June Savings Rates

Since I started on my financial independence journey I am actively monitoring the amount of money I am saving. 

The PF / FI blogs outline a number of ways to calculate “savings rate”. Firestarter has summarised these. I am calculating these using my take home earnings as it keeps things simple for me. My take home earnings are deducted for 

– income tax

– national insurance

– pensions (via employer scheme)

The June savings come to 62% of my take home money. This is the maximum I have saved since I have started measuring these since February this year. The savings included 

– regular payments to tax efficient ISA (cash and shares)

– one off share buy (probably an impulsive buy)

– a small regular payment to a fund

– £100 to the emergency/ rainy day  fund 

 I am very happy with 62% however August to Dec are normally expensive months for me because of 
– professional memberships / insurances renewals (must for my work)

– car / travel insurance renewals

– my other half’s birthday

– Christmas 

I cannot do much about the first one but I must look at the other three and ensure that I keep my savings rates to a good level. 


Brexit – Entering New Territory


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And suddenly we are now in a new world which is full of uncertainties at this moment for the UK. It is difficult to predict the financial direction whichour country takes therefore it raises doubts and concerns for everyone. No doubt people will be revisiting their financial strategies.

Brexit might have an impact on my OH’s business as materials are supplied from EU countries. However this might help with planning for his early retirement. 

I am also thinking of my next financial steps 

– I will continue to put money in tax free accounts (ISAs). I normally split my deposits between cash and share accounts. I had been advised to increase investments  in share accounts and reduce amounts in cash ISAs. I might still do this though my low risk attitude advises me against it. 

– I am exploring whether I should start my own personal pension pot (in addition to the work pension). It makes sense as this will be tax efficient however I am not still convinced that this is the best way forward. I might not do anything and wait for next year when I will be able to open lifetime ISA. I will be able to invest money for only a few years but this should be ok.

– despite my low risk attitude, my rash adventurous-self bought a very small number of shares on the market yesterday (I am talking peanuts). I already had some shares and as the price went down I doubled the number of shares. Buying shares on an online platform is for fun only therefore I use small amounts (hardly worth it) – had £42ish in dividends last year. 

– my OH and I thought about buying a buy-to-let property a couple of months ago but in view of new tax laws decided that it does not make a good decision. Instead we paid back some mortgage on our other BTL property. 

everyone says there will be some financial pain in short term but hopefully things will be better in long term. My only concern is that you cash savings are in small companies and there might be a risk due to financial instability.

More importantly, As a nation we need to be positive now and move on from this shock

A Look back at my 30-Day Minimalism Game 



Hurrah – I have completed the game / challenge!!. 465 (infact many more) items which had no value in my life have been given away/ recycled or binned. It has been a fantastic learning and satisfying experience. 

I took me a little more than 30 days to complete this game as I took a few days off over the Holiday period.
– The first 10 days were easy as I only have to get rid of 55 items. There were a lot of things which I never used or did not know why I was keeping. 
– I had to make certain difficult decisions over the next 10 days as I got rid of 155 items. I had 2 Teddy bears from my childhood. My partner felt it surprising that I am removing these from my life. My mom kept them and recently gave them to me. They were gathering dust and creating clutter. There was no emotional attachment for me.


– The last 10 days were HARD (255 items). Difficult decision times. On many occasions I felt that I was making excuses to keep certain things – old habits die hard. 


There are number of things which motivated me to pursue this

– on-going reflection on my life and my journey to achieve contentment. I feel that minimalism is a key to this.

– a number of aspiring people in this world including the minimalists.

– I will be moving to a different city this year – A move is a perfect incentive to look at your possession and get clutter out of your life.

– sharing my progress on @ach_contentment (Twitter) / @achievingcontentment (Instagram) and getting encouragement from others kept me disciplined.


– Paper:  lots of it. Over the last few months I am becoming paperless but I still had a lot of old paperwork. I was filling the paper recycling bin on almost daily basis. I even had a bornfire one night for confidential paperwork. Shredder was my best friend over this period.

 – Stationery : I like stationery and I had plenty of it. Who needs more than 100 pens? I added these to my office supplies. 


– Hangers: I gave more than 50 hangers to a charity shop. I have no idea how come I had so many hangers. 

– CDs:  almost all CDs are decluttered. The technology has moved on!!!



– I now have a clutter free space which is relaxing to mind and easy to clean. Shame that I will not be able to enjoy it for a long time as I will be moving out of the flat next month. 

