When to pull the trigger? ….NOW…

I have started another working week feeling like I need to resign. I am getting what I think are panic attacks – tightness in the chest, headaches and neck muscle issues. I take a few painkiller and soldier on through the day as soon as 5pm ticks over I join the rest of the office crowd running for the door – I’m not joking there either! As soon as I think of leaving this feeling goes away – my body is trying to tell me something!

So – after starting the week and the feeling continue to grow – I decided that was it!  I pulled the trigger today. I quit my job, I am now waiting to see whether I have to work my notice or not – its only 1 weeks notice so by next Friday at the latest I will be free.

I am planning on having a few months off and then considering what to do. I dont have any side hustles at the moment, I am 92% towards my FI target so with some canny budgeting I am sure I could make it through for a while. I can’t see me being a full-time retiree yet unless I become completely unemployable or health really goes downhill.

I am wondering whether to do some contracting work later in the year to top up the honey pot every so often but at the moment my mindset is so lacking confidence. I am not sure I could fight my way out of a paperbag….says something about my state of mind.

A total break is required, I should stop worrying and take time out. That’s what the honey pot is for, to give me some freedom from the office treadmill and some thinking time so I can decide what to do next…

Time to start looking for a new adventure…

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April – progress report

I thought I would have a quick look at how I’m doing with my monthly targets, especially as I have just been paid.

Net Worth (since Jan): +8.2%

Monthly Savings Rate: 64%

That’s not bad, I could do with trying to up my SR if I can, I may invest extra into my NISA. Although I may keep this back as I need to spend some money on servicing my car. I have had some good news too, other than a win on the premium bonds – only a small amount! I have a new tenant for my BTL, they have passed the financial checks and likely to move in a month after the old tenant moves out. So I will have a gap in rental income next month but it should pick up and run for the rental term.

I am also targetting my food bill this month and trying to keep it down. Food costs have been my weakness up to now. I have planted some salad and veg seeds in my garden so hopefully I can get some free food this summer to help with food bills later on this year.

Meanwhile I will continue to calculate how much I have and whether I am ‘there yet’? I could do with getting out of my job and may just pull the trigger have some time off then look for a new job in a few months. I have read posts by a few other FIers who have done the same thing, so this becomes a semi-retirement rather than a full on ‘never work again’ version.

I dont think my investments actually earn the growth rates that some seem to think they should? I need to create a spreadsheet to track the index value increases. I would then need to look at how I would identify those to sell to obtain the SWR.

I will look through some of the blog posts on other sites for advise on how they calculate returns and if my current investments are actually achieving them. I am not sure if a lot of my increase in net worth is more down to saved income than passive forms. I few of my annual tax-free savings accounts paid out this month which skews the income values for this month giving me a reasonable increase for the month as a whole.

April – wow – this year is flying…

I can’t believe its April, only 8 weeks to go until my holiday. So looking forward to it, the final payment for the holiday was taken this month so my saving rate will be down.

I am not doing too badly, I am focused on expenses this month and reducing costs. I am trying to keep my grocery spending down and also trying to up my exercise routine. I have a kettlebell – so exercise at home rather than at an expensive class. I cycle – did another 21 mile training circuit today. I also walk to the shops to buy my food. My only vice is paying £6 for a gym session once a week with my old workmate. Its a chance for some social time and chat. Its cheaper that a social meet at a cafe/pub/restaurant!

I have also been working hard on the garden this weekend. I have planted up some lettuce and veggies. I want to grow my own food again this year. This will help to cut my groceries costs down and also give me something rewarding to do over the summer months.

Looking at my figures in the MoneyStepper spreadsheet, my net worth has grown 7% from the beginning of the year. My savings rate is over 60% so I can be quite pleased with progress. Nearer to escape from the prison!! So need to escape, may do so and look to take the summer off then look again for some work later on in the year.

This great weather is inspiring my to get out there and escape the prison.

Isn’t HMRC great!! (NOT!)

I’m writing this post while waiting on the phone to get through to the HMRC – I’ve only been queuing for 20minutes so far. The call centre closes as 8pm so I guess I will get the – “sorry we are now closed, please call again”. In the meantime they will have earnt money out of my call!!! No free phone numbers there! stitch up the tax payer when they ring to complain about something being incorrect. Private companies have been told to stop making money out of customer service calls.

