Investing in me: Epic fail all round

“For I don’t care too much for money, for money can’t buy me love.”— The Beatles

I’m ashamed to admit that I have slipped since announcing to the world  that I was planning to invest in myself as well as a the Financial side of investing (Its here if you missed it)

The joy/burden of moving took a toll on me and I had to watch I didn’t fall back down into the darkness that is depression. I took a break over Christmas (naturally) and whilst I’m not so sure I nurtured my mental health to the best of my abilities I almost definitely nurtured my greedy appetite and I find myself typing here even wider than ever. I’d like to pretend I did it all in the name of research so I can then turn my flabby excess excuse into a buff ripped machine, unveiling the steps that everyone can take to achieve a body worthy of the gods. But the truth is, I LOVE to eat and I’m greedy!

I was always one of those girls. You know the ones with the skinny body whilst wolfing down a big Mac Meal. I used to have people coming up to me in the street to ask if I was a model as I was so thin and slender.  Do you know what? I hated it! I could never put weight on. On my 21st birthday I weighted 6 stone and I ate like a horse. I wasnt even gaining weight through pregnancy and on the day of my daughters birth I weighed 9 stone 7lb. Yep at 9 months pregnant thats all I weighed. But then it happened. I couldn’t put any weight on at all during the first two weeks of my daughters birth and whilst she (very normally) doubled her weight, mine halved. I under went every test there was until they found it. I have colitis.

Of course its a good thing they found what was wrong with me and they fixed it with medication which I have to take unfortunately for life (notice my constant medication tab in my I&E reports?) The only downside to being healthy is putting on weight. I am now a normal 30 something year old so if I look too long at the cheesecake then I put on weight.

But enough of the wallowing, lets get something done about it. A funny thing happened over Christmas. Mr Fire and I remembered that we joined a health spa a few months back and now that we have moved we are very close to it! We did join with a lot of discounts but its worth a quick check of how cheap we actually got it.

spa

Hmmm so it wasnt really that expensive as long as we use it I guess…… Anyway, there is no excuse for me to not get fit now so over the next month I will  be building up my fitness again and hopefully I’ll see some change on the scales (actually need to buy some first…)

Remember my FIRE triangle?

fire

After looking again at my expenses I think I need to spend alot more effort reducing my expenses opposed to striving forward trying to make money. So Food is a horrific area of spend for me so that’s the one thats getting the attention first.

Any ideas on how to save on a food bill?

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December 2017 Income and Expense Report

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” –John Wayne

Is it strange I can never tell if I like doing this? This is only my second one of these but it makes me feel very odd and strangely vulnerable? Ah well I guess FIRE is all about stepping outside your comfort zone so here we go….deep breathe….

Positive from last month is that I actually made some money on EBAY! it was pretty painless although I definitely did make some mistakes (see here!) which meant I could have made more.

So here it is:

Dec 17

 

So as you may have read, I’ve moved house! This has come with a HUGE amount of expenses that we couldn’t predict! We did furnish our house with items from the British Heart Foundation so its a win win as we get some really good quality furniture for less whilst also supporting a worthwhile charity. On the other hand of course we spent more money than we have AGAIN!

As you can tell from the Income. Mr Fire and I live together now and he has agreed to let me publish his earnings. Things look alot better with his money coming in however FIRE is not possible with his earnings alone.

We have a HUGE plan for FIRE that is a massive task ahead of us. I’m hoping to share it soon on the blog once I understand the fine details (Have I mentioned Mr Fire is “practically” an a accountant? I’m the exact opposite of that)

After some fab advice from Weenie and TFS I now understand the my “side hustles” aren’t going to be an over night success thing. Matched Betting sounds like the easiest way to make money quickly whilst I bide my time developing and exploring other avenues.

Hows your I&E looking this month? I hope your savings targets are on track and FIRE is there in the distance. Looking for any helpful insights into how to get on track for FIRE! expenses are killing me!

Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs: I am a Triangle

“It’s not the situation, but whether we react (negative) or respond (positive) to the situation that’s important” –Zig Ziglar

During my research of all things money, I realised that I am a little lost. Well actually alot lost. As I’ve mentioned more than a few times, I’m not financially wired. In fact Mr Fire calls my money management “the shop floor” technique. I seem to see money in its rawest form, similar to cash in a till. You pay for something and it leaves the till, you make money and it goes in the till. All my money (or lack ot it) where I can see it. This doesn’t really have any longevity to it. It got me thinking, more than usual.

Could I use my journey to financial independence not just to invest financially but to also invest in myself. I always thought I was quite self aware. I have suffered with my mental health for over a decade and I never conformed to “covering it up” as it has been suggested to me numerous times (more than you could imagine)

This all lead up to me finding Maslow’s hierachy of needs. I’m not a psychologist so I will not try to fully divulge his studies here on my humble little blog. In a nutshell, Maslow created a triangle based on the order in which humans desire to fulfill certain needs with the ultimate goal being self actualization.  A few hours of research brought up that many financial independence bloggers have adapted this triangle to reflect their journey to financial freedom.

