4 Years!

 

This month marks FOUR years since I started blogging about my journey to Financial Independence/Retiring Early!

Happy 4th birthday to Quietly Saving! 🙂

With so many new blogs springing up all the time and other blogs falling by the wayside, no longer being updated, I guess this must rank me amongst the ‘veterans’!?

Back Then

Although my first post on this blog was in April 2014, I had made a note of my finances in March – my starting or pre-FI plan numbers!

Here’s the comparison between my starting numbers and my most recent update:

  • March 2014 – Future Fund: £30,075
    March 2018 – Future Fund: £130,574
  • March 2014 – Net Worth: £74,595
    March 2018 – Net Worth: £219,974

The increases have been largely due to me saving hard so that new capital can be invested every month, although I have also been lucky with investment gains from the (mostly) favourable stock markets these past four years. I also reinvest any dividends and interest I receive.

I’ve aimed to save/invest as much of my net salary as possible (averaging around 40-45%), and also put away income generated from cashback, a bit of rental income, the odd bit of gambling, affiliate links and profits from matched betting. Any bonuses I’ve received from work have largely been invested too, plus as I found a job fairly quickly, I was able to save/invest the bulk of the redundancy pay I received in 2016.

I don’t practise extreme frugality – I just don’t spend a lot of money on stuff I deem unnecessary, but splash out on things I enjoy and which are important in my life, eg holidays, eating/drinking out with friends, my gym membership.

Blog Stats and Numbers?

This is where I could probably post some numbers to show how many visitors I’ve had over the years, page views, followers, subscribers etc.

Apart from the first few giddy months of me starting this blog, I have to say that I’m not really interested in such stats. Although my blog is monetised, it’s never been my intention to make any real money out of it so I’ve never felt the need to work at driving a load of traffic here. The bit of income that I do get from Google Ads barely covers the upkeep of my site but that’s enough for me. The bit of affiliate income I receive is detailed in my monthly updates and is lumped in with the rest of my investments.

Someone even contacted me recently to buy my blog (why??) but I wasn’t interested, not even to see what they were going to offer.

My only goal blog-wise has been to document my own progress on a semi-regular basis.

Top Finance Blogs

Some of you may have spotted that I re-added the Modest Money ‘Top Finance Blogs’ badge to my blog some months ago, after ‘losing’ it when I transferred from Blogger to WordPress.

When it was originally on my blog back in 2014, I had a rank of around #260 out of around 500 FI/PF blogs. My ranking has plummeted but the number of blogs is now around 1000, so I guess I’m still around the halfway mark.

I can’t say I’m actively trying to improve my rank, as I don’t have the time or inclination to sweat over analytics, SEO scores, Alexa Rankings or massing gazillions of Twitter followers.

But fair play and massive respect to those who do put in the hard effort and reap the rewards of a decent blog income – I personally just can’t be bothered with it.

As I draft this post, my rank is #596 so it’s probably gone down further by the time I publish this! How low can I go, haha?

For comparison, Monevator is the top UK blog, ranked at #40 (at the time of writing).

Thank You

A massive ‘Thank You’ to all fellow and non bloggers who take the time to read this little blog – I really appreciate your comments and emails.

Thank you very much for helping me keep my focus, keeping me motivated, giving me ideas and helping me stick to my plan!

I will also take this opportunity to give a shout out to the two blogs, Retirement Investing Today and diy investor UK, who between them, have provided nearly 12,000 referrals to my blog!  Cheers, chaps! 🙂

Also, thanks to FIREin’ London and theFIREstarter who have posted the most comments over the years – keep ’em coming!

Next Chapter

This time last year, I was unemployed (or practising living the FIRE life!) and I wrote that I would be entering a new chapter of my life.

The new chapter so far has turned out to be not too different from the old – I’ve settled into my job and am just getting my head down, getting on with my work. Next month, I will have been at my ‘new job’ for a year – I know! That’s bloody gone quick, hasn’t it?

Being settled means I can pretty much set things to ‘automatic pilot’ and continue with my plan for FIRE, barring any unforeseeable obstacles which life may throw at me in the meantime!

