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”

Welcome to my blog about how to achieve Financial Independence

How it all Started

What’s FIRE you say? Not just hot stuff. Financial Independence, Retire Early. I initially heard about this philosophy from my neighbor who sold her big house in suburbia and moved to a small house in suburbia with a rental in the basement in order to achieve FIRE. In 7 years. This young woman is setting herself and her husband up to retire in 7 YEARS. She is in her 30s.

Needless to say, I was inspired. I’m dreaming of getting out of the rat race more and more. Why? I want more time for family and friends. More time to pursue artistic endeavors. More time to travel. More time to Netflix and Chill. And, probably some other things.

What I did to learn about Financial Independence, Retire Early

I began researching about principles of FIRE and what financial independence really means. fortunately there are lots of blogs and articles providing the details about various strategies you can use to achieve FIRE.

Your Money or your Life - Financial Independence
The FIRE “Bible”

To give credit where credit is due, the FIRE-storm all started with the book “Your Money or Your Life,” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. The book was written in the 90s. It’s really not a new idea, but it seems to be catching on in recent years, and for good reason. There are plenty of FIRE success stories out there, and they are truly inspiring.

What do you need to do to work towards Financial Independence?

After a bit of research, I now realize there are 2 things I need to do to achieve the goal:

      1. Reduce expenses.
      2. Increase income.

It probably seems like a no-brainer, but just doing these 2 things with fervor will eventually get you there! The earlier you start the better; unfortunately I learned about the FIRE movement in my early 40s. That said, starting at the age of 42 is much better than not starting at all. My favorite way of describing how to get to FIRE is:

Increasing the gap between Expenses and Income, and investing the difference.

This blog will be to document my journey to FIRE – the successes and the failures! I hope you will stick with me and hopefully pick up some small tip that will benefit your life in a positive way. I also look forward to you sharing your successes in the comments so that I may learn from you. Thanks!

 

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