The Budget Breakaway Gang

The Budget Breakaway Gang

Welcome to BlogFAQ III, this time we are talking to Joe, who along with his girlfriend Fi, run the brilliant, up and coming UK based personal finance blog Budget Breakaway. Apart from one of them having a very fitting name (Fi/FI) for this type of blog, I love the fact that these two really have got their sh*t together at an early stage in life, other young people reading take note! Take it away Joe…


Give us a brief intro to yourself and your blog, and what you are trying to achieve over there?

Fi and I graduated from university at the end of last year and are now taking our first steps on the career ladder. Budget Breakaway is a place for us to keep track of our financial journey at this exciting time of our lives. Documenting our goals and sharing them with the world gives us a great incentive to achieve them! 

We’re always on the lookout for ways to make money on the side away from the salary, from freelance marketing to making and selling cards. One day I’d like to see Budget Breakaway evolve as a source of inspiration for fresh graduates to show that you can find creative ways to escape the rat race and live your own life even if you’re just starting out! (I have to do this for myself first!)


How did you first get into the Personal Finance/Blogging Scene…? What was your motivation and did you have a particular “light bulb” moment?

 Working in the digital marketing industry, I find myself matching up small to medium sized businesses with blogs on a daily basis. In the first few months of my role, I found myself getting sucked into the PF community and found the topic of finance all too interesting. PF bloggers seemed to be so pro-active, creative and inspiring that I wanted to dive in and join the community myself – now I’m hooked!


Your blog is somewhat different to many others in that you are teaming up with your girlfriend. How/where did you meet such a frugally minded lady?

We actually met whilst studying for our A-Levels at sixth form and were good friends. We then parted ways and went to separate universities; two years later I was setting off for a Summer in America and guess who was in the seat next to me – we find it really weird too! From there we travelled from New York and spent an amazing summer in Miami enjoying the white sand and wonderful food! We’re now sat in our flat in the midlands plotting our next adventure…


When did you realise you shared similar goals or was one of you the main driver of this idea/philosophy/lifestyle?

I think we realised shortly after starting our careers. It became clear that we couldn’t spend our time travelling, staying in exotic places and living the explorer life without getting our finances straight and finding ways to generate income away from the 9-5.


What is your current Net Worth, What are you aiming it to be in 5 years?

As of January 2014 I became debt free! This year saw my net worth reset to zero after some expensive travels and a pricey car crash! Since then I’ve been pushing to fill my emergency fund as fast as possible and currently have a personal net worth just above £2000.  As for the next 5 years, my guess is as good as yours! If I can increase my monthly savings contributions by £100 per month each year I’d be looking at a personal net worth of £62,000 but only time will tell the success (or failure) of the side-hustles!


What is the number you are aiming to save up before you jet off on your travels around the world?

I can’t say I’ve ever fathomed the magic number but I think the ideal scenario would be to have an online business combined with some passive income that we could run from any country in the world. I can dream!


Your blog clearly has a big travelling theme, I am a travel nut! What are your top destinations on the list to visit on your trip?

We love the states and are planning to go back there this September to re-visit some of our favourite places in Florida. Last year we ascended Mount Teide in Tenerife which was beautiful. I’d love to spend a few months in the US travelling state to state by car.  Backpacking in Australia sounds mighty attractive too!


You also seem to love a side hustle to boost your savings, what are your current side hustles you both have going on?

We do love our side hustles! In the past few months we’ve tried so many! Selling books on Amazon, setting up gigs on Fiverr, trying out Swagbucks, doing overtime projects, coaching sports and much more! More recently I’ve realised that the most profitable and worthwhile side hustles are those that are also viable business ideas. My experience lies in the marketing industry so I’ve been securing a very small client base of small businesses that can provide a nice steady flow of additional monthly income; I’m hoping to scale this exciting venture even more over the next few months! Fi is also a master crafter and has recently been setting up an Etsy shop to sell her cards, embellishments and gift tags – you can see her new blog here!


Do you have any particularly successful, (or the complete opposite!) side hustle stories you could share with us?

Ha, this one is more of a massive stroke of luck than a side hustle but I’ll divulge. When I first joined the PF scene I read a post on Money Stepper about the likelihood of winning online giveaways; I tried the first giveaway that Graham had linked to in that post and won $200! I honestly couldn’t believe it!


What are your three biggest goals for the future in the areas of your financial life, personal life, and your blogging life?

My big goals for the next twelve months are as follows:

1. Financial – Fill my emergency fund and put a down payment on our first mortgage
    The help to buy scheme is a healthy option for us and there are plenty of options in our area with the scheme. No more wasted money on rent!

2. Personal – Read one book every month for a year
    I’m a big believer in education and personal development – to do something you have never done, you have to become someone you have never been! I’m currently reading the ‘Four Hour Work Week’ which falls in very nicely with the travelling side hustle lifestyle that I’d love to lead!

3. Blogging – Share some ideas!
    I’d love to create a list of attractive and alternative side-hustles that anyone can take on in their spare time – watch this space!


What are your favourite relevant blogs or websites to readers of theFIREstarter that they may not yet be aware of?

So hard to choose! I do like reading about the journeys of others on the road to FI and have recently been enjoying to the MadFientist podcasts during my daily commute – these are great! Robbie Burns’ trading diary is a fun read even if you’re not currently trading shares yourself. I’m also a big follower of the Fast Company and other business/career magazines.


What are your favourite book(s) and film(s) and why? (leaving this open ended as it’s often hard to choose just one!) 

The first three films I can think of right now: Wolf of Wall St, V for Vendetta & Equilibrium. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a must read for anyone in PF community.


Well there you have it folks, if you have any more questions for Joe and Fi please do leave a comment! My overriding feeling reading Joe’s answers and the Budget Breakaway blog is that with their get up and go attitude they will live an exciting, adventure filled, and prosperous life. If I ever encounter any complainy-pants of the younger generation I know where to send them now! Thanks again Joe and good luck to both of you in your quest for Financial Freedom and Travelling the World!