Onwards and upwards!

Hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine in the UK, while it lasts!

Spring is finally here, so no more scenes like this on the way to work!

42 thoughts on “4 Years!

  1. Congratulations and happy 4th birthday! I am amazed how you have increased net worth by £145K and investments by over £100K over the past 4 years..truely impressive and just shows what can be achieved in a relatively short period. I wonder what the figures will be by 2022?

    This warmer weather must be better for the homebrew…right?

    • Thanks DIY.

      I know, I was amazed myself at the numbers and as I wrote them down, I suddenly doubted my own spreadsheets and had to log onto my accounts to double check! The increase in my networth has been due to a 50% increase in my property value (based on a recent sale of a flat in the same block as mine) so that was a big surprise.

      Yes, the homebrew’s ready – post coming up shortly! 🙂

  2. Congratulations weenie. Well done for keeping up with the blog posts so consistently. Ive really enjoyed following your progress

  3. I don’t know Weenie, one minute you’re being asked to appear on a TV show, the next someone wants to buy your site….your star is in the ascendant, I wonder what’s next!

    Congratulations are very well deserved. I owe you my matched betting income, so thank you! Here’s to your oontinued success

    • Haha, thanks Fireth9to5 – onwards and upwards indeed!

      It’s good to hear that I’ve helped you with your matched betting income – let’s hope you’re having a far better month than I am though, as I’m currently having a bad run!

  4. Happy birthday QuietlySaving!

    Congrats on your progress to date weenie. Keep doing what is so obviously working well, and thanks for letting the rest of us come along vicariously for the ride.

  5. Happy 4th blog birthday weenie! Great to see you still at it with this FIRE lark being a marathon and not a sprint.

    I wonder how many of those 1000 blogs will actually ever make it to FI let alone FIRE. We’re now starting to see a few good UK based FIRE blogs appearing but I can count on one hand the number that have shown the tenacity to make it to 4 years let alone FI or FIRE. One of the psychological pillars I think is necessary to make it is Determination and as I write from the other side I still believe that.
    Retirement Investing Today recently posted…It’s starting to get Interesting (Part 2)My Profile

    • Thanks RIT. It very much is a marathon, not a sprint – I wouldn’t want it any other way. And you’re right about Determination – the decision to aim for FIRE was not a light one for me to make and once I’d decided to go all in, I was and still am determined to see it through. Documenting my journey in this blog helps me keep focus. Your own journey (albeit on an entirely different scale) remains an inspiration to me and I continue to follow your story with interest.

  6. Weenie, congratulations on another milestone. It’s been great following your progress and your posts have provided much encouragement and reassurance to me, and i suspect a few others as well, to continue along our chosen paths. Your friendly, down to earth writing, plus the fact that you seem to reply to virtually every comment, gives your blog a communal welcoming feel to it, so it’s perhaps no surprise that someone was interested in buying it. Without the original author remaining on board though would it be worth anything? Glad you’ve remained true to your beliefs and not sold out for a quick buck. Also for what it’s worth, of the ~1,000 blogs out there, i regularly follow just eight of them, so that puts you in the top ten in my poll.
    Keep up the good work,
    Kid Cocoa.

    PS – i followed you in on HICL a couple of weeks ago, so thank you for the timely reminder with that one.

    • Thanks for the kind words of support, KC and I’m glad I’m in your top ten blogs! 🙂 My blog has never been about ‘how to’ but in documenting my own progress, I’m happy that readers might get some ideas about their own journeys.

      As for replying to comments, that’s just etiquette, isn’t it?

      Ah, nice one on the HICL – I think we got there at the right price, not that I was trying to time the market!

  7. Wow! Can’t believe it’s been 4 years. I remember reading a comment from you shortly after you started your blog saying how you had done so after encouragement from other bloggers. Think it was on either RIT or Monevator (but I could be very wrong!). Here you are now a fully fledged FIRE blogger with a site worth buying 🙂

    Your net worth and future fund figures are increasing very nicely, even more so given you are doing this as a singleton, no mean feat. Do you have a FIRE date in mind? Or is it more about hitting X in income/capital?

