July has been and gone. I spent a lot of time feeling smug about paying off my debt and because I got a new job. I think July has been a time of me giving myself a break financially. I’ve allowed myself to spend a bit of cash on holiday and on doing things I want to do.
I went on holiday with my lovely girlfriend to Scotland where we did some hiking. I bought a decent mountain jacket and waterproof trousers which cost about £375. It kept me dry and I fully intend to do more mountaineering soon. I also decided it was a birthday present to myself 🙂 It’s a hobby I have let slip away with living in London and being, frankly, nowhere near mountains. The great thing about this is that it was not a financial strain, I bought it with the money I have earned and not on credit. Great feeling. Also, maybe once I’m FI I will still have this jacket and will be able to do this activity as often as I want.
The other big update is a new job. After the scare, I had with my current company back in April, I decided to seek out a new job. In fact, I was lucky enough to have been headhunted for a new role in a similar line of work. I got a £10k pay rise (probably more like £15K if you include the extra pension contributions and other benefits). There are also great career prospects and the opportunity to progress to partner in the company. I’m pretty pleased about it. All of this will accelerate my journey to FI.
I have also started looking into investing more seriously. I have seen that other FIRE blogs have an investment policy statement. I really have no clue where to start with on that front but will come up with one soon enough. I am also conscious that I want to build up my financial buffer. This seems rather dull in comparison to investments, but I need to do it to get the comfort I need. As with everything in the FIRE process, patience is required.
I decided to undertake a credit check out of morbid curiosity. Although I have no intention to borrow money again, I wanted to check I had paid off all my debts and had no skeletons in my closet.
I was both mortified and proud of myself when I saw the borrowing history. In case you didn’t believe how much I have paid off in the time scale, I wanted to put it here from the website Check My File . The graph is a couple of months out of date, but the lines don’t lie. The only thing I have left is my car loan which I am planning to get rid of soon.
My score is 880 which is good. Great if I need to apply for a mortgage again… as this is the only debt I am ever getting again.
The graph also gave me a reason to reflect on why I got in this situation. I did write a report about this in a previous blog post but I don’t think I touched on what appears to have been the true reason for my debt emergency. The data shows that my debt skyrocketed in Feb 2016. This was also when my father passed away. The two are inextricably linked. I recall that is also when I bought my car. However, I can barely recall what else I bought. That’s the sad thing about getting in debt, you often have nothing to show for it but are lumbered with the resulting ball and chain.
I also dabbled in a bit of matched betting using the intro offers at betting sites. I must admit it was terribly confusing, but I have somehow made £70 for only a couple hours work. I don’t know if I can be bothered doing any more as you have to stake a fair bit of money for it to work, but maybe I will return to it once my ‘buffer’ is in place.
So July has been a month of reflecting on my past as painful as that may be. However, the important thing is that it is my past and it shall remain so. I am committed to looking forward and to embrace the path to financial independence.