What to do with your annual pay-raise?

It’s pay-rise time of year. I got a very meager 3%, which I have poured into the pension for a couple of reasons.

1.) It makes that meager increase go a lot farther (about 70% as I am trying to avoid becoming a top-rate tax-payer, although may fall foul this year). For each £100 of post tax income I lose, I gain £170 in my pension. So even my £1300 pay increase becomes pretty valuable in a pension (more than £100 a month) rather than £60 quid in net income (my marginal rate of tax is 42%)

2.) It forces me to live off a lot less. As prices increase around the world, I am feeling the pinch of inflation, I’m not immune. However by forcing myself to live off less it either makes me a.) spend less or b.) try and find other ways to increase my income outside work.

I enjoy my work, but being taxed at 42% before I’ve even hit the top end of the tax-bracket makes it ridiculous to try and get wealthy by work alone. My plans over the next few months are as follows:

1.) Try and blog as much I can about topics I find interesting, the money from this blog is currently <1$ a month so this won’t be a money spinner (for now!), but by having an outlet it keeps me accountable and allows me to focus on shipping as much out the door as I possibly can.

2.) Learn to code with Mimo, I have been using the app and enjoying it, I will post a more in-depth review soon. The idea that I can learn code like I learn a language on Duolingo (albeit very slowly) really suits my way of learning. I can do it on the go and without even needing headphones (unlike Duolingo most the time). I don’t plan to become a coding senpai, but I do want to understand some basic principles to allow me to better assess opportunity and mock up ideas quickly using GPT and other AI tools to guide me. I’ve got a few ideas in the works already, and very likely I will use this site as a place to post them.

3.) Potentially do some work in the evenings in a similar space to the one I work in. I have a non-compete but I think this would be fairly hard to enforce and would only matter if I produce a significant amount of income. The idea is the product tools, spreadsheets and insights that other people in my field (HR) really need. This information is very valuable to future employers and can be bought for very “small” sum of £3k to £10k. The right data is worth paying for. How exactly I go about capturing that without breaking non-competes is another matter.

I want this year to be the year that I compound my skillset and my life. It’s going very well, but momentum must be maintained and thrusted forward. I feel like what I’ve achieved in the last 5 years can be done in one year with the right mindset, time, and the right partner alongside me.

Follow along!

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