    What are your thoughts on how OMY might play out for you? I know RIT has discussed at length which has been ever so interesting to read and ponder as we near our original FIRE date.

    • Hey Tuppenny

      I know, time has just flown by! It was theFIREstarter and Huw from FFB40 who both inspired me to start my own blog as they were the first UK based FIRE blogs I’d come across and I liked what they were doing.

      As for a FIRE date, it wavers between 2024 and 2025 and will depend on me hitting X in capital and Y in income. My numbers have changed over the 4 years so I need to review them properly. There’s also lean/fat FIRE to consider, although my figures are actually for something in between. I don’t want to set a lean number in case my mind starts aiming for that target and sees that as enough!

      I’m open to OMY, although I’d probably see if I could drop to a 4-day week. This is assuming that I’d still like to work at the same place but who knows?

  8. Pingback: The Full English Accompaniment – The London and BTL Bubble? – The FIRE Shrink

  9. Hi Weenie,

    Happy 4th Birthday! I can’t believe that it is so long – it feels only the other month that you were celebrating a previous one!

    Ah so I have some work to do to make sure I stretch ahead of TFS on the comments 😉

    I can’t believe its been a year already you are in the new job – time really does fly!

    It’s a huge increase in NetWorth and funds over 4 years – just think what the next will bring in. I’m also curious to see how you are getting on with your £200k challenge!
    Cheers,
    FiL

    • Thanks FiL – I know, the anniversaries will come in thick and fast and then before I know it, I’ll be in sight of the finish line….eeek!

      This past year has just been a blur of winter months – time does seem to go by faster as you get older!

      Yes, as mentioned to DIY above, the big jump in my networth has been due to my property – I don’t tend to monitor its value as I’m not planning to sell in the near future so I had no idea it had gone up by so much.

      As regards to the £200k challenge with John Kingham, I’m still in the lead! 😉

      • Hi Weenie,
        Hopefully the finish line will be faster than you expect, and with this, it is always optional, you can still work! 🙂
        Ah with you on the increase – I am with you, I track my networth in 3 ways – everything, everything excluding house and then everything excluding house and pension – just to get an idea!
        Ah I wait to see how you both progress, where can I find the updates on the competition? 🙂
        FiL

      • Have you ever considered (and definitely not saying theres a right or wrong answer on this just asking) selling your house and investing the money? I seriously considered this last year as I have over 200k sat in my house and really feel houses may be at the top of the market (yes i know we’ve been saying that for years). I just don’t see them going up more than a couple of %round here. I could invest that 200k and be rent free paid from income. Ultimately i decided to just fix my mortgage for ten years and stop over paying. It means my mortgage will only have reduced from 287 to 230k but ill have almost 200k saved which will be nice
        I don’t think I’ll bother clearing my mortgage until i take my lump out my pension

        • Hi FBA

          The only property I own is my BTL flat, the rental income of which will form part of my retirement income. I live in my parents house and pay them rent which is obviously not market rate, because unlike a normal tenant, anything which needs fixing and replaced, eg boiler repair, roof, fencing, washing machine, I pay for. I’ve got about £90k equity in my flat but I’d be pushed to be able to get investment returns to beat the rent I receive. I was paying down the mortgage before but I’ve stopped now – just putting the money to one side to cover for future repairs, decorating etc.

          Sounds like a decent plan with your mortgage – I do think the housing market seems to be stabilising, or due a burst bubble. I’m not looking to sell so it won’t affect me.

  10. Great achievement Weenie, fellow bloggers know just how hard it is to keep posting regularly, never mind staying relevant and not repeating yourself. You were one of the people originally urging me to publish my own, so thanks for that, I still enjoy posting (on the whole!) and assume you do to. Here’s to another four years.

    • Thanks Jim and yes, I still enjoy posting. That’s why I’ve never set myself blog goals, eg so many posts per week/month – I know if I did, it would all become a chore.

      I’ve said it before but I’m glad I helped persuade you to start your own blog – I didn’t get the chance to talk to you at length in York, but from the brief convos we had, I knew you had a great story to tell and would tell it in a different and entertaining way! 🙂

      Hear Hear, to another 4 years!

