I’ve been doing a fair amount of research on how to get out of debt as fast as possible since I realize this is an important step in getting to FIRE. Debt payments are currently eating up a significant amount of our budget, and I really want that money to be going into savings and investments! Continue reading “How to get out of debt as fast as possible in 5 not-super-easy steps – with free printable!”
Hello 2 blog readers!
Sorry for the very long delay between blog posts. The holiday season has really taken over all of my free time…funny enough many of my free blocks of time are disappearing without things being crossed off the list. Not SURE what’s going on there. Anyhoo, I want to continue with FIRE status reports, since that is the reason I’m doing this blog…to keep myself in check! Continue reading “2 Months of FIRE – Status Report”
The first 10 days of November have been a bit of a struggle in terms of sticking to my budget. As you may know if you’ve been reading my blog, I use YNAB for budgeting. YNAB forces you to only budget money you have. Which is great when you are trying to reduce spending beyond your means. However, I have never tried to only budget for money I have. It’s so common sense but also so revolutionary…which makes no sense I realize. Continue reading “Sticking to a Budget”
I’ve been attempting to achieve FIRE (or even just FI) for just over a month. I wanted to do a summary post of what we have achieved so far. Also, what is measured is improved, so I’m helping myself by telling you all about it!
There have been 3 main ways I’ve attempted to improve our financial situation: Continue reading “1 month of FIRE – Status Report”
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!”
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”
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”
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.
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:
- Reduce expenses.
- 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!