All about the finances

Here I summarise my key numbers, give you an idea of my/our lifestyle and financial context, and give you a quick run through my various milestones and goals since starting this blog.

******************* 2022 update in progress *************************

  • I have grown my “FI stash” steadily, comprising cash (variable and fixed rate savings, recently premium bonds), index funds (equities, bonds) and a small proportion in peer lending (property, ethical). A tiny proportion in shares for fun since lockdown started.
  • In Jan 2020, my net worth estimate was £442,000. In Jan 2022, this became £608,000 (includes: defined benefit private pension and ‘half’ of our house).
  • Accessible FI funds (i.e. before 57 and not tied into property) was £100,200 in Jan 2020 is £123,400 as of Jan 2022. Worth noting that in Jan 2021, I put £20k into a SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension), so would’ve grown even more had I not done that.
  • Until going part-time (more below!), I eagerly tracked my average savings rate: 54% in 2019 (from April) and 69% on average in 2020 up to April end (no doubt helped by the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK) and later returned to something in between.
  • I give a financial update some months and you are most welcome to ‘follow’ and ‘comment’.
  • Here is my ‘FI fund’ since I started blogging…
My 2022 aim is to keep this from DECREASING!

Our lifestyle CV – “we” being me (Firelite), Mr Firelite and Junior Firelite

  • We are homeowners (mortgage done and dusted July 2018) – we were not gifted any money for this; we just paid off hard!! Toward the end, we paid £2900 a month between us. Not for a moment do we regret not investing that money into index trackers!
  • Until the pandemic, we holidayed abroad ~3-4 times a year (mainly extended weekends/weeklong) and we’ve holidayed in England since
  • We eat out on average twice a week (mostly under £20 a pop for the 3 of us)
  • Excepting the above, we’re fairly frugal, though we’re noticing everything’s getting more expensive lately
  • We’re a primarily vegetarian household

My financial status – understanding my numbers

  • I’m responsible for my own pennies (Mr F has a good hold of his own finances, phew!)
  • I generally contribute 50% to household costs (we don’t count every penny)
  • I’m a basic rate income tax payer (as is Mr F)
  • I have no debt (neither does Mr F)
  • This list of bullet points makes us sound more similar than we are, that’s for sure 🙂

My financial milestones and goals

  • I started this blog end of July 2019. Just before this (June), I bought my first index funds, Most of my holdings are individual index funds still.
  • By the end of 2019, I just about reached my goal of having a £100k FI fund! (reflected in Jan month-end accounts)
  • My strategy is to build a diverse low-risk portfolio of assets, which along with taking my work pension from 57 years and downsizing, would give me financial freedom by around 50 years of age. I need to redo my calculations though…
  • From Sep 2019 to mid-2020, I saved a deposit for a buy-to-let property and did viewings around my city, before deciding it was a lot of hassle and didn’t want to be competing with first-time buyers at the low end of the chain.
  • In September 2021, I went part-time with work for 2 years, and my main financial goal currently is to retain the value of my FI fund.