It’s been one year since I started this blog and after 90,000 words, 30,000 views and over 100 posts I think it’s been worthwhile. Hopefully you agree.
On a personal level, the last year has been a challenge for our family. First of all, we have a new addition the Little Lady who is becoming adorable but communicates mostly by screaming and was a lot more difficult than our son the Master who was an angel by comparison. The Little Lady is 9 months old now and family life is settling down and in all honesty, I’m happier than ever. Children change everything but the change is ultimately for the good. I would say that I now have great hope for the future and I look forward to spending the next years raising my children together with the Lady and enjoying each and every adventure, experience and events.
Money’s alright. I would like to have more of it but I’d probably just spend it. It would be nice to earn more but we are pretty comfortable for our situation – in fact it feels a bit hollow to get outraged at how millennials are in dire straits financially due to a whole host of reasons. Decisions that I made over 10 years ago are paying dividends now and that is how I sort of see the rout to FI – it’s a marathon and not a sprint. So monthly spending and all that is good – but the trend is your friend and the trend is upwards for us.
On the work front, I’ve been on 19 business trips in the last year for a total of 43 days – that’s about a trip every two weeks if you consider I didn’t travel in September, October and Dec/Jan. Or about 15% of the time. Being away from home is not great and it’s actually painful – but it’s part of my job. These short trips are a pain in the ass to be honest, are a major bugbear in our family life.
To cap it all off, I narrowly failed to lift myself out of BA’s blue level in their executive clode– meaning despite giving them thousands of pounds every year in flights, I’m always boarding group 4 or 5 and I can only dream what the inside of the BA business lounge is like! I flew today to London and yet again, Group 5! What a load of crap. On the bright side, all those flights gave some airmiles to allow the family to accompany me to London this week – so don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
The Lady has been off work for almost a year now on maternity leave and can’t wait to get back into work. I think that she enjoys work and satisfaction of having projects and goals to reach. Being stuck with kids is a very demanding job and no wonder she’d rather be back in work – she’s been stuck with two kids for 24 hours a day for months and month!
I’ve also got some work news that I’d like to share but it’s not set in stone yet – so watch this space!
What’s certainly true is that the initial burst of ideas that I had were quickly done and dusted. Thoughts that I thought were interested like car speed vs. petrol cost economics or the financial benefits of having kids were difficult to write not not very well received.
On the other hand my most popular posts were those that were picked up by others which is nice (when Rockstar finance headlined me my numbers went crazy… for a day or two) but I don’t want to be chasing clickbait and I don’t think it suits my personal writing style anyway. And I reckon that as much as I like a good rant (example, example, example), they are not a good use of my time or yours!
What is also certainly true is that it’s not easy writing. Writing that is easy to read, has some depth, contains enough information to make sense but isn’t too long or off putting to readers and that is fhree throm tpyos! It makes it a difficult job and I’m happy to still be pumping out keyboard junk 2-3 times a week (when I feel like it).
The Art of the Blog
Blogging is an art form and if this blog is about family finances, then I hope that I’ve been successful in giving a bit of information about what we are doing as a family and how things look – and maybe done this with some flare, beauty or skill. Our finances are on the one hand dictated by our incomes and our spending and on the other by the markets. Those three different levers mean that there’s always a story to tell and when they come together; I’ll always come up with a ratios, multiples, percentages, trends and a graph (or three).
One of my most popular posts was on how I’m a millionaire part 1 and part 2 – ok that was a little tongue in cheek but the fundamental tenet of Financial Independence is that your spending should be covered by your investment income (define that as you like). We are still some way off that and our numbers look like for the last year, if we weren’t earning money from our jobs then we’d have spent about £30,000 of between 3-4% of our assets. I don’t feel that that makes us FI just yet so you can expect more posts about our journey towards FI (and beyond).
Thanks to everyone who’s read and commented and liked my posts. It feels good to think that I’ve been read (and maybe even liked by) the likes of Retirement Investing Today, GenYMoney, The FireShrink, Indeedably, Weenie, MsZiYou, gettingminted, RetireBy40, SavingNinja and more as well as the good folk at firehub.eu & collectingwisdom. I’ve read a lot of what they’ve written (in some cases for many years), so if I can be considered in the same breath as them, than it’s a genuine honour! If you’ve managed to spend enough time to read to this point, (in the modern day world full of distractions and noise) my blog is not all that bad – or at least not as bad as I’d feared when I started out.
It’s been good to share with you all and to read how things are going for you all too – if we can all help each other, just person by person a little bit then the combined force is extraordinary – and that’s what we are all trying to do, something which is extraordinary, putting in the hard work now to make our lives better in every manner of ways in the future.
Hopefully I’ll be around in another 12 months’ time to keep you posted on our progress!