of my hard earned money into something so speculative and volatile as this. That was the case then and is still the case now. It’s the same reason I wouldn’t be frustrated if I didn’t invest £100,000 on Liverpool beating Man City 2-0 when I now know that was the actual result later on.

Also, If you are wondering if he became a millionaire out of this? Well no he didn’t as he was trying to make money from other alt coins instead and was trading Bitcoin rather than buying and holding, he should have listened to his own original advice perhaps 🤔. The fact is, if I had done this. I would have been taking a ridiculously huge risk that goes against my nature and goals and even if I had done it, I would have probably sold when it doubled and not held all the way to the current heights. I can only laugh at this now though, it’s the only way to make the pain more bearable 😄.

Any Get Rich Quick scheme will do friend

The next friend of mine to talk about seems to be obsessed with wealth creation strategies. He has researched heavily into get Rich quick schemes during the last year via YouTube and online via various websites and by reading countless books. He has been very tempted to dabble with cryptocurrency but hasn’t as of yet. He doesn’t really have that much money available or a clear easy route to FI as it currently stands and I think he is representative of many people who are pursuing Get Rich Quick ideas.

He is by no means fully gullible and naive don’t get me wrong, he does indeed question schemes claims but believes he only needs to find one small nugget in an otherwise sea bed full of sand and rocks. He often talks to me about the latest method he is looking at and is even now tempted to try and stock pick the next Amazon or invest in the next meme stock. This stems from him following the GameStop story very closely and wanting to benefit from momentum investing. He certainly has a large dose of FOMO running through his veins at all times lately.

Methods of getting Rich


Whilst being a close witness to my two friends who are seeking getting rich quick and sometimes very quickly. I have also done some of my own thinking on this subject and have detailed some of the ways I or others could look at getting rich quick or quicker and what I personally think of them. For obvious reasons, I have excluded any illegal methods :D.

Get Rich Quick

  • Receive a large inheritance 
  • Play the lottery or similar big win competitions
  • Gamble on betting sites and/or casinos
  • Gamble on speculative investing (Including day trading/options – YOLO – Diamond hands baby! 💎💎)
  • Find an unknown or rare strategy that reliably earns large sums of money

When it comes to the ways above for getting rich quick. I think the speculative risky investments or actions such as sports betting and casinos are simply pretty much all essentially gambling where you are very unlikely to succeed especially in the long term. Also when it comes to stock picking the next Amazon or day trading, I think I know myself very well and that risking my own money and possibly chasing losses might be the undoing of me similar to my very close to dangerous experience with matched betting was that I have talked about before.

As for playing the lottery or entering competitions for me are just so unlikely to result in a big win, I personally wouldn’t waste time with them and as for getting a large and perhaps unexpected inheritance, well there’s not too much you can do to invoke that.

I think the final method about finding some unknown or rare method to making lots of money is certainly possible and no doubt is being done by people out there. I just feel that being able to find these methods and to engage in ones that are not illegal is such a hard thing to do and that along the way you are likely to end up burning through so much cash for little if any reward. If you find any methods though, be sure to hit me up yeh? Oh wait you mean, you want to keep it to yourself so as to not undermine the method? That’s mean, share the wealth man!

Get Rich Quicker

  • Pursue career advancements whether through management or specialisation/contracting
  • Get a side hustle or two
  • Create and run a successful business that can grow
  • Find an unknown or lesser known strategy and or skill that reliably earns modest sums of money
  • Become a highly skilled stock picker like Warren Buffet

I think get rich quicker strategies are when compared with get rich quick methods far more likely to pay off and are more achievable in a probability sense. I think the best way to get rich quicker will be to either further your career as far as you can go or become very specialised in your role that can then earn you far more money than you may currently earn. If you can work on a side hustle to earn extra money then this is also no doubt a more realistic way of earning extra money. These methods will of course require hard work and effort and will not result in overnight riches but can certainly help fast track the journey to FI if you are committed and retool/learn as required.

The other option of running a very successful business is also certainly a credible way of getting rich quicker but this will require substantial effort and a good dose of luck along the way to become a success. This luck of course many people will deny is needed. After all you cannot mention luck in the presence of a self made man!

