This page contains a bunch of useful definitions to make sure we're all talking about the same thing.


This is the amount you take home each year. It includes your pension contributions and any student loan contributions, but is not the same as your salary. You should think of it as the money you get in your pocket each year for the work you do in society.

You should note that although the definition of income often includes the money generated by the interest on your assets, for the purposes of entering 'income' information into this site you should discount that.


This is the money that goes out of your pocket each month, i.e anything you directly spend. This does not include the tax you pay before money comes into your account but does include anything you buy. You can think of outgoings as being directly related to your lifestle costs. The more extravagantly you want to live, the higher your outgoings are going to be.

Productive Assets

These are all the things you own which put money in your pocket without you doing anything like a home with tenants, dividend yielding stocks or fixed rate bonds. These are the things which will eventually make you financially independednt, collect these like a magpie collects shiny things. You can read more about assets on Investopedia


These are all the things you own which take money out of your pocket, like your car, your pet and your kids :o. If you want to get rich, you don't want too many of these. However money is not everything and you will eventually want some of these. Make sure you understand the definition of a liability here.

Compound Interest

Einstein described compound interest as the 8th wonder of the world. It is the process by which your initial investment grows faster and faster, year on year without you doing anything. This importance of this process over your lifetime is the key learning point Financial Trajectory was designed to educate people on. You can read more about compound interest on Investopedia.


This is the annoying but perhaps necessary habit of governments to keep increasing the money supply. (Yes the numbers are a bit mind boggling, but a Freddo used to be 5p.)

Safe draw-down rate

This is the percentage of your total productive assets which you can take each month as income without eroding the total amount of assets you have. Once again you can read more about this on Investopedia.

Financial Independence

Financial independence has become somewhat of a buzzword. For the pursposes of this site it basically means the point at which you have accrued enough productive assets with a high enough interest rate that the money generate from them alone covers the lifestyle you are happy to retire on. Being financially independent does not mean you have to stop work, but it means you can if you want. You can read up on the FIRE movement here.