I guess I will need to fill in the online form to try and get my tax code sorted. They have sent me a new code for this tax year and its wrong, its BR when it should be something else as my salary makes me a high rate taxpayer. Given that I am seriously thinking about chucking my job as I feel so disillusioned with it, maybe I should let it be?

It’s now 43 minutes and I still haven’t spoken to anyone yet! I get the feeling that their advisors have already given up for the evening and I am just earning money for HMRC by hanging on the call….AHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Tax doesnt have to be taxing”  Ho,Ho,Ho….

Rental Income

Mmmm…after being told that my tenants are moving out I started looking at the rental offerings in the local area. Looks like there may be a glut of rental properties around as I have found a property up for rent at a 5% lower rate than mine. It could be that I will have to drop my rental rate to get a tenant due to market conditions. All this growth in rentals may now be starting to have an impact on the rental rates?

I will wait and see what happens when the agent starts to market the property. I havent seen any ads yet but I hope they will get their finger out soon and get the property advertised and see what interest is stirred. This cheaper property has a better layout than mine but doesnt have as much parking and is also looking out onto the road whereas mine is in a corner plot and has no road immediately outside the door.

I will have to wait and see what happens, I have just received my last rental payment. so that’s the last of my income from this stream for a while, dry times ahead. This will test my rental nerve. 🙂

Is this an April Fool?

I arrived home from work today to find a nice brown envelope from the HMRC waiting for me – oh no – what’s this?

On opening, its my new PAYE code for the next tax year – except it is WRONG!! big time wrong!!! They have decided that I am now a basic rate tax payer – which unless they have already made me semi-retired – I’m not.

My basic salary is over the higher rate tax threshold so I am quite obviously a high-rate tax payer. So I guess I am back on the phone to the HMRC for over 30mins to get them to correct the code!  After the previous incident where they decided I had two salary incomes from the same employer! I dont want to underpay and then get a big bill at the end of the next tax year.

March – Update

This month, like ermine I received an NS&I statement for my indexed linked savings. As he says, the returns are looking pretty poor, maybe I am better moving the money. A decision I will have to monitor and look at later on this year. In the meantime I will let it continue to tick over slowly.

Using MoneyStepper’s sheet, my net worth has dropped 2% this month due to the stock market fluctuations, from 8% to 6% YTD. That is the part of FI that worries me in semi-retirement. What if the market goes through the floor. I have a reasonable cash pot to draw on – which is obviously losing its value due to inflation but would support me for a while, giving the market some time to recover.

I topped up my share holdings this month by buying some National Grid shares. The price has dropped so didnt time the market right but as long-term holds, they should pick up.

This month my dividends were very poor too so not a good month for passive income. My last rental income will come in next month as my tenant leaves so I need to get the place re-let ASAP.

My expenses have been greater this month due to car costs and birthday gifts for family. Again, summing all this up I have managed a 60% savings rate this month which is impressive for me. I want to keep this high so I can think about leaving the office job (its still not going well – another story). I have tried to compensate this month by lowering my groceries bill and have come in under my normal budget so this helps to offset the car costs a bit (not much!). I will continue to target the same spend next month too for my groceries.

I am still on the edge – do I pull the trigger and leave my job or stay – with my net worth dropping I wonder if this is one of those ‘tests’ that measure your stamina and FI strength and resolve.

I have also joined the BT mobile conversion. It may not be the best deal on the market.  But I have been annoyed with different suppliers to get the very cheapest deal for phone and internet and then had to play phone tennis between them when something goes wrong, so I have a bundled deal and now that BT do mobile for £5 I have saved £20 per month – yes, I was paying £25 a month for a mobile (bad bad FIer) and I should have got a better mobile deal earlier – but I was waiting for the EE purchase to pan out before moving mobile supplier (as they were the cheapest on my last deal search). I have been pushing the monthly fee down with my current provider and they offered me a £10 monthly deal match to keep me – but I’m gone for now. I will review in a year.