For a while now I have been a lurker on r/UKPersonalFinance and r/FIREUK on Reddit (my go-to forum). Rarely do I post anything on there as I always felt out of my depth and my income and savings minuscule in comparison to other members on there. I mainly frequent them to follow other people’s successes and to search through previous posts for any of my own questions. Struggling to learn and feeling stagnated by this, I thought it may be beneficial and motivating for me to start blogging my progress and so became ‘Be Money Smart’. 

My end goal is to reach the esteemed FIRE (Financial Independence & Retire early, for those of you uninitiated). My understanding of this goal is somewhat elementary, I understand that FIRE is different for everyone but in most cases means: Owning your home outright, creating a passive income either through business revenue or from the dividend from savings, maxing out personal savings and pension contributions. The aim is to achieve this before 55 for most, although even this to me seems outlandish given my current circumstances. 

The whole point of this blog isn’t to pretend to be some finance expert, in fact, it is more the polar opposite. I am 23 years old, work a normal job, have pretty average savings and I don’t yet own a home. I’ll use this as a space to share recommended and useful resources as well as log my FIRE progress. I guess the best way of recording my progress is to start with a benchmark. I've done my best to produce a ‘net worth’ of sorts, hoping I’ve done this correctly but I can’t be sure. Let me know if I've missed something.

Net Worth 13/02/2021

Noting to turn your nose up at but also nothing ground-breaking. I live in married quarters (armed forces housing) and the rent for that comes out as a deduction of my wage at £244~. After-tax and NI I take home £1750~/pm. My current savings contributions are as follows (excludes my work pension which I don't have to contribute towards).

Savings Contributions

Now due to current circumstances such as a nursery for my toddler and my partner just starting her new job I am not saving as much as I would like to, but next month I should be able to increase these amounts significantly as my outgoings should be roughly halved when my partner can start contributing towards the bills.

My reason for FIRE is the dread of having to work a full-time job for the rest of my life, I also feel like I missed out on a lot in my late teens and early twenties because of my job and would like to experience things like traveling before I’m too old and boring to enjoy it. I think starting at 23 I’ve got a foot up from others but I also have a long way to go before I’m even close to getting there. I think I’m going to do a quarterly round-up of my net worth and savings contributions as a way to keep me on the straight and narrow. I hope it works…

I’ll elaborate on my motives for FIRE in a later post and focus on what a plan to do to reach it.

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