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.

  • 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 (this includes my defined benefit private pension which I contribute to pre take home pay, and my share of our house). This post if you’re interested in more detail.
  • I track my average savings rate (which includes work pension). This was 54% in 2019 (from April when I started tracking) and has been 69% on average in 2020 up to April end (no doubt helped by the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK) and has since returned to something in between.
  • I give a financial update most months and you are most welcome to ‘follow’ and ‘comment’.
Steadily climbing… Now aiming to do a Very Mini Celebration for each 20k reached.

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

  • We are homeowners (mortgage done and dusted July 2018)
  • We holiday abroad around 3-4 times a year (mainly extended weekends or weeklong)
  • We eat out on average twice a week (mostly under £20 a pop for the 3 of us)
  • My single biggest monthly outgoing is childcare (just under £400 with funded hours, tax relief etc.) but this will change come September
  • Excepting the above, we’re fairly frugal
  • We’re a primarily vegetarian household
  • We’re non-car owners

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 high-end 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 and, by the end of 2019, I just about reached my goal of having £100k net worth! (But reflected in Jan month-end accounts below.)
  • In June 2019, just before starting this blog, I bought my first index funds, and now hold 6 funds
  • My goal 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, possibly a bit earlier (depending on this and that)
  • While there’s room for me to cut existing costs for sure, we do have a thriving child who develops holes in the knees of pants faster than you can say ‘lean FIRE’!
  • From September 2019, I turned my attention to saving a deposit for a buy-to-let property and was on target to buy this year (2020) but this is now on hold.
  • My 2019 average savings rate (May-Dec) was 54%. I aim to beat this in 2020.