year down tracks ii

Well, I missed my blogiversary again this year, only by a few days a week and a few days though, rather than the few weeks I missed it by last year 🙂

Yes theFIREstarter blog is now 2 years old!

What has changed and have I learnt in year two? Quite a lot it turns out!

In my update last year I talked a lot about learning and growing as a person, which I feel I’ve continued to do. My goal next year is to read a few more books. Blogging is great but you can’t beat a good book to crystallise some of the best ideas into personal learning and change your philosophy on life and perspective on things. I’d do well to just follow a lot of Free to Pursue’s recommendations!

the financials

Finally we’ll do a quick comparison on year on year financial stats as that is what I did last year. I didn’t include pension value last year because those are automatically taken from our paycheques, and is therefore not a measure of personal financial performance, but then randomly decided that house value should be included, which is largely derived from housing market movements right now and therefore also not really a measure of our financial savvyness either. I’ve added our SIPP value onto here as those are obviously extra voluntary payments though! Anyway I’ll stick with the same measurements to keep it consistent, so for what it’s worth here it is:

3rd July 2013 3rd July 2014 3rd July 2015
House Value £150,000 £175,000  £253,000
Mortgage £110,000 £105,000  £184,278
ISA (+SIPP) £1500 £6874  £26,369
Other Savings 0 £1500 £9,250
Cash Buffer £2500 £4000  £3,665
Other Debt 0 £0  £0
Total £44,000 £82,374  £108,006


So there you go, an increase of £25,632. Not too bad considering we had a house move and then decided to spend a fricking lot of money for some strange reason in the last half of 2014.


looking forward to year three and thanks as always

I think we’re now in a much better position spending and savings wise, and now I’m ready to buy some of my time back starting in September, I cannot wait to see what the third year of starting my FIRE will bring.

As always I’d like to say a massive “THANKS” to all readers old and new, and especially those that make comments. I always love a good discussion in the comments section and this is a big motivation to keep the blog updates coming, and I’ve also learnt a lot from readers more advanced than I in various fields related to FI. So if you are a lurker please remember to always read the comments section. Oh and leave a comment! I’d love to hear from a wider section of the reading audience, even if it is just to say “Hi”… that’s cool with me.


All the best to everyone and cheers to another prosperous and exciting year ahead of us all.



goals update

I have a bad feeling my monthly updates are becoming very tl;dr-y. The last financial update was well over 2000 words long! If you are finding them too long/detailed/boring please do let me know and I’ll see how I can present the info in a more concise and interesting way.

Anyway here is an attempted cut down version of the goals update…

I’m continuing with a Win/Lose/Draw to denotation how well I think I’ve done on each goal, should be fairly self explanatory:


financial goals

  • Set up a bank account for my new company (ASAP) – I started the process and am waiting for papers (or something back) from the bank! Draw!
  • Learn about and submit a tax form (ASAP) – Again I started the process and am awaiting a self assessment number (or something) from HMRC! Draw!
  • Increase Net Worth by £20K or ~30% by end of year bonus paycheque (July/August) – With the drawback of the market last month it’s not looking so great for this one now, especially because we are getting the bonus paid in July as well so technically I have one less month than I might have expected to hit it. Oh well. According to my net worth tracker page it’s gone up by £273 to £11,249! So it all hangs in the balance on exactly how much bonus I receive and how much we can hold onto in July (spoiler: not looking good for July right now 🙁 ). Anyway it could still go either way so we’ll call it a Draw!
  • Achieve overall savings rate of 60% (First Half) – Total savings rate is slightly up to 45% but really even with bonus I don’t think this will be hit now. Lose!


home/garden goals

  • Make my own bike shedStill no time for this one I’m afraid! Lose!


physical goals

  • New Running Goals? – Run the 10K in 40 minutes – I made a commendable effort of 42 minutes. What can I say… it was very hilly!!! Anyway it’s a lose but not exactly a bad one. Lose!
  • Improve general body strength – Do at least 2 x 10 minute Sworkit App body strength work outs per week – Right I am still not even remotely anywhere near this one so I’m cutting this one loose, as I just can’t be bothered with it! I do plenty of gardening, squash and other stuff to keep my upper body in shape and don’t feel the need to “get buff” so just going to leave it ! Lose AND Giving up 🙂 !
  • Get my golf handicap down to 20 – Played a few times, all good rounds although no handicap dropage, but soooo close nearly every time! Call this one a Draw!
  • “Get better at squash” Bit of a weird one as I lost 2 games and only won 1, but the key game was the final game in our series so I won the coveted burger prize. So I guess it’s a win overall. I keep saying but it’s so ridiculously close luck plays a part. The last match went to the final game and I won that 11-9… yes 2 points! Could have gone either way! Draw!
  • Average 20 weeks alcohol per week or less – Reining it back in a bit but still a Lose at 27.15 units/week.


other goals

Write on average 2 posts a week for the whole of 2015  – I made 6 posts in June but seeing as the site was down for around a week I think I can call that a Win!

TFS Challenges – No challenges done. Need to decide on one and stick with it soon! Lose!


That’s all folks! Hope you enjoyed it and back to some normal personal finance based posts from deep within my brain later in the week.