I do love a good picture so I decided to create my own version too (Maslow’s original pyramid is the title pic)

Needs

fire

I’m sure these are not perfect but that’s ok. I’m starting out on my journey and I’m happy to change them as I grown and learn.

I actually found it really good motivation, so now I will be aiming to work through both my financial triangle and also my own version of Maslow’s to form a  nice road map to get where I want to go.

What do you think of Maslow’s triangle? what keeps you focused?

 

On a budget: The cheapest way to Move House

“Home is where the heart is… Even if you cant remember what box it is it” – #Happymovetips

I did it! I’ve finally moved house. It feels alittle strange being totally out of my comfort zone and in a new area. I think it will be hardest when dropping the little one off at school and then returning to an empty house.

How did I move house on next to zero money? That is exactly what this post is about. When thinking about moving house, my brain conjures up visions on TV programs with slapstick humor and a massive removal van complete with an army of eager to lift men. The main character simply standing in the perfectly renovated new house, calm and collected pointing to where the furniture should live in its new home. My experience was totally different. For one, all I hired was a van. I sweet talked Mr Fire into driving it and he brought along one of his best friends to help with the heavy lifting.

Geography wise, whilst I’m leaving my rented accommodation and moving out the area, my stuff was actually scattered all around! When I fled I was only presented with a handful of safe opportunities to return to where I lived  and tried to move as much of my things out as possible on each trip. That meant we needed the van for the whole day.

Here are my expenses from the big day:

Cost of moving

  1. Van Hire.
    The cost of hiring an actual removal companies van was substantial with me leaving the area and moving to a 3 bedroom house. I went a different route and I chose a Sunday to move since there would be less traffic than a weekday and just filled a form in online to book a normal van. Flat fee for the whole day.
  2. Movers
    Only cost here was Mr Fire and his friends time. They were rewarded with some home cooked food and a few beers afterwards as a thank you (probably cost me about £5!)
  3. Packing Boxes
    I really resented the idea of having to buy boxes to put my stuff in and then be left with lots of them at the end. I asked around at supermarkets for free boxes and used old reusable plastic bags that friends/family had with the promise of returning them at the end.
  4. Packers
    I actually don’t like the idea of packers coming into my home and packing my things so I was happy to pack it myself. Not working definitely helped this as it took a few hours each week night before the move.
  5. Change of Address cards
    A nice novel idea,but in the age whatsap, text messages and emails. There is no real need for these. Plus I really wanted to control who had my new address.
  6. Time off work
    Lucky for me, this wasn’t an issue! It was for Mr Fire which is another reason to choose a weekend over a weekday

So  there we have it. I’m all moved in and ready to begin the next chapter of my life and actually you know, make some money!

Possibly the worst time to move house?

“Once you’d resolved to go, there was nothing to it at all.” ― Jeannette Walls

The build up to Christmas is here! The shops are crazy busy as the general public goes into a massive panic buy for those emergency items and last minute Christmas presents. Guess what I will be doing next week? Yep as the title suggests, I’m moving house!

Way back in April, I put an offer in on a house. It was accepted and the number of people/houses added to the chain grew and grew. So the day is finally here, possibly at one of the worst times. Luckily I had my job back when I applied for my new house! I’m hoping the bills will be roughly the same as they are where I live now.

Why am I moving? Good question. Eighteen months ago I fled an abusive relationship with my daughter and we were homeless for one month. After that one month, I grabbed the first rented accommodation that came along staying in relatively the same area that I moved to as ordered by my abusive ex. When someone asked me why I stayed in the same area, I rolled off the excuses… Its near her school, My job is close by, I’ve lived here for a while now. Whilst all the reasons were true, they didn’t make sense to me. The real reason I stayed is as I was to afraid to leave and start somewhere new. I’ve only ever lived in two places – This one as I had to move for my ex and my family home when I was a child. I had never stopped to think about where I would like to live, or where is best for my daughter. So I bravely decided to choose to move:

moving house

A lot of pieces need to come together in order for my “new start” to take effect and the house in an new area is the first step.

I’ve actually quiet enjoyed this little post as I think its the first one that hasnt involved finances….yet!

 

November 2017 Income and Expense report

“Money often costs too much” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I actually felt a huge resistance to writing this post. The thought of having all the Financial Independence Guru’s or even people with a much better understanding of fiances, look over it and analyse how rubbish I am and why I shouldn’t have quit my job took hold of me. Then I remembered that my blog will quite possibly be lost in the massive world of the internet and that gave me comfort so I’ve decided to carry on anyway.

