The Money Earner Blog: #1: The Beginning
I started this website just over a year ago. The reason: it is my first step to reaching my goal of becoming financially independent.
For years I have been completely devastated by the idea that I am supposed to work 5 days a week, probably until I am 70. Living for 2 days off each weekend. I kept saying to my girlfriend, family and friends: Why? Why is this the norm? What can I do to change this?
That’s how it is for everyone…
The only response I kept getting back was, “that’s life,” “we all have to do it”, “you can’t change it”, “go away”. This for a long time upset me; all I could see was that they were right. I had no savings at all, debt to pay off and no hope of buying a house, let alone reaching my current goal.
2020 was my big changing point, maybe it was Covid that kicked it off for me, maybe it was a mid-life crisis, whatever it was something clicked last year. That it didn’t have to be like this, I didn’t have to work the best part of the next 40 years in a job that was sending me slightly mad (more mad).
So I decided to do something about it.
At that moment I decided I was going to do something about it, I wasn’t going to just live my life for work. I wouldn’t be working for someone else for the rest of my life. I didn’t want to ask when I can go on holiday. What day’s I can have off. I stumbled upon the FIRE movement, ‘Financial Independence Retire Early.” I was not mad thinking that this could be achieved! There was a whole wealth of people hunting the same thing, and many who have achieved it.
I was going to do the same; break free from the norm. In reality, I am not able to just go into work and hand in a letter of resignation and skip out of there merrily. I have responsibilities, kids and a partner to look after. If I was going to achieve FIRE. I was going to have to do it whilst working. So, I set myself a target of 40. That is when I would give up my job. Hence the lovely countdown clock at the top of this page.
When that clock ticks to zero I want a decent amount of money saved up, enough money to cover expenses for at least a year or two and some money to put into a business that will replace my 9-5 and a nice little nest egg for the children so we are on the way to them starting off on the front foot. Minimum £100,000 is the target, and I want to be in a house that is my own. Still mortgaged, but out of the renting trap
If it sounds vague, that is because it was. But at least it was a plan, the hardest bit is working out how to get there.
More than one plan is required to do this; a multitude of plans are required to bring this masterpiece together. It may be a too ambitious target; some would say not ambitious enough. But worst case, if I can’t give up my work, I will be a lot closer to freedom and more financially sound.
I will talk more about these plans later on I am sure, but these are the areas that will add up to my salvation.
Learning from past mistakes – debt was a killer, it set me back years and years, put a hold on my educational life and a strain on my family. Although there were extenuating circumstances, I can only blame myself.
I have talked about my debt, its origins and how I halted it, in an interview with the frugal expat which you can find here.
What I am taking away from this past experience is that debt is not the answer I am much better with my money, never spending more than I can afford, and if I can’t pay for it, I don’t want it.
Earn more money
This is my forte, earning extra money, sounds obvious but this is the only way to get to where I want to be. I need to raise my income. I have always done things on the side, normally surveys and stuff like that.
But I’m trying more to utilise my time better to maximise my earnings.
Surveys are still a big part of that but are no longer the only ones. User testing is another one I have started in the last 12 months, which I like as it is more money for your time. Equally market research opportunities.
Cashback as well is brilliant for earning money on the things you buy anyway.
At the beginning of this year 2021, I earned a lot of money from sign up offers; this is a great way to get started for basically free money, some with no spend, some with a small initial spend but then some good profit.
Cryptocurrency is an area that has some great earning opportunities as well in a variety of different ways.
Is another avenue I am dipping my toe into, Kindle direct publishing, particularly of no content books, like notepads and stuff like that. As someone who is wholly uncreative, this may not be the best Idea. But as someone with terrible dad joke material maybe something can come of it.
It is all well and good earning more money, but if you are not going to save that money then what is the point.
So a budget for me is vital, alongside ensuring that at the first of each month I pay myself; in that I save some initially instead of leaving it in my account, as I will probably spend it on cans of Relentless and Bountys, so if it is not there then I won’t spend it.
I’m also ensuring that on the route to home ownership I am maximising the benefits of a LISA (lifetime individual savings account) by taking advantage of the 25% bonus I get each year (to a maximum of £1,000)
Finally, and this will likely become more important after homeownership, is investing. I have come to the firm belief that I am never going to get to my financial goal with my money in the bank earning a measly %. I need to get my money to work.
So, my plan at the moment is to invest this. At the moment, as I want a house in the next 2 years, the majority of investments are not viable as it is uncertain what return I would yield.
That being said, I have some investments in cryptocurrency, (which I think will grow quite handsomely) that I will aim to continue adding small amounts into on a regular basis.
Lego is my other investment strategy. Buying discounted Lego and then selling once it retires, is a sure-fire way to make some money, and an area I hope to scale more and more over the coming years.
Now we wait and see
So those are my plans at least. Is this possible? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure I have not been happier in a long time. I believe the reason being that I am on the path now, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It doesn’t have to be the case I am toddling around in my job with a dodgy hip in 30+ years. There is a way out.
My motivation has never been greater, and I am confident that I can make it work.
The subjects I have talked about I will feature in future posts on my website so you can see my progress, and any new avenues that I will be going down
I would love to hear comments with your thoughts of my evil plan. Right now there are 2716 days left and a whole lot of hard work … let’s see how it goes.