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Paying off some debts and starting a budget will only get you so far…
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It has been a while since I last posted one of these.
Life has been crazy the last few months and I’ve been busy making money from my other side-hustles.
But I’ve missed providing these weekly updates for you guys, so here’s the update for the week just gone.
Week open: £9,873 Vs Week close: £10,157
It’s been another great week in the markets with growth stocks riding a nice tailwind back to or near all time highs but smaller cap, hyper growth companies seeing sideways or slightly negative consolidation.
I posted an article in my private stock group summarising the current market conditions and where I believe the momentum will be moving next.
The last few weeks are a prime example of why we DO NOT sell when the market corrects.
We buy the dip on those companies we know for a fact to be strong companies with great, long-term outlooks.
Because they bounce back 99% of the time to outpace the market 🙌
Further improving my diversification across multiple market sectors.
Although, I plan on capitalising on the current finance trends and companies making waves in that sector.
The same goes for energy. However, the ‘other’ noted up there 👆 is the global clean energy ETF, so you could add that 5.7% to the 1.6%.
This is the portfolio performance over 1 week, 1 year and 15 month time frames (everything my app offers right now).
Glad to see that the account grew at more than double the rate of the wider market this week.
NOTE: the weekly gain on the first image captures the Friday from the previous week, hence why the gain is different to what I worked out as I only count from market open on Monday to market close on Friday.
The account is still outperforming the market to a high degree and is far outstripping my yoy goal of 20%.
Now, I bought into 12 different stocks this week alone and sold one.
This information is reserved purely for the members of my Private Stock Group who not only get these weekly updates in full, but also get to see all the buy and sell moves I make in real-time via my trade alerts in the private discord group.
But here’s a snap shot of just 6 of those buys:
If you’d like to join the Private Stock Group and gain full access to: BOTH of my investment portfolio’s, trade alerts, research, AI driven stock picks, dividend alerts and a community of other investors to bounce ideas off of…
The only sell I’ve made for a while was in (redacted – PSG members only) after some of the fundamentals shifted and the company not only failed to meet numbers, but failed to deliver on new deployments and produced an extremely downbeat outlook.
With new opportunities in my radar with stronger outlooks in both the short and long-term, I decided to cut a small loss of around 10% on what was a relatively small position in the account so I could redistribute the capital into $(redacted), $(redacted) & $FTCH
In the private stock group, this is the point where I share screenshots of every single position held in both of my investment accounts with their total profit/loss.
I won’t share this info here as it’s a part of what my private stock group members pay for.
I have a special offer for you.
If you sign up today with the above link 👆
You’ll get my ebook, Stock Research 101 (Value £20) absolutely FREE 🔥
And if you’re looking at theme screenshots above wondering what app I use to invest. It’s called Freetrade and I cannot recommend it enough!
If you sign up with this link, you’ll earn a free share worth between £10 and £200!!!
If you’re getting value from these posts and want to support this blog, subscribe below to join the FSD notification squad to get new posts straight to your inbox! Thank you!
Some of my articles contain affiliate links for products I personally use or have benefited from. If you decide to make a purchase of any of these products, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
In these reports, I go through a thorough breakdown of my finances and update you on my progress towards financial freedom. Which, for me means retiring in my 40’s.
For the more observant of you, you’ll have noticed that this is the 12th report post I’ve published! Which means one whole year of tracking and sharing my progress with you all.
To celebrate I have something huge for you at the end of this article.
Seeing as this is the 1 year anniversary of these posts, I wanted to use this edition to not only update you on this month’s progress, but also take a leap back in time and compare this month’s numbers with the same report from 1 year ago!
This should be fun!
Let’s get stuck in!
Overall the balance sheet is looking much better than last month!
Income vs Outgoings is healthy, and our saving’s rate topped 37% last month thanks to my yearly performance bonus at work 🙌
That means we put away £1,900 in a month!
