How I save for retirement with a lumpy income

StockChartI’m finally publishing this as it’s been sat 90% complete in my drafts folder for about 5 months. As you might be aware, I’ve been spending my semi-retirement doing various other things and the blog hasn’t been touched for a while. 

However a brilliant piece over on Monevator plus a few comments about my absence on other blogs have given me the nudge I needed to finish it and hit Publish! 


I’m going to have a bit of a break from writing about tiny businesses and psychology today and get back to one of my sad, nerdy little hobbies: investing. (more…)

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A risk I can afford to take

DiceHey everyone.

You might have noticed that things have been a bit quiet round here for the last few weeks. The main reason for that is that I’ve ended up starting a big engineering project and it’s quite involved.

In fact, I think I might have accidentally started another business. 🙂

This news is quite exciting in and of itself but it also illustrates one of the strengths of my methodology for living without a job so I thought I’d take this opportunity to write about it. (more…)

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The book that changed my life forever

HowIFoundFreedomCoverI have an annual ritual.

It’s not like I mark it on the calendar or anything, but I just know when it’s been too long since the last time. It usually seems to happen when the clocks have gone back and I’m starting to feel a bit gloomy.

Sometimes, I’m reminded that it’s time because I can feel life slipping out of my control a little bit.

Roughly once every year, I curl up with a cup of tea and revisit the book which has been one of my biggest influences as I’ve worked towards building a life which suits me.

Although the author died in 2006 (way before I was anywhere near constructing my current philosophy), I consider him, through this book alone, to have been one of the greatest mentors I’ve ever had.

He certainly helped me to get out of the rat race! (more…)

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Your employer is not the enemy

TroopsHelicopterOK then. First one to leave a comment about Mike Ashley/Sports Direct wins a prize!

But seriously, I’m not writing this for people who are in an unfortunate economic position. This article is for the professionals out there.

You guys work in offices, you probably have degrees and I’d imagine you put the hours in. You are the engineers, the solicitors, the accountants and the consultants. You are the people who feel that ‘life is not great’ but you would not dare to utter those words in front of a group of young men who earn minimum wage for fear that you would be beaten to death for being such an ungrateful wealthy person.

(more…)

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To free yourself from the grind, be defined by your strengths

MartialArtistHi, I’m Andy.

What do I look like you say? Well, I’m no oil painting. I’ve never been described as ‘the good looking one’. I’m too thin. I’ve not got manly shoulders.

Personality-wise, I’m pretty selfish and like getting what I want. I’m argumentative. I experience periods of quite bad depression and this leads to unpleasant changes in my behaviour towards other people. My mood swings cause trouble between me and my wife sometimes. When I’m down, I become more introverted and lose my confidence.

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Freedom business case-study 1: My computer business

NetworkCablesIt’s no secret that I make the majority of my income as a freelance embedded firmware engineer. I’ve written at length about how I go about making that pay here.

However, the seeds of the freedom that I now enjoy were mostly sewn a long time before I was experienced enough to do that.

One of the key factors that has helped me to break out of the daily grind is having confidence in my ability to start with nothing and use my skills to generate some income independently.

Today I’m going to talk about the business that helped me to nurture that confidence. (more…)

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Our money: The Tank and the Taps

TapsMy version of living a life of freedom and autonomy revolves around having and applying two complementary sets of skills: entrepreneurship and personal finance.

I believe very strongly that being good at both of these things is the key to quickly achieving the type of life balance you would like. Mastering either of these disciplines in isolation definitely has the potential to improve your life vastly (and eventually give you the freedom you desire) but putting them together is like pouring lighter fuel on a fire.

(more…)

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