– I have learnt that I do not need hundreds of things in my life. I do not miss the stuff (though it has been only a week since I have  completed the game). 

– It has been a very satisfying experience and I feel happy 

– understanding that decluttering and minimalism are not the same. Declutter is a step toward minimalism and I need to take more steps towards minimalism 


– I still have more stuff which I need to go throug. Though the game is complete, decluttering will be on-going 

– I have only looked at the physical clutter. I need to start looking at other types such as digital, emotional clutter 

– my partner’s home – my things can’t move to my partner’s home as there is no space. Therefore we will need to start decluttering. However we are two very different people and it may be year before my partner embraces minimalism 

– My Office – this should be easy and worthwhile 

30-Day Minimalism Game  – Update on the first 10 days 


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I cannot believe that it HAS already been 10 days since the start of 30-day minimalism game via @theminimalists



It has been a very interesting period. First 10 days mean getting rid of 55 items which I have managed to do (yuppie). In fact the actual number is more than this as the items have included more than 50 pens / pencils or journals which I counted as 2 items.

The first 10 days have been easy as most of the stuff I got rid was actually clutter and had no value to me e.g. Old stuff (not used for more than 4 yrs) or junk etc. Not only I am reducing my visible clutter (items which can been seen in the room), I have found lots of items hidden away in cupboards (invisible clutter) 

I have come across other people who have already achieved this or on a similar journey. It is fantastic to get ideas from them. 


Though the main aim for starting the game was to declutter as I embarked on journal towards minimalism, I am also learning a few things about me 

  • I am essentially a lazy person. Instead of throwing away or recycling some items straight away as they come to my flat, I keep them and the they become invisible. I need to be more orgainsed and get rid of things on a regular basis
  • I work better when I have motivation. A number of things are inspiring me on this journey. My intention to achieve simplicity / contentment. I am sharing my progress in this game on Twitter @ach_contentment and Instagram @achievingcontentment. The support from others is extremely  motivational 
  • Paper , paper & paper. Paper is the biggest clutter for me. My communal recycle bin is 75% full of my paper. A lot of shredding over the last 10 days and there is a lot more to do. I am now taking steps to be paperless including scaning the paper work I need to keep and switching to all online correspondence where possible 


  • The next 10 days will be interesting as I have to get rid of 155 items and most of these will be the ones with which I have some attachment 
  • I will continue to get rid of paper which is going to be a big job
  • And I will be enjoying the calm and the clean space 

Why am I doing the 30-day Minimalism game 



I was reading online about productivity, happiness, contentment and financial independence and I came across the minimalists -I was hooked straight away. 

The concept of minimalism is universal. It is not about getting rid of stuff but making space for a rich / positive / happy life. 

I grew up in a household where we did not throw away anything. Though we were never serious hoarders, we kept things which did not add any value to my life. 

Even now I continue to keep things out of habit. Exploring theminimalists website made me reflect and I decided to embark on the 3o-day minimalism game – an interesting game where one throws away one item on day 1, two items on day 2 and so on

@theminimalists suggest to play this game with another person.  I am doing it alone and will be posting my progress on @ach_contentment twitter and @achievingcontentment Instagram 
I am doing this challenge because 

  • I want to reduce stress in my life as the clutter = stress/ chaos (sometimes it takes along time to look for things)
  • I want to have time / space for experiences to add value in my life 
  • I am soon moving into a house share before moving to another city to live with my OH. Perfect incentive for me to reduce my material possessions to make this process simple / hassle free

My first item is the bottle feeder from my childhood which my mum handed over to me recently. It was of no emotional value to me (probably I am very harsh) but it life me it was only causing clutter 



  • Almost 4o years old
  • Got married in 2014. Live in separate cities due to work commitments. Plans to move to my OH’s (other half) city in 2016 – big changes in 2016
  • Work as a senior manager in public sector 
  • Looking forward to a life of cotentment, positivity, gratitude and financial independence 


  • This blog is my journey to he above. I will be undertaking a number of challenges as they inspire and motivate me
  • I am blogging my baby steps to keep myself on track and get inspiration and ideas from others


Thank you for dropping by. This blog is about my journey towards achieving #contenment #happiness #financialindependence in my life.
The reason I am starting this blog is that Motivation helps me to reach my goals and sharing my baby steps will help me with this.
I intend to set challenges to myself and I will be updating on how I am progressing. Please feel free to suggest your own challenges / motivations.