Birthday Celebrations, plus my Bonus Treat

No, it’s not my birthday – it’s just that this blog is a year old today – yay! πŸ™‚

So it’s been a year since my eyes were first opened by the PF and FI blog community, a year since I took more of an interest in investments and a year since I took matters into my own hands by formulating my own plan for FI/early retirement, a year since I decided to document my journey!

Prior to starting this blog, I noted that the value of my Future Fund (of course, at the time, it didn’t have a name) was Β£22,165. Not a bad start but as mentioned previously, it had taken me FIVE years to save this amount.

As at the end of March 2015, the value of my Future Fund was Β£38,869, an increase of Β£16,704 over 12 months. It just shows how unfocused I was with my saving in the previous five years but what’s done is done (or not) and with a plan in place (although this will require some tweaking and tinkering at some point), I have direction and if I can maintain a good savings rate and continue to manage my expenses, my goal of becoming FI or early retiring is very much achievable.
One year down, 14 to go. 
Or 10 to go if I aim for my ‘extreme’ goal although realistically, this is more like a dream than a goal, especially in light of what’s going on at work (I’ll explain in a future post).

My Bonus Treat

So I saved over 80% of the bonus I received for work in March.

I did mention that I was going to treat myself – after all, I’m still trying to enjoy my life while saving and investing for my future.

My treat?

A ticket to V Festival.

I went to Leeds Festival last year and wasn’t planning on another festival trip so soon, especially as I have a gig (for one of my favourite bands) planned and reducing my expenses meant that I was attempting to limit my outings to one gig or one festival per year.

But…I have my ticket so it’s wellies in a hopefully not-too-muddy field again in August!  One of my friends will be driving so chipping in towards petrol money will be cheaper than a train fare.

V Festival is more mainstream music-wise than Leeds (which is usually a bit more rock) but the day I’ll be attending will satisfy the indie ‘rock chick’ in me (Kasabian and Courteeners are the ones I want to see, although I’m also looking forward to Sam Smith, plus I must try to catch Tom Jones so I can tell my Mum, haha!).
And no, I’m not camping – it’s just not my thing, so we have a hotel booked, although not the Marriott, like we did one year!

I’m looking forward to this and hope it will be a glorious summer’s day!

Anyone else going to any festivals this year?

23 thoughts on “Birthday Celebrations, plus my Bonus Treat

  1. Hi weenie, Congratulations on your blog birthday and Many Happy Returns.

    I shall be going to Dent Music and Beer Festival in June. We have ended up planning to camp as there's not much accommodation in the area and we left it too late to nab the little there is. I haven't camped for many years so this will be "interesting".

    V Festival looks great – I saw The Proclaimers at Cornbury a couple of years ago and they were feet-stampingly good πŸ™‚

  2. Happy Birthday Quietly Saving Blog! I (or should it be my blog?) forgot to celebrate its first birthday. Have to wait for its second I suppose!

    I agree. Having a structure to your savings such as investing forces upon you really does turbocharge the rate at which you save. It also makes the little treats like the festival trip all the more delightful!

    Enjoy your second year and your festival!

  3. Nice work Weenie! Keeping a blog going for a year is a great achievement in itself. No ones making you write consistently apart from you!

    Enjoy the festival! I'm going to 2000 Trees this summer, can't wait.

    Mr Z

  4. Hi Cerridwen and thanks!

    That festival looks good, love the idea that it'll be real ale served there. Unfortunately, it'll be commercial stuff (eg Carling) that will be sold where I'm going.

    Good luck with the camping, there are luxury tents available which are supposed to be easy to put up and comfortable, not that I can speak from experience!

    Yep, gotta do the 100 Miles song with the Proclaimers! πŸ™‚

  5. Hi DD
    Thanks and happy belated birthday to your blog, haha!

    Yes, a plan and structure makes such a big difference. I still find it an effort keeping to my budget etc but seeing achievements as a result of my efforts is well worth it.

    Thanks for your kind words.

  6. Thanks Mr Z and yes, I hope to continue enjoying posting on here and hope people continue to read my waffle! πŸ™‚

    2000 Trees looks good, know of some of those bands – enjoy! πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Weenie

    Congratulations on reaching one year with lots of interesting posts on the way. As you say focussing on your saving really improves how much you actual save. Like you I really improved my saving into my portfolio once I properly tracked how I was progressing, in particular I am now generally saving most of my bonuses from my employing company shares, whereas I would have previously probably had more holidays or bought another bit of "tech" that I didn't really need.

    Here's to the next years being as productive as your first.

    Best Wishes
    FIUK

  8. Happy 1 year blogoversary, here's to many many more. Isn't it funny how your saving has really improved once you start focusing on it? This is definitely a good example of what you focus on expands. πŸ™‚

  9. Hi FIUK, thanks, I hope I can keep people interested in my blogging!

    Exactly with you on the bonus – the first one I got, I blew on a designer watch and a holiday, the second one, I saved a bit of, this one I've saved most of. If I ever get another one, I'm going to take a leaf out of your book and try to save 100% of it! πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the best wishes and for stopping by!

