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.

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


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?

February Income and Expenses report 2018

“I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too” –Steve Martin

I must admit I am getting used to this a bit more now. The fear isn’t there anymore. I think it helps that I’m actively participating in our finances now and I am taking responsibility for it.

Income Feb 2018

Feb 18 1

Nothing different there. Notice the Matched Betting money isnt included? We have different plans for that which you will see below.

Feb 18 2

Yep not great and as you can see from our income, we have overspent again so will be using the money we borrowed.

So the plan for extra income is this:

Hustle money plan

Yes we have booked a holiday! the money we borrowed doesn’t have interest on it so we are making sure we have our proverbial backs covered and then going to pay it off. If we can keep to our spending budget then we should naturally have money left at the end of each month which will help to top up everything we want to do.

So how much did we make from Matched Betting? (Don’t forget we use a different month to the normal calendar month as we pay for our living expenses on the credit card)

Grand total is:

profit MB

My money seems very hard to keep track of at the moment with me trying to set up a new bank account for Matched Betting. I have lots of money coming in and going out so its going to take some work (and a spreadsheet) to actually find where  it all is!

How was your income and expenses for Feb? I’d love to know so leave a comment or tweet or email me! 

The Butterfly Effect of FIRE

Interesting conversation myself and Mr Fire had over breakfast this morning. Firstly as we hardly ever get to sit down for breakfast as just the two of us and secondly as it was all over an email I received. I’m terrible for checking my emails (those of you who leave comments and send me emails will know this only too well….) I recently signed up for Think Save Retire free email course about building a finance blog and I’ve been rather tardy at keeping up with it. As I was flicking through all my emails I came across an email from a very reputable blogger, informing me (and everyone else on the emailing list) that they would be sharing the exact way to make a lot of extra income each month using the internet. Well of course this peaked my interest so I eagerly clicked the link and to my horror disbelief the link took me through to a page on their site with a screenshot preview of what it was all about. As I read on further I found out to my astonishment that for the price of £9.99 per month they will share the secrets of how to make this money.


This got myself and Mr Fire talking about people selling generalized knowledge to the masses without any personal engagement. I am assuming you simply hand over your monthly sum and then are left to fend for yourself, but isn’t this what everyone offers?

Myself and Mr Fire are eagerly awaiting some money making courses this year, most of which you have to pay for. So how is this different from the above that I’m objecting too?

For me I guess its all about gaining the knowledge and learning the skill of some things. One of the things we are looking at, the blog actually tells you step by step how to do it for FREE! Yes thats right. This person has made a good side hustle and is telling everyone and anyone how to do it step by step. What would we be buying then? well its the specialized knowledge that he was acquired. Its an actual training course. At the end of the course we would be acquiring the knowledge that it took him 5 years to accumulate and we would gain all that after following the course to completion. He is also on hand to provide  personalized advice and feedback on everyone who buys the courses. This differs from the above were by you pay and then blindly follow along completing offer after offer hoping to make some extra money.

I like to think that we are all on this journey together, in a somewhat Butterfly effect. If I post my mistakes on my blog then it may stop someone else having to go down the same path and so that small locialized change ins omeones life can then have larger effects in their life somewhere. I wouldn’t want anyone to pay for the lessons that I have learned.

But what do you think? Should we pay for generalized knowledge to aid us on our path to FIRE?