Financial Independence – Is it doable for me?

Guys. I was listening to the ChooseFI podcast last night.

A recurring theme is “How much you need to save monthly or annually to achieve financial independence”. The amount that is continually thrown around is 50% of your income. Which, unless we sell our house, cars, and start riding bicycles to work, isn’t going to happen. Continue reading “Financial Independence – Is it doable for me?”

FIRE – What does it REALLY mean?

If you’ve been following along, you know that FIRE stands for “Financial Independence, Retire Early.” It’s fine to just throw the term around, and make cutesy FIRE-related puns like “I’m all FIREd up!” and…I’ll spare you the rest. Continue reading “FIRE – What does it REALLY mean?”

Inexpensive (and relatively easy) Recipes I’ve tested this week!

When it comes to food budgeting, I have been quite terrible. I don’t look at prices, compare prices, think about budgets AT ALL when roaming through the grocery store. In the last 4 weeks since starting to achieve FIRE (YES, I shall ACHIEVE IT!), all that has changed. I’m now on a mission to cut my grocery budget in half. I’ll try to get a report next month on how well we have done with this!

As an aside, I feel it’s relevant to mention that I’m an AVID lunch-maker and have been for several years. And for good reason! When it comes to eating out for lunch vs. making your lunch, the impact can be significant over time. For a very detailed and mind-blowing report about how eating oatmeal a couple of times a week can make you rich, please read this Money Engineering article all about it.

Here are a couple of very inexpensive recipes I’ve tried over the past week in my quest to reduce the grocery bill (Thus propelling myself ever-so-slightly closer to FIRE). My goal was to “shop”  the freezer and pantry as much as possible to avoid buying groceries before payday. Continue reading “Inexpensive (and relatively easy) Recipes I’ve tested this week!”

The Power of YNAB – A Newbie Review

If you’ve been following along in my FIRE journey, you know that I’ve started the ball rolling by reducing our family expenses. I’ve invested $84 USD to access the budgeting tool at youneedabudget.com (YNAB), since I’ve had a great experience so far with the 34 day trial (currently on day 33). This post is NOT sponsored by YNAB!

The tool itself doesn’t “save you money”. However what it does do is change your mindset. Continue reading “The Power of YNAB – A Newbie Review”

Week 3 of achieving FIRE – The Side Hustle(s)

As discussed in my first post, there are 2 ways to achieve FIRE – one is save, save, save your money! The other is make, make, make more money! And then, invest the difference. My first few posts have focused only on saving money since I’ve become totally addicted to my new budgeting tool, YNAB. If you don’t know what YNAB is, FEAR NOT. Just read my post about it here. Today, I’d like to talk about my starting point on getting going with a side hustle.

A bit more on saving for FIRE…

Continue reading “Week 3 of achieving FIRE – The Side Hustle(s)”

Let’s talk about Food

As I’m sure with the case of many of you, I love food. My family loves food. FOOOD! The result of this is we spend WAY too much on it. Our grocery food budget in past months have been topping out at over $1000 for 2 adults and one child. That doesn’t even count eating out. I joined a youneedabudget.com (YNAB) Facebook group recently to get tips on the tool, and someone posted they were spending $350 on groceries in a month for 4 people (2 children). Ugh. Continue reading “Let’s talk about Food”

Supposed follow up Budget Meeting

So…Hubs and I were supposed to have a budget meeting last night to set up a brand new budget in youneedabudget.com (YNAB). Wellllll it didn’t happen. Mainly because Hubs has a man cold. Is that sexist? He’s a man, he has a cold. I feel “man cold” is a reasonable way to refer to it. If you make any other assumptions based on this term, it’s not my problem, right?

ANYWAY, I mentioned “budget meeting” while he was laying on the couch watching Youtube. I got the dirtiest of the dirty looks. Continue reading “Supposed follow up Budget Meeting”

Family Budget – Getting my Significant Other on Board

Last week, I scheduled an official family budget meeting with my significant other. Hubs does not seem to like all things relating to budgets. However, I find it helps if you have tea and cookies…maybe bake your significant other a special treat to entice them to the budgeting table. ALSO have a comfortable place to sit for both of you in front of a computer. Make it as APPEALING as possible! Continue reading “Family Budget – Getting my Significant Other on Board”

YNAB (You Need a Budget) Update – Week 2

One thing that YNAB is good at is making you obsessed with budgeting. I am in there literally 10 times a day. I must say the web version seems much more user friendly than the app, though this could be my inexperience talking. Regardless, it really works to laser focus your budget efforts. Dare I say it, adjusting budget values and categorizing transactions is kind of fun. I get excited when i see there are transactions to import. I think I may be getting old. Continue reading “YNAB (You Need a Budget) Update – Week 2”

Week 1 of FIRE – Focus on Expenses

The Road to Financial Independence – Week 1

This week, my efforts are focused on getting a handle on our expenses. Simply identifying them and following a budget to try to reduce discretionary spending. I felt like this was a priority to achieve FIRE.

My friend recently introduced me to a tool she was using called YNAB – WORST name ever, but it stands for “You Need A Budget”. Which we do. HA! Anyway, I decided to sign up for a trial account at YNAB.com. So far, I’ve been using YNAB religiously for 2+ weeks, and it’s going very well. I feel I have much better awareness of where our money is going (and where it’s being wasted on lower priority things).

Side note: if online subscriptions aren’t really your thing, and you’d rather do your budget “old school” on paper or in a spreadsheet, you can still learn and follow YNAB principles by reading the book “You Need a Budget“, written by the creator Jesse Mecham.

A few lessons learned so far… Continue reading “Week 1 of FIRE – Focus on Expenses”