Meeting Up in Manchester

“Anonymous bloggers meeting up in a pub, how will we know each other?”

This was the question I posed to MsZiYou a couple of days before we were scheduled to meet up in Manchester.

We solved it by sending each other selfies.

However, as the hours ticked down yesterday afternoon, I wondered how others would know who we were.

Problem solved, no messing about…

Meaningless to the casual observer, meaningful to those in the know!

And yes, the sign mostly worked! 🙂

Considering that I only made a belated mention of the meetup at the end of my latest update a week ago, forgot to tweet about it and no Facebook advertising the event, I thought it was great that 7 of us turned up on a rainy Manchester evening!

A few others contacted me to say that they couldn’t attend but would love to know of future meetups – I really thought I was pretty much doing this FIRE thing on my own up here, so it was great to know there are others like me up norf!

So who was in attendance? Yours truly, MsZiYou, Emily from thesavingjourney, Alice (who travelled up from Cambridge), Mr & Mrs Fu of FI UK Money and Doug. Yes, more women than blokes which was a pleasant surprise!

It was all very casual, all very friendly, lovely meeting everyone.

Bloody Brilliant

With only a few of us, it was easy to get to chat to everyone – it was fascinating to hear firsthand how everyone got onto the path to FIRE – it’s one thing to read about it in blogs, quite another when you actually hear someone speak about how they came across Mr Money Mustache or Early Retire Extreme!

This is the thing about these meetups – you can talk about savings, investments, pensions etc and not be seen to be a) weird or b) bragging. Oh and matched betting was discussed too.

And of course, it’s all about networking, connecting, making new friends/acquaintances, talking with like-minded people; just normal folk – I just loved to hear how people are just getting on with their lives whilst having this grand plan in the background. How people tried to ‘nudge’ their friends and loved ones towards cutting their spending and costs!

Thanks to Ms ZiYou for suggesting this meetup in the first place, or it would never have happened!

A bit Weird at First

This was the 5th FIRE meetup I’ve attended over the years – previous ones were organised by Huw of FFB40 and took place in Stratford, York, Sheffield and North Wales.

Attending this meetup for me however was a little weird because as an anonymous blogger, I was rather anxious of someone I knew wandering in and saying ‘OMG, Weenie, I didn’t realise it was YOU!’. Quelle horreur! (Although I think I spotted my ex there last night but thankfully he wasn’t there for the meetup, which would have been rather awkward!)

  • I told colleagues I was meeting friends last night
  • I told friends I was meeting colleagues last night

Does it bother me to keep up this deception? Not really, I’m just not ready to ‘come out’ as it were in respect of pursuing FIRE – I see no benefit in it.

However, what I do want to say is that although it was weird at first meeting up in Manchester, I did enjoy it very much, so I would absolutely organise another one here in the future.

Maybe when there’s not so much rain, which probably narrows it down to like one day in the summer, haha!

Anyway, hope you all have a great weekend.

24 thoughts on “Meeting Up in Manchester

  1. Glad it was a success. I didn’t finish work till about 8 p.m. on Friday or else I was hoping to make it, but would be interested to come to a future meetup.

  2. I’d be up for another one but having not made it to the London ones let alone Manchester…. Although I do have family in Manchester

  3. Sounds good, love chatting to like minded souls. I have met a new friend through my local Park Run and we are both very much into FIRE. Great to have someone to bore with my spreadsheets.

    • Hi AnneD

      Intrigued to know how you and your friend started chatting about FIRE on your local Park Run!

      But yes, it’s great to chat to like minded souls!

    • Cheers TFS

      Agreed, I’ve enjoyed all the ones I’ve attended always seem to have come away learning something new.

      It’s a bit too close to home for me to organise something too regular – fear of bumping into friends and colleagues…

  4. Glad you all had a good time, and i hope the others all ‘nudged’ you to put all of your rainy day fund into your ISA again before the end of the tax year.

    • Hey KC

      You know what, I was thinking of you, as I was looking at my accounts to see how I can top up my ISA, haha! I will be shifting much of my emergency funds in there but there’s actually not a lot to play around with. I’m not sure I’ll even be able to put in as much as I did last year – will see how I get on anyway. But thanks for the reminder all the same! 🙂

  5. That sounds brilliant! It sounds like a resounding success.

    I know what you mean about it feeling a bit weird though. Part of what’s held me back from going to one of these in the past has been the idea of losing anonymity. Having actually thought about it a bit though I’m not entirely sure what is actually bothering me about that so I think I’m over that. Now it’s just about diary time!

    • Hi Caveman

      I’m just not sure what I’d say if my friends spotted me and asked me what I was doing and who I was with! I’d certainly have to deny organising the whole thing, haha!

      I’m just not ready to lose my anonymity, still too far from my goal to ‘come out’!

  6. It was awesome to meet you in person weenie – such a cool night, shame I couldn’t stay later.

    And I never realized your ex was around!!b

    • Hey Ms ZiYou

      As already mentioned, it was great to meet you face to face – at least I’d already heard your voice on the podcast, otherwise the accent would have really thrown me! 🙂

      Yeah, I spotted him not long before you had to leave us – I was too shocked to say anything to be honest!

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  8. Aw, Weenie, it’s been a full week since we met in person! I feel so bad that I’ve not responded to this before, although I read it not long after you posted it. We had family here to stay over what ended up a long weekend and as soon as they left there was Cheltmas to deal with for Matched Betting – not helped by the fact that Mr Fu had some emergency work to do somewhere… so I was MBing for two…. Very stressful, but we are £500+ up for our meagre involvement, so I did OK!
    Being so close to home we couldn’t miss an opportunity to meet other locals, and while I definitely felt weird before we all met up it worked out so well and we weren’t disappointed… What a great evening we had. I think we should aim for a lovely summer reunion somewhere with a beer garden, maybe. I’m so pleased we came – it was great to connect in person with everyone.

    • Hey Mrs Fu

      It was lovely to meet you and Mr Fu and great to hear that you’ve had a successful Cheltmas – well done, I can imagine it being very stressful keeping on top of all the offers! I didn’t do many offers this year (gubbed by too many now) but just did mostly EW betting with so-so success, though overall profit in the end.

      I will check out venues with beer gardens next time – might have to book/reserve somewhere.

      • We have suffered two gubbings after Cheltmas. It really annoys me that bookies advertise these offers then promptly gub you when you try them out! Most of the time I win into the exchange anyway so I can’t see what their problem is at all. They’ve made money on me. Oh well. I’ve tried EW sniping but I’m not sure I’ve quite got the hang of it yet and have had limited success, but I’ll keep trying – I’ll have to, if the gubbings continue!

  9. I remember meeting you and Andy a couple of years ago in York, organised by Hew….it was great to meet some like minded people, and easy for me as it was my home town! Like you, I was a bit paranoid my blog would be “discovered” by friends or colleagues. I haven’t blogged for a while, but still wonder if I’ll be “found out” by someone I know. What am I worried about? I’ve no idea. It does seem a bit strange that many of us want to be anonymous bloggers but want to publish our thoughts on the WWW too. Still, I’m glad that many of us do 😉

    • Hi Jim

      I’m not sure what I’m worried about either about being found out – it just doesn’t sit comfortably with me for some reason and yet, as you say, quite happy to post everything on the WWW for strangers to read, haha!

      I miss your honest thoughts and updates on your blog and hope you’re well.

  10. Hi Weenie,
    First time I’ve commented on here, although I’ve been a long term reader.
    I don’t blog but I do post on several related boards. I’d be interested in a more general Manchester FIRE meet up if there ever was one.

    Anon.

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