In our How I Manage My Money series, we aim to find out how people in the UK are spending, saving and investing money to meet their costs and achieve their goals.
Sales executive Nick Sharp, 32, lives in Barnsley, Yorkshire with his partner and two young children.
Salary £2,000; eBook income (projected) £500
Most are split evenly with Nick’s partner; mobile phone is free through work. Here’s what Nick pays:
Mortgage repayment £450; groceries £150; Utility bills £90; child care £100; Broadband £10.50; home insurance £14; petrol £80; Lottery £16 Investing £500
I left school with two GCSEs and then left college after three months as the education sector was just not for me. I played cricket for Yorkshire until I was 18, and was brought up by my mother and grandmother. My father was never around and never supported us financially.
I first became interested in investing when I saw a YouTube video by a taxi driver in Newcastle who talked about being able to retire a wealthy man because of the income he generated from a number of index funds.
I started doing my own research and began investing, via Vanguard, in the S&P 500 VUSA and the All-World VWRL funds. My investments are up 35 per cent, equating to around £6,000. I try to invest around £500 a month into these funds, and at present my combined holdings in them are valued at over £20,000.
I also invest in some individual company stocks. When I first started, I would blindly follow the advice of people with high-profile Twitter accounts dealing with the subject, thinking I would get rich quick. But when I followed their advice I lost money.
I once lost around £600 after investing in AMC Entertainment. Everyone was talking about it on Twitter, so I followed the crowd and lost all my money. It turns out I was buying into everyone selling, so while they were making money and creating more hype on social media trying to get the price up, they were actually selling the stock. I would never blindly follow the advice of such people on Twitter again.
I have since taken the time to learn how to read financial charts and conducted my own extensive research on stocks, and I have been much more successful when it comes to returns. I have around £20,000 tied up in my individual stocks pot and I will use this to invest and swing trade individual stocks.
My interest in investing has grown to the extent that I recently published an ebook on the subject, Retire Wealthy From Investing. Having only published it two weeks ago, I’ve already made £300-worth of sales from it. The book focuses heavily on index funds, which in my view offer a safe and easy way to start investing and make money.
I think the returns on cash savings are terrible and people who leave their hard-earned money in them are losing out due to inflation. I had around £20,000 sitting in a cash savings account before I found out about investing. I got rid of that, but still have a £4,000 emergency fund in a cash Isa. I recommend people have an emergency account like this in case any unexpected major expenditures crop up.
I used to be addicted to buying trainers and now have around 30 pairs, and I also used to spend about £30 a week on lunches at work. But now I invest my money with the aim of making more money, and bring my own lunch to work. I’m also now saving around £1,800 a year after quitting smoking.
I would like to be financially free and being paid passive income from investments by the time I am in my early 40s. This will result in me not having to rely on my nine-to-five job, meaning I can focus on my family and other potential investments like rental properties.