Hello everyone, today with all that is happening in the world, I think people are understanding more and more the importance of saving and putting money away. In today's post, im going to share a story about how I went from being around £6000 in debt to having more than a year's salary saved and earning me some passive income. I had no windfall, my parents did not pay my debt and I never sold drugs, lol. I took the ole school approach and got on the grind. I will show you how you can go from being in debt to having a nice nest egg that becomes self-sufficient and with a little bit of management can compound down for years.
Every story needs a start. I was 27, 2012, I was just back from living in Thailand for 14 months and missing the wife who was still in Thailand with the kids. So, I blew all my money living in Thailand and went around £4k into debt, not to bad as i was still paying a mortgage while in Thailand. But I returned home to Northern Ireland with no job and bills, food, etc to pay for. I applied for many jobs but nothing ever came and another £2k went on the credit cards over the course of about 9 weeks. I had the option to go on jobseekers which is a benefit but I never took it as they make you jump through hoops and the jobcentre is just a depressing place to be, the staff are very degrading and I'd rather just stay away from it. Credit card and pay it back later forced me to be more active in my job hunt. People pay for motivational classes, I used my credit cards.
Anyways, 1 day out of the blue I got a phone call and it was my old supervisor from the job I had before I went to Thailand and he said he heard I was back and he needed a pair of hands. I jumped at the offer as it was a bakery job and that's what im trained in so was really happy. The pay was sorta shit but it paid better than playing with my dick all day at home.
While I was sat at home for them 9-10 weeks playing with myself, I'd made a plan. I made a plan to get out of debt and start saving for early retirement. My wife and kids were from Thailand and it costs money, visas and flights are not cheap. She had been here for a 6 week holiday in 2010 and the visa alone cost me around £1600 after paying a fortune to get documents verified so I was expecting the same again times x3. Anyways, I had a plan. I must point out at this point, you will only succeed if you want to. I had thought to myself many times in the past that I would start saving up some money but never did. This time, I knew I was gonna do it, it just felt different. I really wanted to do it and knew I would, so if your not committed, dont waste your time, come back when your ready and in that mindset.
I started back to work, did all the overtime going and paid off as much debt as I could. My paycheck was split between living costs, saving for x3 visa's and flights and paying down debt. I never got a car because I could cycle to work, I wear the clothes I had, made no upgrades to my apartment but I still ate very well. My mum lived about 200 meters away from me at the time and I used to go and visit every day around dinner time, lol. I did this for just under a year and had paid off my debt and saved over £5000 at the same time. Around 9 months in, I had gathered all the documents and prove I required to apply for visa's, the process takes around 4 months to settle but the visas were granted the first time round.
When you dont work in the UK for over a year and you return to full-time work, you get a benefit called worker tax credits, they pay it directly into your bank and I got the full amount because I still away for 14 months and not working in the UK for maybe 17 months. I still remember the payment was £91.78 every Friday morning at 0.01 am. This helped massively only found out about it when a guy in work said to me about it after I started back. That along with working all the overtime on offer, sometimes 7 days a week, this got me out of debt. It might take others longer if you owe more are your not able to basically decide if you gonna work 60 are 72 hours that week but the grind is the same. Just get it done and make it happen, no excuses. Small steps.
To save a long story, Visa's were granted around a month after I got out of debt and I spent everything I had in the bank paying for flights, new clothes and furniture for the kid's rooms. Time to get rid of the credit cards and remove the overdraft option from my bank accounts, no more debt for me and from that day, I've never gone minus. If you have no access to debt, you'll not go into debt and you'll make what you got to do.
I started simple, in fact, I've never changed it. I decided to remove £30 from my pay every week. Every Friday morning I would move £30 from my current account to my saving account. I just let it build for a few months, no idea where are even how-to "invest". I was looking around the internet at stuff and there was this new thing called bitcoin. No shit your thinking. It was around Sept 2013 and I decided to put my saving into Bitcoin, I had watched a lot of videos on youtube and it looked to be the bomb. It was trading for 130, I can't remember if that was £ or $. So I joined second life the game and bought some liden dollars, the in-game currency, then I converted my liden dollars into Bitcoin and sent my Bitcoin to mtGox as i had not downloaded a private wallet. Dont ask me why a game was exchanging BTC but that was my fastest and quickest entry at the time. By the time, mtGox got hacked, I had saved up just over 8 BTC having bought he bulk in Sept and Oct. I did a withdrawal but it stayed on pending for around 3 weeks until the site went down. At this point, I was like fuck this cryptocurrency shit, I gonna save something that nobody can take from me.
