This week I attended a meet up of the Financial Independence London group which exists on Facebook.
In a very sunny St. James Park we got through a lot of topics related to FI and there was a good mix of people with different ages and careers. Similar themes came up and I plan to investigate each of these further in this blog:
- Who does FI?
We talked about our careers and a lot of people who are chasing FI seem to work in IT or finance. Why is this? I guess that numeracy and analytical skills help but there seems to be more to it than this. Somewhat ironically, anecdotal evidence suggests that many people who work in finance have a ‘lastminute.com’ attitude to money and barely scrape by in time for pay day!
- Spending patterns
There was a lot of discussion of the way people spent money. While we all agreed that cooking and buying food cheaply help towards FI, I noticed that living in the West Country means that I do not often go into cities and past shops – this alone saves me a great deal of money by removing the temptation.
Despite the agreement about saving, there was a similar agreement that holidays are a luxury worth paying for. Sitting at home looking at spreadsheets can get pretty boring!
- Starting a portfolio
There was a lot of variation in how we invest our money. While people tended towards a diversified portfolio, some did not know where to start and some had rather risky ideas of investing in a very small number of individual company shares.
- How much?
We chatted about how much is enough – I think everyone agreed that £1m and having a mortgage paid off would be more than enough, even in London. But we could all probably live on a lot less than that…
How closely to people track their spending? Do you account for every coffee or just wait until the end of the month and work out what is left?
I have some friends who have already reached FI via property, but at the meet up people were generally wary of investing although some had done well from their own homes, especially in London. I plan on inviting some guest posts from those who have reached FI and to explain my own approach.