We also managed to release a small quantity of cash flow this month by spreading our council tax bill over 12 months instead of 10, which reduced the monthly bill by around £40.
I’ve also been able to transfer my phone bill over to my business account as it’s considered a tax-deductible business expense. This is because I almost exclusively use my phone for my side business now. So, that’s reduced our household bills by £68/month.
We did however get an unexpectedly high mechanics bill for one of our cars in April though 😐
Fortunately, we budget for and save into a ‘car maintenance’ fund which covers these ‘unexpected’ bills and takes some of the sting out of them.
I highly recommend doing this if you aren’t already. Just £50/month means you have £600/year for covering services, MOT’s (UK), etc. That way, these events don’t wipe you out every year when they come around, leaving you wondering how you’re going to get through the month.
So, how are our expenses looking compared to last year?
Before I even look, I’m expecting some considerable difference for the following reasons: 1. We have an 18-month-old who’s childcare costs are £560/month. On top of that, she eats like there’s no tomorrow and grows out of her clothes every 2 months! 2. My sister-in-law is still living with us. And although she’s paying rent, it still makes our outgoings appear higher than they are for our family of three (and the Dog, of course).
Let’s take a look…
See bottom right corner:
Expenses April 2020: £2,602 Expenses April 2021 (Previous image): £5,875 🤯
There are some thing’s we need to consider here. As this is not pure and simple lifestyle expansion… – £1,500 went towards savings this month. Not technically an ‘expense’ – £560 is on childcare we didn’t need 1 year ago – but this is now a part of our outgoings. – £495 went on a professional family photo shoot that I arranged for my wife’s 30th – £395 went on clothes, shoes and toys for our daughter. – £392 went on a one-off car bill for this month. – Then there’s additional money on food and bills due to my sister-in-law living with us.
So, if we take off these amounts it comes to £2,533!
Goes to show how expensive kids and cars can be 😂
All-in-all, things aren’t drastically different. Our living costs are certainly higher now with the childcare and an extra, very large mouth to feed. But we’re doing a good job of limiting lifestyle expansion to counter these additional expenses.
No changes this month for this tab. So, I will jump straight into the comparison to last year to spot any differences…
(See middle-right of image) The ‘complete yearly expenses’ amount has increased slightly, from £40,767 last year to £41,613 in this years tracker.
This is good! It shows I’ve been updating and being realistic about our expected outgoings in retirement.
I continue to update this as new expenses come or go and as prices change.
The difference in what’s required to achieve early retirement is not too dramatic however, increasing from £636K to £650K.
And as you can see from the next image (middle -left), I’m well on track to exceeding this number.
Currently I’m ahead of target with my investments by quite some margin, too. I’ve anticipated that I will achieve a 12% return on my investments for the next 18 years and this will enable me to retire early.
However, for the previous three years, my investment strategy has returned avg. yearly returns of >60%.
You can learn my stock research & selection strategy here.
We’re still not quite where we were in January of this year, but we are gaining ground again!
It’s important to remember though, I’ve achieved incredible gains in the previous years. These market conditions are a necessity to ensure valuations don’t get out of hand and to avoid markets heading into bubble territory, which can result in massive losses when they go ‘Pop!’
I’m continuing to double down on those companies I have strong conviction in and I’m confident this is going to result in a considerable move to the upside when the markets start ticking over again.
Watch this space!
So, how does this quantity in savings compare to last year?
(See April-20 and April-21 columns in above images)
Around £15,000 MORE in saving’s compared to April 2020!
And my workplace pension pot has nearly DOUBLED! 🤯
From £17K in April 2020 to over £30K in April 2021. That’s seriously impressive! Especially considering only £4K of that is my own contributions.
On top of that, my investment ISA has nearly tripled in value! From £3,269 to £9,117!
Total non-retirement savings have increased from £1,829 to £7,450.
And retirement savings have increased from £21,285 to £39,773.
