My 3 Year £250,000 Target – Operation 2235

Intro

Hope everyone’s doing well. I have had a few busy months lately and have been focusing quite heavily on side hustles and then back to some career development by pursuing some new certifications in my field. I will do a general update discussing some of this as my next post during a Christmas review most likely :).

Operation 2235 – Intro

Back to Operation 2235… I had to give it a name like that to make it sound cool. It should be considered pretty cool on its own though I know but still there it is…

So there I was reviewing my finances a week or so ago and entering some costs as it were – I still track to the penny and record it against categories such as Going out, Gifts, Food etc. I updated my current portfolio total which I do once a month and it got me going yet again to an online compound interest calculator – oh boy have I visited that site a lot over the years. I put in 5 years in months and 5% as the interest (not 8% accounting for 5% real growth with inflation taken away) and I noticed that my current total was £161,000 and with my recently new monthly investment of £1500 (increase from £1160) I would be on track to hit £250,000 in 3 years time when counting the money I have in my Cash is King fund. This would coincide with me still being 35 years old at this point. 2022 – 35 years old (Operation 2235 :D)

Many years ago when I first started getting into FI, I dreamed of getting to £250,000 (saying Quarter of a million sounds so much better…) which I considered Base bare bones FI giving me the £833 monthly figure at 4% SWR, this would pay for all my current bills and basic outgoings as fortunately I am mortgage free. I dreamed of getting to this figure before I was 40 but originally it was going to take me until 50.. this has since fell due to a good dose of luck and increasing my monthly investments with a couple of promotions along the way.

The Plan

In order to hit my target of the quarter of a million. I need a nice sail wind that I won’t be able to control such as the 2% real growth for 3 years with no bears showing their face. Who knows if this will happen what with what’s going on politically and with the long bull run we have had. Life itself will have to go as I plan also when it comes to my job, health and such and I only mention these things as I am very aware that I can only control so much and even if the wind turns against me, I will still consider this plan a success if I manage to pull off the below;

  • Invest £54000 over the next 3 years (£1500 a month)

  • Do the above without depriving myself whilst still being able to weather some expected unexpected outgoings

Is it Achievable?

Is this target I have set myself achievable? I would certainly say it is yes. The key thing for me that will determine this is that the £1500 monthly figure itself is realistic given the realities of life and my increasing expenditures lately.

With that in mind when I look at this target I have looked at 3 areas financially that I need to ensure are strong. There are of course many other factors such as ensuring I keep my job, working hard etc but financially my main instruments used in this success are as follows:

Expected Unexpected Outgoings Fund

I have always had a £1000 cash expected unexpected fund that I use to make sure my monthly investment amounts are safer from being meddled with due to any number of issues propping up. I currently fund this in terms of replacing it every year so that should I spend the lot, by the next April I will have a fresh £1000 ready. This is done from normal cash monthly interest, the 2 months of council tax I don’t pay and 2 yearly payments I receive for doing a task for family members. Every year for the last 5 years, something has come up using some or most of this money. Whether it’s a large vets bill or to replace a boiler, fridge etc or fix my car. This has always helped me out so this fund for me is a big first defence of not touching that £1500 monthly investment

Big expenses Fund

The next major pillar to the success of this plan is that when it comes to big expenses such as buying that new iPad, new 4K TV, PS5 or yearly trips to Amsterdam and Liverpool etc. I can pay for these things without it impacting the investing. This fund which has been sourced from side hustles (mostly MB) stands at around £7k and will be there to use for these next 3 years. This is a huge relief for me as it means I can still do the things I want to do without yet again impacting this plan.

Non depriving Discretionary spend 

Now for me, this is probably one of the most critical parts of this plan. One of the most important parts of all this for me is that this is a financial plan and goal which of course impacts so many areas of my life. Despite this however, I don’t want to spend 3 years not doing the things I want to do such as having drinks on a Friday, going out for a meal once a week, buying that game or book when I want them or going out on day trips etc. I am still very very careful with my money and I always look for deals and buying food in bulk as an example but I will not compromise on quality of life when there are things that for me really bring great joy. 

For these reasons, I have set a weekly discretionary spend that for me should be enough. It’s slightly higher than I am used to but not much more. This is in part because I have been spending more money on buying gifts for people and going out in the last few months and I don’t want that to stop.

In Closing

I will provide updates on how I am getting along with this £250,000 challenge from now on every quarter at least. I would love to know your thoughts on this and if you could share any of your financial plans however large or small.

Chris @ TheFIJourney

Summer update…

Hope everyone’s doing well and enjoying the summer months. At the very least, most of us can agree it’s going to be a much better commute now that the kids are off school. It makes such a big difference to how long it takes me to get to and back from work… So anyway I just wanted to provide a quick update on how I’m getting on.

