The post that looks back on my first year of blogging and gives an update on my financial situation and where I’ve vanished to.
I’ve been somewhat AWOL of late. I’m trying to pull together a post on why that is, but every time I sit down to do it I get writer’s block. Plus, there’s a fair bit in flux at my job at the moment so I’m holding off giving an update until I’m a bit clearer on what the hell’s going on with that.
However, I realised the other day that it’s about one year since I started blogging, so that seemed like an easy-ish post to try and jolt me from my malaise.
It also roughly coincides with my birthday, so I’ve decided this is a good time of year to do a general financial update. Given that I’ve only fairly recently started investing, I don’t think there’s any point in doing monthly updates at the moment as there’s not enough movement in my investments on a monthly basis. But as my goals are roughly based on my age, this seems to be a sensible annual update point.
The Future Fund
I explained in a post the other month what I’ve settled on investing in. It’s too early to tell whether these are effective choices, but now that I’m really focused on putting significant amounts into my ISA and pension, it’s nice to see the amount leap up every month.
% to target
Here’s where I am in terms of how close I am to my goals:
I’ve explained in a previous post what I mean by the different stages, but broadly speaking:
Financial stability: investments are sufficient to cover my basic expenses.
Financial independence: investments are sufficient to afford the lifestyle I live now.
Financial freedom: investments are sufficient to afford the lifestyle I want in retirement.
So there’s a hell of a way to go. I’m looking forward to a time when my investments are of an ample size such that I jump up a decent notch every month towards my goals, regardless of what “new” money I’ve put in.
Goal by age
I also have a year-by-year financial tracker (a sort of “goal for when I turn age X” type of thing). I’m not too obsessed with sticking to this as it assumes a steady investment growth every year, which clearly won’t happen. But for this year I’m over my goal by about 7%.
Ah, this millstone around the neck. Here’s a graph showing the slow, slow progress when there’s this much interest building up every month.
By Jove that’s depressing.
My financial independence goals mean having a fully paid off mortgage. If I let my mortgage run for its full term I’ll be early 60s before it’s paid off. Obviously I intend to overpay (although not at the expense of contributing to my ISA or pension). I therefore need to either wait for my salary to increase and/or earn more from side hustles.
I went through a period where I was really keen on building up the latter, but (for similar reasons to why I haven’t blogged much recently) this has gone off the boil. Hence the barely noticeable chips to the mortgage debt so far.
Thoughts on blogging
I do want to continue with this blog. I’m hoping I’ll get back the inspiration soon. I don’t mean to be all cryptic about what’s happening to make me so disengaged. I’ll write more fully about it at some point (in short it’s slow-burning ennui morphing into what I have to admit is probably depression).
But I have enjoyed engaging with the financial independence/personal finance community this past year and don’t want to let that slide.
Update on my outlook on financial independence
I posted some time about rethinking early retirement. Whilst I maintain that financial independence is the ideal state to be in, I was pondering the best way of going about this and whether forcing myself to go through twenty years in a well-paid job in a city that was making me unhappy was truly the way forward.
I’m still flip flopping about what to do about that. Disappearing off to Spain (one of my ideas) still feels out of reach. But I’m seriously considering how to work with my current situation more effectively. Hopefully I’ll have more of an update on that soon.
I will save some of the more specific financial updates for my goals 2019 review post. This has mostly been a “I’m still here; just in a slump” post.
Hope to be back with you all as a more active presence soon.