  10. Thanks Tawcan! Yes, I could kick myself for lack of focus over the previous 5 years but nobody told me I could be doing so much better. I don't even know how I came across MMM and other PF/FI blogs in the first place (wonder what I googled?) but I'm so glad I did!

  11. Happy Bloogday Weenie!

    It's crazy how fast a year goes by. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog from the start to now, and look forward to seeing where you take it in the next 9-14 years!

    I've never attended a Festival believe it or not. The mass crowds put me off, but I love music. I also have tinnitus so I'. not sure how my ears would handle the volume. I've just read that sentence back to myself and I sound 100 years old! I'd like to think I'd give it a go one year as it's good to try everything at least once. Have an awesome time, you've deserved it!

    Cheers
    Huw

  12. Hi weenie

    Congratulations on reaching 1 year weenie. If you stay at it history suggests you might do a lot better than 14 years to FI. Why do I say that? Earlier in the week Mr Z was asking me some questions about how my Saving Hard, Investing Wisely and Early Retirement goals have changed since I went DIY in 2007. It forced me to dig back through some archives (which admittedly are a bit patchy early on in my journey) which revealed that when I started out I thought I could FIRE in 13 years. That's very close to your 14.

    Roll on 7.5 years. By remaining very focused on the goal I've learnt how to earn more, spend less, pay less investment expenses, pay less taxes and invest IMHO reasonably sensibly. That 13 years is now 9 years for a 38% duration reduction.

    Given your commitment to the FIRE cause I see no reason why the same can't happen to yourself. You just need to stay the course and keep focusing on every Β£1 and every 0.01%. I wish you much success.

    Cheers
    RIT

  13. Thanks! I don't really celebrate my own birthday so it is little wonder I forgot my blogs one!

    I know what you mean. Over the years I have tried keeping track of my expenses quite often. Each time I got bored with the process and set it aside. Investment and FI structuring it all, though, as well as using the blog as an encouragement has all made it easier and more effective. It is sometimes difficult, but made much easier with a formalised structure and clear goal!

    Keep up the fascinating posts and progress with passive income!

  14. Thanks Huw! Yes, this year has flown by and I'm excited about documenting more of my journey over the years!

    I think Festivals are something that should be tried once, then you know it's either your thing or not. As for the mass crowds, that was one of my initial concerns before my first festival but the crowd scenes they show on TV, eg Glastonbury, are of the people right at the front. They never show the people at the back, which is where I would be with my friends, where you have room to sit/lie down on the grass with space round you (they have big screens up so you can see what's going on on the stage)! Being so far back, you're nowhere near the speakers so you'd be fine with your ears.

    Thanks for your kind words and for your continued support. It was reading your blog (and TFS's) that inspired me to start my own!

  15. Hi RIT
    It is most encouraging to see how your journey has developed and if I could emulate some of what you have done and shave some years off, that would be brilliant! I You're right, the key is focus, without this blog, I know commitment would be a lot harder as I would have no plan and highly likely to be distracted!
    Thanks again for your kind words and support.

  16. Hey Weenie,

    Congratulations! That's a big achievement, here's to many more years! I've always enjoyed reading your blog, even before I started my own, so keep up the good work – I look forward to see what the next 12 months bring your way.

    Amazing V lineup by the way. Enjoy!

    Cheers

    DL

  17. Weenie,

    Congrats and great job! Huge achievement – glad to have followed along, although I must say that I thought you were around for much longer already. I guess I'm just getting old myself. πŸ˜‰

    Your blog and effort will turn two before you know it. Don't forget to enjoy every second of your progress!

    Best of luck for the coming year,
    NMW

  18. Hi NMW
    Thanks and thanks for your continued support! The first year did fly by, yet it has also felt like I've been blogging here a lot longer than 12 months!

    Yes, I shall continue to enjoy the progress!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  19. Happy belated blog birthday!

    I think you've shown commitment to both the blog and your savings plan and would be surprised not to see you out significantly before your standard goal.

    I used to love a festival but I think I'm past it now but never say never I guess!.

    I've done V 3 times, it's good but very commercial as you say. We did isle of Wight a few years back the year it was deluge… We were in a traffic jam for 10 hours then had to abandon the car and walk the rest of the way, the tent nearly blew down and after a crap nights sleep we decided to cut our losses and go home! Best Β£500 we ever spent… Not!
    I think that's what has put me off as haven't done another one since then πŸ™‚

  20. Thanks TFS.

    That Isle of Wight experience you had was what put me off from going to festivals until later in life, when I realised that I could enjoy the whole thing without having to stay in a tent! This will be my second time at V, I've been to Leeds quite a few times.

    As you say, never say never and the portaloos have gotten a little better over the years lol!

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