Career – New promotion!

I had some really good news at work in that I got the more specialized role with no management responsibilities which was exactly the only kind of promotion I wanted. I really have no attraction to managing people especially those at our place. That would drive me insane as they are mostly a very lazy bunch most of whom or counting down the clock to retirement (albeit not in the early retirement sense hehe) and having to be responsible for them would be very stressful. I would never say never of course but right now, management is certainly not for me.

As my post of what makes a good job detailed, I really enjoy my current job and getting this promotion addressed one of the few faults I had with it which was the pay and contract type when compared with those who do the exact same job. As much as I try not to compare with others, when workers around you albeit nice people on a personal level just screw around most the day with no real care are on much more money with better contract perks, it does get to you at times.

As for downsides, There will be more pressure in this role in ways, however I already felt like I was in a specialized role and went the extra mile so hopefully it will really just be formalizing that contract wise and a lot will stay the same. I was a bit concerned how the others would take my promotion and if jealousy would arise, but the office banter remains the same and that’s so relieving. It’s been funny having new banter related to my new role actually and there’s no malice for sure. As for office politics and being higher up the chain in ways, I fortunately will not need to attend management meetings as my new boss will be the one doing that. Let’s see how it goes, I will provide as it’s still early days for sure..

Finance – No lifestyle inflation…

It’s been very good on the financial side recently. My new job has given me a few extra hundred a month which has helped put me very close to nearly being able to max out the yearly max ISA contribution. Being able to invest so much would of made myself from 6 years ago laugh at the thought. It shows how much things can change with effort, discipline and a helpful load of luck along the way. 

There has been no lifestyle inflation at all, I have put every penny of the pay increase towards investing and that feels good. I don’t feel deprived as I already spend money on things I want which includes the occasional Galaxy S10 and iPad Pro so there’s no being a tightwad. It was amusing though, as many people at work are literally dumbfounded as to why I haven’t bought a new car. It’s time to change your 7 year old car lad… you can afford it now. It’s time to upgrade to a Mercedes or a BMW. It has amused me very much. When I want my next car, I will buy it and it might be a step downward to be fair when I do as I already have a nice car in my eyes. I look forward to the future offers of help financially and concern over what I have got myself into if I have had to step down as it were car wise.

I also decided to pay of the last bit of my student loan which I know in ways should not be classed as debt due to mine being the type that has no real interest but it does mark the first time I am completely debt free of all kinds. That’s a very nice feeling indeed :D. I was unsure as to whether I should as I didn’t before due to thinking my money was being better invested but with ever increasing contributions coming from my new promotion, I just wanted to get the true take home amount with no money took off and I used some cash reserves from matched betting to pay it off which wasn’t really being invested anyway. I certainly don’t regret that and for those that cry ‘What about the opportunity costs…’ – the positive feelings from doing it are worth the loss..

As for my portfolio… I am well on the way to the magical £200k mark of liquid investments. I seem to be matching Weenie very closely which does amuse me :). I am not getting too pleased though as I still feel a decline is inevitable soon so I am more concentrating on the monthly investment as opposed to the total figure as I think that it’s currently higher than it probably should be or will be in a couple years time but who knows eh? Maybe this is the period of steady lower growth that lasts 20 years. I really don’t claim to know.

Side hustles – Matched betting

I have been trialing each way sniping the last couple of months and I am pleased to report that thus far that it is certainly working. I invested £1k into it and have doubled that so far. It has however been a right roller coaster of ups and downs which was to be expected. It is so much less hassle than normal matched betting though and I am fitting it into my daily routine without it being a hindrance. Let’s see how I look in the next couple of months. Below shows an example of the ride during a downtrend…

I am glad I stuck with it as it was certainly nerve racking at times especially when approaching a complete wipe out of my investment.

Personal/fun

I am going to Amsterdam again soon for another trip, pardon the pun. I certainly look forward to that as I will be treating it as a celebration for getting my promotion in a way and also as it’s time to let my hair down as it were.

I have been doing lots of delcuttering lately around my house. I have meant to do it for many years now and never really get passed one big spurt of doing one room and then I just stop and it gradually gets more cluttered over time. This time however I have made great progress and it feels so good having less stuff.. I am trying to get to the point where rooms are lived in and not showroom like which I hate but still very much less cluttered and where everything provides value or a purpose. I certainly do not want to get to less than a 100 items… I just want to get the most out of what I have and enjoy the benefits of having less clutter. Less clutter in the house, hopefully less clutter in the mind.

I think I will leave it there. Hope everyone is doing well. Let me know what you have planned for the summer. How are you all getting on?

Chris @ TheFIJourney