A boss from a previous job got me into silver a couple of years back, and I stacked that for a while. The most I had when stacking silver was a fraction over 5kg but most of that has been sold gradually. I haven't made a loss on any of it and don't regret selling it, although occasionally I think about those 10ozt Pamp bars wistfully!
I am more into gold now, and not bothered about collecting or condition, I am just after building a modest supplement to my pension when that comes in about 25 years. (If I even make it to that age!) To that end I try to buy CGT exempt coins or at least low premium. I rarely buy outside the forum. In the past I even have been perverse enough to buy coins I don't particularly like, just so I have no compunction over selling them whenever the time comes! But I confess a few beauties have accidentally made it into the pot 🤐
I have a 'humble' background too. I don't work in emergency services or armed forces, and I don't have any friends or relatives into gold (and most have no idea about this aspect of me).
Life has been a bit unconventional for me. I've had two long term partners (at separate times I hasten to add) who have developed illnesses and the financial and emotional strains this has put on them and me has meant I never got on the property ladder and instead built up debts while trying to support them (which I am paying back without ever missing a payment). I guess I've been unlucky but not as unlucky as they have.
This has also meant no kids of my own, but if I am brutally honest I have never really wanted kids, and I wouldn't be able to afford them anyway. I can afford to rent a modest place and pay its bills, and like the fact that if I do have another change of circumstances I can move with a month's notice and don't have to fork out for a new boiler etc.
I do think, however, that I would not want to be enslaved by a huge mortgage even if I were earning more. Most people see it as security and that renting is money down the drain, but the only way I could afford even a dump of a place would be to get into a big mortgage which overstretched me and then be stuck to a particular location doing a job I hate just to pay for that dump. Then there's all the costs and hassle of maintenance and home improvements to consider... What I think suits me obviously doesn't suit everyone, or even most people, and many will have the means to make their property nicer and live more comfortably. I am going for what best suits my circumstances rather than trying to bend and stretch to conform to what I am not really comfortable with. It does seem to me that Britain is all about having the house, the car, the holidays whether or not you can really afford it. This digression is only really here because I have seen discussions on here where people seem to agree that it's generally best to avoid getting into debt if possible, especially if the primary motivation is keeping up with the Joneses or trying to live like people do in TV commercials for kitchens, holidays, car adverts....
I got made redundant earlier this year and now have a much more modest income. I wanted a change of direction and not to live with so much stress. I have the six months cash savings that people often suggest (based on my minimum realistic outgoings) and it has been hard not to buy loads of gold (very, very hard!) and hard not to make bigger payments to my debt, but I am trying to stick to that 6 month cash reserve rule. Having a few extra grand in the bank seems to me to negate the negligible £50, £100 a month saving, since my debts are on long term low interest offers.
So far I've held on to my gold - almost three ounces - and not had to sell anything, but will need another job or a supplement to my income in the next few months, after I help my partner sort out a few personal and health issues.
Good luck with your journey!