I went for a quick drink with a mate of mine that I haven’t hung out with for ages. She wanted to know about love, and work and life in general. Somehow we got onto the topic of aiming for early retirement. Her response was a sigh and “you bloody millennials and believing that you can retire early! The only way you can retire, is to keep working till you’re 65.” She’s worked in finance her entire career and has no faith in bonds, stocks or property as a vehicle for long term passive income. She might be right but the only way we can find out is if I keep aiming for FIRE so I’m not giving up yet.
You can view my 2017 goals, or read my January review too.
How did the budget go?
A veritable sea of red there!
My discretionary spending was insane. Dating, food, giving and socialising were collectively over £1 000 over the budget. I’d like to say there’s a good reason for that but there really isn’t. I was binge eating the last couple of weeks of the month. £633.39 of that was spent on alcohol, dining out and takeaways. Just pause and take in that figure. I know that I comfort eat when something is bothering me so the top priority for this month in a bid to get some semblance of sensible spending is to figure out what’s going on.
What went well?
- My income was good, over £700 more than expected. Arguably, it’s a double edged sword as presumably I wouldn’t have spent the money if I didn’t have it.
- I met nearly half of my “support” goal – giving £2 500 away to the person I promised it to.
- I saved a little bit – I got some more bonds and paid in monies into my FI, emergency and tax funds. Yay!
The overarching goal for March is to give up laziness for Lent.
- Financial: I don’t think I’m aiming for bells and whistles this months. We need to get back to the basics. Discretionary spending needs to be reined in. A mate bet that I couldn’t spend £1 a day on food and I’ve taken on the challenge.This ties in with not being lazy – I certainly can’t afford to dine out or get takeaway meals on such a tiny budget. Wish me luck! I’ve also got a bit of a focus on earning a bit more money in March. I’ve got a freelance opportunity (albeit a small one) in the works and will be looking to sell my old bike now that my new bike is ready for business.
- Fitness: There’s a whole lot of lazy to correct in this area. My Spring/Summer routine will include cycling, running, badminton, Pilates & other bodyweight exercises in addition to football. In order to get from zero to a hundred, I’m starting with subtle changes like:
- Waking up half an hour earlier in the morning to do some sort of exercise at least 4 times a week
- Walking up and down the stairs at work as well as escalators on the tube
- Taking a 20 minute walk at lunch time on 3 of 5 days of the work week.
- Work: I’ve got to start thinking about setting myself up for more freelance work in my field. I’ve got to buy a domain and build a website that showcases my skills. This is a long-term project but I’ll create small goals that I can achieve easily starting with a conversation with a developer about what the best way is to code the website that I want.
February was horrific! There is little to look back on positively and lots of stuff to correct. It feels like I’ve taken 15 steps back from where I was in October – which now seems insanely frugal relative to everything that has come after it. I need to do better at the basics. Pay myself first. Go back to my “envelope” spending. Make my own meals. Do more free things. Let’s hope that March’s review is a heck of a lot better.