F.I.R.E. Starter, the journey begins


I am new to this but in the last year have been seeing increasing articles in the news about people who have found Financial independence Retire Early (F.I.R.E.) and it’s piqued my interest. I’ve had low mood regarding our finances since returning from Mat. Leave so when my Dad sent me an email with one of these articles I thought enough is enough.

I am 33 and my husband is 35 (next month). We have two kids who are 3 and 1 and we both work.

State of Affairs

Annual Income
Husband £36,500
Myself £30,000

Loan £487pm for 58month, I think 3.9%
CC £5252 0% with £1,500 at higher interest rate.

I pay £280pm into my NHS pension and my husband had NEST pension as part of his auto enrolment so not fantastic. We opt to add an additional £100pm.

In the last three weeks I have managed to make £474 by selling our old stuff which I’ve immediately paid off the credit card each time so the money doesn’t disappear into the ether.

My plan is to snowball so:
-Credit card should take 12 month
-Loan in 45 months instead of 58 that is if once CC is done I plow that money into overpaying the loan.
-Mortgage 30 years left. Hoping to decrease that when we remortgage later this year but more figures in the future.

So now for what I’m hoping from you guys...

-Does anyone know of a very basic idiots guide to finance? I am lost with all the terminology.

-Does anyone know of any podcasts relating to FIRE so I can get inspiration on my drive to work or cleaning the house? I found
Credit card 1 £2,752
Loan £10,297


  • ...I’ve found that the pod casts are great ways to lift my financial mood and focus.

    Thank you all in advance.

    Credit card 1 £2,752
    Loan £10,297
  • Welcome! Have you been over to the Mr Money Mustache site forum? People over there will know about every FIRE resource on the planet :)
    Debt-free August 21, Mortgage-neutral April 24
  • jaydeejay
    jaydeejay Posts: 41 Forumite
    There are loads of uk ones to look through-
    escape artist
    look in saving and investing board and threads there, on mse
    cashflow cop
    quietly saving
    These will help get you started with links etc.

    Good luck with it all
  • enthusiasticsaver
    enthusiasticsaver Posts: 15,553 Ambassador
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    There are some good links above. I would second monevator articles especially if you intend investing or want to know more about how your pension is invested.

    We retired early at 58 but were financially independent from about 55 when our mortgage was finished but opted for another 3 years for a more comfortable buffer.

    My advice would be primarily do not borrow more than you have to. Every time you consider large loans or bigger mortgages to move, do large holidays, new car etc etc think that this may delay your plans for FIRE. We did holidays, bought cars, home improvements etc but opted not to go for bigger and bigger mortgages like some of our peers. Consequently our mortgage was repaid in our late 40s.Reducing outgoings is a large part of FIRE.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free Wannabe, Budgeting and Banking and Savings and Investment boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • beanielou
    beanielou Posts: 90,073 Ambassador
    Academoney Grad I'm a Volunteer Ambassador Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    Happy shiny new diary :)
    I am a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on Mortgage Free Wannabe & Local Money Saving Scotland & Disability Money Matters. If you need any help on those boards, do let me know.Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any post you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button , or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. All views are my own & not the official line of Money Saving Expert.

    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/14.**Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** MFW. Finally mortgage free O2/ 2021****
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.

    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
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  • jwil
    jwil Posts: 18,998 Forumite
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    Good luck :)
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
  • Thank you for all your suggestions. I will slowly work my way through and see what suits.

    I’m making steady progress this week. We decided to have a good clear out of the house and in the process create space (and hopefully money!) we sold our two large reclining sofas which were ridiculous taking up so much space with two small kids and have bought a smaller corner sofa. We even managed to sell them for more than the perfect second hand corner sofa we got on eBay.

    My husband has been listening to podcasts this week and is on board. We’re leaving our wallets at home to prevent impulse buys and seeing how that improves our spending.

    We’ve an expensive weekend with a wedding and over night in a hotel. Taking the money out in cash to give us a sense of what we’re spending.

    Credit card 1 £2,752
    Loan £10,297
  • stoozie1
    stoozie1 Posts: 656 Forumite
    Can I just ask if you are paying the £100 extra into the NHS pension, or the NEST one?
    Save 12 k in 2018 challenge member #79
    Target 2018: 24k Jan 2018- £560 April £2670
  • @stoozie1 we’re paying £100 into the nest pensions.

    A few weeks on and we’ve managed to make a few tweaks. We pay £10 and £17 for our sim only phone contracts instead of £35 and £37 for phone and sim as we are now out of our contract.

    We’ve also renewed our mortgage. That’s a £81 a month saving on mortgage and £45 on phones. Which are both going towards the credit card from September when they all reduce.

    My dh has decided to change jobs. Leaving a job in construction for a medium size business with some job security and holiday pay to become self employed and work for his family. It will mean a pay rise of £40 a day which my basic maths works out is £170 more a week after tax. It’ll be interesting nerve wracking territory when that begins in a few weeks.

    We will be saving the pay rise each week before we start to get used to it and will make a fund for sick pay and holiday. My husbands had half a day sick since we met in 2011, so I’m hoping we won’t use it for that.

    Our eldest is eligible for some free childcare from September which will save us a little each month too. Although not much as we’ve changed minder from a cheaper minder near my work to a more expensive minder near my sons preschool and next years school so that absorbed some of the benefit but was needed to.

    Only one year and four months until our daughter get some free too!!!

    Finally last news: I have an eBay sale. I have started looking for dresses in charity shops and selling on eBay. I’ve sold a couple and made a little money so hoping that would be a profitable side hustle I could do while working and having kids.

    Wish me luck.

    Credit card 1 £2,752
    Loan £10,297
  • Very slow progress here. With some expensive weekends done now hopefully the weeks ahead will be cheaper and more progress will be achieved.

    What I didn’t say in state of affairs is we had £1800 of overdrafts between us which we have managed to reduce to £1400 and our credit card is now £4800 so £800ish better off.

    We’ve lined up a few more bits for eBay /FB market place and think we’ll have a few more bits sold soon.

    I’m being very organised this year and have started a Christmas plan so I can hopefully get some bit spread over the next three months.

    Anyone looking for an inspiring podcast I’m loving ‘playing with fire (Ireland)’ and the mad fientist. I’m looking for a uk one if anyone has any ideas.

    I hope everyone’s having a good week, I’ll update soon.

    Credit card 1 £2,752
    Loan £10,297
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