A new beginning

It’s the 25th of January and finally time to kick-start this project again, now I’ve had my first pay day of the year and have a few hours spare to get writing.

At 100 Every Month, I’ll be blogging about my investments and ambitions to achieve FI/RE – the ability to become financially independent and retire early.

This blog, going forward, will focus on a few main areas;

  • How you can invest up to £100/month into a variety of different “buckets” of investments
  • My journey to achieve FI/RE
  • Personal finance advice from me, who has spent 6 years working for one of the UK’s largest money-saving websites

How my £100/month strategy works:

For the next few months, I’m going to be tapering up my investments so that in month 1 (this month), I invest in just one of my portfolio buckets, invest in 2 next month, 3 the month after and so on until I can ensure that I can contribute to each one every single month.

But, there’s a problem.

With UK shares I can only buy whole shares, so if the value of one share goes above £100, I won’t be able to buy one whole share that month – consequently, if the share price is under £100 then I may have spare cash left over.

I can solve this by separating out both Shares and Cash, and invest up to £1,200 in any particular bucket of investments each year.

Investment buckets are simply my way of grouping shares, where I can split my £100/month investment into any proportion of that bucket’s investments.

For example, as part of my 100 EM Core bucket, I can invest up to £1,200/year in VWRL and/or VUSA. To buy one share of each would currently cost around £140, so I simply cannot buy both every single month. I may instead buy one share of VWRL at £80 and reserve the cash for the following month when I can then buy two shares of VUSA for £120.

This month’s investment:
I’ve invested £100 into Freetrade for one share of VWRL at £84.74.

You can check out my portfolio here to see how this is performing – it will update every evening and compare against the FTSE100.

Next month, I’ll be investing £100 into each of 2 buckets rather than just one.

Now, let’s just have a quick overview of my situation:

  • 31 years old
  • Renting at £700/month, hoping to buy with partner in next ~2 years
  • £65,000 pre-tax earnings
    • ~£3,600 take-home/month
    • Future pay rises are likely to be very minimal unless I jump company
  • 7% pension contribution by myself (4% by my employer)
    • Pension contributions increasing to 15% by myself in next 12 months
  • ~£20,000 debt, mostly on 0% credit cards
    • Two large medical procedures in the last 2 years
  • Medical costs of ~£200/month
  • Other costs of up to £800/month
  • Maxing out LISA each year from now
  • Side business generating at least £2,000/year profit that I can withdraw
  • Some investments in Cryptocurrencies which are too volatile to provide a value for
  • Savings rate, after paying off debt in next ~12-15 months, should be at least 50%
    • Current savings rate is around 8-10%

Current Investments, suffering due to repaying debt:

  • £1,100 in S&S ISA through Freetrade
  • £2,100 in Cash LISA through Moneybox

So, when can I retire?

According to Networthify, I should be able to retire in about 20 years from when I have fully paid off my debt at the current rate. After increasing my pension contributions over the next year, this may increase to about 22 years. so I will need to make some updates as my journey to repay my debt has ended.

Happening recently:

  • I was in talks with a freelance client that I was very confident about, which has unfortunately led to me being ghosted. I had anticipated a take-home of at least £12,000/year from this. It’s quite unfortunate as I have had very good relations with this company’s staff and community for about 6 years online.
  • I have a call coming up with another company which may lead to freelance work, however I am not hoping for much.
  • My side-business had its best month ever in December and pulled in at least £1,000 of profit (about 40% profit margins), although this is split between myself, my business partner and reinvesting into new stock.
  • The current market conditions are quite volatile, with many stocks and crypto dropping significantly. My crypto holdings have been anywhere between “a small car” and “a small house” and are currently going down. I have no intent to sell.

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