Starting my own Fire from the ground up

“A personal budget is a manifestation of your decision to grab your finances by the balls”
― Money Tree Man

I’d admit it, I wasn’t excited at all about sorting out my personal finances. Why? Well I do have a sort of love/hate relationship with money, which I’m sure I will talk about in a future blog post.

What I thought would be a quick 45 mins rush through, turned into a three day long creative journey. Its no secret that I’m not a fan of Excel. Maybe its as Mr Fire is SO good at it (would I dare call him an expert?) that I just cease to try as I know he can do it.  Not this time. Yes he is very good at it with regards to the technical stuff but I discovered I could use smart art in it and that was it. I sat down and created a full personal financial worksheet. I’m sure it isn’t even half as good as what is out there, but guess what? I don’t care. I’m fairly proud of my “creation” and maybe one day I will offer it as a free downloadable template (I will never charge anyone for knowledge on this blog) Maybe one day I will wake up super brave, or I will be half a bottle of Gin in! But enough of me tooting my own horn (toot toot) lets get to it (seriously though, if anyone is interested drop me an email and I’ll share)

So following my own advice about how to sort through your personal finances I started at the beginning:

  1. Look at your current situation
    This one was actually quite surprising! Mr Fire and I do review our money quite a lot but we are usually splitting our money into many different pots so it can be easy to lose track of the whole amount of it.

    We have quite an amount stashed between our Matched Betting accounts (I need to move mine out since its Mr Fire’s show now)
    Mr Fire has a share in a family business and he also has a very old stocks and shares Isa from way back when.
    Woo hoo finally on the property ladder!
    We have two now. Mine hasn’t lost too much value since we bought it not that long ago. Mr Fire’s is thinking of selling his car since its costing a lot in petrol doing all the miles we do. His bike is much cheaper and energy efficient for petrol too.
    Only my pension value is included in this since Mr Fire is awaiting his amount in April.


    Credit Cards
    We have two. One that we use for our living expenses and pay off monthly. We get a nice little cash back from it so I’m sure that will be a future post at some point.
    I receive quite a lot of emails from you sweet readers, expressing your concerns over us having to take a loan out recently. Lucky for us it is an interest free family business backed loan. Still needs clearing though, yes! Mr Fire also has his student loan from Uni that gets paid back monthly so it is going down. Slowly…
    Pretty standard stuff with no outstanding bills to be paid.
    Again standard stuff, no mortgage holiday deferrals here.
    Just my prescription and a half price Netflix subscription.

  2. Have a spring clean
    Yuck not a fan of this but it does really need doing. I had no idea I even had a pension! Sounds strange but in my last job I didn’t have one so it was the one in the job before that! I never would have known that if I hadn’t gone through all the paperwork!
  3. Make a budget
    We already have a budget and are currently trying to see if its feasible now we’ve moved house. As you all know we are struggling a bit with the food bill! We will be reviewing this next month when we see if they new strategy for reducing the food bill actually works!
  4.  The fun bit
    Actually not that fun! I didn’t want to plan so long term since we have a few immediate things that need sorting out this year. I had to re write them to make them SMART.
  5. Putting it all together
    Ta Da!

    Financial Goals

  6. Take another look at the budget
    The mortgage I guess is the only real financial goal that we can put money towards although our budget doesn’t currently allow for that!  Mr Fire’s Matched Betting and hopefully some surplus money left at the end of each month should help get us get the payments down in the next five years.

    So to end it on a high, what is our net worth? Take a look – Much better than we had anticipated!


What do your finance goals look like?



I’d rather die than drive

 “Anxiety is the most silently painful experience. It makes no sense and you sit alone and suffer for an unknown reason. You can’t explain it. You can’t stop it, It is horrible.”

Sensational headline? Actually no. Something very strange actually happened to me last week. I was doing my normal 80 mile drive (20 miles to child’s school, 20 miles back and then reverse to pick her up) when I panicked. Not due to another car, or something that happened. I was driving 70mph on the motorway, no other cars near me and weather was sunny/rainy typical British weather when it happened. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move. My foot felt glued to the accelerator and my eyes fixed on the road. From the outside, I just looked like a normal driver. On the inside I literally felt like I was dying. The road seemed to turn upside down and my body took in so much air that it couldn’t actually breathe.

