23 Feb 2013

Living Differently

Brand New Bespoke Narrowboat

My wife to be and son are napping at the moment so I thought I would take the time to type something up that I've been thinking about over the last two or three days. 

It all started with Maria's post over at the Money Principle, a great article that made me look differently at the Marxist theory. I then stumbled upon the art of non-conformity, another great article about how people don't understand, from flicking through Maria's "Money blogs" links.

I still love the fact that Maria is flustered by my milk and caviar comment from one of her old posts. I still can't understand how she thinks £120k is "enough". That's where the second article came in. Maybe she just doesn't understand the route a lot of people are now taking. 

People aren't just looking to make small changes anymore, a lot of people really want a wholesale upending of everything they do. Maybe because they're bored of their work, or where they live or they are just sick of the day to day of broken Britain. 

So maybe it's time to take the advice of the non-conformists. Maybe looking at life from a different angle is required.

A zero based budgeting approach comes to mind, whereby we scrap the budgeting tools we've used before and start with a blank page. What do we really NEED in our lives.

Humans usually need a few basics, water, food, shelter. Everything else are things we add for comfort or at the extreme greed. 

So maybe we shouldn't start looking to reduce our mortgage rate, or look to save on our car insurance, we should probably look at cheaper places to live other than houses and maybe start thinking about getting rid of the car altogether.

These are the kinds of changes that can turn an ordinary person into an early retiree or at least someone that is not forced to go to work to fund a lifestyle beyond their own means.

That is the kind of person that for me has really got life sorted in their own head, they’ve no need for superfluous items and their comforts come from within.

This kind of lifestyle leans itself to one where families spend more time with each other and learn how to do things for themselves rather than outsourcing at higher costs. Where skills are nurtured from an early age and progress with each passing project, without being put aside because we’re “late for Corrie”!

I looked at my own budget took out mortgage, car, and media costs and immediately my spending went from 80% of my wages down to 42%. This budget still leaves room for luxuries. With a savings rate like that I could retire in 11 years, which seems like a long time, but I am earning a sixth of that £120k and supporting 3 people!

Sounds pretty awesome to me, just imagine if I could double my salary… it drops to 6 years! As Paul Whitehouse once said… BRILLIANT!!

Of course this is unfortunately a pipe dream until I can convince the other half to move to a narrow boat and cycle everywhere ;)

19 Feb 2013

Gaining some reflectionment

Look around you, it's not just a wacky TV show with Peter Serafinowicz, it's a way to reflect on what you do and have.

I don't know about you but I like to do this at times of change in my life and at specific intervals, usually my Birthday and New year (it helps that my Birthday is half way through the year).

So I've just had quite a major change in my life, I've become a Dad.

I have to say it's great so far*. I could never have thought I would love anyone this much. It has also made me feel a lot closer to my partner (maybe it's because it feels like it's me and her going through it all together).

It also brings with it financial pressures and this requires some refocusing.

Gaining some refocusment.

I've reassessed some of our goals and think some new ones are in order along with rejiggling my priorities.

As you may have noticed this blog has taken a bit of a back seat since January. I'd like to focus more on it, but I simply haven't had the time. I think my original goal of posting once fortnightly is acceptable. I have a growing list of posts I want to write and want to get these started and done asap.

As for publicising this blog, it seems to be going ok. I had a bit of trouble setting up a Facebook page. So that's definitely somewhere I could improve. As you can see to the right, the tweeting seems to be going ok. 

The only other thing I'm not doing is learning any html / programming. I have been looking into courses in coding and hope to give it a go soon.

My new hopes.
Firstly I hope to encourage the health, education and happiness of my child and family. It cannot be understated how much this is paramount for me.

Next the pursuance of a higher income, whether that is through my day job, blog income, or another side hustle. This is mostly to counter the reduction in income from moving to a one income family, although with our spending habits aligned and refocused I am happy that we can live on our current income. It’s just that it doesn’t leave much room for fun, or investing in our future. So an extra bit of cash would definitely help to push this forward.

I’m looking forward to and already enjoying the longer days we’re having. Although damn you British weather if you’re not inconsistent! Snow last Monday! Then looking outside today it’s incredibly sunny, yet step outside and you immediately need some kind of fleecy wrapping to ensure all the warmth isn’t stripped from your t-shirt wearing body.
And Finally…

There’s a lot things I’ve been doing right for a long time now, I don’t have any out of control costs to kill my savings. This is a massive change from where I was 6/7 years ago. It’s nice to look back and see a change for the positive.

It’s also nice to have a lot to look forward to. So let’s go get em and hit them where it hurts.

* Apart from the sleep deprivation, that is one thing I don’t think I will ever get used to.