Part 186: Making History and Building the Future.

Hello and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on FIRE.   This week… Thoughts on building for the future and living for today.  Also, an incredible effort by Sheffield Wednesday, and a disrupted routine.

Weekly Update

An eventful week, with a stressful first half and an amazing second half, which funnily enough matches what happened with the football club I support, Sheffield Wednesday.  I mentioned last week that we were coming off the back of an awful 4-0 defeat in the play-off semi-final first leg against Peterborough.  No club in EFL history has come back from a three-goal deficit after a play-off first leg, let alone a four-goal deficit.

Sheffield Wednesday F.C. “Hold my beer”.

The Owls put on a fantastic display in the second leg with wave after wave of attacks on the Peterborough goal, and with Wednesday 3-0 up with 97 minutes played, Liam Palmer scored our fourth to bring the aggregate score to 4-4.  This in itself is an incredible achievement, but as the match went to extra time the Owls were once again pegged back as Peterborough scored with a hugely fortunate goal.  No one would have been surprised had this goal knocked the wind out of Wednesday but they battled back and scored again, taking the match to 5-1 on the night, and 5-5 overall.  And so, the match went to a penalty shootout, in which Wednesday scored all five of their spot-kicks securing their place in the play-off final.

The scale of this achievement should not be overlooked.  On May 18th, Wednesday were the most mentioned football club on social media.  Every football page I follow, not to mention news outlets, carried this story front and centre.  It’s become known as The Hillsborough Miracle.  In a strange way, it was almost worth losing the first leg 4-0 having come back to win in this fashion.  

I’ve been critical of the owner of our club, but nothing can take away from the praise I have for the players, manager, and coaching staff at the club for how they bounced back from such an awful first-leg result.  Now we face Barnsley in the final at Wembley on the 29th of May.

As much as the end of the week was full of excitement with the football, the start of the week was taken up with medical stuff.  I had to have a hydrogen-methane breath test, which I needed to prepare for a few days in advance.  I had to stop some of my normal meds in the days leading to the test, and on the day before follow a restricted diet.  Any major change to my routine is stressful at the best of times, and the test itself didn’t make things easier.  I had been advised I needed one test.  This was wrong.  I actually need three tests on different days, meaning I have to follow the same preparation routine each time.  The test itself is quite straightforward.  You have a special drink, and then breathe into a device every fifteen minutes for the next few hours.  I brought my headphones to listen to an audiobook but a fellow patient was treating the waiting room as an office, conducting work calls on his laptop and monopolising the waiting area with his meetings.  

Anyway, this coming week I have to go back for the second round of tests.  If that guy is there again conducting work meetings, I might just join in. 

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2023 Goals

Click here to see my 2023 progress (opens a new tab). 

What Am I Doing?

TV: Masterchef (BBC).

Audiobook:  The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.

I’ve tried starting The Starless Sea a few times but never got too far into it.  However, this time I was determined to give it a fair chance.  I’m roughly halfway through and it’s got me intrigued.  The main hook that draws you in is that the lead character finds a mysterious book in his university library that seems to know events from his childhood.  The book also seems to be telling stories within stories.  It’s keeping me interested and I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends.

Financial Update


Premium Bonds: £8,075.00 (+£575.00). 

Stocks and Shares ISA: £84,964.71 (+£1,019.25). 

Fuck It Fund: £400.00 (no change).

Pensions: £58,473.06 (+£579.39). 

Residential Property Value: £226,085.00 (no change). 

BTL Property Value: £145,893.00 (no change).

Total Assets: £523,890.77 (+£2,173.64).


Credit Card: £0.00 (no change).

Loans: £9,500.00 (no change).

Residential Mortgage: £177,728.81 (no change). 

BTL Mortgage: £104,992.26 (no change).

Total Debts: £292,221.07 (no change). 

Total Wealth: £231,669.70 (+£2,173.64).

Investment Income in 2023: £1,958.10 (target £8,500).

Some nice gains in the stock market this week, and a decent amount of income received.  My 2023 investment income is almost a quarter of the way to my target, which might not seem that positive as we’re almost 5/12ths of the way into the year.  However, this coming week will see a big dividend payout which will push my investment income YTD figure to over £3,500 by next weekend.  My projections are that I’ll be at, or around, £4,000 by the end of June.  So, almost halfway to the target with half the year still to go.  

At times, this whole FIRE thing can feel like a real slog through the mud with no end in sight, but when I look back at the progress made in the 186 weeks since I started this journey it does give me a boost.

I was chatting with a friend the other day about money and investing; pensions specifically.  He was asking my view on how best to prepare for his future, but he also feels like sometimes it’s all a bit pointless because he might not be around in his 50s, 60s, and beyond.  It’s a valid concern as we never know what is around the corner.  Medical advancements could see us living to 150 years old, or we lock our front door and be hit by falling space debris as we step outside.  The key thing to remember is that we don’t have a choice when it comes to getting older; we either will get older or we’ll die.  All we can do is prepare as best we can for each eventuality.  That means investing for the future but also having enough money and time to spend on the things we enjoy in the here and now.  

Another thing to consider with FIRE is that you don’t have to keep up the same level of investment for the whole duration of the journey.  Whilst it makes sense to put as much money as possible into investments in the early parts of the plan, once you build up a decent-sized investment pot it’s entirely possible to wind back the amount of money being invested because the money already invested is starting to compound and grow.  

I’m in that situation now, where I feel like a lot of the hard work has been done.  I’ve got my first BTL property.  I’ve built a decent pension pot, and my ISA has steadily increased since 2019.  My next big milestone is getting my ISA balance over £100,000.  The foundations of my FIRE plan are in place and are reasonably solid.  I need to continue building on those foundations, but it doesn’t need to be all-consuming any more.  Like I said to my friend; plan for the future but live for now.  


The views and opinions in this blog are my own, and do not represent the views or opinions of my employer, nor should they be considered advice.

If you want personalised financial advice, seek an appropriate professional.  If you are in financial difficulty, seek advice via the resources below:



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