What are the UK Equivalents of Popular US Funds?


A lot of the portfolio recommendations you come across online are from US-based investors. You’ll see portfolios like VTI and chill, or 80% VTI & 20% VXUS, but as UK investors these funds are not available to us, so what are the UK equivalents of popular US funds?

Why can’t I buy US-based funds in the UK?

First off let’s touch on why you can’t simply buy US funds when you are based in the UK (or Europe).

All funds sold in the UK and Europe need to abide by a regulatory framework called UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities), which is a European Union regulation.… Read the rest >

Our FIRE Portfolio

FIRE Portfolio

After hours of research and analysis, I have created a FIRE portfolio that consists of a range of low-cost index tracking funds. The aim of the portfolio is to be low maintenance, low cost, well diversified and give a decent return.

Avoid the Biggest Portfolio Mistake – You

Having been guilty of exactly this myself in the past, let’s get this one out of the way. General perceived wisdom backed by statistical evidence from the likes of Jack Bogle (founder of Vanguard), Warren Buffett and various others says that over the long run, investors get better returns using broadly diversified low-cost index-tracking mutual funds & ETFs.… Read the rest >

Getting Rid of the Piranhas


Piranhas are those sneaky little monthly subscriptions that you take out and as time goes by you have a whole shoal of them nibbling away at your money.

What are my Piranhas

When I did my Getting to Grips With My Outgoings budgeting a few things jumped out at me that I need to tackle. The obvious ones are the biggies like food shopping and discretionary spending but there are quite a few little things that I pay for monthly that I want to kill off, namely:

TV Streaming Services – £386.66/$478.49 p/a

  • Now TV
  • Amazon Prime
  • Apple TV
  • Disney+

Recurring Software/Online storage – £99.88/$123.73 p/a

  • Apple iCloud
  • Microsoft 365

Dog Walker – £576/$713.59 p/a

That’s a potential total saving of just over £1,000 p/a.… Read the rest >

FIRE Goals – 2023

FIRE Goals

I don’t normally do new years resolutions or that type of thing but there is a Reddit subgroup I’m on and people list their FIRE Goals at the start of each year. A lot of what was on there gave me some great ideas and I started to realise that a list of FIRE goals at the start of each year could be really useful, so here it goes for 2023.

  • Work out my detailed expenditure and come up with an easy way to track it
  • Sort my financial plan out and track it annually
  • Develop a side hustle 
  • Reduce alcohol assumption
  • Start running 4x per week
  • Lose a little weight (14 pounds/6kg)
  • Some dedicated time every weekend where MAFF & I do something together
  • Go on holiday for at least 1 week
Read the rest >

Our Aiming For FIRE Plan



I have spent some time over the last few days going through our assets and investments in detail so that I can map out a FIRE plan. I got a lot of value out of doing this and now have a much better handle on things, so I thought I’d share how I’ve approached it.

Some Terminology Explained

Before reading any further, let me cover some of the terminology I’ll be using in this article as some of it may not make sense if you are outside the UK.

Read the rest >

Reducing Mobile Phone Costs

iPhone 14 Pro

As part of my ongoing mission to trim the fat off my monthly outgoings, I shopped around for the best options to reduce my mobile phone costs and decided not to go with the cheapest option here’s why and what I did.

Phone + SIM deal

I thought I’d start with this one as whilst it doesn’t apply to us I know a lot of people do things this way. If you are paying for a plan that bundles your phone with your SIM then this is nearly always the most expensive way of doing things.… Read the rest >

Understanding My UK State Pension

State Pension Featured Image

In order to understand what my FIRE future looks like, so I can plan accordingly, I wanted to get a handle on what MAFF & I will get from our UK state pensions. This was actually surprisingly easy as the UK Government has a service you can log into and it tells you exactly what you will get, when you’ll get it and how many more years of National Insurance contributions you need to make.

Hang on, what does FIRE have to do with state pensions

I know some of you reading this will be wondering what on earth Financial Independence Retire Early has to do with state pensions.… Read the rest >

Getting to grips with our outgoings

Wasting Money

So my first step in sorting my finances out is getting to grips with what we spend per month and working out if I can make some savings.

I’m married and our finances are fairly intertwined, we have a joint account which all the bills get paid from and then our own separate bank accounts for personal expenditure. So the costs you see below are for both of us.

After a not-so-exciting few hours with a spreadsheet and my bank statements, I came up with the table below which shows everything we currently spend.… Read the rest >

How to Get Virgin Media Bill Down

Virgin Media Logo

I recently reduced my Virgin Media bill by almost half. Virgin are surprisingly tough to deal with, so I thought I’d share how I got my bill down.

I was on a 125Mbps+TV+Landline plan costing £95/$117 per month (yes, you read that right, £95 p/m! I don’t quite know how it got that high). I ended up on a 300Mbps+TV+Landline plan costing £50/$62 per month.

How Virgin Media Pricing Works

Virgin Media pricing works the same as most Insurance companies, cheap to start and then they hike the price, but Virgin are even more blatant about hiking prices.… Read the rest >