I 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:
- Ms ZIYou (of course :))
- Fire the 9 to 5
- Sex Health Money Death
- Young FI Guy
- DIY Investor UK
- Retirement Investing Today
- Tuppennys Fireplace
- Simple Living in Suffolk
- The fireshrink
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.
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.
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?
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?