Introducing silver and gold but mainly silver. My thinking was some computer nerd just stole all my Bitcoin but nobody can take physical silver from me unless they break into my house and crack my safe. I dont had a safe back then, but now I do. I was still saving my £30 a week, sometimes more if I did overtime. I started to buy silver bullion coins, buying them 1 at a time from eBay. After a few months of that, I decided that I would save up for a bunch of weeks and do bigger proper orders to save on shipping rates. I was paying way to much on eBay and my cost per oz was terrible. After saving up £200-220, I did my first "big" order of 16-17 ozs. Silver was cheap back then and I was super happy with what I got. I was hooked and pretty much for the next 3 years, I went flat out stacking silver, hence the name silverstakceruk. While this was happening, I watched Bitcoin peak out at $1.2k and dropped back down to under $200. I was feeling good about my growing silver stack. I was a man on a mission and the mission was, more ozs, more ozs and more ozs of silver. I one point I set myself a lifetime target of having my own weight in silver. One thing I learned about stacking silver is it soon piles up and it starts to get hard to hide, welcome gold :)
I have to say that for this 3 years, all I did was stick to my routine of taking at least £30 out of each paycheck and putting it toward buying silver. I had stacked around 200 oz's for each of those years and did my biggest order of 150 ozs when silver was trading for under £9, just lucky timing that I came into some money from an old side hustle, matched betting. I could see my stack grow in front of me and there's something that makes me feel safe about having a stack of silver.
This brings us to 2017, started out the year same as 2016, stacking hard but around March/April of that year, I was looking for some new silver stacking forums to join and got linked to some article on a website called steemit. I looked into this steemit and seen they were giving away free internet magic beans for people that write posts. I was an active member of thesilverforum back then and used to write posts all the time. I thought I could just copy/paste them and see what happens. I went to copy/paste my first post and decided, Nah, I try and do this properly. Anyways, it went ok and I was back on the crypto bandwagon. I never touched another crypto outside of STEEM until around Nov 2017 when things were at the craziest, SBD went to $12 and STEEM bounced to over $6 soon after.
I still stacked around 200 oz's in 2017 but by the time 2018 came around it was silver what? Nah, the new game is crypto baby. By the start of 2018, I was buying, selling, HODLing, FOMOing all the newest ICO's on the block, I even got involved with bitconnect. Good times but not profitable times. Profitable times for smart people but I was not smart and lost a big chunk of my STEEM buying shitcoins, many I still hold to this day. But i never bought Bitcoin, I always chased the 100x dream alt token that was gonna change the world. For 2018, I saved around £40 a week from my pay, I spent it on varies shit coins, started a smart cash node, started a few, to be honest, and bought into other rubbish projects.
2018 was a waste of a year, to be honest, I ended up holding tons of rubbish crypto's that where tanking 95+ per cent. I was happy to have my silver stack, I feel that if I never had my silver, I would have felt 10 times worse at the time. I could always think, ok, I lost £4k this year and even if all my crypto goes to zero, I still had all my silver and few ozs of gold.
I started out 2019 trying to get back into buying silver bullion but the spark was gone, crypto was just too god damn much fun. I had got bored of all the coin designs, collecting series and to be honest, selling almost 1000 oz of silver might not be an easy thing to do. I did a few silver buys at the start of the year but was not the same as before. Around June of that year, I started my new job in an Artisan bakery, the job I'd been waiting for for ages. Shorter hours, better pay and proper home hands-on baking. So I had some extra money coming in every week and my expenses were the same.
I also started up SPI during this year. I was nearing the end of powering down my personal account after #newsteem destroyed thousands of users accounts with thier censorship, the policies was boring and steemit was not a fun place at that time. Decentralized and ran by bullies with huge account balances. I had planned to power down and sell it all. I always had an idea to run an investment token and thought, I'd give it a try and if it failed, that would be the final straw for me and steemit. Anyways, I sold off all my STEEM for bitcoin and had kept around 15k I think, 10k in my personal account and 5k in my upvoting account. I put all 10k into SPI, stopped posting from my personal account and focused solely on Spinvest, something I regret a little because I could have earned so many tokens from posting content, more than I would have prob made from my SPI holdings. I guess I found my place on the blockchain and SPinvest is what im knew for these days.
Back when I started to stack silver, my reason was that I lost all my BTC and I was thinking Bitcoin was not safe if somebody can steal it from me whether it's in an exchange wallet is a personal wallet, it's not for me. Here I was, over 5 years later planning to invest into Bitcoin because it was and still is the safest bet as far as crypto goes. I learnt from 2018 that Bitcoin is where the smart money goes and I was going to copy that, I wasted a year buying magic beans and hoping to find a 1000x token, I looked into all of Bitcoins market cycle's and made my plan. Buy BTC every week until the bull market arrived. I had a wirex card that i used to convert £'s into BTC every week, it was a 2 minutes process through the app. From June 2019, I spent £60-80 per week on Bitcoin until the 16th of March 2020 when I bought my last Bitcoin and hit my target. I transferred all my BTC to Nexo were it earns 5%. From this day I have not saved anything from my paychecks. I had hit my silver bullion target of wanting a 5 figure stack and my crypto bags has already surpassed that amount so the hard part was done. I wanted to aim at the stock market next but im hoping Bitcoin will provide me with the funding for this in the future. Now, all I gotta do is manage what I have and it'll take care of itself.
