Alan Donegan: PopUp Business School Co-Founder, Entrepreneur, Financially Independent Pizza Lover, Marvel Movie fan and soon to be Script Writer
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The movement in the UK is a lot smaller. It has taken more time to catch on but it is growing fast. Is it possible to be Financially Independent (FI) in the UK? Are there any good blogs about Financial Independence from a UK perspective? Is there a community? Read on to find out more about Financial Independence in the UK
Created 20th August 2019. Updated: 22nd of June 2021
Is it possible to be FI in the UK?
The short answer is yes. I have friends who have done it, I have done it with my wife Katie and it is absolutely possible. Compared to the USA there are things that we in the UK have going for us (like huge ISA and Pension allowances) and things we have going against us (higher cost of living and lower wages in areas) but it is absolutely possible to achieve financial independence in the UK. Two of my friends below Barney and Ken have both achieved it. So have faith!
Need to know what Financial Independence is click here
The UK Community and blogs
There is a vibrant community in the UK and you can engage and find them in different places. I am going to share with you 2 blogs I trust and 2 Facebook groups I am part of.
Financial Independence Facebook Groups
On Facebook I have found two main Facebook groups that are active at the moment. The first is the Financial Independence London group which is where most of the FI events happen at the moment. Join the group for London events and to connect with other people on the FI Journey in the UK.
There is also a Financial Independence UK group on Facebook with nearly 1000 members! Since I wrote this article in August 2019 this group has grown to 7900 members and is still going. The movement is growing so fast in the UK. Get involved there to find out more about what is happening outside London!
If there isn't a ready made community in your area build one and tell people about it. If I am in town I will drop in! The extraordinary belongs to those that create it. Don't sit around waiting for community to happen; you can create it.
The second is the set of Facebook groups started by ChooseFI. ChooseFI is the biggest podcast in the FI world and is really excellent. Click here for theChooseFI Podcast; it is absolutely worth listening!
ChooseFI have a few different local Facebook groups in the UK:
For a full listing of the ChooseFI groups around the world visit this page
There are other blogs and sites like Monevator which pulls together the best articles about FI and more. If you know of one I have missed off the list that you think is good, let me know and I will add it and build this into a resource list.
The Playing with FIRE Premier
Playing with FIRE is a documentary following the journey of Scott and Taylor as they learn about Financial Independence, meet the experts like JL Collins, Millennial Revolution, Mad Fientist and Mr Money Mustache and then change their entire life to work towards their dream!
The London Premier happed in June'19 and was sold out!
I am going to write a review of the Documentary soon but I just wanted to show you there is a vibrant community in the UK all working towards the dream. Join one of the Facebook groups, start commenting and sharing and come along to one of the meetups to get involved!
Find the latest about the documentary and screenings on the Playing with FIRE website
Financial independence in a nutshell
For a full article explaining Financial Independence go here.
FInancial Independence in a nutshell:
Save as much as you can, as quickly as you can and invest it into assets that produce a financial return such as Vanguard Index funds. Let compounding take effect and retire early (a.k.a do whatever you want) living off the income from your assets.
Katie and I have been working towards this goal for many years and reached our goal in 2019. We have now been exploring the world, Katie has been learning guitar and cycling across Iowa and I have been writing movies, blogging and having fun.
Even if you don't want to retire; having the freedom to be able to do whatever you want with your life and not worry about money is an amazing goal.
Whenever I take money and invest it into the stock market I think of it as buying my freedom. Every pound I put into stocks and shares creates a return for me and if I own enough of them then it means I get all of my time back to do what I want.
Instead of buying a more expensive car buy your freedom first.
This is not a normal way of thinking. Most people you will encounter will think about spending more when they earn more rather than investing more. If you want to develop the saving, investing and FIRE mindset then the best thing you can do is get around the community where this way of thinking is normal.
How to get started in the UK
The UK is no different in terms of working towards your goal of being Financially Independent than other countries. The main FI strategies work here just as they do elsewhere; there will be nuances and tax differences but the main principles hold.
Here is my starting guide to FIRE in the UK:
Is it a fairly simple straight forward strategy? Yes. Is it easy to achieve? No. It takes a lot of energy, time and effort to be able to do it.
FIRE in the UK Press
Interested in FIRE? Where next!?
Inspired and want to learn more?
Here are some resources to get you going.
The Rebel Finance School
My wife Katie and I have created the Rebel Finance School to help people take control of their finances and make progress towards FI. It is completely free and a huge amount of fun! For the dates of the next one go to the Rebel Finance School page and sign up for announcements.
Books to get you going.........
If books aren't your thing then read Mr Money Mustache's blog for bite sized articles or listen to the ChooseFI podcast which is excellent.
Next up on Alan's blog
Since I wrote this article in 2019 the financial independence community in the UK has taken off. in June 2021 we finished running the second version of the Rebel Finance School and had 400 people attending weekly with over 1000 people signed up to the course!
Katie and I are planning a whole new set of articles on investing, more courses and more fun for all! We are on it.
We do still LOVE hearing from you about what you want us to write about, what you want us to create and more. Leave us a comment below and just start to get involved. There is a whole community of people who want you to succeed and make progress on your finances and life!
The extraordinary belongs to those that create it.
Take action and start creating!