One of the first posts I wrote for this site was The Ultimate Dream, which outlines our hopes for the future. It doesn’t dwell on any particular facts or figures, but merely states that the ultimate dream for me and my husband is to retire fully by the age of 50. In order to do this, we need savings/income to cover our expenses until other savings/pensions start to kick in when we reach our late 60s. A while later, I then wrote The Ultimate Dream Part Two: Early Retirement which breaks down the goals and discusses the figures needed to accomplish a goal. I wrote these two posts in June and July 2014 and then promptly forgot all about them. Not about the idea, but the specifics within the two posts.
In the second post, I work through the figures we would need to retire at 50, and the savings/investing we would need to do from that moment on, every month, until we hit the magic target. Each and every month, to ensure that we reach our target at the age of 50 and be free from the trappings of traditional work, we needed to have saved £1,630 (and I wrote this post back in July of last year) to reach our target. So that, over time, compound interest and/or dividend payments will play a pivotal role in that journey.
And our total amount so far? £0. Yep, that’s right, nothing at all.
I seem to have got so caught up with short term goals and the more immediate future, that the long term plans have been pushed to one side. I am struggling to manage to balance the here and now, with the ideas of the future, which are not even guaranteed. I read various financial freedom blogs, both out of interest and, I’ll admit it, a little envy. They seem to do so well and are so focused, that nothing appears to get in the way. Now I know, as a reader, that all I can take them on is their word, that there are no hiccups and set backs along the road. In some ways, I wish I could find someone who is at a similar stage of their journey as us, and who might have a slower, longer journey. The ones I read are aiming to be free in five years or less, which whilst very admiral and I shall enjoy reading their journey, seems an impossible feat. for us to complete. In fact, I know it is; we just don’t bring in enough money or live on so little to make it work for us.
Have I given up on my dreams? Absolutely not. But I must admit to feeling a bit out of my depth. I feel like I do not really know where to start, in terms of that first step of setting up savings which we cannot touch. We have an Emergency Fund, we are saving for various things in the short term, but apart from our work pensions, we have nothing. A big, fat zero of a fund.
I know that starting something off is the hardest step. The toughest journey begins with that first movement towards an end goal. I know what I need to do, but I seem to be faltering at the first hurdle. I keep putting off looking at registering as self-employed so I can take on some side work and I have no idea why I am avoiding it. Is it because I don’t want to fail? I know that there’s no harm in trying something, but the world of extra income and therefore additional tax/national insurance payments and hiring an accountant, and all of that, seems very scary. I find myself very reluctant to venture into the unknown.
Therefore, I am going to pledge that in the next month or so, I am going to sit and work out a definite plan and put that plan into action. Even if it’s a minimal amount to begin with (i.e. nowhere near the numbers I talked about previously) then it’s a start. It might not be what I need, but it is a start. Some of the most difficult things in life can be the most rewarding.
How is your financial freedom journey going? Have you got any advice or tips to help? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!