My income and expense report for last month wont be pretty but it will show my real income and expenditure so it will hopefully provide a bit of a road map on what to work on.

As you have probably guessed by now I’m not really an excel type of person so please don’t expect any fancy pants spreadsheets just yet….

Nov 17

So its all looking pretty bleak and that’s with a paying jobs income. I’m actually dreading seeing what this months looks like. I’m slowly getting into debt so the interest free credit card is taking a battering.

What does your journey to FIRE look like?

 

FIRE – Financial Independence Retire Early

“I want every day to be a fresh start on expanding what is possible.” Oprah Winfrey

Hello and Welcome to my blog!

I am heading off on an adventure to Financial Independence and I’d love for you to come with me. What is Financial Independence I hear you ask? well I’m glad you did as it just so happens that this post is all about that and little old me…

What is FIRE?

So FIRE is a clever little acronym meaning Financial Independence Retire Early. Basically its putting away enough money to quit your job and retire early. Simple right? errrmmmm well maybe…..

 

What is Financial Independence?

freedom

Before we start let me start out by explaining I’m not a Math or numbers person. I’m just an average girl living an average life so we will have no technical jargon here (unless I let Mr Fire write it but I doubt that for now as It takes me a few listens to truly get my non financial brain around it)

So back to the question,

Wiki’s take on it is:

“You have enough wealth to live off of without working”

Thanks Wiki! The idea is that you squirrel away money into assets and investments and they generate an income (or wage if you like) So you are free to live the high life whilst all your money stashed away is doing the hardwork by bringing in the income. Sounds easy/scary/exciting right?

Some people go extreme and save 67% of their monthly income and live very frugally and others take a more relaxed approach by keeping a careful watch on what they are spending on luxuries (starbucks anyone?)

I guess you could also say that Financial Independence is slightly different to everyone. For me, I have always seen money as a burden (more on that on future posts) The most important thing about FIRE is that it isn’t about making millions to support a lavish lifestyle, just simply enough to pay the bills and enjoy freedom.

So Financial Independence in a nutshell is being free and not tied down to your day job. Its important to remember that money does not equal freedom

moneydoesnotequalfreedom

Why doesn’t everyone aim for Financial Independence?

Basically I think as it takes too much work and doesn’t seems achievable. We are  not taught that it is ever really an option. Most of us are raised to believe that if you get a job and work hard then you reach retirement earlier than about 60. But this is not usually the case. We have to reeducate ourselves, see the world differently and in some cases become a different person than who we started out as. Its going to be hard to correct our consumer ridden ideals that have been instilled in us from birth. We are taught from an early age that buying things make us happy. My example is pocket money, you basically get paid for performing duties you don’t want to do just to get money in return to buy something to make you happy or that you want (notice not need) Sound like a familiar concept? Ahem….

Its hard  to correct your thought process now we are adults, it requires growth, improvement, education and strength and that is on top of your day job.

The hardest thing to learn is money doesn’t not make you rich. Money can not buy happiness, family,love or friendship

moneydoesntmakeyourich

So how do you do it?

Good question, its a learning process and I haven’t learnt it yet. Ha bet that surprised you. I don’t have all the answers but i’m happy to seek them out and learn. I’m not one of the many bloggers out there who are already sitting pretty on Financial Independence hill teaching others about their ways and that is no disrespect to them either especially as I  actively read their blogs on ways to make it happen for me! I’m out here in the trenches with you getting shot at from all angles trying to make it through. There is one difference between us though and I want to get it out the way:

I’m a fraud

Wait what? well I am and I’m not in some ways. I quit my job. Yep thats right I no longer work and I don’t claim benefits (not that is anything wrong if you do, I just dont). I can hear your tutting and stomping your feet as you go to close your laptop or smartphone. But wait! come back! I haven’t won the lottery or have rich parents to help me. Nor do I have a rich relative, husband or Trust fund waiting to be tapped. All I have is a supportive partner who spotted it before I did that my day job was literally killing me. Not metaphorically but actually. It was making me so ill my hair was falling out, I was having panic attacks left, right and centre and I was dam right miserable. I got so ill that I actually cracked a rib coughing a few months back.  I’m a single parent,Domestic Abuse survivor, PowerPoint nerd and completely obsessed with stationary. Eighteen months ago I was homeless.

For the next few months I will be living off my savings and after that? Hopefully I will have enough income generating sources to live off.

So join my journey, whether its to see me fail miserably (sob!), support me (horray!) or even to see what works, what doesn’t and then draw your own path to Financial Independence.  I welcome you all.

Want to know more about me? Check out my About me page (I may even put my picture up to scare you at some point)

Want to get in touch? Leave me a  comment, Social Media me or Email me hellolittlemissfire@gmail.com