Family Life

As revealed here, my sister and my nephew have moved in with me and it’s been a massive adjustment to my life.

Until my nephew actually started school, I have to say it sort of felt like they were only here temporarily on holiday and that they would be off home at some point. I’m still kind of getting used to things.

Sis hasn’t rested on her laurels though since her arrival. As soon as the jetlag wore off, she started reorganising the house. It’s been a good exercise, getting rid of some unwanted stuff that’s been in the family for years but also digging out some things I’d packed away in the garage and forgotten about! Still can’t part with my comic collection though…

She’s not quite gone the full KonMari but there’s still a lot to get rid of as she’s got a shipment of stuff arriving in about a month’s time so needs to clear some space. A lot of old spare furniture sitting in the garage has gone to charity already.

Changes

I’m sure at some point, I will get used to seeing little boy’s pants in my washing basket!

Pants…

However, I know I won’t get used to the TV being on with no one watching it…

Or the lights being left on around the house…

Or not being able to have my music blasting around the house…

Or not being able to watch my programmes when I want as they’re unsuitable for children…

Or someone drinking alcohol in the house on a school night!

There have already been discussions about turning the heating on – it’s only September!!

But wait! Let me stop with the negativity! Whilst I’m trying to get used to my new home life, I have to admit that there are a lot of positives.

The good things:

  • home cooked meals when I get home from work!
  • shared household bills, which should positively impact my savings rate!
  • chirpy voice welcoming me home (my nephew, not my sis!)
  • Sunday roasts!
  • garden looks much tidier and weed-free!
  • house is more ‘organised’ – I think I’ve mentioned before that whilst I’m super organised and tidy at work, I’m almost the opposite at home, don’t know why!
  • less unproductive time spent online because it’s anti-social when there are people around…

This last point is good and bad – bad in that I’ve been struggling to find the time to read blogs, comment and also to draft my own posts. I guess I just need to work out a new routine.  I enjoy a bit of peace and quiet in the evenings as sis goes to bed before I do, but at the moment, it’s not quite enough time to do all my blogging stuff.

This post has taken a while to draft as I couldn’t do it in one sitting, had to write it in fits and starts.

Unexpected Consequence

My gym sessions in the evenings used to be quite drawn out affairs – an hour working out after work, half an hour relaxing in steam room/sauna, shower and then mooch home.

Recently however, I’ve just been doing the hour workout, showering and then heading straight home – because then, I can catch my nephew before he goes to bed!

Who would have thought!? Certainly not me!

I realise that he’s not going to stay an engaging chatterbox for long (and mobile phone-free) and that all too soon, his teen hormones will kick in, so I may as well make the most of this period of his life!

He’s settled in well in his new school, has made friends and is doing fine in his classes.

So things seem alright at the moment – no real clashes with sis (so far) and I’ve spent some nice family orientated weekends with them.

However

Sis is off networking with ex-colleagues next week. She will be away for a few days so will be leaving me in sole charge of her offspring.

And thus my life has changed as I will need to be a responsible adult looking after a child….

I hope I remember to not let him stay up too late past his bedtime!

And how am I going to make sure he gets ready for school when I can only just about manage to get myself awake for work!

I hope am sure it’ll be fine…

Bored Yet, after 5 Years?

Been seeing a few blog posts recently talking about how boring aiming for FIRE is, especially when things are on autopilot.

Spend less than you earn, invest the rest in index trackers, rinse and repeat until you reach your goal.  Blah blah blah, yawn.

Well, this month marks FIVE years since I started blogging about my journey to FIRE and I can’t say that I’m bored….yet.

Happy 5th birthday to Quietly Saving! 🙂

Neither am I bored with tracking my own progress – I started this blog as a personal journal just so that I know how I’m doing versus my goals.

Perhaps one reason for not being bored is because not everything is on autopilot for me – my expenses can vary each month, depending on time of year, my holidays and my social life. I do consciously have to think about my spending, otherwise it could easily go out of control. By ‘out of control’, I don’t mean going into debt (I don’t want to go there again!) but by not saving/investing as much as I can and should. Writing about my investing ‘experiments’ (eg Dogs of the FTSE) also keeps me interested in my investments, when the majority of it is in ‘boring’ passive index trackers.

Another reason is that I still mostly enjoy updating my blog. I don’t think blogging has gotten any easier over the years but I’m still able to make time for it so it’s a hobby I enjoy doing.