What happened to me? Those familiar with anxiety will spot a mile off it was a full blown panic attack. What did I do. I kept going. I drove the reminder 10 miles and parked the car outside my daughters school. Then I turned the engine off and dialed Mr Fire as I always do after arriving at school since I get there early with it being such a long drive. When he answered the phone, it felt like someone had turned a light on. I cried hysterically at him down the phone saying I never ever wanted to drive and that I needed picking up. Mr Fire works 18 miles from where we live so was 38 miles away plus he was on his motorbike. He tried to calm me down and asked if I had parked the car ok. “of course” I panted at him and then looked around. I was parked right in the middle of the road. “I cant move it, I cant move it…” I repeated over and over again. He eventually talked me through moving the car and long story short, I drove my daughter home again.

Why did I have such an extreme reaction when driving? I have no clue. I don’t actually feel anything about the driving itself. I’m fairly neutral. That night when Mr Fire came home from work, we both decided that we were abandoning FIRE and he was going to quit his job. After a talk with his boss and a lot of worry and concern from both of us about giving up our dream of FIRE, a compromise was reached. Mr Fire does the morning driving and I do the pick up.

It helps but isn’t the best situation. He now works really late to make up for the time he loses by getting in late and I dread driving. It has triggered my depression and I’m anxious all the time. We are in the process of trying to move my child’s school but its much more complicated that it is for the average (the dreaded X strikes again)


It feels a bit better to have it out there so thanks for listening.

Matched Betting Update 6th March – 12th March

Its a lot more complicated to log Mr Fire’s Matched Betting than it was my own so this may be a weekly feature that is doomed from the start especially as this post should have been up yesterday! Since Mr Fire is not using a spreadsheet he is filling in Oddsmonkey profit tracker and I’m hoping to extract the information from there and get him to explain it to me as I go along! Let’s see how his week was:

6th March Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
£47.02 Sign up -£0.90 Ladbrokes Smarkets
Sign up free bet £47.92 Ladbrokes Smarkets

The week started with a not too shabby sign up offer from Ladbrokes!

7th March Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange

A late night at the office meant no profits today.

The extra place losses are due to Ladbrokes only pay out if there are 7 or more runners and a horse dropped out! This means the extra place is invalid otherwise it would have been a £20 profit!

8th March Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
-£10.03 Extra place -£2.80 Coral Smarkets/Betfair
Extra place -£2.36 Ladbrokes Smarkets/Smarkets
Extra place -£3.62 Coral Smarkets/Betfair
QL -£1.25 Coral Smarkets

A slight error with the Coral one, as they weren’t running the extra place offer on the horse race that Mr Fire had picked. Lesson learned and no real harm done.

9th March Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
-£0.73 QL -£0.73 Sky Bet Smarkets

Just a Qualifying bet for Sky.

10th March Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
£7.44 Reload £5.54 Betfair Smarkets
Reload £1.95 Bet 365 Smarkets
Reload £1.95 Bet 365 Smarkets
Reload -£2.00 Paddy Power Smarkets

A reload offer overload for Mr Fire here!

11th March Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
£15.04 Free Bet £8.72 188 Bet  Smarkets
Reload £6.32 Paddy Power Smarkets

A healthy free bet from 188 Bet.

This brings Mr Fire’s weekly total too:

Macthed Betting Total

He’s doing really well considering he works really long hours and sometimes our weekends are just too crazy to do anything other than have fun and survive!

Mr Fire has been sent a shed load of Cheltenham offers too which is a shame that he doesn’t have time to do.

You Versus Me – Come at me

“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money”-Anonymous

A strange blog post even for me this one. How do you reach FIRE as a partnership if your in a competition with each other? I’m not talking about me and Mr Fire. He’s lucky as I don’t have a competitive bone in my body which is good as I’m sure it makes for a happy home.