Similar to the getting rich quick method of finding an unknown or rare strategy to make lots of money, there can be ways to make extra money that are not as well known or understood. These ways certainly exist however and one clear example of matched betting comes to mind. This method albeit time limited for most seemed too good to be true for me and yet turned out to be a good side hustle for a number of years. I think being able to find methods that are not time limited or limited to a finite amount of profit are also very hard to find and require some luck to achieve. People will often get scammed out of their money or simply lose money when carrying out speculative investments and/or methods. Also, If you find that you can reliably make decent money from stock picking like Warren buffet then huge respect to you.

Why I Choose Get Rich Slowly Over Get Rich Quick

I used the words VERSUS instead of OR in this post as of course, I would love to get rich quick or quicker instead of slowly if it was otherwise a like for like comparison. Its very similar to would I like to earn more, such as perhaps an extra £500 at work per month. Well of course I would take that money if there was no negative change to my work life or circumstances as a result. It’s all about the consequences and likelihood of success almost in a cost / benefit analysis sense.

When it comes to the getting Rich quick methods I detailed. I think that almost everyone will need an enormous amount of luck to achieve getting rich quick via those. I feel it’s going to be very hard or unlikely for any reliable quick legal get rich quick method to work. I don’t want to waste my time looking for a needle in a very large haystack where I may well get burnt along the way.

I have however employed some of the get richer quicker strategies as I outlined. I have had a 3 year stint at a matched betting side hustle and have another side hustle I have been doing for nearly 16 years that brings some extra money in monthly. I also am in a decent professional position at work that I am happy with. I know there would be room for making more money where I work through promotions but I just don’t think the extra work pressure/stress and management meeting involvement would be worth the extra few hundred a month I’d get. I also certainly wouldn’t want another side hustle taking more of my time as I value having the free time more. I also don’t think contracting suits me currently either but I will never say never.

I admire those that start a business and I have friends that have done this successfully. I think though that the method is just not a fit for my personality. I don’t want to run or own my own business. Maybe it’s just being lazy but I just don’t want to go through all the hard work and long hours for something that may not actually pan out. That’s just me though, I have nothing against it and for those that want to give it a try, best of luck!

When it comes to ways similar to matched betting for making extra money to help get rich that bit quicker, I will always be interested in finding these. I just don’t spend loads of time hunting for them as I am in no desperate need for extra income if I am honest. I think I am at a happy place income wise. If it’s low effort and low risk though, sign me up! 

Finally, with regard to just general stock picking and speculative investments in start ups or penny stocks or the next GameStop YOLO craze. Do I still get FOMO? Yes there is a twinge for sure. I know other people in the FI crowd have put aside some of their portfolio, perhaps 5 or 10% for fun investments etc that they are then happy (to an extent) to lose. I feel though that for now at least, I will just carry on sticking to my get rich slowly approach along with some get rich quicker enhancements and if It means I miss out on what I consider low chance big gains then so be it, I am also missing out on more likely what would be losses! My previous experience with matched betting also makes me wary of my own vices.

I think to summarise:

  • Getting rich quick for almost everyone will require enormous luck and isn’t usually achievable
  • Getting rich quicker requires hard work and some amount of luck along the way for almost all and is usually achievable 

I would love to know your thoughts on this topic, have any of you managed to strike it rich following any methods listed or not listed here?

TFJ

January Update – 2020 Review, Current & Post Project 2235 Plans & More

Hey everyone, I hope everyone is continuing to keep safe and is doing as best as they can, what with it being National Lockdown 3 and all. Here is my January 2021 update! I will start with a quick review of 2020.

2020 – Quick Year Review

COVID – Global Pandemic

I think the year 2020 will certainly be memorable for quite some time for all of us no doubt. It has been a very unique experience and awful time for so many of us all around the world. It’s almost been like something akin to a world war where we are pretty much all affected and life is hindered in numerous ways.

Despite the awful nature of what has and is still happening, from a personal perspective I have so much to be grateful for during this difficult year. The most important thing by far is that none of my immediate family or friends have lost their lives to COVID and I myself have managed to avoid it which no doubt is half through effort and half or more through pure luck. I have even managed to get vaccinated against this along with my partner recently which is a huge relief.