What have I been doing all this time? Continue reading

Thought Experiment #2

This isn’t SavingNinja’s 2nd thought experiment but it is the 2nd one I’ve taken part in and neatly follows on from the first one I did.

Here’s the scenario:

You wake up one rainy morning and after checking on your accounts, you find out that you have been wiped out by a cyber-criminal! You’ve lost all of the money and assets that you’ve ever owned and can’t get them back. What will you do?

Not actual depiction of a cyber-criminal

The assumption here is that a hacker will overnight siphon off everything in my accounts, by which I mean all the cash sitting in my current accounts, savings accounts, cash ISA and premium bonds account. Also, the investments in my S&S ISA and my SIPPs will have mysteriously disappeared (unlikely for the SIPPs, seeing as they can’t be accessed til I’m 55 but humour me!). Shockingly, my DB pension is also gone and there’s a mini-meltdown in the US as it was part of a global pension pot and not only my pension was targeted!

Even the cash I have in my betting and exchange accounts has been hoovered up! Contacting said providers prove futile, the money has disappeared into the ether. I don’t have any cash around the house (around £20 change in moneyboxes and at the time of writing, £12.58 in my purse).

I will assume however that the hacker hasn’t managed to persuade HR to fire me overnight, so I’m still employed, that I will still have my rental property and I will still have a roof over my head.

So not quite starting from absolutely zero, but still a bloody nightmare scenario.

What to Do?

The first thing I would do would be (in no particular order) to panic, swear a lot, beat myself up about how I should have changed my online passwords more often and then drown my sorrows in vast quantities of alcohol.

I would probably spend hours trying to find out if anything could be done about recovering my DB pension since there will be over half a million other people in the same situation.

Once I’ve calmed down a little, I would tell my family (though not my parents or my grandmother – don’t want them worrying needlessly) and probably a couple of my close friends. My message however will be that despite what’s happened, I’m alright, because I know they will want to help me. I would probably get a short term cash loan from the family, to cover expenses until I get paid.

What Next?

It won’t just be the fact that I’ve lost all that I’ve saved up, but I’ve lost the ticket to achieving financial independence, retiring early and retiring comfortably.

With my FIRE plan down the pan (heh!), I would need to draw up my new plan, which would be probably be to ensure that I end up retiring comfortably at normal retirement age.

What would I do differently ?

I would set up an emergency fund first and foremost. I would then see about building up my pension/SIPP investments again, more so than in my ISAs. Seeing as I won’t need the money until later in life,  I may as well take advantage of tax relief.

I have a feeling that I would be a lot more frugal, verging on the extreme side as I try to claw my way back to a comfortable financial situation. In desperation, I might even cross the line and become stingy and penny-pinching, although I hope not!

One thing I would probably do would be to go back to my strict budgeting, which I haven’t done since I was eyeballs deep in credit card debt. It’s no fun logging every penny spent.

Perhaps I would consider looking for a better paid job but more likely, I would certainly spend my spare time just hustling and looking for more money. And yes, I’ll be scouting out for coupons!

More time spent matched betting (even consider multi-accounting which I don’t do now) and I would dial down on my social life but not completely as my friends are important to me.

I’ll still put money aside to travel to see my family once a year – that’s one thing I wouldn’t ever change.

And finally, I will just get my head down and be a worker bee to earn a steady salary.

Miserable yet…?

This all seems to point to me leading an extremely focused but not very happy life, being obsessed with trying to build up what I lost.

Yet if I think about it, there are a lot of people who are in this situation, where they do not have savings for their future and yet they are happily going about their lives.

I think due to the fact that I had saved up and then lost it all, it’s possible probable that I would become quite obsessed about it all, which doesn’t sound good at all.

Plus I would need to get my head around working until my mid-60s, something which I was quite happy to do before I discovered and planned for FIRE. I really shouldn’t have taken that FIRE Red Pill, which made me see the light!

I would hope that I would still be able to enjoy my life and my work but knowing me, I think it would take a while before I could get over something like this.

Gosh, that’s gone a bit dreary and bleak, hasn’t it?

Anyway, below is SavingNinja’s take on the thought experiment and as and when I see other bloggers taking part, I’ll add below:

What would you do if this happened to you?

Changes Afoot

So I mentioned in my goals post that one reason why I wanted to keep my goals simple and familiar was because my life (as I know it) was going to be turned ‘upside down’.

Not in a bad way, I was being a little melodramatic there but certainly, there will be a big change happening later in the year.

So what’s the big change? Continue reading