I read an article that explains how humans are competitive by nature and It got me thinking (doesn’t everything!) I have read alot about the importance of having a supportive other half  when on the quest to FIRE but surely its hard not to be competitive? Friendly rivalry and all that.

As I mentioned above, I’m not a competitive person but could that be as Mr Fire earns the money and I currently don’t? Would a little friendly competition be good for couples on there way to reach FI?Would I be more competitive if the playing field was leveled? I doubt it but I guess we wont know for a while.

Some couples work in the same field as each other so surely its hard to avoid a little comparison?

A little bit of research shows that competitiveness dates back to the ancient Greek Olympic Games which go as back back as 776 BC and the modern world is full of competitions such as the voting of a President/Prime Minister. In the world of FI, does competition have a place? I like to view the FI community as more of a family environment. I know from my comments that they are all from more experienced people trying to offer me guidance and assist which I really appreciate as It helps me learn and steer me on the right path.

I personally read alot of FI blogs to obtain more information and also as a social source (its surprisingly isolating not working but not being able to actually tell anyone) but it can be hard not to compare yourself to someone else. I love reading people’s income reports as It gives me hope that it could be one day. Could this be seen as jealously? When bloggers post there stats and views, its hard to not wonder why you aren’t receiving the same results. Its easy to get caught up in the “stats and statistics” of it all. I am lucky as I see my blog as different (don’t we all?) I wouldn’t say I had a classic FI blog since we have no clue how we are to reach FI and we are also on a single income that can just about support us.

My abusive ex used money as a form of control so It feels strange to me to pool all my money again with Mr Fire when I technically don’t bring much to the table. I love the fact that Mr Fire and I are a team, He never holds the fact that he brings in the money (for the time being) and it was him that encouraged me to quit my job before it literally killed me.

How does money fit in with your other half? Do you think a little competition is healthy?


Monthly Catch Up: Feb to March 2018

“Invest in yourself. You can afford it. Trust me.”
― Rashon Carraway

I was flicking through my blog this morning (usually checking for spelling mistakes!) and saw last months Monthly Catch Up post. I had actually forgotten I had planned things to do last month so its well worth a revisit to keep things moving forward. How was your February? Here’s a refresher of what my list of goals:

February’s Focus

  • Really start getting to grips with my personal finance plan
    I actually did learn about how to write a personal finance plan but failed to actually apply it to me. I will carry this forward to this month I think!
  • Cardio focus
    I did all the research about building the perfect workout routine and I am starting with cardio so this is off to a good start.
  • Start Match Betting
    I have started Matched Betting and it even has a little place of its own on my blog.
  • Research Mental Health and exercise
    Ah yes, I totally forgot about this one…..
  • Start reducing food bill
    Erm….. We have been testing out something new as to where we buy our meat so this will hopefully be reflected in next months Income and Expenses.
  • Start selling again on Ebay
    So this one hasn’t happened either….
  • Look into Match Betting Acca’s
    This is the one I did do that I wished I hadn’t…..
  • Increase traffic to my old blog
    Nope didn’t do this one either.

Eeekkk looks like I took my eye off the ball there but I didn’t have a difficult Feb so I’m sure I will make up for it in March. Here are my March Goals (as well as the above ones from Feb)

  • Keep tracking Matched Betting
  • Start Learning more about Finance (I seem to have fallen into the habit for excusing myself for not knowing about certain things)
  • Have a really big clearout. Can you believe Mr Fire and I still have boxes we haven’t unpacked from our move?
  • Tryout a new way to make money

I have lots more goals I wish to do but I doubt I will fit it all in with the still having Febs to catch up with. What are your goals for March?

Monthly Catch up


Matched Betting Update 27th Feb – 5th March

Starting again with my Matched Betting since my “Arbing” discovery! So I’ve mostly been  emptying out and closing my existing accounts, starting with the ones I’m gubbed out. The welcome offers are a nice lump of cash too so I’m happy to do those each day for now and then add the bet clubs in too.

27th Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange

I mainly startd transferring my money out of the bookies and went about getting the accounts closed down. I think its good to close them down were possible and then wait a few days before opening new ones.

