Bloggers on FIRE – Ms ZiYou
In our Bloggers on FIRE series, we interview European FI bloggers to find out what makes them tick. Our aim is to build up a “who’s who” directory for the European FI blogging world. We hope you enjoy the series and discover some new blogs to follow. You can find a full list of our Bloggers on FIRE interviews here.
Please briefly introduce yourself to FIREhub.eu readers
Hi everyone – I’m a single London based woman in her late 30’s blogging at Ms ZiYou (www.msziyou.com). I’m aiming to reach financial independence by the age of 40 (not many years now!) and blogging about money, life, travel and love.
What is your backstory?
I’m very lucky that nowadays I have a high income, which makes it much easier for me to reach FI. However, it’s not always been this way, and in my twenties I did not make much money at all.
After moving to London and going freelance, my income increased dramatically. I then spent a bit of time learning about investing, and stumbled across the idea of FIRE or FI. I dived in, reading more and more and got hooked.
Why do you want to reach Financial Independence?
I’m someone who always has a lot on the go. I have lots of hobbies and lots of new hobbies I’d love to take up. While I’m working, I concentrate on running, Chinese and travel. As I’m a slow runner, I go for distance – marathons are my thing and I aim for 2 a year. Additionally I’m learning Chinese, which is fun yet really kinda tricky.
When I reach FI I plan to go slow travelling. I love travelling, yet there is so much of the world I have not yet explored. By going slow I hope to reduce my carbon footprint, and spend time getting to really know the locations I am visiting.
How much is your “enough”?
My FIRE target that I’m aiming for is £750k. This would include cash, investments and funds in my pensions. (The main item not included is home equity.) If I reach this value I’m pretty sure I’d be set for the rest of my life.
At the moment I don’t spend too much – £22k for a single person in London. When I FIRE and go nomadic, I’d like my travels to be around the same, if not a little less. Moreover, I know I will be able to play on geographic arbitrage and move somewhere cheaper to reduce costs if need be.
Where are you on the road to Financial Independence?
I am very close to the goal – less than 2 years to go I predict. I’m aiming to get there by 40. However, given the current stock market bull run, I am a bit concerned about sequence of returns risk. Ideally and selfishly I’d like there to be a crash now, while I am still earning and can make up any losses
What do you want to do with your life once you reach Financial Independence?
Travel is number one on my list: there are so many countries on the list I need to visit. And I also fancy the idea of trying to make it to each and every country in the world. It’s hard work, but it is doable if you have the time.
What is your strategy for reaching Financial Independence?
My plan is of the basic variety. Earn money from working, and investing it in index funds. The differential between dividends and capital gains does not really matter at the moment.
What will be your financial strategy after reaching FI?
Again, my plan is really simple. When I reach my FIRE target I plan to keep at most a few years expenses in cash, and leave the rest invested. Rebalance annually and refresh the cash pot.
What was your biggest financial mistake?
I’ve made so many, but probably the biggest is not learning about investing earlier. My parents are very risk averse and have never invested, similar to most people I knew. I had to teach myself and learn all about the markets. And I only did this when I had lots of spare cash – I should have done it earlier.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I have a policy of no regrets – while I know there are so many things my younger self could have done differently, in the stoic manner: that time has now passed.
What’s your wildest dream?
To be free to travel the world and make an impact. I’d love to help getting more and more girls into school and start removing the misogyny in society.
What is your favourite just-for-fun activity that brings you joy?
I have so many – running, reading and theatre to name a few. All the activities that will easily expand to fill my time once I no longer have to work for income. Additionally I really enjoy volunteering, and using my skills to help charities.