Finances

From a financial perspective, I am still gobsmacked by the size of my portfolio given what’s happening in the world. I was very pleased that after losing well over £30,000 at one point during the initial drop that I held and didn’t panic. It was a great test of my ability to cope with big losses for the first time and I can now say I certainly passed this test. I actually enjoyed investing even more during this time of loss as I felt that in doing so, it would help me turn this around in the future as I was buying more cheap stocks/bonds so to speak. 

When it comes to my savings rate, I invested £1500 as planned every month which equates to 55%. My bills pretty much were as expected overall with some categories and items being increased whilst others decreased to balance it out overall. I have spent much less on fuel and energy for example but more on gifts and eating out/trips away. Overall the year was a huge success financially.

From the start of the calendar year to the end, my money increased as follows:

End of December 2019 = £182,819.97
End of December 2020 = £210,144.59
Increase = £27,324.62

Personal & Work

It’s been a bad year from limitation perspectives and watching the chaos that’s happening to the world but there’s also been many good things too for me in spite of all this. I pretty much moved in with my partner at the start of the original lockdown in March. This has really been good for us both. Since being able to form a bubble, we have now shared stopping at each other’s with her coming to mine for the weekends. This has worked out really well and has made the experience far different than if we were to of been separated for those first few months before bubbles were introduced.

Despite going through a pandemic, I still managed to go to London in February before it fully kicked off and have been to Liverpool, Nottingham and Birmingham for weekends away during the summer when things were much better. I also went out numerous times in the summer to the local pub and restaurants for food, I felt safe due to the low levels of COVID in circulation at the time and with being very careful hygiene wise. That could of no doubt backfired though but it didn’t thankfully.

Having moved in with my partner, I’ve had loads of new experiences and that’s probably the main reason my year has been very good on balance. I have learned to cook curries, bake cakes and create an island with cute animals on Animal Crossing… what’s not to like! Friday’s and Saturdays have been full on treat days with takeaways and/or beers. I have completed some pretty hard Lego sets during this time as well…I also now have baths every few days when I used to only have showers. Life’s been good compared to so many out there. I even managed to have a really nice Christmas and birthday at the end of the year, the day itself felt almost normal really. I had more food and drink than I think I have ever had to be fair…

My work is another area where I feel I have been fortunate. I work for the NHS which of course has been a difficult place to be throughout 2020. It has however meant I can still work and not be furloughed. I have been able to help keep systems working and build improvements to Infrastructure that has helped in our COVID response. This is about as rewarding as it gets. I deeply appreciate that I can work from home a few days a week and don’t need to wear full PPE as staff do on the front line, on the wards themselves. They are the true hero’s and I feel proud to help in supporting them in anyway I can with my role.

I could now focus on the annoyances of 2020 and start listing those things that were not so great. I just feel that everyone can already relate fully to most of those things and that it has been far better to focus on the good that’s come out of the year. 

Finance January 2021 Update

So now back to current affairs. Here is my January finances in review:

Financial Update – Jan 2021

The below figures are taken from 29th January.

  • Monthly investment (Dec 20 to Jan 21) – £1500 each month 
  • Savings rate (Dec 20 – Jan 21)– 55% each month
  • Investment portfolio – £200,435.58 (Woohoo…:D)
  • Cash is king fund – £10,000
  • Emergency fund – £958.07
  • Big expenses / holiday fund – £2154.58

Total Liquid Funds = £213,273.36

I haven’t really spent much money in January to be fair. It didn’t seem like such a long month when compared to previous years as it went so fast for me. The stand out figure in the above is that my purely Investment side of my portfolio has now also surpassed the £200,000 figure. Yay! Still can’t believe that…surely this will go down?

Personal January 2020 Update

Lockdown 3

We have now been in Lockdown 3 for almost a month with probably 1 to 2 months to go I would say. It’s not a sequel anyone really wanted but I think most would agree it was needed for sure. We have, it would seem, managed to just scrape under overwhelming the NHS which is very fortunate indeed.