Considering we are at the very beginning of our compounding journey, this is VERY exciting and I’m very, VERY proud!
There is a lot to be said for tracking your finances and your progress in a spreadsheet this way.
It changes your focus and mindset. And makes you want to do better every day so your monthly numbers improve all the time.
This can only mean good things for your finances and your future!
Like I mentioned, there’s something big that will help you do just that at the end of this report.
Equity & Assets
I’m expecting a pretty significant difference here…
Our equity has increased by around £38,000 in a year.
This is down to us owning more of our last home, selling it and moving to something which is not only worth more, but has also grown in value since we moved in 6 months ago.
Overall, the value of our physical assets (not including investments) has increased by just under £40,000.
Definitely can’t complain about that!
I was dreading this one…
Debt has increased by £145,178!!!
BUT – this isn’t a surprise.
And it’s exclusively due to our larger mortgage.
We’ve bought our forever home before 30 years of age and this was always part of the plan since before we bought our last home.
We have some other small debts to clear right now, after which we will begin tackling our mortgage and have this paid off within 15 years.
This is the real measure of whether our efforts have been paying off…
Net worth currently stands at £186K after another tough month in the stock market stopping our investments from growing too much!
Let’s see our net worth 1 year ago…
See April-20 and April-21 column on previous two images.
My net worth has increased from £121K to £186K in 12 months.
That’s a jump of £65K in 12 months!
Again, being at the very start of our compounding journey. This is HUGE!
Safe to say, we are well on track to meeting our early retirement goals thanks to this incredible spreadsheet, the plan it helped us to build and our continued monthly tracking of our numbers helping us to pivot and make changes where needed.
I hope you’ve gotten as much enjoyment out of reading this as I have from writing it.
These numbers are something I’m extremely proud of and I feel even more determined to stick to our guns and keep on this awesome journey to financial freedom.
If you’d like to get started on your own journey. Or, you’re already on your way but have no way of tracking your finances in the kind of detail you’ve seen above, this is where that ‘something HUGE’ I mentioned at the start of this post comes in…
To celebrate 1 full year of this blog series and growing my net worth by £65K in that time…
You can get a copy of the spreadsheet and the ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ebook, 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom
Ironically, I advocate strongly against the saving of cash. Inflation is a motherfucker and will eat it alive!
Fortunately for you, these 10 personal finance tips will enable you to not only build wealth, but avoid inflation and maintain that wealth long-term!
So, let’s get get into it!
1. Learn to LOVE budgeting 😍
Have I lost you already? No. Good. Most people HATE budgeting and think budgets are boring AF.
But then again, those people are probably broke.
I can say this, because when I thought budgeting was boring, I was sure as hell broke!
The fact is, without knowing how much you spend each month, how do you know how much you can save, and therefore, invest?
You don’t. Simple as that.
You need to make budgeting your new best friend. Fortunately, theres a bunch of apps which make this VERY easy these days.
I personally use Yolt. I link all my accounts to it and it automatically tracks and categorises all my spending for my pay period.
I then take this info, and dump it straight into my Spreadsheet, which also tracks income, assets, liabilities, savings and net worth. But you don’t need to worry about all of those details at firs. Start with simply tracking your expenses with one of these great, free apps.
The simple act of tracking it and seeing your outgoings in easy to understand, visual charts will allow you to see all your spending habits. The good, the bad and the very, very ugly.
But this is GOOD. Because how can you fix a bad habit if you don’t know you have one?
You can download my FREE Income and Expenses tracker by clicking this image:
2. When Payday Arrives, Pay Yourself First!
If you’re in the habit of splurging your free cash on consumer goods you don’t really need every pay day, you’ll never have enough money to live that dream life of freedom.
And, if you’re happy living pay cheque to pay cheque like this, you can go ahead and stop reading this article now. This information is not for you, and neither is any potential for accruing wealth.
When you get paid, save a portion of that pay immediately. Preferably into long-term investments.
