My approach

Principles to achieving FIRE

My name is the squirreler and I love squirreling (I googled squirreling (urban dictionary) and came up with a definition I was not aware of and definitely not what I had in mind – just so you know!). I like putting my money in virtual and physical pots, labelling them, giving them meaning and a job to do.

I love socialising, going out, having new experiences so my approach is not a hair shirt approach denying myself holidays, festivals, going out and enjoying myself. So I have a monthly ‘my spends’ pot, a holiday pot, a birthday and xmas pot. And when the money in the pot is gone, its gone – enforced scarcity (TEA).

This helps me manage my expenditure.

I have a household budget but not a personal budget, something I need to work on.

My financial freedom pot!

I keep my daily spending to a minimum during the week, I cycle to work and take my own lunches meaning I don’t open my purse for days sometimes.

I hate shopping!

I genuinely enjoy free or cheap things, I love walking and cycling, going to the cinema, fringe theatre and having friends round for food.

I feel guilty about how much crap and plastic modern life generates. I always try to remember if its not recyclable it will end up somewhere sometime in landfill. I try to spend intentionally, buy to last and not see my self worth in the car I drive or the clothes I wear.

Approach to investing

It is very simple (as of Aug 19), I

  • Contribute 15.16% of my gross salary in a Defined Benefit pension (employee contributions + AVCs) – I also get a very generous 19.5% employer contribution
  • Invest 5.8% of my gross salary in a Define Contribution pension
  • Save 6.4% gross or 11.25% of my net salary in high interest current account
  • Invest 10.65% gross or 18.2% of my net salary in Stocks and Shares ISA 100% in Vanguard Lifestrategy Fund 80% Equity

I have a healthy 38.11% savings rate based on my gross income? But could I do better?

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