Life for me has pretty much not changed much since the November lockdown. I still go to work as normal and I still get to come home to my partner at night. I never really went retail shopping but of course I miss being able to meet a friend outside for a walk. I am completely behind the lockdown so I just grit and bear it all really. This time shall pass so to speak. I really believe the summer could be just like last summer if not a little bit better, roll on that! The vaccine rollout so far in the UK is finally something to be really proud of I think. Let’s hope we can hit the ambitious targets of the four main groups by mid February.

Current & Post Project 2235 Plans

Post Project 2235

I have been looking again at Post Project 2235 plans that I discussed in the previous post. Even though this is of course completely changeable, it’s just so fun to look at figures and plan out possibilities as I’m sure many of you can relate to :D. I have added an extra few details to the below that including showing the income I would get and how much fun money I would have at these differing amounts of investments by the age of 50. 

Just to recap. If I achieve £250,000 at the end of Project 2235. I can then look at changing my monthly investment from £1500 to a lesser amount so that I have more big expenses and fun money to spend each year. For the past few years I have been devouring my matched betting profit for big expenses money which will mostly run out by the end of this year. This therefore not only needs replacing but I want to have much more money available for holidays and doing my house up, I want to live a little more essentially…

Looking at the above figures, I feel after much much thought that halving my investments to £750 to give me £9,000 a year is the sweet spot. My house indoors renovation will certainly be happy with that amount. This would also fund more holidays, more big purchases as required throughout the year and replenish my £1000 emergency fund when my other ways of replenishing it don’t meet the full amount. This would still give me £2284 as a monthly income at 50 which is more than I have now after investing and would give me even more money for big expenses (£13,000) at 50 than I get on along the way. This for me seems like the best middle ground of living for now and living for tomorrow. I can of course and most likely will flex what I spend and sometimes invest more and sometimes less throughout these years – Life happens.

Current Project 2235 Tweaking

The other thinking I have been doing around plans has been to tweak my current Project 2235 plans when it comes to my big expenses money increasing to £9,000 if switch to £750 as discussed above in Dec 2022 including until then my plans to use around £2,000 I have left from MB for this and next years big spending. I now intend to take £4,000 from my Cash is King Fund (£10,000) combining it with £1,000 of the MB money to give me £5,000 for the 2022 year so that when I become 35 I get more money to spend on that year. I feel like I will want to do so much in 2022 that it’s better to feel like I am more free to spend a year earlier than original planned. This will not impact my £250,000 goal as I will continue to invest £1500 monthly until Dec 2022. That will stay the same.

I feel this is a good choice as it means from late Dec this year, I will have plenty of cash to spend on things that bring me joy more now than before such as by going on more holidays etc. This means that this year which half of which will no doubt be a write off anyway will be the last where I can’t do as much as perhaps I want too. I have got the taste of doing more in the last couple years so this feels right for me – a good balance.

2021 Goals

I will keep this more brief than originally planned as I have wrote a fair bit already in this post. These are the kind of things I intend to achieve this year. I know I certainly should have done more with the time I was afforded in 2020 which includes becoming healthier and fitter which I had planned. You can’t win them all though right!

  • Lose 10 pounds of weight to get back to my best (Healthy eating with treats thrown in now and then)
  • Less alcohol, just once per week instead of twice lately
  • Become fitter
  • 30 press ups, 30 kettle bell lifts, 30 minute walk, 30 fast runs in my hallway with 5 runs up and downstairs daily except Sunday)
  • 8 Minute stretch, abs, arms (different one daily so doing each one twice a week. The 90s music is so corny, it’s amazing! Good routines though)
  • Declutter my home and digital life (During Lockdown 3)
  • Sail towards the Project 2235 Goal of £250,000 – £1500 Monthly Investment
  • Make the most of the second half of the year (Go away on holiday for a few weekends in the UK)
  • Keep working hard in my day job to support the NHS
  • Start reading some books and watch some video learning (TTC Videos)

I’d love to know what you thought of this post and especially of my post Project 2235 plans! Let me know how you have all been getting on.

TheFIJourney