Over the course of the last year or so since we started blogging, we’ve become full-on frugal weirdos. People think we’re crazy for doing everything from bringing lunch to work daily to downsizing our home to paying off all our debt. Frugality forced us to get our spending under control and use what we have at our disposal. I am forever grateful for our frugal year (and counting).
Related Post: Signs You Should Consider Financial Independence
Frugality as our singular approach would be perfect for us to reach FI if we wanted to spend the next several years in the workforce, saving for financial independence via our traditional retirement accounts. But I’m a fan of challenging myself to achieve lofty goals to find out how else can I grow. 🙂
Consequently, we have a lofty goal set for financial independence: May 18, 2019. (BTW, if you haven’t seen it, check out this awesome list of FI dates from Even Steven.) Even if we miss the mark along the way on any of our milestones along the path to FI, we’ll be much closer than if we hadn’t set any goals.
Related post: From Fishbone to FIRE:: How We Plan to Achieve Our Goals
Financial Independence Strategies
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot into the strategies that various folks use (or plan to use) to fund their post-FIRE lifestyles. When it comes to financial independence, there seem to be six approaches.
- Job Promotions/Pay Raises
- Side Hustling
When we started this journey in 2015, we had one foot firmly planted in the frugality camp (and still do). Frugality was critical for getting us on the right financial path. We needed to slash our spending, which we managed to do. Then, we moved into budgeting right away to keep track of just how much we had cut and could continue to cut. I think it’s safe to say, we’re in frugal auto-pilot mode; thus, all bonuses and pay raises have and will continue to serve as principal payments for our small house mortgage.
With respect to the fourth strategy, our investments are limited today to traditional retirement accounts. At this point, it’s unlikely that we’ll leverage our traditional retirement accounts for the popular Roth conversion ladder approach to financial independence. We’ll share more on the investment front later this year as we firm up our plans.
Rethinking Financial Independence
Not long after we started our journey to financial independence, we picked up a new client for our side hustle. Digital marketing has been my side hustle for years, so naturally, it’s another of our approaches to FI. Having a lofty goal made us eager to invest the time and energy into a side hustle. After a few months of cutting our spending, getting our budget straight, and side hustling, we started to crush debt like never before.
After several months of side hustling, we began to think about our financial independence journey differently. Outside of blogging and commenting in the FIRE community, the journey to financial independence is a lonely one. If you’re lucky enough to share your journey with a significant other, that’s great! However, we’ve found great value in the community and often leverage others’ thoughts and opinions as we tackle new challenges.
Because I’m a firm believer in the adage that “a rising tide lifts all boats,” I decided I wanted to make my journey about supporting the financial journeys of others by way of our move into entrepreneurship. I want everyone reading this blog post to achieve their personal and financial goals; thus, I sincerely hope you achieve everything you’ve set out to do. And if we can help you in any way, let us know how we can collaborate. The road is long, but it’s my belief that if we all work together, we’ll all get to where we want to go.