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Weenie – Quietly Saving – It’s lovely up north – #ukpersonalfinance

Ms ZiYou UK PF BloggersI am so happy to introduce to you a new series here on Ms ZiYou, Let’s meet UK Personal Finance Bloggers. This week please welcome Weenie from Quietly Saving.

Weenie has blogged about her path to financial independence for over 4 years now, and is one of the long-standing UK FI bloggers.  She’s single and lives up North –  enjoying her life working, travelling, working out and drinking beer.

 

Handing over to Weenie – About You & Your Blog

Please introduce yourself and your blog

Hello, my name is Weenie and I’ve been running the Quietly Saving blog since 2014. I’m in my late 40s, single with no dependents.

What sort of finance blog do you write?

The blog’s essentially a journal documenting my path to financial independence and early retirement. I just provide updates on the progress of my Future Fund, detail my matched betting income, talk about my investments, including my investment ‘experiments’ and mention a bit about what’s going on in my life/work occasionally.

How would you describe your current stage of life?

After a 25-year career which has been by and largely enjoyable, I’m (hopefully) entering the last few years of my full-time working life. I’m not slowing down but I’m not looking for a promotion or to progress my career further as I have a good work/life balance. Outside of work, I’m content with being single right now but am being nagged at by my friends to go back on the dating merry-go-round!

What are your personal values?

If this means what do I value in life, then my family, my health, friends and contentment

Tell us about the challenges you have overcome.

I was carrying credit card debt throughout most of my 20s and 30s. At its worst, the total I owed was equivalent to £18k in today’s money – a result of living beyond my means. I realised in my mid-30s that it was not normal to be in debt like this so resolved to pay it off, using a combination of strict budgeting and 0% transfer credit cards. I finally cleared it all the year I turned 40. I’ve remained consumer debt free ever since.

What are your dreams and plans for the future?

I hope to be in a position to be able to pull the plug on full-time working in around 5-6 years’ time. This will enable me to spend more time with my family, have longer holidays, enjoy my current hobbies even more and take up new hobbies. Also, have more time doing nothing in particular as I enjoy doing that too!

How do you keep fit?

I attend two Body Attack classes and one weight-training/punch bag session a week. At home, I have a kettlebell which I fling around whilst watching tv and also hula hoop!

Tell us your favourite drink?

Alcoholic – Dead Pony Club (an American Pale Ale by BrewDog). Non-alcoholic – strong cuppa tea.

UK Society & Media

How do you get your news?

Mostly via Twitter but also visit websites like BBC and the Torygraph.

What do you think about education and university nowadays?

School has changed so much that I can’t really comment any more. University – graduates used to be among the ‘elite’ but now everyone has a degree, so job prospects don’t really justify the huge debt they get into.

And the UK housing market – what are your thoughts?

The housing crisis is mostly down south/London. Most of the people where I work are in their early to mid-20s and the majority of them own rather than rent. True, they might be living in small flats/terraced houses in not-so-nice areas but it’s not true to say that young people can’t get on the property ladder in the UK – they can in this area on modest salaries.

Please share your top 10 blogs you follow with us

In no particular order:

On reflection having a look at the list above, do you have any thoughts?

Apart from all being British, I don’t believe any of the people are like me at all, in terms of age or earnings. Four years ago, there would have been just the one female blogger included and she no longer blogs because she retired early! Quite a few newish ones in there too, as some of the blogs I used to follow are no longer being updated.

How do you feel about privilege in the UK?

Can you only have ‘privilege’ in the UK if you are white, male and middle/upper class? I’m a second generation immigrant – my parents were working class and came to the UK to ‘find their fortune’. I could say that I was privileged because I grew up in a safe and stable family home, there was always food on the table, I had a good education (at the local comprehensive) and was lucky to go to uni when it was still free.

Money Advice

What questions would you ask people to understand their priorities?

What makes them happy/unhappy, what their goals are (short and long-term), what they want to do more of/less of in life?

Do you have a financial tip for someone interested in learning about money?

It’s got to be the usual, ‘Spend less than what you earn. Save/invest the rest’

How much do you talk about money in real life?

I don’t really. Occasionally mention my plan to retire early to my friends but I don’t think they really believe that I’m being serious. They, of course, don’t know about my blog and neither does my family.

What advice would you give to people about investing?

Firstly to just make that first step and invest a small amount, as that first step is the hardest. For beginners, I would suggest they read up about Vanguard’s Lifestrategy Funds. For people who know a bit more but want to learn more, I’d point them to certain Monevator or diy investor (UK) articles.

Parting Words

What is one awesome thing in your life now?

