Climbing the property ladder

We started small and then worked our way up the property ladder.
We started small and then worked our way up the property ladder.

20 years ago my friends and I had graduated university, were starting our careers and looking to set up house. The trend at the time was for first-time-buyers to max their budget when looking for a house. The reasoning was that they were buying a house that they wanted to live in for the rest of their lives, so it had to be big enough to accommodate their future family. So they all took out big loans and started paying off the bank.

I did not get it. I was single and had no kids, so what was the point of aiming for a house that was big enough for a brood of munchkins? Maybe they would come and maybe they would not, but it definitely did not make sense to take out a massive loan at that point in time to buy a big house for them. So instead I decided to go small and I started a hunt for a small apartment in a trendy area that was likely to go up in value over time. Continue reading “Climbing the property ladder”

Is FI a net worth pissing contest?

The Manneken Pis in Brussels - statue of a little boy doing his thing :)
The Manneken Pis in Brussels – statue of a little boy doing his thing 🙂

Money is a dangerous beast. You start off using it as a tool but it slowly gains a hold on you and becomes your master. There comes a point where if you are not careful, money will become the be all and end all, instead of a means to an end.

I write this after reading a post on another blog where the author bemoaned the fact that she sometimes goes on some of the well-known FIRE blogs whose authors are very open about their net worth and gets depressed after comparing their numbers to her own. I can understand where she is coming from. Man is a competitive animal and ultimately we are all too prone to getting pulled into a pissing contest. It happens to the best of us, whether we want to admit to it or not. Continue reading “Is FI a net worth pissing contest?”

Dealing with rapid change

Rapid change can be like a sensory overload. There is simply too much going on to process all at one go.
Rapid change can be like a sensory overload. There is simply too much going on to process all at one go.

Over the last few months my world has changed dramatically. I am now immersed in a totally new reality, surrounded by new opportunities and challenges.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all. There are times when there is so much happening, so many new things to process, that it becomes impossible to keep up and you start tuning some of it out. Continue reading “Dealing with rapid change”

The Bare Necessities: An anthem for frugal living

Yesterday we took our son to watch The Jungle Book (wonderful movie!) and when Mowgli floated down the river on Baloo’s tummy singing about The Bare Necessities it suddenly occurred to me that this song is an anthem for frugal living.

Take a look at the lyrics (shown below) and tell me if you agree. Continue reading “The Bare Necessities: An anthem for frugal living”

Preparing your mortgage for emergencies

Accelerated repayments on your mortgage are part of your financial first aid kit
A mortgage payment buffer is an important element of  your financial first aid kit

Life has a habit of throwing us curveballs every now and then. There is no way of predicting when disaster will strike but it is possible to reduce the impact of an emergency by preparing a financial first aid kit that will help cushion the blow.

Obviously not all problems are made equal. It’s one thing to talk about having an emergency fund to cover unexpected costs such as the washing machine breaking down and quite another to plan for the possibility of losing your job and being unemployed for a few months until you find a new one. Continue reading “Preparing your mortgage for emergencies”

After selling my business – A wild rollercoaster ride!

Selling your business is an emotional rollercoaster ride
Up and down and round and round. It’s like an exciting rollercoaster ride!

It’s been a month since I jumped into a brand new chapter of my life after having sold my business and started a new career. It is also a month since I started this blog, which has proved to be a wonderful platform to get to know some really interesting people in the FI world. There are some very inspiring people out there!

Selling your business and embarking on a new career is like getting on a wild rollercoaster ride. It is exhilarating and scary and you sometimes feel like you are looping the loop, going around in circles. There are ups and there are downs, times when things are happening so fast they seem to be in a blur and you get a heady adrenaline rush and other times when things seem to be in slow motion. However totally changing my life was bound to be somewhat disorientating, so there’s no surprise there! Continue reading “After selling my business – A wild rollercoaster ride!”

Young Enterprise – the origin of Mrs Smelling Freedom the Entrepreneur

Young Enterprise empowers children to acquire important business skills
Young Enterprise changed my life. I would not be where I am today if I had not joined their Entrepreneurship programme when I was 16

I was raised in a pretty old fashioned type of family. My dad was a civil servant while my mum stayed at home. Setting up a business was not something people from families like mine did, and in fact the thought never even occurred to me as a child.

My dad used to encourage me to be a teacher or get a job at a bank, since according to him that was an “ideal job for a woman”. The general expectation was that I would get a job, get married, have a child and then become a stay-at-home mum. Continue reading “Young Enterprise – the origin of Mrs Smelling Freedom the Entrepreneur”