I figured the best way to get my blog started would be to put a financial marker in the sand and so this post marks the start of my financial freedom journey!
Like many others in the wider community, my overall goal is to become financially independent and try and help others achieve a similar goal.
Being financially independent will, of course, mean different things to different people. Someone starting out on their FIRE journey today might aim to retire in their early 30’s but, with me being at the ripe old age of 42, and having only discovered the concepts of FIRE in the past 12-18 months, my journey may look a little different…
The youngsters certainly have a serious head-start on me!… but that’s okay. As they say “the first step is to just take one”, so here I am getting started.
While the window may be slightly smaller for me, I will certainly be doing my best as a parent to teach the concepts of FIRE to my children so that they can get the maximum benefit (if they so choose) in later life.
I have written in a little more depth some of my motivations and why am I doing this here.
My hope for these monthly updates will be to give an overview of a few things:
- What has happened in the previous month?
- How has my Net Worth moved over the month?
- What will my focus be for the month ahead?
What Happened In June?
With zero prior blogging experience, I have spent the past month getting set-up and frustrated in equal measure. While I’m sure blogging becomes easier once things are fully in place, I have been frequently bamboozled by all things WordPress, hosting, themes, plugins and the like! I have procrastinated often and achieved very little in all reality. But I have managed to get the bare bones of a blog together and I’ll figure the rest as I go!
Amongst other things I have made the usual tweaks to our family budget and played around with different projections for our financial future. I’ve also helped a few friends and family members with various financial conundrums. On the personal side, some big things have happened that may have potentially large impacts on our family finances:
Return To Work Dilemmas
We are a family of five and our three children are all 6 years or under! We are definitely stopping at three, trust me 🙂 While our youngest recently enjoyed her 1st birthday, this also marked the end of my wife’s planned maternity leave. Ordinarily, she would have returned to work on a part-time basis.
However, having a third child was a bit of a game changer. In exploring all the scenarios around the children, childcare and the financial side of things we were certainly facing some tough decisions. Ultimately, the logistics of getting two children to and from school and having the other in childcare was going to be too much to handle, at least for the foreseeable future.
We examined all the possible scenarios and decided that, while it would impact us slightly from a financial standpoint, if my wife left her job it would be of enormous benefit to the children at such a young age and something she really wanted to do.
Had she returned to work part-time, her earnings would be entirely swallowed up by the childcare costs we would have had to endure, and she would give up precious time with them. With my long commute into London every day also, it was decided that she would take a career-break and continue her amazing job as a mum.
So, we are down to one income in our household and the pressure is Dad for sure!
Elsewhere, our second child finished nursery and will start primary school in September. Quite a momentous landmark as always and we can wave goodbye to nursery fees for a while, which should help boost the family finances a little.
Net Worth Snapshot
While this marks the first month of reporting assets to the outside world, I have been tracking them for a few years now. I will write a post on how I do this and my chosen methodology for getting an accurate picture in the coming weeks, but for now, as this is my first post on this subject, I’ll just give you a snapshot of my financial assets at the end of June 2018.
Current Financial Assets – June 2018
- Home Equity: £229,696
- Pension: £270,279
- Investments: £62,694
- Cash & Equivalents: £1,415
- Unsecured Debts £53,107
- Total Net Worth £510,778
- Excluding Property £281,082
As the table above shows, my total net worth amounts to £511k. If I exclude the property, this stands at £281k. While this is a respectable number, you’ll also see the unsecured debt figure of a whopping £53k. This represents the combined cost of financing two cars in our family and this is something I am determined to address in the coming months. We have been somewhat guilty of falling into the trap of perpetual car finance and regularly changing our cars.
I have decided not to include the value of the cars in my asset figures as these a) depreciate in value, and b) given our dependency on both cars, we can not readily dispose of either car to generate cash. I will continue to count the debt through until it’s demolished!
Focus Areas for the Coming Month
In the coming month, I will have three focus areas:
- Evaluating how we can lower our car expenditure going forwards
- Looking to optimize other aspects of our spending
- Continue to learn the essential blogging skills and make improvements to Pursue FIRE
So that just about wraps up this first update. I am very much looking forward to getting started on this journey, and I will welcome your thoughts along the way
Until next time!