  11. Congratulations Weenie on 4 years. That’s brilliant. I also started on my quest to FI about 4 years ago and this post got me a bit reflective too. Your future fund is looking sweet now and it’s great to hear about the success your blog is having. Some great progress over the years. Here’s to 4 more years and many more :). Chris

  12. Many happy returns!! That’s a great achievement on the future fund and net worth increase. With being at the start of my FI journey, I’m hoping when I look back at this point in 4 years time I’m equally as surprised at my progress as you were.

    Keep up the good work 🙂

    HTSC

    • Cheers HTSC. I think the ‘surprise’ is when you see how far you’ve come after a few years – looking at the month on month numbers, it’s harder to see progress. Good luck with your own journey!

  13. Hi Weenie,

    Happy blogiversary! Like you mentioned there are loads of blogs coming and going but far fewer that stand the test of time. Respect for having the staying power and keeping your blog interesting and inspirational. I’m constantly writing blog posts in my head but somehow I find it harder to sit down at the computer and make them a reality. You’ve inspired me to keep going!

  14. A happy belated blogoversary weenie!

    4 years!

    Amazing that someone approached you for buying the blog. Was there not just a little bit of you that wanted to find out how much they thought it was worth? 🙂
    I don’t think I could have not found out despite having no intention to sell.

    I agree with you on the numbers etc… I barely look at mine now, mainly cos they are boring and never really seem to go up or down much! I think I’ve reached my level and I am pretty happy with it. Too many comments means you would have trouble replying to them all eh?

    I’m coming up to 5 years in July so am looking forward to doing a big update on progress then. As Fatboy Slim would say: “We’ve come a long way… baby”

    All the best for the next year and more…

    • Thanks TFS!

      I will admit that yes, there was a bit of me that wanted to find out how much they thought my blog was worth but I didn’t want to be swayed (negatively or positively) by a number, so I decided I was better off not knowing!

      Yeah, agree with the comments thing – I think you reply to all yours too and too many would just take too much time and management.

      Fatboy Slim is right but as someone else (the Hollies?) would say about the journey to FIRE (or not), “The road is long, with many a winding turn..”

      Looking forward to your 5th anniversary post!

  15. Hi Weenie

    Great achievement, and some great information in your post. The two things that stand out are your future fund increasing by £100,000 in four years, but the really great titbit is that you have stopped spending on things you don’t seem necessary, but continue to splash out on the things you enjoy!

    I think it is this exact philosophy that allows the average person to maintain their sanity while still being to be able to cut their spending and save for the future (I for one could not have gone the extreme frugal route).

    Hope you can continue to grow the future fund at the same rate or better, and achieve FIRE earlier than your current forecast.

    Best wishes
    FIUK

    • Thanks FIUK.

      If I had gone down the extreme frugal route, I would have seen immediate short term gains but I doubt very much I would have been able to sustain that sort of life and may have just given up. I believe the key is balance, so I can keep going the distance.

      If I achieve FIRE earlier than my current forecast, well, that would be a nice problem to have!

  16. Hey Weenie,

    Many congratulations on your 4 year anniversary. That’s a super achievement, well done! I’ve been reading your blog for over 2 years and wish that I had discovered it (and other FIRE blogs) sooner. Still, I’m happy to have found it when I did and be following along with your journey.

    Thanks for being so consistent and innovative with your posts. I’ve enjoyed the diversity of reading about the Dogs of the FTSE, your home brews, the Monkey Stocks league, toilet twinning, book bingo, dividend investing, goals setting/tracking and of course your net worth and future fund progress. Wow so much variety!

    Please continue to keep up the good work, I for one will definitely be following along and sending you encouragement and best wishes as you approach your FI goal. I think as we get more UK bloggers approaching/achieving FI we should have a UK FI “party”/meet-up!!

    Corinna x

    • Thanks for the kind words and your continued support, Corinna.

      I try to write about different topics, basically stuff that interests me and which I hope readers might find interesting too.

      Let’s hope we all get to FI as planned so that we can make this UK FI “party”/meet-up!!

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