Once you get to this point, things seem easier but this is the most important part. This is part when I stopped saving weekly and I let my savings do the work for me. If you invest into something and lose all your money at this part, your back to the start and you dont wanna go back to the start. You will have gone through hundreds of weeks of saving a tiny part of each paycheck. If you've been in crypto for a while, you'll have made many mistakes and hopefully learned from them. If you dont have the discipline to do the opposite of what your gut is telling you, you will fail over and over again. By that I mean, when crypto is at it's craziest, all over the news, on TV, googles searches hitting records, it's time to sell. When Bitcoin is looking like it going to $1 million and they guys in work are talking about it, it's true to sell and take your profits.
Many of you will know this already and I bet you will still fail to do this. It's like when you go for a few drinks and you say to your friends, ok, I am 100% only having 2 drinks and going home. After those 2 drinks, you start feeling good, the music starts to take you, the banter is great so you have another one, and then another one and then you wake up the next day wrecked and all your money is gone because you got caught in the moment. I mean have a good time but when people are dancing on tables and chicks are flashing boobs, that's your queue to exit, resist the temptation. When things seem there best, the markets have a way to crush your hope and dreams. No discipline will get you wrecked.
Most of 2020 from me was converting STEEM/HIVE earnings from my upvoting account into different things. I bought some FTSE 100 shares, bought some LINK and VET on a tip from a buddy and pretty much just sat on what I have.
I feel that I have my silver which is a solid foundation and then I have my Bitcoin which is gonna moon this year and even if it does not, Im good with my $8k ish avg buying price. SPI has also been profitable for me but i dont really count it as an investment. I mean it is, my holding in SPI and LBI are worth a few £ but they are both proper long term HODL investments. I heard the avg retail investor holds an asset for 6 months but the avg instructional investor will hold for 10 years. Interesting that.....
To the future, im gonna sell my Bitcoin toward the end of this year, start 2022 and do something with it for 12-16 months. I'll need to keep it in crypto so a stable token. I plan to sell all my crypto at this time, everything except for my hive-engine wallet tokens. I hope that whatever I get from my Bitcoin will produce a nice passive income until Bitcoin drops 70% from its next market cycle peak and then go heavy into Bitcoin again. Of course, these plans could change as im sure they will. One thing I can say for certain is I will not be paying for any more crypto, I might exchange one into another but my Bitcoin is on lockdown. We can all earn free crypto, why pay for it? Im not swapping my money for magic beans this time around.
So there you have it, that is how I got myself out of debt and saved up assets of over a year's salary. I did nothing fancy, I basically learnt to take money out of pay every week and not touch it, I just considered it money gone. I grinded my ass off for a year to pay my debt, lost my first £1000 to mtGox and then stacked silver hard for 4 years building toward my goal of a 5 figure stack. Silver does not pay out any dividend, the price moves slowly, you never get rich quickly and it's known as a good hedge against inflation but silver also means I never go back to zero. If the internet stops tomorrow and anything is gone, your bank accounts, your cryptos, all your stocks, pensions and the rest, I'll still have a shit ton of silver worth something and that makes me sleep easy at night. Bitcoin for me is an investment, maybe a store of wealth but I do plan to ride its next 2 or 3 cycles as I have the time and BTC might still have 2 more 5x market cycle gains in her before it's market cap gets too big to double are triple up. If it like that, I plan to diversify gains of each cycle into different classes of assets. When im done playing BTC cycles and i plan to proper long term hold Bitcoin the way I hold silver, I will have built up a nice basket of assets. Its a good plan but based on a lot of assumptions. If BTC hitting $42k last month was it's market cycle peak, im in bad trouble, very big trouble because im not selling until at least the end of the year.
Again, all you have to do is make a plan and stick to it. You only get results from doing some boring things over and over and it takes time. Little and often is the key, dont believe me, looks at SPI's tokens price growth, there's the proof in the pudding. When you focus, teach yourself some discipline, you will start to see the results and that will motivate to even more. I never did anything special, just a bunch of repetitive tasks over and over for the past 9 years.
Once you set yourself up, your savings should be able to make more money for you. My route is Bitcoin primary for growth but each person will make there own plan. I consider my plan to be high risk but I feel safe knowing I have my silver stack and I not super old either so would have time to sorta rebuild but I dont think it'll ever come to that again. If i were 50+, i might not have 50%+ of my assets in crypto but who knows, maybe crypto will be everywhere by the time im 50 and 100% of all assets are on the blockchain. My apartment deeds are car ownership book could be on an NFT. Anyway, I do still take £50 out of every week from my pay from habit, it'll go toward a nice holiday for whenever COVID has stopped raping the world and we can move more freely.
Hoped you enjoyed my story. Not really much to learn from to honest, i just did the same things over and over. Maybe a bit personal for a SPinvest post, but it's good I guess to know a little about the person behind SPinvest and im the mood for writing so banging out a 3600-word post is ok. Come to think of it, it's Friday and I need to write a post for LBI as well.