I’ve just booked the flight for my Christmas holiday!

Anything else you’d like to say?

This questionnaire took longer than I thought it would, sorry if I’ve waffled on about stuff!

How can people connect with you?

They can send me a message via my blog or send me a message on Twitter @QuietlySaving.

 

Ms ZiYou Back Here

Thanks for sharing Weenie, I love Weenie’s story of how she got herself out of debt in her 30’s and now is on track to retire early.

Moreover, it’s a great reminder how down here in London we sometimes forget about the North, which is more affordable by miles.

 

If you blog about money in the UK and would like to be featured on Let’s meet UK Personal Finance Bloggers – please get in contact.

And as always, it’s over to you – what are your thoughts after hearing from Weenie?

 


Thank you for reading – please leave a comment below and join in the conversation. You can also connect on Twitter or contact me privately.

27 comments on “Weenie – Quietly Saving – It’s lovely up north – #ukpersonalfinance

  1. Great to see how you turned things around Weenie! From being in debt to pulling the plug on full-time work in 5-6 years time! I hope I can do the same. And I am glad to read I am not the only one who plans on ‘doing nothing in particular’ when getting there (well, among other things). We should start a club… and have meetings… But then we wouldn’t be doing nothing, so that wouldn’t work 😉

    And thanks for the post Ms ZiYou! I love reading about other personal finance bloggers. But when do you start ‘Let’s meet foreign personal finance bloggers’? I feel slightly discriminated… On second thought, the ‘UK housing market’ is not really my cup of tea 😉

    1. ‘Doing nothing in particular’ is often how I spend most of my days off work but this essentially means being at home and perhaps reading, watching tv, playing video games or blogging. Nothing is planned, I just do things when I feel like.

      I’m sure instead of talking about the UK housing market, you can talk about something else!

      But yes, big thanks to Ms ZiYou for allowing featuring me. No need for that podcast now, eh? 😉

    2. Yeah, Weenie is awesome 🙂

      And sadly we can’t centre everyone all of the time – but as a male the world of work is designed for you, politics, society in general, consumer and safety products are designed for your body so you are not doing too badly.

  2. Fascinating interview Weenie. Great approach to start with the happy, and build the financial plan from there.

    I fear your fellow bloggers must hold an intervention at this point. Friends don’t let friends mostly source their news from twitter! At least balance out all that negativity and craziness with some balanced commentary from something like ‘The Onion’!

    “Can you only have ‘privilege’ in the UK if you are white, male and middle/upper class?”

    Intriguing question. I would say yes, particularly in the context that some people use the lack of privilege as an excuse for their own underachievement.

    1. Thanks indeedably.

      Haha, when things get too crazy/negative on Twitter, I unfollow – I cull my follows on a monthly basis.

      Yes, in that context when it’s used as an excuse, I would agree. I didn’t think of this when I was answering my questions but my culture still values sons more than daughters so in that respect, I received less privileges.

  3. Great reading! I’m really surprised your friends and family don’t know about your blog – you are FIRE blog royalty in the UK and it’s all hidden! I thought they might have seen the picture by now, but then I suppose if they’re not looking, it’s probably not the sort of thing you stumble upon.

    1. Thanks FT9T5. Well, I guess they’re just not looking in the right places or looking at all! My avatar/photo is recognisable as me but I’ve used it for so long, I don’t really want to change it. And ‘weenie’ is an actual nickname of mine so there is a chance of being found out before I pull the FI plug! Let’s hope it’s not sooner rather than later, when I won’t care any more!

      FIRE blog royalty – haha, thanks but naah, just been round the block a bit! 🙂

  4. Great answers weenie, I think I would have said many things the same (e.g. about Uni/Housing etc… – Although worth noting the high prices aren’t just London but most of the South East in my experience, although London is obviously off the ***king scale!)

    Cheers!

      1. Yep reading here and still expensive. Plenty of equity but still have a 280,000 mortgage which is a bonkers amount of money Still the final bit I struggle with in terms of downsizing my life and yet my plan is to move to spain and live in an apartment. So why not downsize now Weird psychology huh??

          1. It feels big and yet its only just over 3 times salary so very much affordable. Hence why im investing now rather than paying more than the minimum amounts. Time will tell I suppose

  5. Nice finding out a bit more about Weenie, I’ve followed Quietly Saving for nearly 3 years and love the down to earth nature of her blog. I’m with Weenie of the favourite drink…can’t beat a nice cup of tea. I think what Weenie has been able to achieve in turning around her situation of being in debt to getting securely on the early retirement path, is extremely impressive and an inspiration to us all. Thanks to Ms ZiYou for starting a great series.

What do you think?