14 Mar 2013

I'm Selfish

I'm not one to let opportunities slide by without a thought to why and how they will increase my happiness. In fact it can be a painful process working out whether the next opportunity is a goer or not.

Mostly the opportunities I come across are for new jobs. I am on the cusp of obtaining a new qualification and this has highlighted to me that maybe my current work isn't progressing as quickly as it should.

Although I will be working in the same field (finance), I am thinking of moving to something with a little more difficulty rather than the daily grind which is currently my day job, although I am very aware that this may just be that the grass seems a lot greener as I stick my head above the parapet.

So I was flicking through a  few job boards as you do, looking at jobs the next step up from what I'm doing at the moment, when I came across one that seemed quite nice. The job description seemed not a great distance from what I'm currently doing, other than I would be running the team rather than working in it. 

It seems like a nice company, a charity organisation that arranges grants for disabled kids. I'm not specifically looking to work for a charity, but this seemed like a good cause.

Then I saw the pay, twice what I'm on at the moment, this was a Neo like, woah moment for me. This sounds great. Then the bad news, it's 25 miles away. Bad times.

Bad times indeed, if you've been reading this blog for a while, you may have noticed I HATE COMMUTING

So because of this I ran the numbers, I took off the extra expense for commuting, along with a little money for my wasted time.

It's still overall pretty positive, a net increase of over £500 a month.

So, why I am telling you about all this? You don't care.

Well, even though this would be a great increase in pay for me and would definitely speed up my route to early retirement, I HATE COMMUTING too much. 

I can't live with the fact that I would be driving 3 hours a day, rather than my current 30 mins. It just doesn't sit with me. So I didn't apply for it.

Am I a fool? Yes, this is more money than what me and my partner earn combined. But it's unfortunately just not the right time.

Anyway, what do you think? Should I dust the CV off and get it sent, or is this commute just ridiculous


Image: Selfish (fish for sale...geddit?)

12 Mar 2013

Do it for her

Finding the right motivation can be pretty difficult. I tend to look back at what I've learnt in the past,  usually from cartoons!

The cartoon I've watched the most of is definitely the Simpsons. It has made me as outspoken as Bart, a dreamer like Lisa and lazy like Homer (I didn't say they were all good things!).

One episode that always stick in my mind is "and maggie makes three", as IMDB says it's about how Homer recounts Maggie's birth in an answer to why there are no photos of Maggie in the family album.

It turns out to be a heart warming story of how, before Maggie was born Homer had his life set. He was working in his dream job, the Bowlarama, earning just enough money to support his family. Then suddenly with the news of Maggies imminent arrival, he knows he must return to his old job at the power station, where he come crawling back to Mr Burns. His superiors then add insult to injury by adding a banner in front of his workplace. You can see it at the top of the page (image: deadhomersociety). 

To soften the blow Homer cover's up certain words to create, what I think was the first motivational poster I ever saw (this was when I was in school!). He does this to make the his life a little more bearable, I've copied it below.

I think we can all see the message they're trying to convey, but to my then 10 year old brain I didn't really get it (well not fully). Homer is sacrificing his happiness for that of his child's, short term pain for long term gain. It's something we all come across at some point in our lives and the less selfish amongst us are probably involved in something right now that isn't to there liking but either helps their partner, friend or child.

It also resonates through to finance. If we want to be able to retire on our own terms, we need to start putting money away now. Yes, it's difficult, not many people out there are going to help you. But if you can see past all this short term rubbish, the hedonism and hangovers, you could start living a better, easier life in a lot shorter time than you think.

So do it for her, or him or you!

And get it done. You'll love it.

11 Mar 2013

The 40 year plan

Being frugal is for life not just for easter.

But why bother? You can't take it with you! It won't make you happy!

I know its odd for someone who works with and blogs about money, but I completely agree.

Money is for spending. I just prefer to spend less so that I don't have to work as much. Maybe I'm just lazy.

This means whereas some people think they need millions to retire, I'm a little more streamlined. A bit more efficient perhaps.

My number is more like £400k - at 4% return this would give me 16k a year. Great! I should have paid my mortgage off by then, so I would comfortably be able to live on this amount.

So next question? Where the hell am I going to get 400k from? Well, I've heard compound interest is pretty cool! So according to mr Monevator I need to sock away £375 a month. Well I'm certainly not doing that at the moment.

So what can I do to help, I could increase the time frame? Nope! I want to retire early!! Not later! 

I can increase the amount I put away, hmm a toughie this, is there anything else I can give up? Or maybe I need to earn some more. A possibility.

Another way could be to increase my return. Now I don't know much about investing, what I do know is that it's best to maximise tax free investments, e.g. pensions and ISAs. As for anything else, like fund / stock picking I pretty much suck at, because I've never done it, other than a couple of cash ISAs.

But at least I have a plan! It's a lot more that a lot of people.

Please don't be like these people, start saving now, live frugally and you can make it. You don't need as much as you think.

What's your number? 
Why do you need that much? 
Is there a different way I haven't thought of??