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 and a loose personal budget.
I keep my daily spending to a minimum during the week, pre-covid I cycled to work and took my own lunches, and now I stay at home and still cook my own lunch. This means 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, as and when restrictions allow.
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 Dec 2020), I
- Contribute 19.9% of my gross salary in a Defined Benefit pension (employee contributions + AVCs) – I also get a very generous 19.5% employer contribution
- Invest 7.1% of my gross salary in a Define Contribution pension
- Invest at least 22.6% in Stocks and Shares ISA 100% in Vanguard Lifestrategy Fund 80% Equity
During 2020 an odd year to say the least I have had a I have a healthy 58% savings rate based on my net income? But could I do better?