28th Feb Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
£15.61 Sign up -£0.16 Coral Smarkets
Sign up £15.11 Coral Smarkets
Free Spins £0.66 32Red N/A

A good day. I behaved myself and stayed away from random games and only bet on horse races so I preserve my account. No arbing as well!

1st March Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
-£1.24 QL Bet club -£1.24 Coral Smarkets

Hard to look at a negative number and I did have to resist the urge to use faux arbing to get into the plus. I’m taking it nice and slow for a while till I get the hang of it all.

2nd March Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
£0.55 Sign up -£4.14 Bet 365 Smarkets
Free Bet £4.69 Coral Smarkets

I didn’t think I did too bad taking a £4.14 QL on the Bet 265 bet £100 get £100 sign up offer and then Mr Fire told me his QL was £1.30. I’m trying not to beat myself up about it as I am just still learning and I dont want to end up with “the one that got away” mentality!

3rd March Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
£80.58 Free Bet £79.46 Bet 365 Smarkets
Mug Bet -£0.10 Coral Smarkets
Reload £1.22 32red smarkets

My free bet with Bet 365 really helped with profits! I also did a little mug bet with coral to protect my account

4th March Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange
5th March Bet Type Profit Bookie Exchange

I took the weekend off to go through all my accounts and profits. Something very strange happened to me on Saturday. All the new accounts I had opened all asked for proof of ID. Once I provided it to them they suspended my accounts! I think all my arbing mistakes have caught up with me.

So this week I made £95.50! Best Week Ever!

Due to my recent gubbing from practically everyone I’ve decided to give a Matched Betting a break for now. Mr Fire is quite literally on Fire with his Matched Betting and it seems to come very easy to him. He does all the sign up offers, reload offers and horse racing. His tally for just doing the weekend just gone was £300! I will still be posting Matched Betting updates but I’m sure they will be once a month as he keeps it mostly in his head so getting it into a spreadsheet will be his next step.

All in all, My total Matched Betting profit overall has been:

Matched Betting Total

If your thinking of signing up to Oddsmonkey then please use my Affiliate link! It doesn’t cost you anything and I get a little bit of money.

To blog or not to blog

“What would your life look like without today’s obstacles in front of you?”
― Jerry Gladstone

I actually nearly didn’t start this blog, if you can believe it. I’m a classic introvert and my mental health issues provides me with more than enough excuses to lock myself away from people and “protect myself”

I started this blog as an almost online diary and I still see it like that in some ways. Don’t gt me wrong, I’m not about to get all nostalgic on you since my blog has only been going since Dec 17! I have noticed now though that I also view it as a hobby and a social source. I have made a few friends/acquaintances in these short 3 months and I have been lucky enough to receive a handful of emails from people wanting to chat to me about all sorts of things.

When I started this blog I had a very rigid plan in mind and I’m really glad I didn’t stick to it! After one of my usual lunchtime chats with Mr Fire, I’ve decided to stop working on the Fashion Blog and put my time towards other things. I was spending an astonishing amount of time on it and only getting 60 views a day. It was a lot of effort and I was solely doing it to get money. I think that was the problem.

I love that this blog doesn’t make money and probably never will. Less pressure you see! Surer I’ll offer affiliate links if I’m bloggiing about something anyway but only if I really use it and find it profitable. I wont be listing a tonne of Amazon links to products I’ve never bought.I like to think that if when I make it to FIRE that people like me can visit this blog and follow along. Hopefully they wont copy my mistakes!

So here comes the part were I ask you all to chip in so I can upgrade my current free WordPress account.  JOKING! Sorry couldn’t resist! But seriously I am thinking of upgrading my current account and I’d love peoples advice/guidance. I think I have settled on the WordPress Premium account for now:

Option 1

I looked into Blue Host as I think Mr Money Mustache it, but I couldn’t justify that amount of money for a hobby.

Option 2


I also need a really simple site as I’m not really techy. The plan is to use my Matched Betting profits to pay for the first year on the Premium plan.

If you have a blog, which platform do you use?