Start with an amount that’s manageable and not too daunting, like 5%. Try and increase this every year by just 2-3%.
Why? Well, say you earn £3,000/month and save 5% (£150). Here’s what you’d have after 35 years assuming an 8% return:
£323K. Not bad!
But let’s say you increase your yearly contributions by 5% as your salary increases throughout your career:
An extra £255K but simply topping up your contributions regularly.
And when your raises or bonuses come around, try to save as much as 100% of these if circumstances allow.
Imagine the end number if you manage that!
If you invest this long-term into index funds, ETF’s and/or stocks, your wealth will grow VERY quickly.
3. STAY OUT OF DEBT
Consumer debt is bad.
Business debt, when used to leverage opportunity can be good…
But that’s not what we’re talking about here. I’m talking about personal, consumer debt: credit cards, store cards, store finance, etc.
If you’re carrying any kind of consumer debt, get it gone!
It mounts up very quickly. And although it may provide access to that immediate gratification we all seek. It diminishes our ability to invest, save for emergencies, and ultimately, puts any chance of achieving financial freedom on hold!
That’s not what you want!
Rules for debt: If you can’t afford it, you can’t have it! If you want it really badly, work harder for it 🤷♂️
If you’re already carrying some debt, here’s what you need to do…
Go through all your accounts and sum up all your debts! Every penny.
Because you’ll never be able to tackle it if you don’t know what you’re dealing with!
Once you’ve done this, like magic, you’ll find yourself frightfully aware of how much money you’re throwing out the window each month in payments & interest.
But, what’s more…
Seeing this debt summed up in one place will have a psychological impact, changing your mindset entirely.
From that moment on, you’ll be determined to make that number go DOWN. Not up!
And that’s where change starts to happen.
If you’d like a made-for-you spreadsheet ready-to-go, the guide below includes the very spreadsheet I use to track all my finances. Click the image to take a look.
4. Credit Cards Are Only Good For One Thing!
Credit cards should only ever be used when you’re able to clear them completely each month.
For example, use them for day-to-day expenses such as groceries, fuel and bills, and then clear the balance when you get paid!
The beauty of this is that you can accrue all of the rewards points and none of the bad debt!
Rewards credit cards come in many forms. You can get credit cards which reward you with travel reward points, aviod points, supermarket loyalty points which can be exchanged for cash value on your groceries, etc.
Find the one that benefits you the most and use it wisely!
5. Live Below Your Means!
Basically, spend less than you make each month.
Doesn’t take a genius to understand this. But I’m always amazed by these people that run out of money days, or even weeks before payday because they’ve spent more money than they make! 🤦♂️
Again, by simply tracking what you bring in and spend each month in my free expenses tracker at the top of this article, you’ll be able to plan your months and watch your spending closer than ever before!
With affiliate marketing, I literally get paid for tweeting. Sounds insane, but you just need:
✅A twitter account ✅Followers ✅Products to promote
If you download either of my guides, join my private stock group, or PFP, you can affiliate for all of these and get 50% for each sale you make.
This guide teaches you how to succeed with affiliate marketing, from start to finish. And by clicking on the image below, you’ll get access to a 25% discount exclusive to my readers.
If you’d like to create a brand on twitter, grow an account to several thousand followers and make £100’s every month by simply tweeting, like I have…
You should join the $mart Engagement Community. You’ll get: ✅Access to 2 engagement groups ✅$mart Twitter Growth Guide (value $45) FREE ✅A channel for every niche & side-hustle ✅All led by large accounts who are winning! ✅Chat 1:1 with people making big money online!
So, that’s how I’m building long-term wealth, and making a bunch of money on the side of my 9-5.
My only advice would be to take this one step at a time. Sort out your current finances before trying to make money elsewhere, otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed and won’t stick to either long-term.
I hope you found this article useful!
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Some of my articles may contain affiliate links to products I have personally used and benefited from. If you make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.