Bloggers on FIRE – Quietly Saving
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
Hello, my name is Weenie, I live in Manchester in the UK, I’m a woman in my late 40s, not married, no kids and I work for a global recruitment company. I’ve been documenting my journey to FIRE on my blog http://quietlysaving.co.uk.
What’s your backstory?
I graduated from uni with very little debt – it was when I was earning my own money that my spending went out of control. This was despite being brought up by parents who were savers, not spenders. I carried large credit card debts from my mid-20s to mid-30s until I suddenly realised that it was not normal to have such debts. I resolved to pay them off and was finally debt-free by 40. The years that followed, I thought I was doing great – happy with my job, happy with life, no debts, some savings. I have no idea what I was Googling but I came across Mr Money Mustache and my mind went ‘boom!’ Suddenly, I saw that early retirement was possible for someone like me, on an average salary and starting investing late in life. I’ve now been aiming for FIRE for 5 years and at a stretch, am perhaps halfway to my goal.
Why do you want to reach Financial Independence?
I have largely enjoyed my 25+ year career. However, weekends are too short, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do what I want to do and my holidays aren’t long enough for me to spend a decent amount of time with family. So, Financial Independence means more free time for me.
How much is your “enough“?
I won’t be using a withdrawal rate, more likely a recurring income level. As to what that is, it ranges between £18k – £22k a year, with £20k probably being ‘normal’ FIRE
Where are you on the road to Financial Independence?
My original goal was any time before I turn 60! However, I’d hope to be FI by the age of 55. Sounds quite old but that’s still 12 years before the state pension age.
What do you want to do with your life once you reach Financial Independence?
Reaching FI will likely lead very quickly to Retiring Early as I don’t intend to do any paid work once I get there. Ok, definitely not full-time work, might consider part-time, I don’t know. Perhaps some volunteering work but I have numerous hobbies and interests, so many books to read, so many video games to play, so many boxsets to watch, countries I want to visit which I’ve never been to before. However, I reckon initially, I will spend some time just decompressing and getting used to not having to go to work!
What is your strategy for reaching Financial Independence?
Keeping my expenses down so that I can maintain a consistent and fairly high savings rate and invest my money in stocks, investment trusts and tracker ETFs. I have a mixture of growth investments and income investments, the latter hopefully to pay dividend income to cover most of my household bills. I do not practice extreme frugality but have worked out a balance – cut out unnecessary expenses but continuing to pay for what is important to me.
What will be your financial strategy after reaching FI?
I will draw on a set income via dividends, selling off some capital and some income from property. When the stock markets are down, then I will spend less. I do not intend to keep my capital/wealth intact as I will be spending most of it. If matched betting is still a viable side hustle, I’d probably still do that as a hobby for some extra income.
What was your biggest financial mistake?
Continuing to spend and allowing my credit card bills to mount up.
What advice you would give to your younger self?
Save an emergency fund, pay off your credit cards in full every month, read up about and start investing as soon as you can.
What’s your wildest dream?
To visit the hobbit houses in New Zealand!
What’s your favourite just-for-fun activity that brings you joy?
Playing video games.